Sunday, 23 December 2012

What Makes a Good Dep?

The answer is quite simple: someone who can deliver the goods at short notice and who displays a professional attitude at all times. And the reverse? Someone who is unprepared or ill-equipped for the job in hand, is uncooperative and lets his colleagues down.

Last week, Norman Lebrecht's blog gave us a marvellous story about a pair of pianists, Andrei Gavrilov and Alexander Ghindin. It has all the ingredients of a parable, save perhaps for a moral in the tale, which is hinted at below. These two Russian Bears are at the top of their game — though perhaps one of them is on his way down, if those behind-the-scenes rumours are to be believed. But if Gavrilov were to apply for DepList membership today, we'd turn him down, unless he could provide an acceptable excuse (like a sudden incapacitating illness) for what he did. Sasha Ghindin was the dep who saved the show, to which people had come from far and wide on a day when the thermometer was at 18 degrees below zero. Ghindin's verdict on his more famous colleague's behaviour? That he'd better watch out, because

Бог накажет за такие вещи! (God punishes for this kind of thing!)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

DepList's Busiest Time

We're into the busiest fortnight of the year for DepList, and this year seems crazier than ever. Bookings are coming in at the rate of several per day, and if you're a tenor who is still free on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass, you've either been abroad or asleep.

I reckon we're busier at this season than during Holy Week. Paradoxically, Christmas, despite its name, is now a pagan, or non-religious, or multi-denominational festival just as much as it is a Christian one — a time of celebration for everyone with or without religious affiliations. Most people like to hear singers around a tinsel-adorned fir tree, cheering us up in the bleak midwinter. There are definitely more opportunities for singers than at Easter, what with company dinners, parties and pantos. When did you last hear of a corporate establishment throwing an Easter Party for its staff and hiring a bunch of singers to sing Easter carols?

We hope DepList can help you find that last-minute replacement for an ailing singer or organist at what is also the busiest time of year for viruses.