Thomasin Trezise of the Glyndebourne chorus is our intrepid backstage blogger.
Thomasin as a Hen (centre) in The Cunning Little Vixen at Festival 2012
Thomasin Trezise was born in Brighton and studied at the Royal College of Music. Thomasin’s singing career has been more maverick than some, including Music Theatre, piano vocalist at Mayfair’s Tiddy Dols Restaurant and vocals on Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and the Harry Potter films.
Operatic roles include Second Nymph (Rusalka) and Mrs Herring (Albert Herring) for Glyndebourne; Angelina (La Cenerentola) and Mimi (La bohème) for Garden Opera; Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) for Ludo Productions at the Brighton Festival; Valencienne (The Merry Widow) and Despina (Così fan tutte) for Opera UK and Olga (Eugene Onegin) and Dorabella (Così fan tutte) for Music Theatre London.
She started singing at Glyndebourne in 2003.
Festival 2013 Blog
Oh dear, what can the matter be…?
Well hello everyone!
I do hope you have all had a good winter and are not too frustrated with the fits and starts Spring we’re having.
I must apologise for not having started my blog sooner. I suppose I’ve been waiting for something to happen. And, my goodness, it has!
Today (Sunday) I had the privilage of singing in a Study Day, run by the Education department. It was a full day for the audience; they were treated to Strauss in the morning, by way of an introduction to this year’s new production of Ariadne auf Naxos and we entertained them with ‘Phaedre in Words and Music’ in the afternoon (as an intro to the new production of Hippolyte et Aricie).
Phaedre is, of course, married to King Theseus and has the misfortune to fall in love with his son Hippolyte. He is in love with Aricie and does not reciprocate her feelings. Bummer. Anyhoo it consisted of literary passages interspersed with music. I sang three of Phaedre’s arias from the Rameau and ended with the final section of Britten’s amazing cantata ‘Phaedre’, his final vocal work.
Well, it was all going terribly well. I arrived in plenty of time to rehearse both the Rameau (with the very lovely and clever Luke Green) and the Britten with beautiful, talented Helen Collier. It was about half an hour before we were due to start, and I thought I’d nip to the loo one last time. The nearest one is a single disabled toilet just before you go in to the Peter Hall Room (one of our huge rehearsal spaces). Business over, I quickly checked myself out in the mirror and went to unlock the door. Something seemed to slip as I turned the lock but I thought nothing of it. I turned it again but nothing happened. The door wouldn’t open.
At first, I chuckled a bit and thought ‘How ridiculous, this sort of thing doesn’t really happen!’ I wiggled, turned, pushed and pulled both the lock and the door handle. Nothing. At this point I still believed I would get out any moment, that someone would come along, also needing the loo, and simply let me out. After a few more minutes of lock manipulation (and I was getting a bit rougher with it by now) I started to have doubts. Glyndebourne can be a very quiet place on a Sunday before the performances have started. There were very few people in the building. I started to be considerably less calm. I shouted out a few times. ‘ Help! Help!’ I actually kept this up for quite a while until the thought that I had to sing stopped me. I raised my voice to a more operatic and safer pitch until I realised that there was no urgency to the sound: Noone was going to come running at the sound of someone singing at Glyndebourne. Then I noticed a loose panel on the wall, which gave access to pipes and things. I used this to start banging, what seemed very loudly, on the very solid, steel door. The next hour saw me alternating between flurries of banging and shouting activity and sitting rather glumly on the lav, wondering if it would be possible to get any sleep on the concrete floor, should it come to it. I heard a call over the tannoy at 3.55pm, the time were due on; ‘Would Thomasin Trezise please come to the Ebert Room’, and laughed grimly to myself. I would…..
Finally, I heard footsteps and voices and put my trusty panel to work. They’d found me! It took two strong men and various bits of equipment a good 15 minutes to free me. But free I was. I gave them both a big hug and tried to retrieve some of the dignity I needed to be Phaedre, that powerful, charismatic woman. Meanwhile, back in the Ebert room they’d changed the running order of the afternoon, so that, by the time I arrived, they’d had all the readings and were well stuck in to the question and answers section. Finally we performed all the pieces one after the other, as a mini recital. Of course, I started with ‘Oh dear, what can the matter be?’, but I think they’d already been singing that.
So, I’d like to thank the two crew members who let me out, the whole of the Education Department for being so kind, and the lovely members of the audience who were so understanding and good-humoured about it all.
It wasn’t my best performance, but do you know, it wasn’t half bad.