I was also looking forward to performing “Nessun Dorma” once again, along with a few others.
Finally, the day arrived. I was really looking forward to performing again. I was allowed to leave work early to go home and change, and also warm up my voice.
As it was getting close to St. Patrick's Day, I decided to wear a lovely, green dress. I warmed up my voice, taking great care to cover my entire range, put a little bit of makeup on, and then headed to the venue.
It was to be held in the main hall of the community centre; the same place where I had sang for the Heartlands Awards. The hall was decorated in celebration of famous women throughout history. There were inspiring pictures and quotes all over, artists, authors, and lots of local women from the area.
When I arrived, I introduced myself, and got to talking with some of the organisers, who were all absolutely lovely.
While I was waiting for my turn to perform, and chatting, there were a few other performers there, as well. One was a young girl who sang a stunning version of a Beyonce song acapella. It was incredible. After her, two young dancers performed a routine for us in the large space in front of the stage; they were very good, and got a big round of applause.
I noticed that there were a lot of kids and young people there, and I was wondering what they would think of me, and whether they would like what I did.
All too soon, it was my turn to sing. Unfortunately, things were running a bit behind schedule, so I wasn't able to perform my full set of seven songs. I quickly picked out my two best, which I decided was “Danny Boy,” and “Nessun Dorma.” I chose “Danny Boy” because it was almost St. Patrick's Day, and everybody knows this song. I thought it would be good to start with something the audience is familiar with, and in English, haha!
I chose “Nessun Dorma,” because, although it's in Italian, it's another song that everyone knows, and I just love singing it; it's so dramatic.
So when it was my turn, I stepped up on stage, (silly thing with heels and a long dress!) and introduced myself, and my first song. We did have a minor setback, when my backing track wouldn't play out of the speaker, but we managed to fix it in the end. It did make me a bit worried, though; whenever something like that happens, I can get worried that the rest of my set will go wrong, as well. It hasn't happened yet, but it does make me nervous. I reassured myself that at least I was more than warmed up, so there would be no unexpected cracks in my voice.
While I was singing, I noticed that everyone was watching, and a few people were filming me on their phones. I was trying hard not to smile, which would look very weird, considering how sad the song is, so I focused on the song.
When I had finished, everyone cheered and clapped, even the kids, which made me very happy. I was grinning like crazy, and I introduced my second song. When I mentioned that it was Italian, I saw a few jaws drop; I don't think they were expecting that.
I then launched into “Nessun Dorma,” and again, everyone was watching and listening. This is fast becoming one of my favourite songs to perform, and I want to include it in my set more often.
When I had finished, the clapping and cheering seemed so loud, I couldn't believe it was for me! Even the young children enjoyed it, which really amazed me, because most children wouldn't really listen to opera and classical music, but to see their happy, excited faces just made my day.
I thanked the audience for listening, as I always do, and was about to step down, when they all started to call for more!
One of the organisers asked me if I wanted to sing one more song, and when I said yes, everyone whooped.
I chose “O Mio Babbino Caro,” and told the audience that I chose that song because it was the first aria that I ever learnt to sing, and so it was very special to me.
When I had finished, and the audience had finished cheering and clapping, I thanked them for listening, and stepped off the stage.
After that, I hung around for a while, chatting to everyone. I got talking to the artist who had made these amazing suffragette dresses which had photos of real suffragette women all over them, and she was telling me about what they did, and how one woman threw herself in front of the King's horse!
I had a lovely time talking to everyone, and they were all so nice to me.
All too soon, I had to go back to work, so I said my goodbyes, and headed back home, where my Dad then took me back to work.
All in all, I had an amazing time, and I was so glad to have been asked to perform.
We have added some photos in the gallery, and I have uploaded my performances of “Danny Boy” and “O Mio Babbino Caro” for you all. I hope you enjoy them.