Monday, 18 June 2007

Back to normality

I'm now back home after an extraordinary couple of weeks. To win the song prize and be in the final was an absolute joy. It's been really interesting to read all your comments (on the blog and the cardiff site), and thanks for all your support. Some people seem to have loved what I do and others just not get it, but that's to be expected as we are all different. All I can do is open my soul and sing with it. I can't say I'm not disappointed not to have won but I know all the exposure will have done my career loads of good. I'll keep posting on the blog to keep you up to date with any interesting career developments and inform you when my kitchen is finally done. Hurry up B&Q! Now to exlplain to my orthodontist why I haven't worn my brace for 2 weeks. Oh, and unpack! Because even divas have to come back down to earth...

Saturday, 16 June 2007

It's a triumph!

I won the song prize!!! How amazing. It still hasn't sunk in. I still have to focus for sunday though so I'm trying not to think about it too much. Can't write much now as about to have my orchestral rehearsal for tomorrow. I'm just going to go out there and have a ball - I have nothing to prove now!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Here I go again...

I'm through to the main prize final! Have to say part of me thought I wouldn't be but there we go. I can't think about the main prize today though as I have the song prize final tonight. Just at St David's Hall to wrm up before my rehearsal so I'd best do that and sign off. Thanks for all your comments by the way, they mean a lot! I'll try and post later today!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

The truth awaits

Well, blog fans, I am at St David's Hall, awaiting the result of who will be selected for the main przie final. Errrrrrrrrr. Feeling a bit nervous actually, possibly for the first time since I've been here, but I stand a good chance.

Spent a lot of today trying to find an alternative outfit for the song prize, but to no avail. Cardiff will just haave to cope. Well, it will be a fine example of how to recycle key items of one's wardrobe and make it seem new with different accessories.

Still pretty tired, but hopefully my energy levels will crescendo again for tomorrow and perhaps then on to sunday!

By the way, for those of you who are wondering where I am in the kitchen saga, B&Q have still failed to finish fitting my kitchen 7 and a half months after they started and have refused to give me my money back, saying they are able to finish it... Hmm. Currently trying not to think about it and have given them the fella's number. Bless him.

Anyway, I best take my seat. Fingers crossed. Because even divas sometimes get butterflies...

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Song prize ahoy!

I am through to the song prize final!!! Mega excited although suddenly having a panic that what I had planned to wear won't work. I'm sure it will, I just need to go through the panic stage. Rehearsals start to day and I will hear tomorrow evening about the main prize final.

Still very tired, although I got my first good night's sleep in a long time last night. Thinking about going for a kip after writing this though! Because even diva sometimes need 40 winks...

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The song prize looms...

Well, I am in St David's Hall (the only place I can blog from) warming up, so I thought I would do a quick post. Thanks so much for all your suppportive comments on the blog and the bbc website. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the final.

I have my first round of the song prize at 2pm today, and as I am in the last round, the announcement about the finalists will be made this afternoon. I'm really looking forward to performing again. Well, it's really my natural state! I'm a bit tired at the moment as it's very hard to sleep in the hotel as it's been so hot. A lot of the competitors are having the same problem. If you open your window to ease the heat of the building you get woken up by the building site next door at 6.30am which is not really ideal. Apparently the weather is cooling so hopefully I can get a proper night's sleep soon. I'm keeping my spirits up though!

Right I had best do some work!!! Because even divas need to sing through their repertoire on the day of a performance... (!!!)

Monday, 11 June 2007

I won!!!

Well, readers I only gone and done it and won my round! What a day! We were all stood just outside the hall and the judges filed past on to the stage. The usual speeches were made, and then, blow me, my name was announced. I knew I had to go on stage if I had won, so duly did so and shook hands with all the judges. The chair, John Fisher, then presented me with a beautiful crystal bowl, which I wasn't expecting at all! The thing about going on in front of an audience in this situation is that the fine detail of what is going to happen is never explained to you as you don't know you're going to go on! So I felt not only completely dazed that I had just won but slightly bewildered about what to do! After I had got the trophy someone told me to go and stand in front of the camera, so I just did what I was told, and bowed in grateful thanks.

After I came off stage, gave my fellow singers a hug and was then whisked away for an interview on BBC2 Wales. I had met Aled Jones in make up (I had joked that I wouldn't go on until I'd met him!) which was a real thrill as his singing had inspired me as a kid. He's such a lovely chap and really relaxed in front of the camera which put me totally at ease. Also presenting was Elin Manahan Thomas who was at the Royal College of Music with me so that was lovely too! Cissian my wonderful make up artist made sure my makeup hadn't run too much, Eric from wardrobe made sure my bra wasn't showing and one of the directors, I think it was, put a radio mic on me. I then had to wait a bit before going on and was desperately trying to get word to my friends and family about where I was, as I hadn't seen any of them since I had won. They turned up in time for the interview and to cheer me royally. It turns out I wasn't the only person who had been interviewed: they'd managed to get to my dad and sister Verity too! Verity had an amazing story too: she had clapped so hard that the diamond had come out of her engagement ring. The family had sprung to the rescue and managed to find it on the next level down!

After the interview there was a little reception and I finally got a well deserved drink! I didn't party too late though as I have the song prize tomorrow. My rehearsal for that is in the theatre later today. It's all go here! I even managed to squeeze in an interview with Radio Wales in the hotel lobby this morning!

I suppose now the task is to come back down to earth and focus for the song prize, and start practising in case I definitely make it to that final as winning the round doesn't guarantee being in the final. I'll keep you posted....

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Waiting for the result...

I am now backstage in my dressing room awaiting the result. Everything went really well and I've done all I can, so we'll ahve to see what the fates decide. If I donb't win the round it doesn't mean I won't be in the final as it can be any five singers from the whole competition that go through.

After I came off I did a little tv interview and then went to the green room to watch Levente from Hungary sing. He's fab!! He's also a really lovely, funny bloke and as we have been next to each other in the line up we have shared a lift to many rehearsals.

Whoever wins, I've had the most fantastic day - one of the best of my life - and I couldn't ask for more.

From the dressing room

Just a quick post as I am sat in the dressing room eating my tea. All has gone very well in rehearsal and I'm now itching to get out there. I'm not really nervous, just excited. I shall do a bit of singing at about 6, then in to makeup at 6.30 for at least an hour, then some alexander technique, more singing and then I reckon I'll be on!

A massive big thankyou to all of you who have supported me this far, Liz x

Saturday, 9 June 2007

It's TOMORROW!!!!!

Well, blog readers the moment of truth is upon me. I sing in the first round of the competition main prize tomorrow eveing, 7.30pm and I am SOOOOO excited! I am having an easy evening to rest up for tomorrow as I have been feeling quite tired, and I really need to calm down in order to sleep. I have just been watching the 1993 final for a laugh and I am feeling really good about things. For info, the concert is being broadcast on bbc4 monday evening, but you can watch it live online I believe. Once all the singers have sung, the voting for the audience prize wil open and that's on thursday night.

I expect you're wondering what it's like being in cardiff and what I've been up to over the past few days. Well, I came down to Cardiff on wednesday evening to be greeted by the most marvellous team of people who filled me in on everything that is going to happen over the next 10 days or so. The next day the rehearsals started: I have had quite a bit of time with my song prize accompanist, the fabulous Phillip Thomas, several lonely practise room sessions and a piano rehearsal with the wonderful Carlo Rizzi, my conductor for the main prize. The latter rehearsal has been filmed and there have been a lot of cameras around! Today I had another rehearsal for the main prize, this time with the orchestra. Bravo them! They have risen to the challenge of my very difficult Szymanowski choice with aplomb.

I have also had a makeup and hair session with lovely Cyssian to make sure I am happy with what they will do to me tomorrow. She makes me look gorgeous (see what you think!) so absolutely no complaints there.

So on to tomorrow... I will rise fairly late, have breakfast and then go down to St David's Hall for a practise session on my own. I will probably do some warm up exercises and sing through some of the tricky stuff (so most of the programme!!!). I don't have to worry about my dress as Eric and his marvellous team of people will take it down to the hall, iron it and make it look flash as can be. Apparently even divas don't have to do the ironing on this occasion. I do, however, have to remember my shoes and necklace. My boyfriend arrives lunchtime so we will probably have a light lunch and then at 3pm I will head down to the hall again for my final run through with the orchestra - a television rehearsal too so there will be lots of cameras I think. After that I have a quick tv interview and then I am meeting up with the team england supporters for a quick hello. Then it will be straighforward mental and physical preparation (vocal stuff and relaxation and visualisation) before I sing at about 9pm. At least that's the plan!

So dear readers, here I go....