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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

Plugs: Make Your Own Kind of Christmas

In the lead up to the London Gay Men's Chorus Christmas Concert , the men have put together a series of clips to highlight the preparations... I think I can be spotted at the back row... I recognise that sweater from anywhere... The concert is on 10 and 11 December at Cadogan Hall and can be booked via the website. Discounts available through Whatsonstage and Gaydar as well...

One last look: Seven Deadly Sins

And of course, there was the little matter of the London Gay Men's Chorus concert The Seven Deadly Sins at the Roundhouse on the weekend. There is something satisfying about performing three concerts in a row and they get better every time... And you learn a few things about staying focussed, looking excited and keeping the energy levels (and fluids) up... This is a brief clip of the encore / playout music, recorded by a very enthusiastic member of the Saturday evening audience... There will be an appearance at Pride (and Europride in Poland), and then the next concert will be at Christmas...

Music: West End Live (day one)

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It is a bit like it was shot from a mobile phone (probably because it was), but the London Gay Men's Chorus did take part in West End Live today... The rain held off (mostly) and the crowd seemed to like our stuff which is a good omen for the three big shows next Friday and Saturday at the Roundhouse in Camden... The resolution is not the best of the video above but I managed to do (slightly) better backstage just before we went on. Rest assured this is not the full chorus, there are almost going to be double this number on stage next week... And some of us even have hair... West End Live is a great showcase for some of the musicals playing on the West End and the chorus has been privileged to also take part. There is more tomorrow and it is worth a wander by...

Plug: London Gay Men's Chorus does Seven Deadly Sins

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It's less than a month away from when the London Gay Men's Chorus presents the Seven Deadly Sins at the Roundhouse . The show is a mix of classics, pop and show tunes, which is fair enough... But even more interesting will be a segment in the show where a group of young fathers aged between 16-25 join with a small group from the chorus to create a version of John Lennon's 'Jealous Guy', fusing pop and rap. The fathers and members of the Chorus are being tutored by Rodney P, 'the Godfather of British rap' along with musical director Simon Sharp from London Gay Men's Chorus. This will be the first time the chorus performs a show at the Roundhouse. A year or so ago we rehearsed there and made some weird yelping noises so the Roundhouse could get a sense of the acoustic for choirs (or the acoustic for gay men). Anyway it is a great venue and I'll be blogging more about the fun and hard work of it all this month... Tickets are on sale now through th

Scenes from rehearsal Monday

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Send in the clowns... We're performing at the Scoop on Friday as part of Fringe Choirs week ... Also performing this week is the London Irish Pensioner Choir... But they perform on Thursday... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

Scenes from a rehearsal break...

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Well... You are what you eat... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

scenes from a rehearsal

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A random helium balloon... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

Scenes from the backstage...

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Waiting for the act two call... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

Scenes from a final tech rehearsal...

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Almost time... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

scenes from a dress rehearsal

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It's like a washing powder commercial... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

Rehearsals: the view from the back

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Ready for movement... And two weeks to showtime ... Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

Rehearsals: again Monday

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Not so pretty in pink perhaps Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

at Sunday rehearsal in Seven Sisters

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we are getting sleepy... Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

The view from the back row ...

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Baritones rehearsing... Of sorts... Only one month to go ... Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

Theatre: Blood Brothers

I mentioned earlier this year to Grant and a few others in the chorus , that I had not seen Willy Russell's musical, Blood Brothers . The reaction to this statement was like one of those scenes in a movie... You know like in a western, when a stranger walks into a bar and the music stops, people gasp, and everyone looks up and stares... I was committing musical heresy apparently, even if a show about two guys who turn out to be brothers and then die wasn't high on my list of things to see... Well Grant was determined to rectify this oversight, so on Friday I found myself at the Phoenix Theatre where this show has been playing for a very long time... Blood Brothers tells the rather melodramatic story of two twins separated at birth. They grow up only knowing each other as friends and one goes to Oxbridge and becomes a Councillor, while the other goes mad (some may be confused about whether there is much of a contrast here). Eventually thanks to the love of a girl and shoes on a

Scenes from the back row rehearsal

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The last two weeks the LGMC has been rehearsing at a school at the Barbican which what it lacks for space to socialise it makes up for convenience of getting home afterwards... While we have been busy beavering away at rehearsals the shows have been selling well... So much so that there is now a Saturday matinee on sale now... Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

Scenes from a Rehearsal

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The view from the back row... Again... Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

Rehearsal: Week four

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It helps to pull ones weight... Sent from my iPhone Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

Rehearsals: week three

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Rehearsals for the Christmas concert were progressing as normal as could be expected and then Sasha whipped out his fish... Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous

Rehearsals: The view from the back

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The first rehearsals for the London Gay Men's Chorus started Monday evening... And it was a packed house... The concerts are at Cadogan Hall on December 19 and 20. Posted by email from paulinlondon's posterous