What do I need to do my best work?

13 days into my sojourn in the West Midlands and I figured it was time for a little update!

The problem with blogging is that there are some stories in life that aren't yours to share. In essence: stories that involve other people. I could write about my bowel movements and anxiety until the cows come home, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty of what is happening in a rehearsal room with about ten other people, it all starts to get a bit more complicated... 

So what can I tell you? I'm learning a lot - that's a good start. This is a real baptism of fire, especially having not quite been spat out the other end of the conservatoire machine. I was rather daunted turning up here that music college hadn't really equipped me for the reality of learning a new opera on the job (how could it?), but now I'm here I do at least feel that I am surrounded by people encouraging and guiding me to do my best work. There is a quote from summer's BYO short course keeps coming to mind: What do I need to do my best work?

  • Well, first off it is good to accept that you do still need guidance. Then you have to find the people you trust to give it to you.
  • Then a slightly basic thing, space. Space to think, space to absorb, and space to work in private on your scores. 
  • Know who your allies are! It should be everyone. Everyone wants it to be a good show, so everyone should be helping you to be your best. This trust is a good foundation for a safe, enjoyable, productive space to work.

That's a start I suppose. Still plenty of weeks to add to that list! I will write more in the next few days about the piece, and about some of the reflection it has inspired. It is a profound piece of text, being delivered by a company with an inspirational mission, and I feel very privileged to be part of the whole experience. Performances are from 14 - 20 March, so I hope that some of you will join us for the finale of this adventure.