The concluding part of Bassoonist Halley Pullen’s Ryedale Festival Tour Diary.
Wednesday 14th September
We arrived at the Brunton Theatre for an orchestral rehearsal. Ian Tindale, our director on harpsichord, had a few new details and changes to cadenzas for us. For the most part, our ensemble felt comfortable and familiar, apart from getting used to the acoustic, which was surprisingly helpful for hearing orchestral detail but a bit dry for the singers’ tastes. Our bass player Hannah borrowed a baroque bass from a local player (for perhaps obvious reasons to those who have seen a bass flight case) and had to quickly get used to playing a totally new instrument.
We had a great show that night – our best yet we thought.
To celebrate our successful return to the stage, we all met for a drink, both singers and instrumentalists – the great divide bridged! It’s not so often that these two groups of musicians mix outside the “workplace”. It was great chat after the initial ‘where have we worked together before’ conversation, and I was finally able to put a name to singer who I’d only ever known as Don Giovanni from a production we did together last year.
Thursday 15th September
We took the train to Perth and did a quick top-and-tail in the gorgeous concert hall. Ian called us all together for a final word before the performance and thanked us for a fantastic run. We recapped on the whole experience and agreed that sometimes a gig is just a gig, but other times we musicians are very lucky to be working with friends in beautiful places making beautiful music.
There was a final gathering of the cast, crew and orchestra in the hotel bar and we wondered if it was worth going to sleep, as our bus back to Edinburgh airport was scheduled to pick us up at 4.30AM. A few of us stayed up and our night/morning finished with the bartender opening a can of Irn-Bru and insisting that those of us who hadn’t tried it, must sample ‘Scotland’s other national drink’.
A quick cat nap and we were off to the airport again. We arrived in London to utter chaos as all the airport trains were cancelled. Our cellist Carla had to get to a different airport to catch a plane to Basel, one of the singers barely made it to sing at a memorial in town, and Jan had a lunchtime concert in the city and only arrived 30 minutes before it started (so much for rehearsing..!)