January 11, 2013



I’m not singing in the Muddlehampton Choir concertAgain.

I think this has happened twice before—I know it’s happened once—but I used to have such a struggle with the length of the rehearsals and the NO LOO that I always kind of felt I had one foot out the door anyway, so it wasn’t totally traumatic.  It was almost more like confirmation that I had to find some other choir.  But here I am now, having rejoined and coping*, and, furthermore, having developed something much more nearly resembling a voice** than I had when I was last standing at the end of the choir stalls and screaming into the musical director’s ear***.  I’m pretty into it this time—as well as the fact that since Griselda, with her professional-level range and projection, has quit, they can use more sopranos†.  Also I like a larger percentage of the music we—they—are performing this concert than playlists previously and most of it is EASY enough that I could probably get through it without humiliating anyone, especially me.††  Before SHADOWS got badly in the way I’d spent some real time over the holiday break learning the soprano part of some of the pieces††† and . . . it is so frelling different singing in COMPANY.  Tonight, first meeting after the holidays, it was like I’d spent all that effort practising Mary Had a Little Lamb on a xylophone and I get to the venue and there’s a Steinway concert grand and an audience expecting the Moonlight Sonata.  If my goal is to sing in a choir .  .  . I need to sing in a choir more.

But my education is not going to be furthered by taking part in the Muddlehamptons’ February concert.  Communication among small amateur performing groups, in Hampshire anyway, is not good, and Gordon only found out recently that another local group is having their fund-raising quiz-and-curry evening the same night we were planning to sing.  It’s way too much the same audience, and I’d guess there might be hard feelings on both sides about the money that went to the other group and, furthermore  . . . the curry’s going to win.

I was totally in favour of moving the date‡—we’re not good enough to bear any competition, and I imagine there are still going to be a lot of local friends and relatives of Muddle singers who stay home to shampoo the cat or sort their knitting patterns.  But I could see where this date-change thing was going.  Yes.  I have a Met Live opera on the new Muddlehampton choir concert date‡‡.


* * *

* God knows why.  Well, yes, he probably does.

** Thank you, God.

*** The previous musical director.  You don’t suppose this had anything to do with Ravenel deciding to move to Malaysia, did it?  He could have just rearranged the sopranos, and placed me to shriek at the tenors.  Wimp.  I wasn’t nearly as loud then.

† Sopranos are a glut on the market.  I can’t understand the Muddles’ permanent shortage.  There were only three of us first sops there tonight.

†† Possibly excepting the two pieces we—they—are singing without the music.  Those were going to be bad.  And a bag over my head was going to be so conspicuous.   Only slightly less conspicuous than not singing what everyone else is singing.

††† Yes I am lame and pathetic, but remember I rejoined halfway through their rehearsal run up to this concert.

‡ Apparently curry is not very mobile, so it was up to us.

‡‡ Rigoletto.  I was just snarking to a friend that I’ve seen a million Rigolettos and I’m not a fan of the fashion for relocating it to modern times in some gang of criminals or other which this one, much advertised as set in Las Vegas, is clearly going to be, and maybe I’ll give it a miss.  But . . . Rigoletto?  Verdi?  One of my favourite operas by my favourite opera composer?  Containing one of my favourite pieces of music of all time (the quartet in the third act, even though I spend the entire opera wanting to slap Gilda silly, but given her upbringing it’s not surprising she’s a little odd)?  No, no, don’t be silly, I have to go.  Furthermore I had briefly forgotten that I’d already bought my ticket when they went on sale last spring some time.


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