Any fun stories to bring up about working with Carmen's musical director, Berrak Dyer, and the rest of the orchestra so far?
So many! But I might get into trouble if I go into details... :D It's absolutely fantastic working with Berrak and the other musicians. They are all incredible performers and so much fun to work with. This has definitely been the most fun I have had so far and I usually cant wait to get to Soho Theatre.
How have you found Harry Blake's arrangement for Carmen? Any important/unique points for the audience to look out for?
Harry Blake has done an outstanding job with the arrangement of Carmen. It is a very complicated piece and to be able to reduce it to 4 players keeping the freshness and drama of the music is really something else. He has truly done a wonderful job.
In terms of unique points, I think you can't beat the famous Carmen melodies and they are instantly recognizable. I'm sure many people will be singing "Toreador" on their way out. My best advice, sit back, relax and let the music and drama take over. It'll be a trip to remember.
I hear quite often of how the story of the opera is reflected into the composers music, can you use examples from Bizet's Carmen?
There are many examples of the story being reflected, after all that is what music is all about. I believe the best moments where this is portrayed is during any of the love scenes, or Carmen's need to express her spirit of freedom. Usually its in the love scenes where I get to really give everything I have in terms of expression and energy. The violin portrays moments where you can hear José's passion and desperation yet still sweetness and care for Carmen. Its quite complicated I suppose, as love usually is.
What's next for you after Carmen?
Straight after Carmen finishes I'm off to Aldeburgh to perform the Lark Ascending at a World War I remembrance concert and I will also continue my freelancing. I'm on trial with the Philharmonia at the moment and have other scheduled concerts as Guest Leader and soloist so its a very exciting time.
What's the most challenging aspect of your job? I guess there's a lot of rehearsal and continuous practice?
It's true there is a lot of rehearsal and personal daily practice but I enjoy every minute of it. In the end, the hard work pays off. I would say to be a performer you need to truly love it because it's not just a job, its a way of life and personally, I wouldn't change anything at all. There is nothing better than the applause at the end of a concert and the knowledge that through your performance you can make a film come alive or entertain people and move something inside them. I completely agree with Plato (Greek Philosopher):
"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything"