Monday, 24 June 2013

The recital that almost wasn't

We've just had a way more exciting Sunday then we really wanted to have. You might remember (but you probably don't) that younger daughter's June voice recital was cancelled much to her disappointment and heartbreak. Well to our relief and slight embarrassment, her voice teacher decided to try to re-schedule it after hearing about how upset younger daughter was. We really, really hope that wasn't the only reason. In less than two weeks, she pulled together ten singers (a slightly smaller number than a regular recital which usually features about fifteen), a venue and an accompanist. We had one painful weekend during which younger daughter struggled to choose her songs, then scrambled to get copies of the scores to the pianist by the deadline.

On Saturday, we had a dress rehearsal where the singers ran through their songs with the accompanist. That night, younger daughter attempted to paint her nails for the first time with the nail varnish her godmother had sent her to go with the blush-pink lace dress which younger daughter had had hanging in her room for six weeks, saving it for this occasion. She was devastated when I gently suggested she try again, and managed to pick off all the varnish by morning. I sat her down at the breakfast table and talked her through the steps of applying coats. Her nails were looking lovely when I went to check my email at about 8:30. That's when I found the message from her voice teacher which had been sent an hour before.

The accompanist was in hospital. Unless she could find a replacement by 11:30, the recital being at 2 pm, we would have another cancellation on our hands. The Resident Fan Boy and I looked at each other in despair, but decided not to break the news to younger daughter until we were absolutely sure that the event she had been longing for was definitely off. Voice Teacher was singing at the 10:30 church service which the RFB and younger daughter were attending, so there didn't seem to be much hope. They headed off, and I took up a vigil by the computer, my heart sinking.

Just before 10:30, word came that younger daughter's regular accompanist was cancelling a previous commitment. I texted the RFB, and when younger daughter came home, she donned the dress and we saw her in it for the first time, before she glided out the door and strolled to the bus stop like Audrey Hepburn in her pink straw sunhat and navy flats. Her godmother has fabulous taste.

Our hero the accompanist had to sight-read 15 scores for nine vocalists. (A tenth was ably accompanied by her mother.) We heard all kinds of songs and all kinds of abilities. And younger daughter was, says her totally objective mother, in the top half of the pack. She sang with adequate volume and plenty of expression. She sang on key and listened to the piano when she wasn't singing. But you know, I'm her mother. (I think other people were impressed too, judging from the comments afterward.)

I won't violate my daughter's privacy by playing the video I (discreetly) filmed on my iPod, so I'll violate this fine young singer's privacy:
As I listened to my own daughter sing this, I thought of her great-great-grandfather who was born in Berlin when it was still in Prussia. Did he hear a young girl sing this, possibly one of his daughters?

The second song was from the movie version of Grease. I haven't seen the movie or the play, but daughter saw it in school and this was her personal choice. She can hit the high notes and does the melismata creditably:

I must confess I've never cared for this song, but I'm hopelessly devoted to my daughter. It's been playing in my head ever since -- with my daughter's voice, thank goodness.

1 comment:

JoeinVegas said...

She finally got her recital! Of course you should make a video of it.