January 9th, 2008

MH - Matthew - WTF?!

Choir-type things.

It was the first choir rehearsal of the new season last night. One of the concerts is "Favourites from the Opera", which we began looking at.

The Verdi piece, "Triumphal Scene" from Aida, made me want to cry. And not in the good way.

We have to sing it in Italian. Which wouldn't be quite so bad, except that we're also doing the "Polovtsian Dances" (I have no idea how that's spelt), which we have to sing in Russian, and the pronunciation of each language is the exact opposite of each other. That is, Russian is as it looks, Italian isn't. We spent a long time sounding out the Italian phrases in rhythm to figure out exactly how they were supposed to sound, and whilst I'm quite sure the tune is lovely, I'll be buggered if I can find it amongst the complicated diphthongs.

So, after the first hour of rehearsal, struggling to get through the movement and getting increasingly frustrated with both it and the girl next to me making snarky comments, I basically wanted to run away and hide.

Luckily enough, we then rehearsed the Carmen pieces after the break, which were a lot easier (mostly), in English, and familiar. I really need to see Carmen again one of these days...

I'm sure it'll all work out fine, but wow. Difficult. And rather disheartening, as I was excited about the prospect of this particular concert, whereas right now I'm a bit despondent about it...

The other concert is of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, and they were saying last night that the two performances of this are mandatory, not optional. In which case, I hope we're actually going to rehearse it at some point, because I've never heard or seen it before in my life. This was the trouble with my two main choirs - the school Chamber Choir did popular stuff like Fauré's Requiem, whilst Derby Choral Union did really obscure or brand new stuff, like a piece written by the musical director. I imagine long-standing members of CBC have it easy, but for those of us who are new and relatively young, it's a nightmare trying to learn these things.

As a result of the first-half annoyingness I was decidedly grumpy all evening, more than likely not helped by the fact that I was at work until 6.00pm for the first time since mid-December and was subsequently exhausted.

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It's probably just as well I can leave a bit earlier today, as there's stuff to do: we've run out of potatoes and chips, and I need to put the washing upstairs to dry.

I think I'll post this now before it gets any longer...
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