Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lynne Price, The City Choir of Washington: Performance Follow-up

When we last heard from Lynne Price, The City Choir of Washington was gearing up for the Wolf Trap Fellowship performances. With the concerts now in the past, Lynne returns to relate her lasting impressions. Thanks so much, Lynne!


Well, it's all over, after almost a solid month of intense rehearsals of learning music, Elvish, and lots of unique intervals! The Washington Post gave the concerts great reviews, and above all, I think everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. I must admit that this May has been very different, in that we were able to see our breath on the massive Wolf Trap stage last Wednesday night! Most of the women opted to keep their trousers on under their concert dresses, and most were wearing sweaters, jackets, etc. Thursday night was a little warmer, but we singers were having a fun time showing off our long underwear, gloves, etc. Even the instrumentalists had to resort to coats!

Last Sunday the 18th marked the beginning of work with Maestro Ludwig Wicki, a real veteran of the Fellowship of the Ring live film performances. He has a marvelous background in both instrumental and choral music, and he knows exactly what he wants! He did make some changes in our pronunciation and dynamics but by and large, what Bob Shafer had us do was exactly what he asked, so there was no need to relearn sections at the last minute. 

We then had three days of orchestral rehearsals, the last one on the afternoon of the concert. We were so exhausted with singing by the time the first showing of the film arrived Wednesday night that I thought I was going to drop over. I almost fell asleep twice driving home, and it's a good thing one of my carpool members was travelling with me, as I might have ended up in a ditch. Thursday wasn't quite as bad since we had a call an hour before the concert. I did myself a favor and took Friday off from my teaching.

Of the two audiences, Thursday night's was the more vociferous of the two (I think Wednesday's crowd wa much too cold!). applauding and calling out for the familiar scenes and music. I know they enjoyed the music as much as we did!

Although we had a massive job to undertake, and it was made more difficult because we SO wanted to watch the film, Maestro Wicki's job was unbelievably hard! He had to watch the film on a monitor at his podium, watch the cue lights, and bring in the orchestra and TWO choruses, plus two soloists! But he did everything with great precision, never missing a beat.

Now we hear that The Two Towers will be ready by next summer! I hope that it had its American premiere at Wolf Trap again and that we are asked to perform the music. It was such a treat for this Lord of the Rings fan, and this was an experience I shall not long forget!

Lynne Price
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