I can’t say I expected to have been to 3 such brilliant concerts within my first month as the OAE intern. The highlight of my first week here was trotting off to Glyndebourne to see how everything works backstage from the orchestra’s point of view. I had duly prepared myself by watching the recent BBC series about Gareth Malone putting together a youth choir for the Knight Crew opera, so I at least had an idea what it was all about. I had heard of Glin-de-born back in New Zealand (I purposely waited in my intern interview for Ceri and Megan to say it first) and knew it as one of the top opera places in the world, but didn’t realise it was in the country-side and in such a beautiful setting. Fortunately I was ushered into a free seat behind a tv camera about 10 seconds before it began and was able to watch the show.
The second highlight so far was the slight moment of excitement I got when setting foot on the Royal Albert Hall stage for the first time. Now, most London musicians may be blasé about such things, but coming from such humble surroundings as a little green island in the South Pacific and having grown up hearing about the Proms and seeing broadcasts from the RAH, one cant help being overawed by finally being there (and yes, a few years ago I did ‘buy the t-shirt’).
And thirdly, The Night Shift. I had heard a lot about The Night Shift concerts from the office staff so was very excited come Friday morning when I finally got to go to Wilton’s Music Hall. I was the first to get there as I had had the task of organising the sound system for the opening act and it was being delivered at 12.30pm. Wilton’s is definitely a hidden gem and I really enjoyed watching people’s reactions as they first walked in. I have heard the orchestra a few times now and each time I am freshly over-awed by the sense the music makes when produced by this ensemble. As a flautist of the shiny, multi-keyed persuasion I have spent many an hour contemplating historical performance but (while I also believe there is a very valid argument for playing things on modern instruments) seeing the OAE just a few times has convinced me authentic just sounds better. I was really proud of the crowd that had turned up and think they really appreciate the no-barriers atmosphere. Can’t wait till the next one!
Bring on the next month!
Ingrid van Boheemen