Eisteddfod and Rehearsal!

by Megan M. on August 6, 2006 (Music) |

I woke up this morning, I may or may not have mentioned, at 10am – after nearly twelve whole hours of sleep. I may be off slightly – but not by much! I woke up a few times during the night, but I did get back to sleep and it didn’t take me too long. I tried to wake up at eight, and at nine, but ten finally got the job done. I think I needed all that sleep!

I called Mom and scrambled down to breakfast; we all ate, and then I checked my email and went back to my room to shower and get ready. Dad and I finally left the hotel at half past noon and walked to the bus station, where we caught the E1 to the Eisteddfod grounds. We had a heck of a time leaving the hotel, what with Dad forgetting things and me trying to get good directions to the station. But ultimately we did fine and even when I was worried we might be lost, it turned out we weren’t – a little further and there it was, plain as day! Quadrant Centre.

We waited at Bay 1 (Bae 1) and figured out how to buy bus tickets. We chatted and I took pictures. Spending time with Dad is faboo. The E1 came five minutes early and we got on, bought round trip tickets and made ourselves comfortable. God, I wish I could remember more details. I am so tired, after this day, it was bonkers.

We got to the field in maybe twenty minutes – not a spot of traffic. It was excellent. I have no idea if we’ll be so lucky on the weekdays, but we’ll see! We arrived and tromped through the dust to the entry building, CROESO emblazoned in huge letters above the doors. Croeso is one of the first Welsh words I ever learned – it means “WELCOME”. The building was blue. We went inside.

I got a few questions answered – they insisted I needed no ticket for Wednesday’s preliminaries, and that for Thursday (and maybe Friday?) I could collect my ticket at the entrance each day, no problem. Dad and I purchased our tickets for the day and headed on through.

It was dusty, but not as dusty as I was expecting (thank goodness). We headed straight for the restrooms, which were actually really nice. I don’t know if they’re likely to get much grungier between now and Thursday, but at that moment they were clean and very nicely put together. I could easily change clothes in the restrooms if I needed to, and I think I might.

From there we went to search out Olwen, my assigned accompanist for the over 25 mezzo-soprano competition. We had a little bit of trouble, because I was confused about where to find her, but after some wandering and messy directions we found the Studio (Stiwdio) and had a pretty good idea that the woman playing the piano was the one we were searching for!

We got there halfway through a boys 12 – 16 competition. Every last one of them was singing ‘Amarilli’, the competition piece. Some of them were astonishingly good. We don’t hear so many boy sopranos in the States (at least I don’t!) and when we sat down to listen, and the next boy started singing, Dad and I turned to look at each other with gaping, astonished mouths. We couldn’t believe it. He was so good!

When that was over, I tackled Olwen and introduced myself. She was a beautiful comfortable-looking woman in white with pink roses, and she was very friendly. We looked for practice pianos and found none, so finally found ourselves in the piano shop! A young girl was practicing a piece when we got there, so we waited for her to finish before we went to the back and chose an upright piano (because it was available).

Someone was tinkling on the keys of another piano, but we started in anyway. Gweddi y Pechadur went rather well, considering my recovering jet-lag. Gwridog y Fflamau went incredibly. And Gwynfyd went very, very, very well.

All of my pieces begin with ‘G’. Isn’t that interesting?

Olwen and her husband gave me a little help with my Welsh, at certain points where I had confused myself on the pronounciations. A little more ‘ay’ in cheisio, geisio, and a slur on that S, I don’t think it’s a pure S, it’s somewhere between SH and S… I think. It’s hard for me to put it in words. My IPA is pretty rusty! Dyro, the y is more of a schwa. Tregaredd, not so much tree, much more trig. Gwaeddi, a little more ay. So much to remember – but not overwhelmingly much. I think I can do this. It appears that Gweddi is my weak point – and of course it is, it’s the most recently learned. Gwynfyd had a few things, but not much. Gwridog, nothing, Gwridog I think was excellent. That pleases me to no end. It was such an excellent rehearsal, for an exhausted girl!

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