Sarah Papadopoulos in Recital

To say that the day of my recital ran smoothly would not be correct in the slightest. But thankfully, the performance aspect of the day is the exception to this bizarre, rainy, problem-filled Tuesday. Waking up on Tuesday morning, I had the familiar feeling of butterflies in my stomach. Listening out for the usual morning time sounds of coffee and breakfast being made, reminded me that it was just a regular day, and that’s how I should treat it. With this thought, I got up, showered, and was ready to roll by 9:30am. The only problem being my recital wasn’t until 7pm and I had nothing to do. Up until this point I had spent all day, everyday, bouncing between group rehearsals, or private practise, and now of all days, there’s nothing to do?! It was a bizarre felling to say the least. To put my mind at ease, I let myself do some very slow scales to find my tone, and be aware of my hand setting on the violin. After this was done, I promised myself to spend the rest of the day relaxing, and distracting myself of the large task I had ahead.

Now here comes the terrifying part. After a therapeutic walk down to the beach, and a drive in the car, I decided to get ready and aim to be at the Chapel by 5:30pm. This would give me an entire hour and a half to spend warming up and working out the last minute logistics of how the concert would run. To do this, I left my house at 4:50pm. The biggest mistake of my life happened next. I took the Mitchell Freeway into the city. If anyone else was driving at this time you will understand the pain of how congested the freeway was, due to a truck crash incident. I was stuck in traffic until 6:45pm. At least I can tick “turn up after the audience is arrived and seated” off my bucket list. After an incredibly awkward entrance and haphazard top and tail of my pieces, I had no choice but to just accept that it was just “one of those things”, and do the recital.

I came out, took a big bow and a deep breath, and launched into J.S. Bach Partita No.2 (minus the Chaconne). As I chugged through each movement I became more relaxed and it was as if the terror of earlier had never happened. The stage lighting was dimmed around the edges, bringing the audiences focus to be only on me and Bach. For the second piece, Aubert Sonata No.6, the wonderful Krista Low joined me to play the continuo part. Playing with Krista is always such a joy, and I really enjoyed every moment sharing the stage with her.

Heading back stage for a drink of water, I found the rest of the Early Music Ensemble had followed me there to get ready for the final piece. As they unpacked, I returned to the stage for the Montanari Giga. The Giga was important for me, as my honours exegesis was based on the comparison between this movement and Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas. The Giga flew by, and before I knew it, I was walking back stage to get the squad ready to perform Uccellini’s Aria Sopra La Bergamasca. This piece is such good fun to play, as there is room to be quite cheeky between the violin parts. The energy on stage with my friends was awesome and I’m so happy I was able to end my studies playing a fun piece with such incredible people. Despite the terrible afternoon, the night ran incredibly smoothly and I cannot thank my family and friends enough for the incredible support they have given me these last few years.

In mid-July 2016 Eliza McCracken and myself will be participating in a chamber music summer course in Urbino, Italy. The course forms part of the Urbino Early Music Festival, which is one of the leading Early Music festivals in the world. During our two-week course, we will participate in chamber music classes by the acclaimed Enrico Gatti, ornamentation class, baroque dance classes, and orchestra. Being accepted into this course is an incredible opportunity and we are both extremely excited. Unfortunately living all the way in Australia means the travel costs aren’t cheap, so we have created a crowd funding account in hope to assist with travel costs. Some of the rewards we are offering for donations include Baroque violin lessons, private concerts, or a copy of the concert. Please click on the link below to donate, and see if any of the rewards we have offered suit you!

Written by Sarah Papadopoulos