Monday, December 19, 2005

The Politics of Singing

A really dull day at work. After feeling fairly energised after the show and now I’m recovered from the cold, going back to work was such a depressing experience; wading through the email that had accumulated (I really must remember to put my Out-Of-Office on next time I’m ill!) and the fact that there was pretty much nothing interesting to do afterwards. I was basically watching the clock today.

Selfridges didn’t help matters either; small groups from the Chorus are doing twelve half-hour shows in their atrium over Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I was on the list to perform at the 7pm one today. Last week we heard they wanted to move it to 5:45pm, which we agreed. Then at 4pm this afternoon I got a call from Brett, who is doing all four of them today, saying they’d asked to move the show forward again to 5pm. Because I was off work at the end of last week, I hadn’t been able to arrange cover for my absence properly, so to be leaving even earlier would really have been taking the micky! Charlie reckoned they’d be able to cope with only three baritones though, so I dropped out. Still, I was pretty hacked-off about it as I really enjoyed the Selfridge’s gigs last year and it's a great excuse to go on a spending spree because you are right there in the gay shopping Mecca! But they are the ones paying the piper – and paying us well, I must admit – so I guess I should just be glad there were enough choir boys there to put on a good show for them and look forward to my next chance to sing (tomorrow at 7pm, if you happen to be anywhere near Oxford Street!)

The Chorus rehearsal tonight was quite good fun; it was mostly notes and polishing of some rough edges. There was a slightly bizarre meeting after the tea break though. I think I mentioned that the programme was shortened slightly in Brighton. Since then there has been an avalanche of mail from members asking for the Coventry Carol to be reinstated in place of one or other of the remaining pieces. There’s also been a certain amount of grousing about the amount of ‘backing singing’ that the Chorus is doing, as opposed to ‘being the star’ of the show and I think the production team were concerned about morale. So we had a meeting to vent the issues (actually most of the venting had already been done online) and after the break the decision was announced; we are reinstating Coventry Carol and dropping O Magnum Mysterium which, although I personally love it, is apparently quite unpopular with the performers and, since it is a Small Group number, its loss pacifies those who think the Small Group is doing too high a proportion of the singing. Hey ho. That’s politics for you. At least now I think the issue is put to bed and we can get on with the singing.

Got an early start tomorrow, so I can finish work early to get to the Selfridges’ gig.

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