Stage-Write blog 2014

Thomasin Trezise of the Glyndebourne chorus is our intrepid backstage blogger.

The Cunning Little Vixen Hens, Festival 2012. Photo by Bill Cooper
Thomasin as a Hen (centre) in The Cunning Little Vixen at Festival 2012

About Thomasin

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 RingsStar 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 2014

Week 5, GFO 2014

Happy Easter everyone!

I know it’s raining today but hasn’t it been lovely!?

But I’m not here to talk about the weather. It occurred to me when I so casually dropped into the conversation ‘model- showing’ re. Der Rosenkavalier, that you may not, dear reader, have a Scooby as to what I was referring. We’ve had it now, of course. Which reminds me, I fully intended to do a weekly blog this year. It’s not going to happen. I had completely forgotten just how tiring Glyndebourne is. It’s so full-on. We are required, by contract, to sing, act and dance, and, because we can, we do. Particularly in Onegin. Oh! How we dance! 

I digress. A model showing is the first time that the cast of an opera (or play) see the designs and hear what the director has to say about their concept and decisions. Usually there is an actual scale model on a table, with little cardboard figures, like a dolls-house. I think the slide-show is replacing this. Shame, I used to love the model. For Der Rosenkavalier, the sets for each Act had been assembled on the Glyndebourne stage and photographed for the slide show. Instead of cardboard figures we had slightly self-conscious, sheepish stage crew, holding props and pictures which hadn’t yet been hung on walls. I like the design. It spans the period between the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The costumes are deliberately ambiguous in their styling, managing to refer to both centuries. This highlights the difference between the old-fashioned Baron, with his contemptuous treatment of Sophie, and the free-spirited and forward-thinking Marschallin. I could go on. Richard Jones mentioned the word ‘entitlement’, particularly with reference to Faninal. I believe this to be very relevant to us today, in a world where possession and ownership have become so important. 

What else can I tell you? I may already have told you too much… The cast sound and look amazing. It’s stylish, understated with little flashes of Richard Jones’ dark (oh , so dark!) humour. Thank your lucky stars that there will be, as always, very interesting and informative articles in the programme. Don’t, whatever you do, listen to me. What do I know?!?

I understand that Der Rosenkavalier has already sold out. Don’t give up hope, there may be returns on the day. I think it will be worth it.

Onegin moves from the rehearsal room to the stage next week. Graham Vick returns to Glyndebourne after many years of absence to put the finishing touches on to his 1994 production. We’ve had so much fun rehearsing the dances with the choreographer, Ron Howell. Ron is the most inspiring choreographer I have ever worked with. He has extraordinary amounts of energy and humour, and accepts no less than an equal exchange from the cast. He is the man. Anyhoo, it may get a little more serious next week. We’ll see.

Week 1 GFO 2014

Hello and a very happy 2014 to one and all.

We have just come to end of the first week of rehearsals for the 2014 Festival. As usual I am feeling rather shell-shocked. This week we focused on the music for Graham Vick’s magical production of Eugene Onegin. Deceptively simple music and blatantly difficult Russian. We had a language coach with us from day one, and how we needed him! We spent a good half of the rehearsal just chanting the words in rhythm, as there was no chance of getting words and notes right at the same time.  At times it seemed to me, that we must have sounded like the living dead coming in from the fields with pitch forks and the like. At one point, after the first song of the peasants, Madame Larina asks them to sing something cheerful. She may well ask. Cheerful is out of the question until we’ve got the Russian under our belt. By Friday, I really started to feel much more with it all. There is, however, one vowel sound that is very elusive. In the Cyrillic alphabet it looks like an H but sort of filled in the corner, phonetically, it is written like an ‘I’ with two dots over it. When the Russians say it, it sounds as if it goes backwards into their mouths. We were encouraged to practise until it felt easier and soon it was like milking time, with that same degree of panic. We ARE getting there though, I just know it.

My understudy this year, is Madame Larina, the mother of Tatyana and Olga and played by the inimitable Diana Montegue. As usual, I wish no harm to come to her at all.

Next week we have the model showing for Richard Jones’ new production of Der Rosenkavalier. Very excited.

See ya.

 

 

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