I have just finished A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a concert featuring Mendelssohn’s music that he started at 17. (He wrote the overture at that age anyway!). I was playing Puck and the words, while Shakespeare’s, were in a version by Gerard McBurney. It went out live on BBC Radio 3 which was terrifying as a thought, but I forgot about the terror once I was on the stage. We performed to people in the City Halls where the SSO is based. It was absolutely thrilling to hear the orchestra. We had been told in between our sections of acting to turn and look awed by the orchestra. One time when none of us had to act I can tell you.
Something like 70 musicians playing at the same time is a simply awe-inspiring sight, and a complete feast for anyone’s ears. The players of the SSO were incredibly wonderful to work with, and Marcus Stenz (the conductor) was so supportive of our performance. And our Director, Jennifer Dick, made sure we didn’t lose our heads over the sheer enormity of undertaking such an incredible opportunity.