Opera della Luna’s The Gondoliers: the youth chorus diary

Lomogram_2014-04-06_09-01-41-PMLast week provided an excellent showcase, allowing everyone involved with The Gondoliers to come to terms with the incredible talent we have been working alongside the entire time. Following a rehearsal rich in energetic direction, it came to the slightly nerve-wracking moment of auditioning for a short solo. While the majority of the youth chorus have clearly been auditioning for roles since they were small, there was definitely a little buzz of trepidation and excitement hovering over the small group. Listening to each of the auditionees in turn, I came to realize that I’d only ever heard these voices in chorus, never singing individually. I was absolutely stunned by the talent this activity revealed, and it made me consider the experience from the point of view of an audience member. Those who book to see The Gondoliers will undoubtedly be surprised to discover that a large number of the individuals on the stage before them were, in fact, recruited from the local community. The standard displayed by my fellow chorus members, whether as solo performers or as part of the rich ensemble, is absolutely fantastic and will surely do Greater Manchester proud.

Of course, there is still quite a way to go before the production is stage-ready, but we’re well on-track. The clarity with which we are taught the steps and the music has allowed us to rocket through the chorus-heavy first half of the production, and to put to bed virtually any issues with the major dance number in the second. The style of direction is really coming into its own at this point, allowing us to form our own characters and avoid acting as one faceless unit. Personality is everything in this production, and now we are really getting a chance to experiment – to see what works and what may need to be abandoned. I look forward to the next few weeks very eagerly. We’ll finally get to meet the principal cast and be integrated into the final product, we’ll receive our costumes, we’ll see the whole production brought to life in the Quays theatre complete with props and set, and before we know it, it will be opening night! Rehearsals have been flying by to quickly for us to fully realize what an incredible experience this actually is, but the fact has really been sinking in of late.

Caroline Lamb, Young Chorus Member

To book for The Gondoliers, please visit www.thelowry.com/event/the-gondoliers, or call The Lowry Box Office on 0843 208 6000.