My Opera Performance – The Gypsy Baron

In my last post about the opera, it was only about the audition and the part I got. Last week we performed ‘The Gypsy Baron’ at the Royal Theater. It was a super fun time to perform it and I hope that those of you who got to see it enjoyed the performance.

We started rehearsing mid April but those rehearsals were for about 30 minutes with only a few people at a time, so not long and tiring. At that point I was practicing my duet with a person in my class. At about mid May we started rehearsing all together, but only for short periods of time. 2 weeks before the production was when we started having either half day rehearsals or full day rehearsals every single day. This is what our schedule would be:

  • Act 1 rehearsal
  • Recess
  • Act 1 (again) rehearsal
  • Lunch
  • Act 2 and 3 rehearsal
  • Home room

It would be very long and tiring because some times we would have to do certain scenes over and over again. At one point in the opera we have to be mad at each other, but I am a very giggly and smiley person so I kept cracking up and couldn’t stay mad but it all worked out in the end!

As you may know, we got to play with an orchestra. We had one rehearsal at 6:30 pm with the orchestra at our school. It’s hard singing with 17 instruments because you can’t even hear yourself.

IMG_2822There were several days where we got pulled out of rehearsals to get makeup and/or hair (wigs). In the production I was a gypsy, so I had very dark skin, purple/red eye shadow, bright red lips, and crazy eyelashes. I had a long black wig with a golden head piece. At the performance, right before I was supposed to be on my golden head piece broke so I had everyone in my dressing room trying to fix it! I managed to get on stage on time thankfully. It was so funny to look in the mirror and see someone you don’t even recognize.

Other times we got pulled out for costumes. My costume included a long black skirt, a blue ruffly shirt, a silver scarf/stash, a gold belt over top the stash. It was very hot underneath all of the layers!

At the actual performance, I had so much adrenaline rushing through me when I was getting into my costume, it was crazy. Everyone was saying there lines and singing songs, it was mayhem in the dressing rooms. We had different stations for hair and makeup, 2 staircases one leading to stage left, the other to stage right, a TV to see what was happening on stage, everything we needed was there.

At one point in Act 1, I have to give a wedding cake to someone on stage right then sprint through the dressing rooms to get to stage left for my friends solo. That was so much fun, seeing that I love to sprint.

IMG_2823My duet is right after the intermission after Act 1 (opening song for Act 2). First I went to go get my mic taped on (it is very hard to sing with tape on your face!) but after that, I was practicing my song and lines, talking to my friends, biting my nails, I was so nervous! When we had the 20 second count down until the curtain rose I wanted to scream of excitement!when the curtain rose, I was taking deep breaths. Then I realized my mic was on so I stopped. I heard the intro and found myself singing the song I had rehearsed and sung over and over again. Right then I realized that all this effort we put into this performance had paid off. I realized why our choir teacher had asked for perfection. Before I knew it, my song was done and everyone was clapping. I was supposed to look sad, but inside I wanted to jump up and down and cheer! At the very end of the opera we had to waltz in to bow and that got a lot of laughs! When my duet partner and I bowed, everyone got to their feet and applauded. It was a feeling I wanted to keep on going forever.

I hope now you realize how this experience has affected me. Next time I audition for something, I will walk into that audition standing tall and proud, feeling happy, not nervous.

IMG_2852 IMG_2844 IMG_2830

20 thoughts on “My Opera Performance – The Gypsy Baron

  1. Dear Claire
    You were absolutely brilliant on stage and I was very proud of your performance. What courage you had! Very well done.

  2. Take a bow again, young lady! I’m sure you more than deserved the standing ovation. What fun-filled learning experiences you are enjoying! Lucky, lucky girl!

    1. Thank you so much! For about a week people (even strangers) who went to the opera came up to my friends and I and congratulated us! There was even an Opera star at our performance! I feel so lucky to have been ankle to be on stage at the Royal Theater.

  3. Dear Claire. Congratulations not only on an obviously wonderful performance, but also on the joy and reflection you obviously found in being involved. You look absolutely stunning as a gypsy; and alot like your beautiful mother. I look very forward to seeing the video, and to hearing all your comments and stories as we view. I am very proud of you and grateful to you for sharing this excitement with me.

    Love , Frances

  4. WOW Claire! What a great opportunity and I love the outfit! Let me know where I can see the video, would love to watch it. So proud of you.
    Love Aunt Sue

    1. Thanks! I miss my costume so much! It was very fun to see all my friends as a different person. It was like Halloween! We got candy before very performance in a little bag in our dressing rooms. Jolly ranchers, Star Burst, Cookies, Rockets, Pringle chips, Smarties, they had it all so we wouldn’t collapse on stage! The nights went to 10:30 pm!

  5. Wow. You made this whole thing come alive with your blog. I could feel it. I hope there is a video so we can all get a chance to enjoy. A big congrats on your performance and the joy you felt through the whole process. As others have said, you are very lucky to have these sorts of experiences but more importantly, you are very smart to take advantage of them and get the most out of them.

  6. I truly can’t believe that is my wee little C. Nicole Pontefract in those pics!! Wow, you look amazing! And your post was very well written with such a vivid account of the whole experience, it truly did come alive. I can’t wait to watch the video! I am so proud of you Claire, Bravo!

  7. ” I will walk into that audition standing tall and proud, feeling happy”

    To me, this statement is what you achieved; in doing so, you made us all stand tall and feel quite proud! Congratulations Claire, in discovering a natural talent.

    Love Grandad.

  8. Hi Claire. Many congrats on your achievement. I’m really looking forward to seeing the performance when it’s available on DVD. Looking at the photos of you in costume and make-up, I now know what you’ll look like when you’re 18!! I hope you’re going to continue singing for fun – as you know it makes you feel good, can lift your mood if you’re feeling a bit low and the experience of singing with others to create a beautiful song is wonderful. I’ve joined a rock choir and it’s fab! Jane x

  9. Claire – I truly loved watching you go through the opera process – audition, preparation and of course, the performance was outstanding. You make me proud and I love that you are confident enough to step outside your comfort zone and just give it a go! I also love how deeply you reflected on this experience and shared it with those who follow your blog and love you dearly. 🙂 Well done ma fille! xoxo

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