Jongerenopera 'In bocca al lupo' - DAY 4 - Exploring and exercising

Vrijdag 21 augustus 2015

The warming up today consists of vocal exercises with a strong emphasis on the relation between the voice and the body. As I am not a trained singer at all – and even, as an amateur, tend to avoid all singing – these exercises are at first a bit incomprehensible and quite intriguing for me. Nicolas Achten, the musical director of In Bocca al Lupo introduces an exercise in which everybody has to try to imagine a ping pong ball behind his nose while singing. This ball ‘ll move, become bigger, … as the training continues. This approach will help to express different emotions more profoundly while singing … Caroline Pelon, the singing coach, then explains a breathing exercise which is combined with alternately contracting specific muscles: in one arm, in one leg, in the face, … Based on the reactions of several participants, holding (up) all this tension seems not that easy, especially not in the morning. As they round up, Caroline rewards them for their efforts: “ GOOD! Good! Very good faces!!”  I regret not having a picture to show some truly hilarious faces, but as an privileged witness  I can assure you that was not exaggerated at all!


All warmed up  I start my journey into the depths of In Bocca al Lupo. At this stage of the creation process director Luigi De Angelis is working a lot with each performer individually. As I enter the studio he is, together with one of the solo singers, Maxime, exploring several kind of movements – animal, meditative, powerful movements, … - in order to find the right relation between the music score and the movements. According to every detail in the music, Maximes body also needs to move forward, rise, …, and this up to a point where it really becomes ‘balancing on the edge’. Luigi encourages this feeling of glancing into the abyss: Maxime should experience a little bit fear in order to create an authentic tension while performing.

As I continue sneaking around in search of other interesting activities I find myself in the middle of a rehearsal of the solo of Camille (Cosi mi disprezzate) with some of the instrumentalists. Nicolas asks Camille to be even more violent with the text – after all we ‘re dealing with wolves this year – and is very impressed with the result: “Wauw, did you hear that? How old did you say you are?…Very impressing!” 


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