Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aida Competition

I wonder if any of you recognise this 'emaciated Ethiopian slave girl'? 

I am a current member of the Dunedin City Choir, and last sang the Grand March from Aida when the Orpheus Choir, of which I was a member, provided the chorus for the Wellington Opera Society's production of Aida 'just a few years back…'  It was a big, bold and exciting production (which they put on back to back with Marriage of Figaro over a couple of weeks).  You can see from this photo how big the production was, and it included the NZ Ballet I think, and a good-sized orchestra. From memory we sang it about 5 times. 

It was the most wonderful and exciting experience, and I so enjoyed it.  I remember never going down to the dressing rooms between acts, but just standing in the wings watching and listening in my first experience of opera. Charles Naylor played the role of the Pharaoh – the other singers were imported from overseas, but sorry can't remember the names.  The singer I most enjoyed was the woman playing Amneris – she had a powerful voice and I can remember to this day the power of her voice when she called for the priests – "Sacerdote!!"

But being an Ethiopian slave meant being 'blacked up' with greasepaint all round the face, arms and shoulders, and legs. That was fine, but getting the damn stuff off was a real challenge.  The bath in my flat had a rim around it for a few weeks, which no amount of scrubbing would move without taking the surface of the bath off with it! I was not popular!!!  And one's underwear – all white of course before the lovely colours you can get today – just went and seemed to stay a faint shade of grey for some time....

So – who am I?  You should be able to recognise me – I haven't changed a bit….. lol

Please leave your answers either in comments to this post (make sure we can identify you), or email answers to info at The competition closes on Friday 26 February and the winner of the coveted chocolate fish will be announced at rehearsal on 2 March 2010.


daharja said...

It's *obviously* David, being a stunt soprano again, isn't it!

daharja said...

...Now - what do I win again? ;-)