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From the orchestra pit with Jean Paterson

Thursday 29 September 2011

It is now 11 days since the orchestra started rehearsing and it feels, following the Second World War analogy of James Conway’s Xerxes, as though the campaign is fully fledged and going according to plan.

Though we emerged yesterday into the sun from our darkened bunker (3 Mills Studios) as the ‘walking wounded’, nursing aching shoulders and heads after nearly eight hours of stage and orchestra rehearsal on Xerxes, there was a sense of satisfaction in seeing the parts coming together as a whole. The opera’s petty jealousies and storming tantrums, the love scenes and misunderstandings, have their culmination in a scene of forgiveness – as sung by our cast – to melt the hardest heart.

Every rehearsal for us has been an intense drive to work out and settle upon the details,...

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