My Part B review of Lara Melda play a recital at Bridport Arts Centre

This is my Part B review for arts award of me going to see Lara Melda play a recital at Bridport Arts centre in June

 My Part B Review of seeing Lara Melda play at Bridport Arts Centre

Q1. What arts event/experience did you go to see? I went to see Lara Melda play a recital at Bridport Arts Centre on Friday 21st June 2024

Q2. What were your expectations before the experience and how did they change? I thought it would be a small building set back from Bridport high street, a bit like a shop.I thought it would be quite small and dark, and that the seats would be set up, like at the cinema and that there wouldn't be many people there. However, even though it was set back slightly from the high street, it was very smart and painted cream all over with 2 frontal pillars. Inside there were 4 full rows on level with the piano- we sat in the 3rd row- and 3 split rows stepped up. Plus it was a full house which I was surprised about as it was a hot day and we were on the Devon coast. I also expected Lara to give a speech before she began playing, which she didn't and I also thought she would be a bit younger.

Q3. What did you dislike about the event/experience? I didn't like the fact you couldn't take pictures while she was playing, and I would have liked her to stay in the room once she'd finished so people could ask her questions and/or take pictures with her. And I would have liked her to introduce each piece before she played it, as you had to pay for a program, and if he didn't then you wouldn't know what she was playing. Overall, just a little more communication on Lara's side.

Q4. How were the audience, and how did that affect the overall experience? The majority of the audience were older, due it being in school time, and I think this resulted in a very quiet and respectful audience. Everyone was very friendly beforehand, we arrived 10 minutes early and everyone was chatting, resulting in it feeling warm, friendly and inviting. Everyone stopped talking as soon as the announcer cam on, and Lara Melda was greeted with an enthusiastic applause, but as soon as she started playing everyone watched or listened in a hushed silence, each person concentrating on the music and what it meant to them. At the end her applause was just astounding and the several cries for an encore were answered. However in the middle of the performance, a lady in front of me took out her phone to check the time. I appreciate she wanted to know, but it would have been more considerate to check on her watch, as the artificial lighting distracted me and reminded me of time, which I had lost track of.

Q5. How did being an audience member/spectator make you feel? The emotions I felt throughout varied, and many different pictures came into my head. Speaking with my family afterwards, it was really interesting to hear how we all interpreted the same music in different ways. Lara planned to play 2 long pieces and then she did an encore. The first piece was called Sonato No.17 in D minor 'The Tempest' by Beethoven, and included 3 movements. The beginning went quick then slow, then quick then slow which made me feel unsettled. The seed with which some notes were played made me feel like he had a store of emotions which he had to get out at once. Then several notes were played in the same order but moving up and down the keys, which was like different levels of the same emotion you can feel. And finally, it made me realise the importance of leaving time in between the notes and the duration. When I researched it later, I discovered Beethoven actually composed it when he knew he was going deaf, and this made sense of the feelings I got of being unsettled and despairing. I noticed a man in front of us was moved to tears in the first movement. However the end calmed a little, as if the rush of emotions had slowed to a trickle.The second piece was called Sonato in B minor S.178 by Liszt, and really utilised the keyboard. It was in this piece she crossed her hands over at points, and afterwards I read that it is one of the most technically difficult pieces to play. Some of the notes made me think of nature and plants, and afterwards I read that it was inspired by the Garden of Eden! The encore was my favourite as it was very calming and made me think of a tranquil beach with rolling waves.

Q7. How was the overall performance? The performance was very striking. Lara Melda is an incredible pianist,as she played you could see the emotion on her face, the way she played was so fluent- her talent is breathtaking! When she crossed her hands over, ( mentioned earlier) it hurt my head just to watch! But it definitely proved to me that what elevates a good pianist to a great pianist is the emotion felt and their capability of conveying that to their audience. 

Q8. Would you recommend the event/experience to others? Well, if someone wanted to go and see Lara Melda play the piano than I would absolutely encourage them to go and see her, as her performance is so special, and even thought this was the first time I've been to a live piano performance, I could tell she is an exceptional pianist. Then for Bridport Arts Centre I would recommend it to others for small performances, as it is quite compact. And I think it could do with a refurbishment as some of the paint was peeling and there were a few cracks.

Q9. How did you share what you thought with others? I shared my review with my parents and brother, then I posted it on a social group discussion and took screenshots of the replies.I also posted it on VoiceMag and took screenshots of the replies.

Q10. What are you know inspired to do following the arts event/experience? I am now inspired to learn how to play the piano, and hope to get a one to one piano teacher starting in Year 8, I am also inspired to listen to classical music on the radio, instead of pop music. Finally, I have created an artwork inspired by going to see her play.

I have included photos from the event in my portfolio and have written about them. I have also included my ticket and my inspired artwork.


Sophie Shortland

Sophie Shortland

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