One of the great things about a big project like Parry’s oratorio JUDITH is bringing alot of people together.
Our performance will require 100 adult singers, 43 orchestra players, four professional soloists, four boys and their understudies, and an audience of 900 listeners.
If we are able to raise enough funds we will release a DVD recording of the concert, and then our audience could be several thousand people.
One choir member told me she was sorry her grandmother could not come to hear JUDITH since she is not mobile and can’t leave the house. So, our recording of JUDITH becomes a really important endeavour, so that Jane can share this exciting concert with her Nanna.
I’ve had three great visits to St. Michael’s Choir school. Under the superb coaching of Teri Dunn and Charissa Bagan, four boys will sing in our show. Yesterday the boys were working on their roles, and discovered that they are princes, since their mother is Queen Meshullemeth. The photo shows the boys pouring over the full orchestral score.
If we peel away that initial layer of performers and audience we find the folks behind the score, the York University musicology students John-Luke Addison and Floydd Ricketts, who transcribed 400 pages of original manuscript score into a beautiful new edition. Backing them up is the international super star musicologist Jeremy Dibble from Durham University who is proofing their work.
At the core of the effort is our hard-working and endlessly creative general manager Jennifer Collins, who not only does what’s required to administer and publicize this venture, but also creates imaginative and provocative videos that she posts on Youtube.
On the ground at rehearsals is my amazing music team, my associate conductor Dan Norman, our accompanist Simon Walker, and our skilled and entertaining choral scholars, Michael Robert-Broder, Paul Oros, Catharin Carew, Gabrielle McLaughlin, Merry-Anne Stuart, Emily Ding, Nila Rajagopal, Marcel d’Entremont and Mathias Memmel, leading sectional rehearsals, vocal warm-ups and leaping in whenever solo passages are required.
Backing all of this up is our committed and lively board of directors, our donors and sponsors, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, and our volunteer committees who organize events and tours, keep us happy with snacks at rehearsals, and get all the work done.
And behind that is the man himself, C.Hubert H.Parry who wrote this dramatic oratorio back in 1888.
Reading his letters in Jeremy Dibble’s book Hubert Parry: His life and music I am touched by Parry’s humility, in awe of his incredible work ethic and comforted by his ability to cope with failure and disappointment.
The Parry Project has taught me so much. Thank you, JUDITH team.