Our man on the inside

Christopher Gillett

It's not over until....
 
That's it, it's over. Finished. Done. No more giggles for the bed in the Act 3 panto, no more pelvic flinches as Tara Erraught's Octavian plunges the silver rose into Lars Woldt's Baron Ochs's buttock, no more wincing when Paul Hopwood's Doctor whips out his tube of ointment... I'm sorry, none of this means anything to you if you never saw Der Rosenkavalier, but for me and everyone else in the show, this is the stuff that has filled our waking hours for the last three months.

Curtain definitely up...

With the first night over, the cast of 'Der Rosenkavalier' can enjoy their days off between performances. While Christopher Gillett goes home and does the housework, some of his international colleagues use the time to explore the English countryside.

Between shows I go home and do what normal people do: wash the kitchen floor, sort the recycling, shout at the television. That sort of thing. Meanwhile the Europeans in the cast are ensconced in East Sussex, with swathes of time to kill. They are an interesting bunch...

Curtain almost up...

To say we have been working hard in the last six weeks would be like saying Rembrandt knew how to draw or Mary Berry can knock up a passable Victoria sponge.

We have rehearsed six days a week, morning, afternoon and evening, including Good Friday and bank holidays, stopping only on Sundays to do laundry and draw breath. It's only with the arrival of the orchestra that we are now able to have rest days between our stage rehearsals, though, as the first night approaches, the media circus begins...

A legendary discovery...

It's Glyndebourne's 80th anniversary - making it the oldest professional opera company in Britain. I may not be quite as old as that but thanks to the company, I've made a connection (albeit one of them extremely tenous) to two great tenors.

After my first blog about Glyndebourne I got a message from Stephen, a director friend. In 1964 his dad had been in the Glyndebourne chorus and he too had written something for a local school. Would I like to see it? As Stephen's dad was the great tenor Philip Langridge I, of course, said yes... Read Christopher's second Festival blog entry.

Preparing for rehearsals...

In the next few weeks I’m going to Glyndebourne to start rehearsing Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. Sometimes that keeps me up at night. This is because of two things: a) it’s Glyndebourne and b) it’s Der Rosenkavalier.

I haven’t worked for Glyndebourne in over 20 years, the last time being when I sang on the tour. That was before they built the spiffy new opera house, and I’ve only been back there a couple of times since, to see Lulu and Giulio Cesare. On neither occasion did I wear a dinner jacket, not really out of any contrariness but simply because I don’t own one and I was buggered if I was going to shell out... Read the rest of Christopher's first blog entry here...

Introducing Our man on the inside...

In a career spanning over thirty years the tenor Christopher Gillett has sung in opera houses across the globe and with some of the world's finest orchestras and conductors. He was a member of the Glyndebourne Chorus in 1983, and later sang Albert Herring, Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) and Tikhon (Katya Kabanova) for Glyndebourne Touring Opera.

On CD/DVD his many recordings include the title role in Albert Herring as well as roles in Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Christopher has given many world premieres, including works by Menotti, Alexander Goehr, Tan Dun and Louis Andriesson, and last year he premiered Iain Bell’s A Harlot’s Progress in Vienna. He has written two books, the critically-acclaimed Who's My Bottom? and Scraping The Bottom, as well as regular features for Sinfinimusic.com

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