Down in London today millions of people will be reading their morning Metro's and will be greeted by a huge picture of me speaking about the amazing OperaPourUnSalon. Please click on the link and learn all about this original little opera company from the brilliant Marie Souiler http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/02/bring-the-aria-into-your-living-room-with-marie-souliers-opera-pour-un-salon-3564412/
The opera gala on Friday to raise money for Headlines was a massive success. We managed to raise over £2000 and we are still getting late donations. I am completely overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. My niece was present for the concert and she was a huge hit with everyone. Seeing her beautiful face so excited made all the hardwork worthwhile (and believe me singing a big concert whilst jet lagged is not easy!)
I couldn't have done any of this without the help of Marie Soulier at OperaPourUnSalon. She did everything for me while I was away on the cruise and it is thanks to her we had such an amazing attendance.
So yet again I am inspired to carry on fundraising. I am hoping a concert for the Royal Marines Association is next on the cards. It will probably be sometime in the autumn after Don Pasquale has finished. For today though I am enjoying my sofa and some films before getting back to reality tomorrow. My next cruise is in 6 weeks and Don Pasquale rehearsals will follow shortly. Exciting times ahead.
After an incredible 2 weeks away I am finally back in London and this morning back to teaching! Tomorrow is the opera gala concert. We have raised over £1100 already for Headlines which I am completely overwhelmed by. I am so looking forward to it and even more so as my beautiful niece will be there too.
As ever the cruise has introduced me to people from all walks of life and professions who have inspired me no end. I have so many exciting ideas buzzing in my head now for the next few months that I am looking forward to putting them into practise. First of all though I am focusing on getting into shape for Norina as rehearsals for that start in 2 months so its back to the grind of practise, lessons and coachings. I just hope that the jet lag doesn't catch me out too much this week!
We are now at our last port of call in India. We have arrived into Porbandar with local musicians greeting passengers as they disembarked for their morning excursions. I had a little dance on the top deck much to the amusement of the people on shore! I have decided to stay on the ship as I desperately need to do some admin and practise before our third concert this evening. It is so tempting just to sunbathe, swim and relax while here on Minerva but I have many exciting projects to practise for when i get back that I need to do some work!!
The fundraising concert is going so well. We have already raised over £800 for Headlines and there is still over a week to go before the big day. Marie Soulier at OperaPourUnSalon has been absolutely amazing while I have been on board and I cannot thank her enough for all the hard work and commitment for this concert. Sadly our soprano Roseanne Havel has had to pull out of the concert but we are delighted that mezzo soprano Chole De Becker has been able to step in at the last minute.
So as I enter into the last few days here onMinerva I am going to make the most of our next 2 days at sea to do some good practise and really start looking at Norina which is a mere 2 months away! after today we will be heading to Fujirah in the United Arab Emirates before our final destination of Muscat in Oman.
I have finally stepped into Indian soil. And what a great feeling it was. We arrived into the port of Tutticorin early this morning. I went on an excursion visiting a couple of churches (we even managed to belt out a hymn in one) and a stunning Hindu Temple. For me though watching the local people go about their daily lives was the most fascinating thing about the day. People out shopping and working and they were all so intrigued by us. Cows and goats roam the motorways and roads like stray dogs and cats and nobody bats an eyelid!! There is definitely no such thing as health and safety here!
We had many people waving and smiling at us as we drove to each venue. They were so friendly and welcoming. A real contrast to living in London where people are afraid to even look you in the eye. At our final stop where we had refreshments and local food and we were greeted with gifts of a necklace made out of tiny shells and each of us had our forehead marked with a bindi. We then headed back to Minerva for lunch and after leaving port we had our first rehearsal for our concert on Sunday. The Captain has his welcome Gala this evening so I'm now going to go up on deck and enjoy the sunshine before getting ready.
Next stop is Kochi!!! :)
I am now back on Minerva!! I was greeted on embarkation with a 'welcome home' and that is exactly what it feels like. Lots of familiar and wonderful people to say hello and to catch up with. The flight to Colombo was smooth and trouble free. I didn't sleep too well and now finding it difficult to actually fall asleep properly. I hope my body can get into a good rhythm soon.
This evening we had a lovely reception with the cruise director and other speakers and entertainers who will be working these next 2 weeks. I was completely star struck as Mark Horton of BBC's 'Coast' is one of the speakers. I am a huge fan of his, mainly for his warm personality on the programme. He is a lovely man with a great sense of humour. I may even try and get to his talks if I can!
Our first concert is on Sunday which gives us a few days to settle into ship life and rehearse. The air conditioning on the flight has played havoc with my throat so hoping things settle down in the next few days. Tomorrow I hope to see the elephants in Pinnawela - that's if I don't sleep in!!
After a couple of days relaxing in Manchester (which included getting over tonsillitis - nasty!) I am back in London and preparing to get ready for the cruise. Today is mainly going to be spent devising worksheets and practise logs for the 60+ students that I teach. I want to keep them motivated and their practise ticking over while I am away. Next I then have to decide what I need to bring with me while I am away. As every girl knows this is an almost IMPOSSIBLE task but as an opera singer it is even more impossible. Which concert dresses to take, which shoes, which jewellery, which props, which fake eyelashes!!! The list is endless. Then of course there are the many cocktail dresses and bikinis to wear while on the ship. Oh and of course the music, mustn't forget the music!!!! I can't complain though. I get to travel the world on a beautiful ship and sing. I suppose we all have our crosses to carry - even if mine is making sure I don't exceed the 20kg weight limit! Better get organised!
Beautiful song by my hero Guy Garvey and Elbow. Beautiful and simple and as always lyrically stunning. Enjoy.
Here is the amazing poster for the Headlines Concert which will be happening 3 weeks on Friday. A massive thanks to Paul Bray for designing all of our publicity and to Marie Soulier at OperaPourUnSalon for all her hard work in helping me to organise this concert.
I am so excited about the brilliant musicians we have involved in this concert. They are all giving their time for free to raise money for this very worthy cause and I am greatful to each and everyone of them. Many are very good friends and my amazing Mum will also make an appearance fresh from her concerto debut at St Martin in the Fields!
Tickets can be purchased from my JustGiving page. If you're not able to come to the concert but would like to make a donation then please dig deep and give whatever you can. This charity is so important for cranio families in the UK and Ireland and they need all the help they can get. I hope as many of you are able to come along to enjoy what will be a very special evening of music.
For more information please visit my JustGiving page http://www.justgiving.com/Georgina-Rosanna-Murray
I am very strict with my vocal routine. I try to practise at least an hour a day and do my best to have a singing lesson every 2 weeks and a coaching session when it is necessary. I feel it is important to keep everything ticking over and my fortnightly lesson is my opportunity to see that I am singing in the right way.
Having not only changed teacher but voice type 18 months ago (I sang as a mezzo soprano for 9 years) it is a real time of transition vocally for me. Being a soprano is completely right for me but it is taking time for my technique to adjust. One of the main areas I have been religiously working on is trying to
make my sound richer and warmer at the top. I have a real tendency to sing shrill at the top end of my voice which results in a harsh and sharp sound. After months of making small adjustments (making sure I have pressure before sounding the note, making sure the tongue and jaw are in the correct position before singing etc) I finally felt like I hit the nail on the head in my lesson yesterday.
As a mezzo I have been so used to my voice resonating in a particular place in my face that I have not yet accessed the higher resonances. Yesterday, while also maintaining an open throat (again something I tend to close when singing in the higher register) I made sure I felt the resonances higher and low and behold the sound was richer and warmer and my tongue in particular went naturally into the place it needed to be. It felt good to finally have cracked this one piece of the puzzle. I'm now itching to get practising with my new found voice, especially as Puccini is on the menu for the cruise.
For me it is a life long journey perfecting my technique and although it can be deathly frustrating at times, persisting with it and 'getting it' is worth everything.
Georgina Rosanna Murray is a Soprano from Manchester.