Gillett’s Gobs Of Advice: 1, Getting Started Abroad

I’ve promised to hand out of gobs of knowledge to the young singers who attended British Youth Opera’s career advice day (and also to those who didn’t) so if you’ve come to the blog today hoping to read about, say, barmy tenors, pancakes or train journeys you’ll be bitterly disappointed. You might learn a thing or two though. Some of this is stuff I said at the seminar, some of it is new.

If O2 ran the Royal Opera

Scene: the auditorium of the Royal Opera House. A stage and orchestra rehearsal of Vito Odafone’s opera “La Merde d’Orange” is in progress. In the pit, conducting, is the Music Director Tony Mobile. He’s generally very happy with the progress of rehearsals but the soprano keeps singing a wrong note. He picks up the telephone on the wall of the pit behind him and dials 0800.
“Welcome to ROH O2 Performer Services!” says a cheery voice.

High Kleiber diet

It’s funny how a few things in life can come together to plant a single notion in your head. Today, everything for me has suddenly become about authenticity. Not so-called “authentic performance” as it relates to classical music (which, I’m afraid, 50% of the time is about as authentic as a TV advert for stain remover) but meaning being genuine and true.
I was lucky enough to see the National Theatre’s “Hamlet” before Christmas where the desperate search for authenticity was the motor for Rory Kinnear’s brilliant performance, so perhaps there’s something in the air, or this has been germinating in my head for a few months.