Monday, November 13, 2006


De voila!
The Royal Albert Hall.
I've sung here.

I never got round to telling y'all about it though - what a zizz eh?

I not only sang here, it was for the Proms and it was a premier.

Get me, eh?

It began when a friend forwarded me a link to the Beeb site asking for singers to apply for something called 'The Voice Project'. They were looking for London and Glasgow-based amateur singers to take part in a collaborative performance with The Shout of a new piece by Orlando Gough.

I filled out the form and didn't expect to be selected - but in the end I received an email inviting me to take part. I was very excited; especially since morale was at a low level then (what, as opposed to now, you mean?)

The rehearsals started a month before our proms (we did 2 concerts) with a weekend workshop with 3 members of The Shout: Carol Grimes, Adey Grummet, Melanie Pappenheim; and they were great - really fantastic.
They not only had incredible voices but were really enthusiastic and innovative in their singing. And what was really exciting for me was that I had met and worked with Adey Grummet before: at an Opera North summer school when I was 15 - and she was just as energetic and entertaining as I remembered her. She was also very kind when I went up to her and rambled about how she wouldn't remember me but we'd met before and I'd really enjoyed working with her then and now. She was kind enough to say that she thought I looked familiar - I suspect that may have been a kind white lie; I think I look quite different than I did then - curly hair and all....

The piece was really interesting and very compelling as well. I was part of the 'London Rabble' and the parts we were singing were mostly nonsense/made up words with a vew 'verses' - the choirs were singing the comprehensible parts with The Shout filling the solo/small ensemble sections.

The Shout were utterly fantastic to listen to - they did a couple of other pieces during the concert and I was just enthralled to listen to them - one of the pieces 'Stand' was just *brilliant* and I had it running round my head for days afterwards - I woke up in the night with it running round my head. I would love to sing like that; as part of something like that.

It was quite a bizarre experience being in the Royal Albert Hall - people who had sung their before kept saying how huge it felt and how seeing that many people could be a bit unnerving so I was quite surprised when my reaction to standing on the staging and in the promenading space was that it felt a lot smaller that I expected. So I thought that maybe once it was full of people - then it would seem bigger - but no, it seemed smaller again once there were audience in it - it just brought the levels and layers closer down towards me. I wasn't nervous, I wasn't freaked out; but neither was I excited by it. And that is a big sign for me that I am obviously not really 'well'. I ought to have been excited or proud or happy or at least faintly pleased - but I just wasn't. Perhaps that's why I haven't written about it before now. I felt 'dead' - like I do about so much now. Like I've never come out of the anaesthetic - I'm still numb.


kim said...

What an amazing thing to just be able to say that it is something you've done, even if you lacked enthusiasm at the time. I'm not even sure if my hubby has been in Albert Hall (I'll have to ask him).

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit of a fan of Melanie Pappenheim, and you were very lucky to work alongside her.

Anonymous said...

The Shout are amazing, I've seen them a few times and those three in particular have voices like powerhouses! Love 'em