Now, the next time I get asked that question I can just answer with....
.....goood question...check out my Blog entitled:-
'How did you land the role of Aida, Alexia?'
Well here goes....
Last Summer I was happiy invited to return to one of the leading International Jazz Festivals in Switzerland. JAZZASCONA is a superb festival that annually takes place in the beautiful, sceneic, Italian region of Tessin in southern Switzerland.
I performed with Offbeat Trio - Marcel Schefer (piano), Kalli Gerhards (bass) and Beat Fraefel-Haering (drums). Our guest on Tumpet and Flugel horn was Claudio Bergamin. Fabulous band with a groovey vibe. We rocked the place for 5 nights straight.
It was our second year to perform our classic jazz standards and groovey original tunes at this beautifully organised Jazz Festival. The year before we were awarded the 2011 Swiss Jazz Award and, as the current winners, we were invited back to perform and then 'hand over the reigns' to the 2012 Swiss Jazz Award Winners - Christina E Jaccard and Dave Ruosch.
All very exciting.
But even more exciting was receiving a message, on this website, a few days after the Jazz Festival. It was from a Reto Bitschnau. The President of Westside Singers Bern, a Theatrical and Musical Company of over 100 years of delighting audiences in Switzerland!
Reto explained that in a few weeks he and his musical company would be holding Open Auditions for the role of Aida, in the Elton John and Tim Rice rock musical AIDA.
He explained that he and the Musical Director - Abdeil Montes De Oca - had been enjoyng the music from bands from all over the world at Jazzascona and had seen me perform. They had returned home and browsed my homepage (this one), had bought a CD or two and had listened to a few tracks.
Reto went on to explain that, in his opinon, the role of AIDA was written for me! (Afterall, here I am in Switzerland, A Jamaican British PRINCESS who falls in love with a SWISS PRINCE, marrys him and settles down in beautiful Basel. Aida, the Nubian Princess falls in love with her Egyptian Captain, who happens to be berothed to another Princess - the daughter of the Pharoh.......well, now, it gets less like me..... you have to come and see the Musical to find out what happens...
I of course jumped at the oppertunity to audition.
'Please send me the music you wish me to audition with'.
I was just excited. In my heart I felt that, most probably, the original score will be too high for my comfy, jazzy voice. My comfort zone. I thought I should try regardless.
In about two weeks I had learnt my two songs (the english versions) and was ready for my audition at a local Primary School in the Swiss Capital of Bern.
I remember feeling very comfortable.
I remember when Reto asked 'what do you call this?' I had just finished singing the first verse of the first song and he had rolled up his sleeves showing tiny, little bumps all over his arm........I answered:
'in English we call those goosebumps!'
'You gave me goosebumps!' He laughed!
At the end of my audition I told all three of the Creative Team to please put a star beside my name.
Franziska Flückiger, the Choreographer and Director (brilliant) asked if I was OK with the fact that the production would be in German. I said,
'Lets do it!'
Then I was told to wait till the following Wednesday for the result of my audition. The Team had a few more girls to audition and would make their decison by then. It was a Saturday afternoon. I said 'great!' I just needed to wait 4 days. No Problem.
I hopped in my car and drove back home to Basel. The journey is usually around 50 minutes between Basel and Bern.
As I put the key in the door, I heard the phone ringing. I ran upstairs only to find Reto on the other end of the line. After asking of my drive home. He said......
'.......unfortunately, I have some bad news......
'yeah.......I'm afraid you are going to have to learn a lot of songs, Alexia!!'
'yeaaaaaah!........ I am starting right now!'
Now, we are roughly one month away from Premier Night - April 26! I eat, sleep, talk, sing AIDA. I am just immersing mysef in the magic and lovin it!
TRY AND CATCH ONE OF THE 5 SHOWS. HONESTLY, IT REALLY IS SOMETHING SPECIAL.