The cast of Scottish Opera’s tour of Così fan tutte has a bit of a changeover, and learns some poetry on the long bus journeys between shows…
I can’t believe we’re already half way through the tour! It’s flying by.
You find us this week back in Glasgow having been refreshed by a few days back in our respective homes. We’ve also waved goodbye to a couple of much-loved members of the cast: Sarah (Dorabella) and Claire (our pianist).
A huge welcome, therefore, to Emerging Artist Emma Kerr, our new Dorabella, and also to Nick Fletcher who is taking up the mantle of marathon pianist. Playing for a piece like this is indeed a marathon.
While the rest of us get the odd break backstage to have a quick banana and some water, Claire and Nick’s job as a one-man-band is relentless.
The pianist really is the driving force behind the show, as it is usually them who sets and then maintains the speed, and therefore the energy, throughout the piece. They also have to act as a complete orchestra, providing as much variety and colour as possible with just one instrument. So no pressure Nick!
A new dynamic
Every performer brings a different interpretation and energy to a piece, so the opera is bound to change a little with the introduction of a new cast member and I’m excited to see what new things will come up with Emma in the cast.
We had a very brief rehearsal with her yesterday and already I can see how some of my own interpretation of the piece might change in response to working with a new sister.
It’s particularly noticable for me as so much of what I do is in tandum with Dorabella – we’re rarely on stage without each other and often back each other up in the face of the tricks the others play on us.
So if you’re coming to see the show over the next week or so, anything could happen as we adjust to a new dynamic!
As promised, this week is our Scottish Opera Tour Poetry Week. James (Don Alfonso) has written a beautiful poem about our trip to Skara Brae last week. I hope those of you who’ve been will recognise the experience. And perhaps if you’ve not been, it will inspire a trip to Orkney!
Today we went to Skara Brae,
There’s some that’s been before us.
Soon other folk will find their way
To our far land of sand and clay
With Time laid out around us.
The Autumn sun shone crystal light
On wave-hump sea and liquid grass.
It lit the stones and hearths and walls
And cast our shadows darkly.
We entered by the laid-out path,
The clock of years went spinning back
Past suns and moons and ancient days
To times before the record.
Pre-history is a long time dead
And Skara Brae a gentle spell
That softly wakes a darkened pulse;
A heartbeat from antiquity.
We photographed the broken stones
That stick through grass and sandy dune,
that block the winds that blow the sands
that cover up our history.
These staked-out words like headstones mark
Our visit to this haunted place,
Our own brief passing – we were here –
We came to taste the mystery.
We came because that’s what you do;
To look, to puzzle, pause – amazed –
And probe the psych’ and wonder why,
And tell your tale in company,
And say; we went to Skara Brae,
There’s some that’s been before us.
There Mighty Time alone holds sway
O’er moss and rock and sand and clay
of life laid out around us.
Thank you to James for that beautiful poem. The rest of our contributions have been slightly less inspired… haikus over breakfast has become a favourite past time, but unfortunately the form seems to lend itself to naughtiness, so most of them aren’t publishable!
Claire, however has taken it much more seriously and here is her contribution. Thank you to her for this.
Bus. Noise and silence.
Towns. Hotels. Sights, old and new.
Music – eternal.
That’s it for this week. We’re all looking forward to meeting our audiences this week in Musselburgh, St Andrews and Greenock.
See you there!
You can read more from Rosalind next week, and can find her previous blogs below.
For tickets to Scottish Opera’s tour of Così fan tutte, and for venue information, click below.