Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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300 children, Don Giovanni and a lot of guts

Wed Jul 6 2011

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Magic + flutes = one of the most-loved operas of all time. We're performing Mozart's The Magic Flute @glyndebourne… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

OAE Children's concert

One of the things I most love about playing with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) is the variety- the spice of a freelance musician’s life.

I’m currently halfway between Kings Lynn and Glyndebourne (somewhere in Essex): halfway between schools and family concerts of Don Giovanni and the second night of Rinaldo: halfway between an audience of hundreds who had never been in the same room as an opera singer before, and an audience famously passionate about opera.

Just to put your minds at rest, I’m not actually driving as I type.

Forget the vuvuzelas – for me there’s nothing like the sound of 300 children buzzing with anticipation and excitement before the start of a schools’ concert. The children in Kings Lynn were there as composers, performers, and audience. You ain’t heard nothing till you hear the Corn Exchange full of children singing Fin ch’han dal vino. They loved it so much they just couldn’t stand still as they sang it.

They were guided through the concert by the fantastic James Redwood and OAE Education Director Cherry Forbes as they heard about the dastardly Don Giovanni, listened to the OAE play Mozart, performed their new songs and of course heard Real Live Opera Singers from Glyndebourne…the ones that don’t need microphones!

And a moment Roald Dahl would surely have been proud of: Violinist Matthew Truscott’s full account of how our gut strings are made, from smelly intestines from the abbatoir, through the washing, soaking, twisting, stretching, drying process that gives us the strings we play on… and a side order of sausages.

Wonder what’s for dinner at Glyndebourne tonight?

Cecelia Bruggemeyer, Double Bass

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