Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Here we go a-wassailing!

Hey, I think I must be getting somewhere at last. Having looked in on several of Anna-Ruth's singing lessons with Caroline over the last year or so it has surprised me how many times she gets a bit of a 'tongue-lashing' from the Caz-meister. In my lessons I've only ever had smiles and words of encouragement when I've screwed up. Until now that is! I'm proud to announce that last week Caroline actually raised her voice when I came in too early. "Instead of singing, why don't you TRY BREATHING", she bellowed. I burst into tears and fled out of the room distraught.

Well, not really. It was a bit of a surprise though, but I guess it means the 'honeymoon' is over and there's no longer room for silly mistakes. Time to get your act together Al, concentrate and sing properly you fool! Singing 'properly', i.e. opening up, seems to happen sporadically for me which is frustrating. When I singa-longa-Pavarotti in the car I can do it, but when confronted by an audience of even one, I tighten up and it all sounds a bit feeble. Brindisi particularly requires 'proper' singing, but it is coming gradually. As the italian slowly sinks in to the point where I know the words with confidence, I hope the voice will respond accordingly in order to do Luciano proud come the gig, LATER THIS MONTH!?!

On Saturday 9th June I had the pleasure of being in the audience of a male voice choir concert for a change. Not the Loughborough Male Voice Choir you understand, but The Belvoir Wassaillers who were presenting a concert from All Saint's Church, Knipton in the Vale of Belvoir. Led by their musical director Robert John Edwards, here were a bunch of guys that clearly love their singing and have a lot of fun doing it and that really came over in the way they performed on the night. They presented a very different repertoire from that of the LMVC - rather more jazzy and less 'traditional' male voice choir stuff. It was very entertaining, particularly the folk songs at the start and the Beatles medley which included some very accomplished solos from several members of the choir. Equally entertaining were solo spots from mezzo-sopramo Elaine Bishop, bass Dominic Piri (of the Wassailers) and a certain soprano called Caroline Sharpe. Dominic was particularly impressive given that he's just completing his 'A' levels this year. If the lad can sing this well at such a young age goodness knows how good he can become. Remember the name everyone!

Caroline and Elaine did a superb rendition of Rossini's 'Cat Duet' with lots of hissing and a 'yellow card' from Rob half way through. Great stuff! The Wassailers rounded off the evening with their rendition of the Oklahoma Medley, which was very familiar to all us 'Enchanted' fans and Caroline and Elaine contributed the Kansas City and I Can't Say No solos. I must say I was disappointed at the lack of 'clip-clop' noises during The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, but never mind.

So another cracking concert with much dosh raised towards the repair of the venue's roof. Bravo! And if you are now gutted that you missed out, you will be able to catch The Belvoir Wassailers and Enchanted TOGETHER in a concert in Wissendine on 30th June. Both of them in one gig has got to be way too good to miss, hasn't it? For ticket info email belvoir.wassailers@gmail.com. Miss this one at your peril!

Cheers for now,

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