The “outstanding” (★★★★★ The Telegraph) The Suppliant Women has received wide-spread critical acclaim, not least for the power of the “choral power unleashed” (★★★★★ Whatsonstage) from the chorus of 27 young women recruited from local communities of South London who sing and dance their way through Aeschylus’ 2500 year old text. It seems fitting, therefore, that Mary King – Vocal Coach to finest of London’s musical theatre and opera stars, and who has coached these young women since their recruitment in September – should be in the hot seat for our 11 Questions today:
1. Can you describe your job in three words?
Fascinating, energising, varied!
2. What’s it like working with a community chorus of 50+ ?
All of the above (Answer 1) – stimulating and never dull
3. What was it that first got you interested in singing/music?
Been interested my whole life, but remember being absolutely awestruck by hearing Kathleen Ferrier on a recording singing Blow the wind Southerly – I must have been about 8, and I’d never heard anything like it
4. If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
My super power would be the ability to get on a magic carpet at the end of a rehearsal / day’s work, and to be home in seconds…..(and a bonus if it could also be used for getting to work, or even making trips to seaside / countryside / parks and gardens…)
5. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Either doing a vocal warm up with the cast, or sipping a dry white in the bar…
6. What is your favourite show you’ve seen, read or worked on?
Too many to mention, so it would change every day of the week – Bernstein’s Mass in 2010 was pretty amazing!
7. What’s the best thing about teaching?
Seeing / hearing people develop over a rehearsal period, and accomplish things which are a) amazing and b) that they didn’t necessarily know they could…
8. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?
Hopefully it will be thought provoking; touching and exciting
9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Stick in there… never give up
10. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you could meet them?
Not sure I have an ultimate hero / heroine… I met Bobby McFerrin once, (who would be on my list, if I had one) and could only mumble…
11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before
I cannot change my new light bulbs….