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|Leah at the Triple-fretted clavichord
I guess it was quite natural that Leah Doust would want to arrange a week in the harpsichord workshop when her opportunity arose in late 2023, after her brother Matthew had so much fun with his work experience placement several years ago.
As every day brings something different, all students realize that what they may experience throughout the week depends largely on the rehearsal and concert schedule, as well as what instruments might be arriving for attention in the workshop.
It was a busy week. Our first two days commenced at City Recital Hall where my Ruckers Double had already been moved for Erin Helyard to conduct the first stage rehearsals of Pinchgut Opera’s “Rinaldo” from the harpsichord. In between the two rehearsal calls on both Monday and Tuesday, we were able to spend some time back at the workshop, where it was certainly a clavichord week.
I hadn’t seen the famous Fretted Clavichord on the Nullabor in its Queensland home since 2007, so it was with great pleasure that it returned to the workshop for a general clean and tune up before being returned to its proud owner. Another larger clavichord arrived for assessment and repair prior to sale, and we had some serious keyboard work to perform on another.
On Wednesday, we were able to join the small select audience to enjoy the General Rehearsal of “Rinaldo”. As this was Leah’s first experience of opera, why not start with such a Baroque hit?
As well as playing viola and oboe, Leah is working on her AMusA on piano, so she took every opportunity to play the various instruments in the showroom. I think she found a very different perspective when she tried her Beethoven G Major Sonata Op14 No2 on the fortepiano—yes, you really need only sixty-one notes!
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