I am now teaching in schools four days a week (cutting down from last year). I have also taken over the Musical Director's position for Quay Harmony. Preparations are underway for Red Earth Opera's first "come and sing" putting on an Mascagni's opera "Cavalleria Rusticana" in a weekend. Another first this term will be to put on a concert of my students performing for their friends and families. Music Makers is now running fortnightly on a Saturday mornings in Paignton, and I am trying to get some of my arrangements for various choirs and wind groups published. Fully recovered from the cancer operation, life is certainly not dull.
A quiet start to the year - a major operation has forced me to concentrate on arranging music and planning for the busy spring time. The calendar is filling up fast, and my teaching timetable has exploded!
The performances of "The Grand Duke" are now over, and the general view is that it was a highly successful show. The picture above shows "Ludwig" (Steve Brown) and Julia Jellicoe (Jane Anderson-Brown) celebrating the take-over of the court of Pfennig-halbfennig.
and the publicity photo used in the Herald Express write-up where Julia demonstrates her idea of the dramatic role she should play.
I am delighted to be able to report that the winner of the Chudfest 2015 Chudleigh's got talent was one of my young singing students. Well done Esmé.
I have been invited to take over the musical direction of the Chudleigh Community Choir from mid July. I look forward to working with them.
After the success of Idomeneo, I am now looking ahead to the rest of the year. I have recitals to prepare, as well as a programme of songs to sing on a study weekend with Marion Raper and John Wakefield. One of our Jubilee choir singers is getting married in May, and the choir will be singing at the wedding. I am also planning our part in the Torbay Festival of Song, taking place at the end of June/early July. After the summer, I shall be looking at the Jubilee Choir's "Come and Sing day" plus concerts for Red Earth Opera. I may also have additional conducting dates to fit in (watch this space for details). Life is certainly not dull!
With the first performance now behind us, I am concentrating on marketing the second one. If you missed us in Teignmouth, you have only one more chance to see this - at Hannah's at Seale Hayne on 28th March. Pop over to Redearthopera.net for more details and photos.
The day after that is the annual "Music for Reflection" at Galmpton Barn Chapel. This was set up by the late David Warwick, and I continued it on after he gave it up. In the last couple of years, I have put on whole works with the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, and Vivaldi Gloria, but this year will be simpler, with a smaller group singing solos, duets and anthems for Palm Sunday and for Holy Week. Admission is free, with a retiring collection for a church charity.
Final preparations are underway for the two performances of Idomeneo by Mozart. I have created the orchestral parts from the score, recruited and rehearsed the orchestra.
We have an English translation by Jonathan Clift, and a chorus and soloists to sing it all.
I have been busy putting information up on websites, creating press information, and generally trying to raise awareness. This is a project which is Devon based and involves lots of local musicians as well as some who feel it is worth travelling down from further afield.
An event not to be missed!
For full details, visit www.redearthopera.net.
Rehearsals are under way for two performances of Mozart's Opera "Idomeneo" on Sunday March 8th at the Teignmouth URC and Saturday March 28th at Hannah's Seale Hayne.
The performance at Teignmouth is the closing concert of Teignmouth Classical Music Festival. Red Earth Opera made their debut there last year with "Dido and Aeneas" and were immediately invited back to perform again this year.
The opera will be sung in English with narration replacing recitative, and will be accompanied by a small orchestra and the Red Earth Opera Chorus.