I sang through the Gibbons piece for the director last night. He told me that he had never before given this solo to a woman, a statement which I decided to take as a compliment. He also asked me to “do the voices.” “This is the Record of John” is a story, a report of the conversations of John the Baptist with the Levites asking him “Who art thou?”, and the director wants the sections different enough to make it clear that there is a conversation going on. This I see as a welcome challenge. I started out singing ballads, and I always like to get the story across.
We have a little difference of interpretation on the lines, though. When John is saying “I am not the Christ” and answering “Art thou Elias?” with “No,” I had thought of him as answering with quiet certainty. The director wants something more dramatic. Sort of “No, chaps, ‘fraid you’ve got the wrong end of the stick” versus “WHAT is WRONG with you guys?!”
You will remember John the Baptist. He was the one who cried in the wilderness, roaming around eating locusts. Then up come the priests, quizzing him about his identity and asking for his papers and whatnot. You can imagine that he would be a little bit peeved. So I am going to come up with ways to convey his emotional state in nice little melismas and a two-count low A.