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Verdi Requiem, a choir member’s perspective by Nadia Essop

VERDI REQUIEM – SO THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED!

By Nadia Essop (October 27, 2010)

 It’s Wednesday evening. After 3 hours of rehearsal with the orchestra, soloists, and combined choirs, my spirits are in need of a lift. I cannot move beyond the question: What am I doing here?

 The Cape Town City Hall’s labyrinth of passages and spaces have a faded aura. The resident phantoms could add cachet to the scenario, but other than blocking the toilets, they too seem ready to abandon the cause. Perhaps Le Fantôme senses the prevailing mindset seeping through the cracks: apathy, and the celebration of mediocrity.

I am aware of the musical pecking order I have volunteered myself into. First there is the conductor, in this case visiting Muscovite, maestro Victor Yampolsky. The conductor, also known as the musical director, is permitted (and forgiven) everything! He is forgiven for wearing red sneakers with pink socks (wow!), he is allowed to lose his temper, or throw a tantrum if he wants to. It is best to stay on the good side of the conductor. Laugh at his jokes – it’s the right thing to do. More importantly, do exactly as he instructs. Capiche? Continue reading