Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Run Forest run!

Well, I'm enjoying the running, although I gave myself a day off yesterday as it was a very busy day and today have spent some time on my stepper whilst watching you are what you eat as motivation! I'll go for a gentle run tomorrow morning as I have an audition later.

I had a rehearsal for my first run through of the programme today, but I was half an hour late because the train left early and then no bus turned up. It's a 30 minute journey tops and it took me an hour. The joys of London life! The rehearsal itself went quite well, although the Szymanowski is proving a problem. There is a vocal score reduction but it's a semitone higher than the orchestral one! Somehow I have to get it transposed by thursday in order to rehearse it before the concert. Hmmm tall order. It's not just something that can be written out! It might be that I can't do it on friday which would be very disappointing. I'm a bit nervous about remembering the other new songs, but I hope I'll be ok. I just need to devote a bit more time to things somehow. I think it's going to be a bit hairy!

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Done it!

Been for the run, even though it rained! The route was a bit short so I only did 20 mins but will correct that tomorrow. Right, I had best do my housework as even divas have to do the hoovering!

Keep on running...


Well, so far I have been completely lack lustre with the running because of getting in late and having to go out fairly early. It's no excuse!! Now its Saturday and I have no reason not to go so I will trot off out this morning. To make sure I do it I will post again this afternoon! As my sister's friend Jo would say - Trot on Wattage!

I have now organised two run throughs of my programme next month. The one I mentioned before on 2nd March is in East Bergholt, Suffolk. Off the top of my head it is at Constable Hall at 7.30 or 8pm. I am also doing a run through in Redditch on 31st March - I'll post the details when I have looked them up! I had planned recitals in these places before I knew about the competition and these societies have very kindly let me change the programme. I have to submit my music by 1st March to Cardiff and there can be no changes after the 16th, so let's hope I've got it right!

I have a concert tomorrow at Brasenose College, Oxford so the last few days have been quite caught up with preparing for that. I was at my old college, the Royal College of Music, yesterday and apparently they have a Polish singer on the course there, so I may have solved my problem of the Polish coach. Fingers crossed. It also looks like the Aldeburgh Residency will happen in April as I had hoped. I just love going out there. It's so peaceful and tranquil that you can't help but focus on the music. Everyone there is so supportive too.

Right, well I think I've done enough displacement activity typing this and it's time to get jogging...


Friday, 23 February 2007

Cardiff here I come!

Dear readers,

I have decided to start a blog chaptering my preparations for being “Miss England” at Cardiff Singer of the World 2007. I hope you enjoy it!

As I write I am on the train on the way back from the launch of the 2007 competition in Cardiff. What an occasion! The 2005 winner, Nicole Cabel was there along with lots of important people. Two other competitors were also there: Miss Wales, Sarah Jane Davies and Mr Brazil, Luciano, as well as a previous Mr Wales, Gwyn Hughes Jones. It was great to meet them all (I already know Sarah Jane from ENO though) and glean bits of advice for the competition. Gwyn’s advice was to make sure I am thoroughly prepared, so I thought I would tell you about my preparation plans and the fact that I have committed them to the web will help me with my goals!

Of course, the number one thing I need to do is learn all my pieces. I’ve planned a run through very soon -2nd March at a recital in Suffolk, so I have to learn the music for the pieces I don’t yet know very soon indeed! Once I know them I want to take them to coachings with various people: language coaches for the French, German, Italian, Russian and Polish that I will have to sing in; a drama coach, Annabel Arden, to work on my performance; my singing teacher, Lillian Watson; and various musical coaches including Audrey Hyland, Roger Vignoles, Michael Pollock and the various coaches we have at English National Opera, where I am on the Young Singers’ Programme. Phew! That’s quite a lot. I am trying to organise a Residency in Aldeburgh as part of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme to do some solid work on things in April.

Many people would think that once I’ve done the musical side that’s it. Well, there’s a whole other side to things too: presentation. They say the camera adds 10 pounds and I am a bit overweight anyway, so I want to lose at least a stone and a half before the competition. One of the main things about this is to be fit and healthy as singing requires enormous stamina and I need to be in peak condition, rather like an athlete. As a singer you have to be careful how you lose the weight, as if you lost weight too quickly, you lose all your muscle which is crucial to a singer. I need to make sure I lose fat and not muscle, so I need to mainly lose my weight through exercise. A while ago I ran a half marathon and really enjoyed running, so my plan is to go for a 30 minute run in the morning 5 times a week. There, I’ve said it. I’ve made my pledge and now I have to stick with it, and hopefully having said it so publically will make me do it! I’m not going to tell you what weight I am, but I will tell you how much I lose!

I also need to sort the thorny problem of the dress. Looking good is all part of the package, so I need a fantastic frock to launch me with style into the competition and the frockwatch pages of the website! I have a few lines of enquiry to follow about this, so I will keep you posted.

I’m going to try and update the blog every few days, so keep tuning in for more updates!