I am singing the bass solo for Rossini’s Petite Misse Solennelle on 18 and 19 July.
When I initially got the Braille score I thought “Oh my goodness, what have I got myself into|” But it is actually not too hard once you get into it. I am the kind of musician who appreciates a bit of rehearsal to get into something but not too much note bashing in rehearsal. Not to blow my trumpet too much, but I am used to singing in St Mark’s Fitzroy Choir where everybody can read music and we can work on things more thoroughly. It is tricky to be part of a community music group as I’m not sure who to follow. As a blind musician I am reliant on other members of the group to follow the musical director. It is nothing like working with other blind musicians who are used to working without somebody at the front marking the beat with their hands.
The Rossini is typical 19th century, sections go on forever. But the bass solo itself is actually quite operatic and is a glimpse into Rossini’s refined writing.
I have a recording of the mass and have been practicing along with it, but especially for my solo, I need to practice just with the accompaniment, not just with a full blown recording. Scaling the internet there is nothing available. The accompanist for the performance is overseas at present
so I have asked a friend, Simon Loveless,
to play it for me so I have a recording. This is so I will have something when I go to give my solo a test run at the VCE music class at Lowanna College on 13 July. I thought I might be cheeky and ask another friend, Sally Whitwell, who could do it in her sleep, but decided not too. I am going to catch up with Simon later this week.