Another staging rehearsal for Dido, and finally it feels like it is coming together. I haven’t done much acting before, I don’t think 5th brother in a Lark Hill school production of ‘Joseph’ counts really, and my contribution to the world of pantomime (Dick Whittington with Sherwood Methodist in the 90s) was not brilliant. There are only so many times you can slap your thigh and fold your arms!
But this process is such a revelation. I don’t feel I’m ‘acting’ , but Dido has inhabited my head for so long, or I hers, that I just feel her emotions, and it happens. Now I know more or less where I need to be on the stage, and in relation to the others, I enter another world, hear the musical cues and sing. We’re still a bit wooden, and there are bits to work out, but it feels like real opera now.
It’s so wierd to somehow be very aware of the performance, noticing the conductor’s baton out of the corner of my eye, thinking ahead to the next phrase, but also giving in to the emotion. The duet with ‘Aeneas’ was so intense, I really did feel furious with him, and spat the words out at poor Stephen. It was easy to physically push him away at the end, I hope I don’t push him over on the night!
It wasn’t the most technically perfect or polished performance, but as an experiment in just ‘letting go’ it worked well. There are quite a few places where I need to revisit the score and do some more work, but I’m inspired for this last push. Only 10 days now!