The performances went really well and seemed to be positively received by an audience generally unfamiliar with Britten. It was a great and supportive cast, and though I was ready to get home to the rest of my family by the end, I was so glad that I did it, and grateful to my dad for coming, and my mum who stayed behind with Anthony, to look after my eldest daughter, Ivy. It was difficult trying to keep up the breast feeding with the busy rehearsal schedule, and trying to make my brain and body work on so little sleep. But I feel an enormous sense of achievement for having pushed myself to do it, and managing ok. And dad and I will never forget the experience.
Since then, life has calmed a little, in that we have all been in the UK at least. I have been entirely focussed on various concerts and recitals this year so far, including a lovely programme with Julius Drake at the Leicester International Music Festival, Vivaldi and Prokofiev at the Barbican Hall, and the Brahms Alto Rhapsody at the opening gala of the brand new Stoller Hall in Manchester. I also, both terrifyingly and thrillingly, stepped in at short notice, to a lunchtime recital at Wigmore Hall, which Sarah Connolly had had to pull out of. Luckily it was English Song that they wanted, and Joseph Middleton and I just so happened to be in the middle of resurrecting our beloved This Other Eden programme for a recital the following week at St George's Hall, Liverpool, so we didn't feel too underprepared. We really enjoyed ourselves once we settled down. It was so lovely to be performing that repertoire together again, and especially in such a special and magical venue as the Wigmore hall. I'm looking forward to working with Joe again on various projects next year.
Right now I am in rehearsals for a production of Albert Herring at the brand new Grange Festival, which is great fun. I've played Nancy a few times before, and it's such a lovely role. I always really enjoy doing Albert Herring. Our esteemed conductor, Steuart Bedford, who assisted Britten himself, said to us on day one, that it is always a very happy piece to be a part of, and that he's never had a bad experience with it. We're certainly having a lot of fun and lots of giggles with our fabulous cast, and legendary director John Copley, who we are trying to convince he should write a book of all his hilarious and outrageous anecdotes of the mega stars he has worked with over the years at all the world's major opera houses. We open in late June, and look forward to being a part of this very new festival, which I am sure will be a great success. I have never worked at Grange Park before, but I am told it is absolutely lovely, so I am looking forward to moving over there for our stage rehearsals in a few weeks time.
I shall write a separate post with upcoming performances and news, and promise to try to stay on top of my website from now on. xxx