Vespers II

Well, last night I had my final singing occasion at St Mary's before I cross the ditch. We had a sung Vespers, followed by a short concert which included a big, big solo for me in Mendelssohn's 'Hear My Prayer'.

The Mendelssohn piece was a kind of send-off for me - definitely going out on a high note, hurr hurr. But it really was! It's the longest solo I've ever done. It was great fun to sing, and having a really good accompanist (Tom) made it easy to relax and get into it. I love it when I flick into 'performance mode' and stop feeling self-conscious, and the rhetoric just comes naturally. It was also nice to have Willie and Rowan in the audience for moral support, and the three of us had a good feed afterwards at Satay Palace, one of our old-fave cheap-and-tasty places on Cuba St.

I don't usually listen to recordings of pieces I'm preparing to perform (at least, not too close to the performance), because it makes it harder to come up with my own interpretation. But it's fun to do when the performance is all done and dusted! I found this 1980s recording with Kiri Te Kanawa, a singer who a certain primary-school teacher of mine adored. ;)

It's a very different singing style to mine, but it really brings out the chocolate-box aspect of the music! Good fun.

I'm really going to miss being part of St Mary's Choir. Such a lovely (and interesting) group of people! It's hard to believe, but I joined a whole decade ago, during my honours year at uni. I was attracted by the prospect of singing Medieval and Renaissance music, and I was studying Latin at the time and loving it. I started out in the alto section, with almost no voice - no resonance, dodgy tuning, pretty much bad all round! But I could read music, and I was keen, and over time I got better. ;)

Robert, the choir director, really inspired me with his passion for early music, and when I started having voice lessons with him and working seriously on my singing, it all got easier and easier (and more and more fun). Now, I feel like I'm in a good position to try the waters in a bigger pond - I finally have the confidence to have a go at pretty much anything. As long as I keep practising! And I'm looking forward to joining in with St Mary's choir on my trips back to NZ.