Tisbe | An interview with Polly Leech30 Sep 2016, Posted by Rehearsal in
Our first rehearsal blog with Polly Leech who plays the role of Tisbe, one of Cinderella’s ‘darling sisters’. We caught up with her to find out more about her role in the opera and the challenges of preparing such a well-known story!
Tell us a bit about your character:
Tisbe is a young and tenacious wannabe film star! But unfortunately her talents end there.
Tisbe is a young and tenacious wannabe film star! But unfortunately her talents end there. Her limited screen time has only arisen because her Dad owns a film studio – and a really awful one at that. She’s a bit of an airhead, and her older sister Clorinda likes to constantly remind everyone about it!
How is Tisbe different from the traditional ‘ugly’ sisters?
In the traditional fairy tale, the two sisters are usually portrayed as ‘ugly’. In our version, the sisters are actually rather glamorous and pride themselves on their appearances (they are Hollywood ‘starlets’, after all!). However, it’s their personalities that are truly ugly – they are relentlessly cruel to Cinderella and incredibly two-faced – and this is what makes them such unattractive characters, especially in comparison to the kind-hearted Cinderella.
What’s your relationship with your sister like?
Tisbe and Clorinda’s relationship is pretty turbulent and they have a highly competitive dynamic, especially when it comes to finding a man! However, they form the perfect mean-girl duo when there’s a common enemy about – whether it’s undermining their stressed-out father’s authority, or endlessly ordering about their stepsister Cinderella.
What do you like most about the opera?
The sisters have a highly competitive dynamic, especially when it comes to finding a man…
I love how quickly the narrative switches between highly dramatic and comedic scenes to really sincere and heart-warming moments. Some of the music is so gorgeous – especially Cinderella and Ramiro’s first love duet in Act 1. Also, Cinderella’s final aria ‘Non piu mesta‘ is just such a wonderful example of our capacity for forgiveness – it’s an amazing example of how we should lead our lives.
What is the biggest challenge of the opera?
The hardest thing I find with this music is the rapid fire patter in some of the ensembles – especially in English, as there are some tricky consonants to get your mouth around! One wrong syllable and you’ve lost it!! When everyone gets it though, it sounds great and it’s really thrilling.