Meet the emerging artists who will be presenting our 2023 Young Artists production of Hansel and Gretel this year. This year Avishka is the Young Artist Répétiteur.
What interests you in the role of the répétiteur?
Being able to play the role of an orchestra is a really fun challenge. It involves a lot of listening to the orchestration in recordings, but is so fulfilling when you feel you can play an entire orchestral opera score with your own ten fingers!
What aspects of this production are you looking forward to?
All of it! It’s exciting to be able to work on an opera with such wonderful music to a story that everyone is familiar with. But I must say, I’m particularly looking forward to being able to play for the piano run, as that’s the chance I’ll really get to put all my work into practice with a full performance!
What kind of music do you listen to outside of opera?
It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in, but my favourite genre of music to listen to is music from the 70s and 80s! I have a playlist that I made in my first year of uni, and that’s my go-to playlist for travelling around London in the evenings.
Can you tell us something surprising about your job that audience members may not know?
The hours of work that have to go in before the first rehearsal. Unlike most other jobs, on day one of the job as a rep, you need to know the whole score and vocal parts completely. It’s a daunting task for sure, and then when you start rehearsals, you have different things to worry about. After the piano rehearsals finish, you then become the extra eyes and ears. And even during the shows, you’re often doing offstage work. So the job is so much more than just playing the piano!
What’s one piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist that has stayed with you?
Not so much a piece of advice, but when I was deciding between pursuing a career in arts and in science, one of my choir conductors told me that even though a career in music wouldn’t make me as much money, it would be so fulfilling. That’s always stuck with me, and now that I have started my career, I understand how true that was.
Hansel and Gretel work together to save themselves and the other children – who would you most trust to help you in a fight against an evil witch?
If I could get him on my side, Loge from Das Rheingold! I feel he would be cunning and manipulative enough to outsmart the Witch – and I’m sure being a demi-god would help too!