Hi everyone! My name is Elen Richards and I play 2nd violin. I’ve been in the RPO now for just over two years and thought I’d let you all know how the last few weeks have been for us.
Having enjoyed basking in the sunshine in the Canary Islands, it was time to come back to a slightly dreary London and straight in to the swing of things with a run of Madam Butterfly at the Royal Albert Hall. This is the first time for me to perform this particular opera and I must admit it’s quickly becoming my favourite. As an orchestra we don’t often have the opportunity to perform an opera, therefore this run has been quite a treat for me. Such wonderful melodies: Puccini certainly knew how to write a good tune! Proven by the fact that I have now been humming the melodies for the last two weeks continuously…
We started the run with two days of orchestral rehearsals at Cadogan Hall with the Musical Director Oliver Gooch to iron out any details and then a brief stint with the cast at Three Mills Studios where I bumped in to Bruno Tonioli from the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judging panel. Always exciting rubbing shoulders with celebs!
Then on to the Albert Hall where we could really enjoy the visually striking set and stunning costumes that truly bring the work to life. With two dress rehearsals we were finally ready to welcome an audience to hear the first performance. To see the Albert Hall full to the brim is always a pleasure. I also knew that my Mam had come all the way from South Wales to see the first performance, so it was extra special for me to know that there was additional support in the audience. Mam and the other 5000 audience members certainly enjoyed the evening, having heard beautiful performances by Mihoko Kinoshita as Butterfly and Nina Yoshida Nelsen as Suzuki.
We continue the run of Madam Butterfly for another few weeks and also have the odd few recording session during the days, so plenty of variety over the forthcoming weeks.