It's really nice working with fresh talent (I suppose I might fall into that category...). We had rehearsal with the leads for "It Must Be Fate" yesterday and the trio of female voices filling the roles of Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos (the three fates) are a real joy.
Jayne Craig, Nicola Said and Clare Brady were all eager to get their parts right, focused throughout the rehearsal and really motivated. Their enthusiasm meant when we rehearsed a part, they took ownership of it; they really tried to put their best into what they were singing. So, as a composer, I could hear what it potentially was going to sound like - and in some respects justified what I'd written (it sounded really good - which, as a composer, is always the hope, but not always the reality).
Yesterday, it was only previous commitments that kept us from continuing - and a good thing, because as I left rehearsal I realised just how exhausted I was, but a good kind of exhaustion, euphoric and yet completely worn out. Thank heaven the ladies had other obligations.
Too often established talent comes in with an air of "been there, done that (yawn)" that getting solid work is near impossible. Granted, they always come through come performance time, which is part of the reason established talents have the reputation they have.
As a composer, getting the feeling like some one is really putting their best efforts into the performance is a difficult place to be. Maybe I'm just not experienced enough yet to know what I've written is going to sound like and can just ignore half-hearted rehearsals. Still, give me talent that wants to do well from the outset and I believe the end result will be better too.
I'm not sure when the attitude changes, but (in my experience) there is definitely a line between those that have been for a while, and those that are get to be (but will someday).