As part of the BBC Proms season, the Aurora Orchestra performed Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony from memory. While we don’t praise actors and opera singers for learning their lines by heart, to memorise such complex music seems a remarkable feat.
I turn the page in my head
– Actress Lisa Dwan
In a BBC programme recorded during the interval, Eleanor Rosumund Barraclough explored the role of memory in performance with actress Lisa Dwan, who has performed Samuel Beckett’s monologues, and soprano Susan Bullock, who is renowned for her performances of Wagner’s Brunnhilde. Together they identify how they draw on various senses and use techniques such as visualisation and silly rhymes to commit words and music to memory.