A night at the Opera

10-Jul-98 to 12-Jul-98

Friday the 10th to Sunday the 12th of July saw a few TWJC members expressing their cultured side by joining the Almaviva Opera Society for their production of The Bartered Bride, written by Brederich Smetena. The TWJC contingent was made up of Dave L., Tammy, Pete, myself & Bess the Wonderdog. We joined a large cast of trainee & experienced opera singers, musicians, dancers & other performers. Was that the Zoe Ball in the chorus?

The plot goes something like this:

Jenik & Marenka are in love, but many moons earlier Krusina (who is Marenka's father), had tied her to a marriage contract with the son of Toby Micha, Vasek. However, Jenik outwits everyone by signing a contract so that he gets 300 gold pieces & agreeing that Marenka marries the son of Toby Micha. Luckily for him, Jenik is A son of Toby Micha from a previous marriage. So he gets the girl & the gold. This went on for about three hours. Oh & in the middle was an amazing circus scene.

After a few rehearsals under the tyrannical direction of Maria Pattinson the circus scene was actually very good. We started off in a little gypsy caravan then marched down the hill, Tammy on stilts & me on my unicycle (complete with beer towel wrapped pedals), all being led by the circus master. After we reached the performance area we all took some bows then Dave & I, alias the Fabulous Banana Brothers from Argentina performed some dazzling feats of dexterity with the devilstick (except on the Saturday during the monsoon rain where we were slightly less than useless). At the same time Tammy, alias Lofty Mcall pulled off some nifty firestaff swinging moves. Then on came James (who was fifteen you know) to do a knife juggling spot before being chased off by the psychotic Tammy (she loves kids really) & then he returned to perform the magic linking rings trick. This was then replaced by some leap frogging by three people, two of which were really annoying but Ayodeji was really cool, he continued the show with some extremely good towel & tray spinning which I had never seen before. This was all well & good but we at TWJC always steal the show wherever we go & we were responsible for the finale with some solo fire juggling & then some passing around Lofty Mcall who kept remarkably calm in the face of danger!

It was very cold, it was extremely wet, but it was a great weekend. I particularly enjoyed sitting back in the extremely large & expensive leather arm chair & playing all the drinking games over Saturday evening/Sunday morning (fuzzy duck, fuzzy duck, fuzzy duck, zip, zap, boing, MAGNUS MAGNUSSEN!!). Also lots of fun was had while waiting for our scene watching & singing along to lots of Disney films ('I wanna be like you' from the Jungle Book was particularly enjoyable) with lots of professional & semi professional opera trained singers, you couldn't split us apart really.

We were acclaimed as the best bit of the show because there was no singing! We certainly left our mark, are pictures are on their fridge, our origami jumping frogs are next to their pot plants & Bess left her mark on the kitchen floor, twice (surely dogs are carnivores). Thankyou to the Talbot empire for all the wine, beer & pimms, all the gorgeous food & an endless supply of tea. Thankyou to Dave for the philosophical chat, the origami frog racing, letting me crash at his place & lots of other things. Thankyou to Tammy for introducing me to Gemma (BIG thankyou) & for the use of her tent! & finally thanks to Pete for the kind chauffeuring, the cups of tea & for keeping me a place at the aga when we came in from the storm!