As a member of The City Choir of Washington, I was thrilled to find out that we would be a part of the American premiere of The Fellowship of the Ring's performance with live music! Having sung at Wolf Trap several times, I know how wonderful the music sounds "in the house," and even on the lawn. And what a thrill it will be for the audience to see the film in high definition on such large screens; makes me almost wish that I could see it instead of being behind the scenes.
So far, we've had three rehearsals with our music director Bob Shafer. Bob is the quintessential classical musician and I knew that this would pose quite a challenge for him, but he was very happy to take on this challenge, knowing that it would provide us with good exposure in the musical community. We have just completed our first season to excellent reviews, and Bob knew that Wolf Trap would no doubt sell out both performances on May 21 and 22.
Thankfully, the Elvish words in the musical score are spelled out phonetically, but we are blessed to have in The City Choir a retired linguist from the Library of Congress who has done extensive research into the pronuniciation of Tolkien's language. However, some of the music is very fast and we are spitting out lots of strange sounding words at break-neck speed! Many of the chorus parts are for 10 parts so all of us are learning music at home, listening to the film soundtracks on CD, and even watching the movie time and again with our scores. Bob has gotten the orchestral score from Wolf Trap so he can learn the music backwards and forwards and I am amazed at the size of both volumes.
I confess that I am a Lord of the Rings fanatic so this opportunity is such a pleasure for me. I think the entire chorus should be supplied with elves' ears!
More later as the concerts approach.....