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Bedfordshire Youth Opera


Opera - That's just loud singing isn't it?

No one actually told me you have to be pretty versatile. I mean, raft building, assassin killing, creative crockery setting with a flair for the 1920's and yoga bending?..

And that didn't even begin to include rehearsals for 3 shows with the timer set at 4 weeks.

Finale: Click to view full image

The start of the course began with myself knowing basically no one and that's daunting with a cast and company totalling around 30 people, though within days names are common knowledge. Even if it is Russelabumskin!!! (A bit of a veteran at 7 years)

And living together more than breaks the ice!

The residential took us into Norfolk and the most stunning pub(?) with a huge old house nearby where we stayed for a week. According to all circulating rumours it even surpassed the luxury of Wales the previous year. The rooms were huge, beds gorgeous - fields (and Guides) for miles around, with buckets of tea and coffee laid on to help with all the late nights. And Sue even got her own dungeon!

Rehearsals came thick and fast though nicely mixed with some water sports, a beach trip to Cromer, the best Revue night, and a cook who you'd replace your microwave with.

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Click on a thumbnail to see the full picture.

Back home, and part of the way through the course an entire orchestra appears, which of course called for a bit more pub 'bonding'. Personally I have never been around so many fantastic singers and talented musicians. You'd be hard pushed to find better.

And the yoga's not too bad. By the end some of us had knees round ears and all sorts. Although Tom was still learning to balance??. He more than made up for this in his talents in the beer department. He just kept going?

Actually there were a few. But to consider beer played a large part in the course would be wrong. True, but unfair?

One of the many nice parts is that there are no stars off stage. The Principles and Chorus were always busy in all the productions. Due to the amount that has to happen in order to prepare 1 entire show let alone 3, the company was fantastically focused and everyone pulled everyone else through with them.

Not to mention the support of the Director whose wrath was never unleished, the Musical Director and Stage Manager. Ummm and the Comedy King Fred who wasn't ever quite pinned down under one official title?. Maybe just one of the off stage stars?

And the end result? Before you know it the opera is on its final show, though you'd swear you'd been together for at least 6 months.

So this year if you missed it, Sorry? you missed out.

But there's always next year, and the next?