Bang the Trumpets!

I have recently begun a new musical venture, joining the Rhos-on-Sea Savoyards for their forthcoming performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe. I was roped in a couple of weeks ago by my friend Jane, who is the assistant director of the show, as they were rather short of men to sing in the chorus. I’m going to be one of the 2nd basses (i.e. the ones who get the proper low notes), playing the part of a brainless peer.

I went along to watch their performance of Ruddigore last year and was very impressed. Although I had previously heard recordings of various Gilbert & Sullivan pieces, that was the first time I’d seen a whole one of their operas performed live. It did somewhat kindle my interest in their work, although I didn’t expect that I’d actually be taking part in a performance quite so soon.

So far I have been to two rehearsals (they are weekly) and have been listening hard to recordings of the various pieces I’ll be singing in. I’m getting to grips fairly well with the first, and I think most difficult, of the songs for the male chorus, the Entrance of the Peers (AKA “Loudly let the trumpet bray”), which includes such fun lines as “bow, bow, ye lower middle classes, bow ye tradesmen, bow ye masses”. The main problem I’ve been having with it is mixing up the words in a couple of lines so that, instead of singing “blow the trumpets, bang the brasses” as I should, I am tending to sing “bang the trumpets”.

The performances, of which there will be four, will be taking place in the last week of March, so I’ve got plenty of time to get the words straightened out.

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