ENO Mini Opera: Calling for choral singers!!!

Today’s a bit of a red-letter day, because not only have I completed the draft score and prepped the click-tracks, but I’ve got soloists for all three major roles! Charles Turner singing The Inspector you know about from an earlier post, but today’s new recruits are counter-tenor Andrew Pickett who is having a go at The Advisor and tenor Nick Allen who is tackling The Journalist.

And now it’s time to get the chorus happening! So far, I have a chorus of 3 altos and one soprano, so I’ve designed the choral bit to be pretty flexible. The video below (best viewed in HD and full screen to see the detail and be able to read the score) runs through the same music three times and the idea is that everyone will record at least one run through – the first time round everything is on A, the second time on C and the third time on E. If you can sing those notes in multiple octaves, or feel like recording several passes through them, please do – the more voices and pitches we have, the lusher the sound will be.

If you do want to participate, here are some pointers for your recording:

  • Please record at the highest quality your equipment can handle – for preference WAV or AIFF files rather than MP3, and the highest bitrate setting you can find (44.1kHz for preference – that’s CD quality)
  • Try to record in a ‘dry’ room – if there’s a lot of resonance in the recording it may be hard to combine them convincingly – adding digital reverb to dry recordings can help to make it sound like everyone’s in the same room.
  • Please include a good chunk (about a minute) of silence in your recording – this is so I have some ambient sound from your environment in case I need it for the mixing.

The video shows the score playing along in Finale and includes a click track (the snare drum sound) to help you keep track of the beat. Just put on your headphones (volume not too loud! Don’t want it coming through into the recording!), set up your recording gear, play the video and record yourself singing along.

Yes, the accompaniment feels very heavy-handed at the moment. That’s because it’s still a draft and hasn’t had any orchestration done to it 🙂 And the “Who” chords feel clunky because it seemed easier to just get everyone to record the notes on the beat and I’ll spread them out when I mix it, rather than messing about with odd rhythms when I didn’t even know how many or what voices I’d have 🙂

Interested? Hurrah! Tell your friends! Recordings need to sent to me no later than Friday Sunday 22nd July (get in touch and we can work out the best way for you to send it) as I’ll need to mix everything in and prepare the file ready for submission on Monday the 23rd.

Alas, it seems I wasn’t clear enough as to what the chorus needs to sing in this – it’s the line directly above the piano in the video, with the words “Who”, “Who”, “Is it this man?”, “Is it this man?” and each run through is just on one pitch – A, C or E (there are three repetitions of the section in the video)…

Want to download the choral score or get the video offline(warning: it’s about 17Mb!)? You can download them here.

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