Opera for Carlow is back but not in the way you think!

We were all invited to the premiere of the first viewing of “Opera for Carlow” performance in GBS Theatre last week.

It started out all civilised in the Carpe Diem bar, sipping fizzy sodas and ended in the one and only chippy left open in Carlow Town on a Wednesday night.( See, Brian, told you I’d find one!)

It was amazing to see and hear all the hard work we had put in over the year. It looked great! I couldn’t believe how well it was and envied anyone who had witnessed the live performance! Afterwards, there was yummy desserts by Lennons alongside cups of tea. Most of headed back to Carpe Diem, where the tea and coffee continued into the late, late hours.

I knew it was time to go home when I attempted to lead an army of 8 followers through the strangely empty streets of Carlow in search of chips. I led my followers to an establishment that I cannot remember the name of. The chips were not hand cut but they did provide garlic mayo, which is a thumbs up.

I left a smaller gathering of mixed sopranos and tenor/bass outside the chip shop, fighting over beans cooking on a hot stove or something.

I miss you, guys! If you really find it hard to quell those “Opera” hormones, then listen out to Lyric FM this Friday, 1st July at 7 PM. Excite! You can check out audio boo at http://audioboo.fm/boos/397510-an-opera-for-carlow-documentary-preview

Also, if you need your addicition to John or Brian fulfilled( and who doesnt? ;)) then head to the Galway Film Fleadh. John has written a script for a film in his spare time. It’s called “Behold the Lamb”. It looks great, see it here at http://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com/programme.php?ct=world-cinema&cid=1&t=behold-the-lamb&id=192 So, if you happen to be in Galway around the 9th July, it may be nice to pop in there. Unfortunately, I have not received confirmation that Fergal has made any films so don’t expect to see him there!

Thanks, GBH and everyone who made our special premiere night happen!

Opera for Carlow:It’s all gone. It’s all over…

After over 7 months of rehearsals, the Opera for Carlow project finished last Saturday night with a sold-out audience and standing ovation.

As I walked away from the GBS theatre in Carlow, I felt sad and lonely. Totally down. The wrap party was on in the Seven Oaks and I had to go home to get ready for my niece’s communion in Mayo, which meant leaving at 5 in the morning. so, no partying for me!

Today, I feel better. It feels great to have free time to watch tv and chill! I’ve thrown myself back into work and am planning my writing for the Carlow Writing Club next Tuesday.

The performances went superbly. The matinee was the best, in my opinion. A great buzz from the audience with Friday night being my worst. My friends were in the audience so I was ultra nervous in case I would make a mistake.

Overall, I’m delighted with myself. Really proud that I saw it through to the end. Achieved one of my dreams-to perform professionally. Would I do it again?

I’d think carefully, i feel that I’ve done it now. There’s so much more I want to try in life. Opera is done, I loved it, loved the people I have met and feel much more back to the old Rozzie was, before I started the Opera project.

Shelter me from the rain-I thank you for giving me the confidence and belief i knew I once had.

Life is good.

http://flic.kr/ps/Q7FxK check out the latest photos from the show.

Opera for Carlow:Tonight is the night!

I am going to try to attempt to fit in 3 weeks of fun-filled and bloody hard work of rehearsals into a blog post!

Impossible, really. the last few weeks of my easter holidays consisted of rehearsals day and night culminating in the arrival of the RTE Symphony Orchestra a few days ago!

The first night we got to perform with them was quite amazing! For me, anyway! I found it amusing that some cast members were pretending to be all “cool with it”, as if they were used to singing with the RTE symhpony orchestra every day. Well, maybe, they are but even if I did this as a day job, I’d still be overwhelmed and privileged. My Father-in-Law sang with them many years ago in the National Symphony Hall and he still speaks about it.

Lisa from Athena Media dropped in last night to speak with some of the cast about their final thoughts on the Opera for Carlow. She brought my attention to the Performance Preview, which can be found here. “Shelter me from the rain” is the song that you can hear at the beginning of the podcast. It sounds great! Click here http://audioboo.fm/boos/347843-an-opera-for-carlow-performance-preview I love Damien’s reference to being in a secret society! Lisa has done an amazing job of archiving all these interviews and gelling them together in a super podcast! She’s also a lovely person and have been delighted to meet her! Everytime, I listen to her podcasts, they get me extremely motivated again!

Last night was the Dress Rehearsal, which went well. The audience seemed to enjoy it though there is still room for improvement, which we hope to perfect tonight.

Tonight is the first performance with a civic reception after with all the important people of Carlow invited! Naturally, the cast are all going!

Anyway, if you still haven’t got tickets, it’s too late! they sold out but check back at gbstheatre.ie in case they have cancellations!

I’ll update after the show and when I have slept for about a month!

The main photo here is of the full cast on the stairs in the Dolmen Hotel, I’m second from bottom left! The full photo album can be viewed here http://www.flickr.com/photos/rozzlewis/sets/72157626540073598/ and I’m constantly adding to them so please, return! I’m hoping to get loads of professional photos loaned to us so I will put them all up too!

Opera for Carlow:We get into the GBS Theatre at last!

So, last night was beyond exciting! We got to begin rehearsals or the production phase, as “they” like to call it, in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre.

Entering just like every other cast member through the Back door.

We had Changing rooms!

We had Holding rooms! (?)

We had Stage Left and Stage Right!

We had a Green Room!

Already, I have made 2 diva demands. When I entered the Green Room, I could smell curry. I’ve asked for any smells to be removed before I enter. Also, when I looked out the window, I saw an AES bin, it wrecked the view and my creativity has been harmed. i demand a white blind to pull all the down over the window.

We are back in tonight so my list of diva demands will continue.

Here’s some new pics on flickr!


Opera for Carlow:Press launch, radio interview and…it gets serious again

Wow!It has been the most jam packed time in my journey with Opera for Carlow!Rehearsing every day with real life choreographers and strict stage managers, things had changed in Opera for Carlow. It is faintly beginning to dawn on us that in 2 weeks time, we will be performing in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre!

But, there was still time to meet the local media and dignitaries. Walter Lacey was there along with the Mayor/Leader of the Carlow council and other “important” looking journalists. We were asked to sing our small ensemble piece-A Good Melon, it went okay. It wasn’t perfect but we kept going and there were no stops!

Deirdre and I were interviewed for KCLR FM, my brother recorded it for me, thanks, Joseph! Anyway, have a listen. I only come in right at the end and I know everyone is only going to want to hear me! You can also hear my voice lilting through right at the end.

I’ve finally uploaded a flickr album, so enjoy!


Opera for Carlow gets serious(again)&Rozz is interviewed by Athena Media

See what happens when you miss two rehearsals in a row, Rozz?

Yep, everyone else in the group become brilliant.

I had really good reasons to miss my Opera for Carlow rehearsals, I haven’t missed one before so was annoyed. Was away at training in Dublin and last week, I actually was in the same building as the rehearsals. I was helping out at my husband’s Fashion Show for his school, he was modelling so I couldn’t miss that!

Anyway, enough of the negative! I am back, baby!

So, last night, I got to meet Lisa from Athena Media. She was known as “the girl with the mic” to the rest of the group and was often seen hanging around the rehearsals recording anything she could salvage. I was always envious of the cast that got to be interviewed for the Lyric FM podcast so when Lisa contacted me through this blog, I was uber excited.

I think I did okay. I hope I didn’t ramble too much. Lisa tells me the interview will be available from June onwards so pop that in your diary, peeps.

Fergus tells us that for the next month, we will eat, breath and sleep Opera. Great. Full-scale rehearsals starting next week throughout the Easter holidays.

Do I have the energy?

Can I learn the words to “A good melon”

Is it all about the altos?

These questions and more will be answered very soon.

Tickets on sale for Shelter me from the rain:Opera for Carlow at http://www.gbshawtheatre.ie/theatre.php?day=5&month=5&year=2011

A Good Melon and a really hard piece for me to sing in Opera for Carlow

So, this weekend the rehearsals have started to pick up.

After I auditioned for a part in the Opera for Carlow “Shelter me from the rain”, I got a part in a smaller piece in the Opera. I sing as part of  a small group of 8, 4 men and 4 women. Today, Fergus Shiel met us to begin the rehearsals of just this piece. It is extremely difficult, I don’t read music and you are expected to pick it up within a few goes of listening. Luckily, everyone else seemed to find it hard and it sounds great! The rehearsals are in the County Council Offices and we sang in the Council Chamber where official business goes on!

We are back in tomorrow to go over it again.

WE all met at the end and started speaking about the possibility of a musical society for Carlow. That really would be great. I’ve been involved with this project since September and am loving it. We all dread when it will end.

But until that day, we will go for it! So, if you want to get tickets to this project, go to http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?agency=VCCA&organ_val=33468&pid=6957107

Listen in the our podcast here http://audioboo.fm/boos/285792-an-opera-for-carlow-episode-8 you might hear me sing!!

I get to sing, sing, sing in Opera for Carlow!

Last week was very exciting! Fergus gave us the full score to the opera. It is pretty big and resembles a  mini thesis! He also gave us all a copy of the cast, one of the girls scanned the list quickly and said to me “Rozz, you’re on it!”

I get to sing as part of a duet as part of a group song, if you understand! They seem to think I’m an alto2.  For those who are unaccustomed to vocal ranges (like me, than!), I;m going to give you a mini Rozzie-opera style class, sort of a Opera for dummies. Please, don’t take offence! Not calling you a dummy or anything!

Okay, right at the top are the cream of the crop-The Female Sopranos, these women( in my observation) can sing rather well, rather high and they can also read music. Amazing. They also seem to be able to pick things up quickly but are given an average amount of attention from the person who is coaching us.

They also sing rather loud, drowning everyone else out. Which is probably the point seeing as they are so good,everyone elses job is make them sound fantastic.

Within each vocal range, you have a  1 and a 2. Number 1 seems to be where everyone wants to be, for some reason. Though, just because you are a number 1 doesn’t mean you will rock. It just means you are more naturally able to sing at a higher range within soprano. However, that doesn’t stop the sopranos all trying to be a Soprano 1, I can tell by listening to some of them that they are really no. 2s and they have developed a soprano 2 complex.

This, of course could be totally incorrect seeing as I know very little about all of this.

But, it could be true…

Now, to the Altos, which is where I am. The 2nd highest range and the most coolest, of course. Again, you can be a 1 or a 2. I can sing both but after my auditions, I have been placed in an alto 2 range. So, I guess that cements it for me. I’m an alto 2, that’s it. The altos seem to get little attention, we hear the song once and we are expected to remember it straightaway. Because, we are harmoninsing and making the Sopranos sound brilliant, it doesn’t really matter if we are singing the right note or not. That is going to change though. We are getting the CD of the opera next week, sung in our own special range!

Below the Altos, you have the tenors and the bass, majority of them are men. I do get suspicious when I see a female in this group. They seem to need the most attention. I’ll be sexist and say it’s because they’re men and they don’t listen but maybe, this group are older and need more time but then you might say I’m ageist.

Finally, it could be down to some obscure reason that my little and unknowledgable opera brain cannot answer.

Idea, please? On a postcard.

So the 4 vocal ranges sing altogether in entirely different notes and ranges, starting at different times resulting in pleasing opera type music!

Very smart?

Did I mention how happy I am with my part? I can’t go into details but I’m glad I got this part and not the other part I could have nearly got. Very mysterious, I know.

My advice, book some tickets and find out!

So, all will be revealed tomorrow for Opera for Carlow

I haven’t posted for a while, the Opera for Carlow workshops have been happening, I’ve been attending and singing! But, tomorrow, the full score and recording will be given ti us! So, we can practice at home! The solo and pair parts will be revealed so we will see where I stand then.
The tickets went on sale 2 weeks ago for “Shelter me from the rain” and already Saturday night has sold out, there are some tickets left for Thurs evening, Friday evening and Saturday matinee.
For a split second, I thought j wouldn’t be able to take part! My niece’s communion is on the Sunday of the last performance. I emailed Fergus and he told me that Sunday night’s performance has been moved to Saturday matinee. So all is good! Except I’ll have to get up really early to get to my niece’s communion on Sunday morning in Mayo!
That is a party I couldn’t miss!

Auditions for opera for carlow

Well, what with the silly snow and all of the general madness of Christmas, Opera for Carlow on my blog has been quiet…
Until now…
Auditions this week as I suspected. I thought everyone wouldn’t get the chance anyway so I’m going to give it a go!
I’ve been fine tuning my voice with Simon and his excellent guitar all evening. At the end of the evening, we had 2 songs for me to sing at audition. I’m going to tell you which one I picked. I have my reasons!
All will be revealed after Friday. I don’t want one of the local choir pros stealing my songs.
I’m not competitive though.
So, wish me luck for Friday night. Either way, I’ll be happy to be part of any group singing for the Opera.