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Behind the scenes at the Royal College of Music

1st October 2015

Edmond Terakopian is used to covering hard news, chasing the latest political story, reacting to events and capturing the moment through his lens. Yet his latest project takes him a long way from this, behind the scenes at the Royal College of Music. Here he talks about the work.

With long-term assignments sadly becoming a thing of the past, I was on the lookout for a something I could work on, and, following a chance meeting with a tutor at the Royal College of Music, a door opened for me.

My timing coincided with an upcoming staging of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. With Britten being a former pupil of the Royal College of Music and the theatre there being called the Britten Theatre, everything was aligned and I felt that it was meant to be.

My idea was to document every aspect of this opera, especially the parts no-one sees: auditions, set-building, costume fittings, rehearsals, lighting and the dressing rooms.

My favourite imagery soon came from what was going on backstage during the dress rehearsals and performances so I spent a fair amount of my time photographing these beautifully silent and introspective moments.

For me, there were three main challenges to this reportage. The first being able to find special moments and juxtapositions during the many, many rehearsals. On the face of it, a white room with fluorescent lights and singers in normal attire aren’t the most visually arresting scenes and one rehearsal looks pretty much like another.

The second challenge was to keep creatively motivated during this long-term shoot. I needn’t have worried as being surrounded with so much talent from the Opera School made this project an absolute joy to photograph. That creative energy kept me buzzing throughout the months and really motivated me to make these images sing.

Later in the process when the orchestra joined in the rehearsals, the energy was kicked up a notch, just making the process even more magical.

Read more on the BBC News website