From the Royal Opera Chorus in Japan – Day 12
Everyone has enjoyed their free day yesterday and most certainly made the most of the time with some getting up at 5.30am to travel to Kyoto and they were rewarded with a viewing of three beautiful Geishas. Various company members bumped into one another at Kamakoura whilst wandering around the beautiful temples and visiting the Giant Buddha. Some of us walked over the hill through the woods to reach the Buddha which took about an hour. It was a very hot day and lots of water was needed. Fortunately there were rest stops en-route with the ubiquitous vending-machine and even an honesty box for the purchase of life-saving rice crackers! Vending machines are everywhere and every single one of them is in full working condition unlike those back home. It was good to get out of the city and enjoy a slightly less hectic pace. Rush hour in London has nothing on Tokyo and the travel system here is packed right up to midnight.
Today started with our first Messiah rehearsal with the orchestra. We will be performing the Mozart version with it’s enlarged scoring and it was strange to hear the unusual orchestration from our seating behind the orchestra. But also rather nice to hear the woodwind and French horns at close quarters. We very rarely get to see the orchestra in action so it was greatly appreciated. It took a little while for us all to get into the Handelian style after two weeks of Massenet and Verdi but we got there by the end of the rehearsal.
It is the second performance of Manon this evening which was every bit as good as the opening night. The air-conditioning is taking its toll and anyone who is understudying a role cannot afford to relax too much.
- Yvonne Barclay
Photo: Neil Gillespie