Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
April 2021
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Back on song

Earlier this year, when I wasn’t sure how the year was going to pan out, I received an invitation to be an extra tenor in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus for a forthcoming performance of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette (tenors are in notoriously short supply for many choirs). I have been missing singing with my old choral group, Loose Canon, which is now in what appears to be permanent recess (largely due to its members being over-committed to other choirs, including the TSO Chorus), and although I wasn’t sure if I was going to be well enough or if I had time for this engagement—the TSO Chorus has a fairly rigorous and demanding schedule—I was keen to get back into some substantial singing. Fortunately, when August came around and rehearsing began, I was back in good health and the rehearsal load was manageable.

The music itself wasn’t too challenging (although some sections required a bit of serious work), and Gounod has some lovely harmonious moments; the harder bit was getting the hang of the French, as I have done very little of anything in that language (French is not my lingua franca, as it were!). Fortunately we had some good guidance and training, and gradually it started to flow off my tongue a little more easily.

The TSO chorus is associated with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which has a very good international reputation, and some really good soloists were lined up for this performance. The performance went off really well, and, as you can see, received very good reviews (the Mercury’s review is below; see here for another one which mentions the French!). [The photos below were taken by Alastair Bett.]

It was good to be involved once more with a group of good singers (in fact, most of the old Loose Canon members already sing with the TSO chorus) and June Tyzack is a good chorus master. The question is, will my involvement continue?

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