Lydia Brookes, member of the Blackheath Halls Community Orchestra

As I write this from a packed Waterloo-bound commuter train, I still have snippets of Verdi’s music ringing in my ears from last night’s rehearsal. Taking part in this project (and in all but one of the previous Blackheath Halls operas) helps to remind me that there is more to life than the daily grind of the office, particularly on a grey Monday morning.

I have been playing the oboe in Blackheath Halls orchestra for several years, after a poster for Carmen caught my eye not long after moving to the Blackheath area. I feel immensely privileged to be accompanying professional singers of such high calibre and am particularly impressed by how strong the chorus is sounding this year. (Is it something about releasing your inner witch that has spurred them on?!?).
My only regret is that we don’t get to see the action on stage, as it is all happening behind us! I will have to try and sneak a peek during the dress rehearsals over the weekend…

As in last year’s Cendrillon, I was excited to discover that Macbeth also has some beautiful music for the cor anglais (particularly in Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene). Playing the solo lines can be quite nerve-wracking, but the high you get afterwards (assuming you don’t mess it up!) is definitely worth it.

(photograph by Lena Kern)

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