Being and Listening

October 20, 2009

JOYIA FITCH, Community Ensemble Participant

Today I went to the dress for ‘Turn of the Screw’ I had a quick look on wiki for a synopsis before going & was excited by its dark element. I absolutely loved it, the simple grey, white, black, the ghostly, uncanny, mirrored presence. Beautiful, pure art. I wanted to step into this magical pocket of mystery. The wonderful children Flora & Miles.

I had my costume fitting at 6pm today, in the depths of the little windy corridors of the Lillian Baylis building. The costume designer kept calling me ‘darling’ & I didn’t really mind. I am dressed in contemporary London clothes. Quite hippy infact, which is a bit like my own style. I have a green woollen smock, funky black & silver tights (they look better than they sound), comfy black boots & a coloured stripy woollen hat. This is all great & I love the look but I do wonder how hot I am going to be!

Tonight, at 6.30pm was our first official rehearsal. We meet Deborah again who doesn’t give much away about the show or our role in it, although she’s very concise on notions of ‘being’ & ‘listening’.

More games with Joyce Henderson, our fabulous movement coach. Lots of name learning, throwing balls & talking /cooing to imaginary babies (you kind of had to be there). At the end of the session the lead singer (correction as I am learning this is, top tenor John Mark Ainsley) of the show sings for us. It is phenomenal. Amazing, I almost want to cry, a shake, something hit me deep in my belly. Not really a sadness feeling, but a feeling of being included, of a maybe starting to embrace the story & allowing it to fill me.

I think, if I can feel that here in a little rehearsal room in West Hampstead with one lone piano, what’s it going to be like on the Coliseum stage with the energy of over 2300 people, a 44 strong ENO singing chorus, 44 community ensemble & the sensational ENO orchestra? I’m excited and moved… I begin to see the sheer scale of this show.

They’re a nice lot, the opera crowd. They’re not someone other or highbrow or dare I say it, old. They’re me, they’re you. I want to give my niece and nephew tickets to a Sunday matinee of the show; they’re 6 & 8 respectively. Not sure if they’ll make it to the end of 3hrs 15mins but just introducing them to it feels like a good idea. Show them the incredible spectacle and let their imagination run (plus they will have fun spotting me onstage, their crazy arty aunt who lives on top of a flower shop in London).

‘Til next week………..



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