Today my brother and I took part in an Operatic Workshop at The Grange in Hampshire. The workshop was based on the Barber of Seville. I didn’t know what this opera was and thought at first that it was the same thing as The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and everyone was going to get killed!! It turned out that the barber was Figaro and not Sweeney Todd.
We started the workshop with some warm ups and then the dynamic team of Karen Gillingham and John Barber taught us how to sing some of the songs from the opera and we improvised some of the movements.
It was great fun and the adults were encouraged to join in as well! Here are some pictures from the day:
After the 2 hour workshop, we had a picnic in the beautiful grounds of The Grange. the grounds are really huge and it took us about a 6 minute drive from the gate to the actual house, through fields and woods and past an amazing clock house.
After our picnic, we were then invited in to the theatre to watch the actual rehearsal of the real Barber of Seville. We had excellent seats in the stalls. The set was amazing with a giant statue of a man with a funny topiary moustache and then this turned around to show the inside of the house which had a balcony with was a beautiful bird’s cage to house the imprisoned Rosina. The opera was very funny and Figaro took a man from the audience and put him in his barber’s chair and put shaving foam on him and gave him a shave on stage! It was very clever.
The opera was sung in Italian but it didn’t matter if you didn’t understand, as they had subtitles that came up above the stage. The plot didn’t really make sense and they kept singing the same thing over and over like “I have a headache!”, but in Italian it sounded really good.
Then after the first act, unfortunately we had to leave as my little brother was tired. I would like to see the whole thing though as it was very good.
A really funny thing happened when we got home; we were on the BBC Six O’Clock news and they interviewed my brother!
This is my first experience of opera and I really liked it and I think I would like to see another one.
If you would like to go to see this opera, or would like more information about The Grange, look here: Grange Opera