The secret backstage world of the ENO…

November 18, 2009

ALISON PORTER, Community Ensemble Participant

Woohoo, now this is why I volunteered for the project. I’ve just stepped into the secret backstage world of the ENO and experienced the magic of being on that enormous stage with its towering set. So my first step onto the stage was bringing on an office chair, hey who cares, the important thing is that I was part of the magic world created by these incredible singers, dancers and musicians.

And then there’s the voice of Deborah Warner, heard for the first time calling down from above over the loudspeaker system. If it’s not too blasphemous an analogy, I’d say a little like the voice of God calling down to Moses. For Charlton Heston read Phillip, our stage manager, whose task is similar in degree of difficulty to the parting of the Red Sea with 80 plus people and countless heavy objects to manoeuvre.

And we’re all in costume now, fussing about our shoes, scarves and bags. To quote Jeremy; we’ve been either funked up or frumped down. Actually I quite like my glasses although it’s difficult to see when they reflect the glare of those intense spot lights.

And as for my little notebook it’s not much use now, the stage is bigger and the reference points have all changed so you just need to have your wits about you and try to remember which music goes with which set of walking, standing or kneeling. There’s been a lot of hanging around too but so what, we’re hanging around with the big boys now.

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