Edgaras Montvidas on being Belmonte – part four

Posted On by

The end of the run, but not the journey!

This is my last blogpost of the summer and I’m sitting in costume and wig in my dressing room, waiting for the stage manager to call me for the last performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

I think it’s been one of the longest runs I’ve done – 17 performances – yet artistically it’s been very fruitful.

More than 20,000 people have had the chance to enjoy this elegant and witty David McVicar production at Glyndebourne, in addition to audiences at cinemas across the UK and online. On 15 August yet more people will be able to see it when the production is broadcast across Europe on the ARTE TV channel.

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Audience reaction

What has been surprising is the number of audience members for whom their Glyndebourne visit was their first experience of opera. I think Die Entführung is a great starting point – it’s light, not very complicated, a comedy… and who doesn’t like Mozart?

The audience reaction has been unique every evening throughout the run. One thing can completely change the response. For example, there was one moment when nobody had laughed before – it’s not supposed to be a funny scene – but someone made a gesture whilst saying their line and it made the whole audience laugh!

It’s important to keep it fresh. Once you’re on stage, no matter how you feel that day, you have to think of each performance as if it’s the first one – an opening night.

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

On to the Proms

On Friday we transfer to the Royal Albert Hall for our semi-staged performance at the BBC Proms. I remember my first performance there years ago, I’d never even been in the building and I was in awe – it’s such a vast, beautiful space. In the past I’ve used microphones there, but on Friday we’ll be singing without any for an audience of 6,000 people.

We’ll have furniture, props and actors with us, however, for our semi-staged performance, and we’ll all be in our wigs and costumes. After so many performances on the Glyndebourne stage it’d have been extremely difficult to simply stand and sing the music purely as a concert performance.

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Curtain down… for now!

All in all, this run has been a really successful one. Thankfully none of us have been ill or had to cancel a show.

It’s been an incredible journey towards perfection, which is frankly impossible to reach as there are no boundaries in the arts – that’s the beauty of it!

Edgaras Montvidas

This is the fourth and final blogpost by Edgaras Montvidas about his experience of the life of a production at Glyndebourne. Die Entführung aus dem Serail goes on Tour around England this autumn with a different cast.