October 27, 2009
JOYIA FITCH, Community Ensemble Participant
We just had a session with Nic Chalmers, the assistant chorus master for ‘Messiah’. This is our show – I’m intrigued. We’re going to look at the famous ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ at the end of Act 2, & sing sections of it. After my Sunday all day session, I am more confident about reading from the score and more confident about coming in at the correct time. I’m aware that my listening ear isn’t too bad & that’s the main way I pitch myself.
We learn to engage our face with the music, not be shy about looking overly expressive & to not vocally give everything away on the first ‘H’ of ‘Hallelujah’. I like the fact that the Nic keeps me on my toes and moves me faster & quicker through this crash course. Again, I see that, yes, at some points Handel is working for homophonic (when all 4 voices are singing at the same time) & then at other times, combines ideas by splitting us up. This creates the fantastic depth & layers which I had never conceived of before.
We go from a quiet ‘Hallelujah’ to a stronger ‘Hallelujah’ and this helps incredibly in the forward movement of the piece. By the end of the session I think we kind of had something. It felt like we had got somewhere with the power of this piece. Even us, who were just discovering it for the first time. There’s something with that, actually being a bit brave & trying it out. I see that this is the only way to really understand opera & singing. You have to dive in and do it. I still can’t read music & I don’t understand all the terminology, but there’s a voice somewhere inside of me and it isn’t as shy as I thought it was.
Back to normal rehearsals next week. I’ll let you know what we’re up to.