In this week’s blog, Astrid Cacciatore, one of the sopranos in the City of Humanity Vocal Ensemble gives her experience in taking part in the production of City of Humanity 1.
It was a great honour to be part of the cast in “City of Humanity 1”, an opera written by Gorg Peresso and with music composed by Dr ReubenPace under the baton of Mro. Ferrer. My journey began in the mid-summer of 2018, as one of the Sopranos within the ensemble, and rehearsals were nothing short of intense. Learning an original piece of music is harder than you would think! What was interesting, however, was Dr Pace's ability to engage with us actively during rehearsals. I recall how he used to stop us now and again to explain what we were singing. A seemingly small action but which resulted in making sense of what was happening, and ultimately guide us in the right direction. As rehearsals went on, we all started coming together; from the children's choir to the lead singers, the musical parameters all started to fall into place. At one point, I found myself having to resist the temptation to stop and listen to the beautiful voices coming together harmoniously.
Nothing was more surprising than being asked to perform the prologues for both acts, as a dialogue with my colleague Mariette Borg. While I had taken part in some acting classes when I was a teenager (under the care of Mr Florian, who also helped me in my Systems of Knowledge project on Drama), I had not acted since then. It was particularly tricky and nerve-racking to try and focus and relax during rehearsals, but the instant connection with Marietta made it that much easier. Although we've known each other for a relatively short period, we connected reasonably instantly, and this helped me a lot in coming to terms with what was needed from me. Our Director, Mr Michael Moxham, and his assistant Ms. Simone Ellul also worked closely with us to get the best out of us through intensive workshops. Rehearsals would start with a warm-up session of walking around in a line and changing direction when we felt our sentence came to an end. With Mrs Ellul giving words great meaning and expression on the one side, and Mr Moxham showing us the wonders of onomatopoeia and how to translate auditory images to the audience on the other hand, we had a dynamic duo that gave us one of the most educational and mind-blowing experiences so far.
Looking back, I can safely say that this experience did not only expand my horizons in the musical field but also allowed me to dip my toes into acting once again. The skills I learned through this production will be an asset for any future projects.
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