What’s your favourite moment in the score?
Don Giovanni and the Commendatore, the final scene, absolutely. Every single time I hear it, it just does me in, it’s so powerful. These two men, singing at full volume with all the drama, the anger and the passion! I just love it.
What are you enjoying about rehearsals at the moment?
It’s a great environment, it’s like a big playroom, anything goes! I love just to try things out, I want to give anything a go when I’m exploring a part. What I really love about this production is that you feel safe. Everybody here is used to doing things that would look strange in everyday life; the chorus don’t bat an eyelid if you try things out, because they’ll probably be asked to give them a go at the next rehearsal and they won’t mind at all. It’s just work, and not feeling inhibited is important. It’s safe and it’s playful.
You trained as a dancer. How does that come into play with your work as a singer – is it physical and vocal warm ups?
I’ve just started running, actually, which is really helping my lung capacity and fitness levels. When you have to do a physical role and sing at the same time, you can forget how exhausting it is. With singing you use different muscles to dancing, it’s about being relaxed and pulling in particular muscles. Dancing is more about keeping upright. When you can marry the two and it flows nicely, it feels much more natural to me, having trained as a dancer, to move and sing at the same time. I just feel I can express myself more physically and vocally if I do the two together.
Photo (top): The principal cast during studio rehearsals: (l-r) Elizabeth Atherton (Donna Elvira), Meeta Raval (Donna Anna), Claire Wild (Zerlina), Oliver Dunn (Masetto), William Dazeley (Don Giovanni) and Alastair Miles (Leporello).
Photo (bottom): Claire Wild enters the Don Giovanni set.
Interview: Dr Kara McKechnie
Photo credit: Malcolm Johnson