A few weeks ago, I performed in ‘United in Song’ by Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company. The show was a collection of ensemble numbers and solo’s from various well known musicals set/from America and Britain.
I was asked to take part by my old friend and mentor, Dave Thomas who is someone who I greatly respect not just as a friend but as a musician. He is a fantastic pianist and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him and the company on this project.
The performances went very well after a short and slightly stressful rehearsal period before hand. Oklahoma, Jersey Boys, Oliver and Jekyll and Hyde were just some or the musicals features in this show. I sang a solo of ‘Try to Remember’ from ‘The Fantasticks’. The song is quite well known with the melody but the lyrics are less heard. I enjoyed working on the song as although it is simple, to express the meaning of the song is much more difficult as parts of the song as very exposed but I enjoyed the challenge of it all.
I hope that next summer I will be able to perform in a similar concert and I hope to be able to work with Dave again.
A couple of weeks ago, I performed in a highly successful production by Centre Stage (a new local group) of the play ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck. A classic piece of American literature and one that many people have fond memories of. I personally read it as part of my GCSE in English Literature.
It tells the story of George and Lennie who travel together and begin working at a ranch. They dream of owning their own ranch and “living of the fat of the land” but need to build up a stake to afford this dream. Here they meet Candy, an old ranch worker who only has one hand due to an accident on the ranch. Thanks to his compensation payment from this accident, Candy goes in with George and Lennie and suddenly the dream almost becomes a reality with all of them making plans about their new home. However after Lennie accidently kills Curley’s (the bosses son) wife, he flees and the manhunt to lynch Lennie begins. George manages to find Lennie and with a heavy heart and burden, he shoots Lennie to ease his pain.
I played the character ‘Whit’ who is one of the barley buckers and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with some first class actors and an excellent production team and company. As a singer, it is exceptionally important to be able to act and perform the meaning of your interpretation of your songs.
Above is a picture of the cast.
The local pundits particularly enjoyed the play and the review was excellent. After playing to two full houses, I was delighted but also sad to leave an great experience behind. Hopefully, I will be fortunate to work with Centre Stage a fantastic company again in the future