Another week, another city. I’m back on the train this morning after spending yesterday evening in Osnabrück. A good friend of mine has a contract with the orchestra there and lucky for him (and also for me), he got to start his Christmas holidays yesterday, but needed someone to play for him in a rehearsal.
It’s really interesting preparing for gigs like this because it’s just the rehearsal, no concerts. However, you can’t just walk in to the rehearsal and sight read your part, especially when you’re playing Solo Horn, but you also don’t want to spend too much of your time preparing for a piece that you will just play for 2.5 hours.
So what did I do?
The rehearsal schedule said we would just be playing the 3rd and 4th Act, but I wanted to have a good idea of how the entire opera went, just incase the schedule changed. Since I only received the music two days before hand, I did a play along where I listened to the opera whilst playing my part at the same time. This is where I mention that we were playing an opera written by Puccini, Manon Lescaut. For those of you who know what Puccini’s operas are like, you might be laughing at the fact that I tried to play along with a recording of it – I know I was! Puccini has written absolutely beautiful operas, full of stunning musical lines with a lot of rubato, making it virtually impossible to play along without having a conductor there!
On the train to Osnabrück yesterday, I had another listen to the 3rd & 4th acts. I wanted to do this to ensure that I knew my part as best I could in the short time that I had to prepare.
I had a great time playing in the rehearsal! The music was lovely, the orchestra played very well and the horn group was friendly. It was the first orchestral rehearsal for these acts, so there wasn’t so much pressure to have everything perfect, which made the situation very comfortable and enjoyable!
After the rehearsal, I walked around the city and watched as they packed up the Christmas Markets before heading back to my friend’s place for an early night, to be on the early train today.
I feel that every gig has something offer, (well, besides the money) even if there is no concert. In this case, it was the opportunity to extend my repertoire knowledge, gain some experience playing Solo Horn and of course, meet some great musicians from another city!