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Repetiteurs are taught to focus on the functions of the conductor. What does the conductor do? How do I follow a conductor when he’s beating? What is important to a conductor? What does he expect to hear? How do I make the piano sound like an orchestra? How can I reduce my score but keep the conductor satisfied? We study piano reductions and learn to deal with them.
We study basic techniques to conduct ourselves. In later professional life, repetiteurs may have to conduct off-stage choruses or orchestras (so called ‘banda‘), or they conduct entire rehearsals when the real conductor is absent. We learn to beat the diverse time signatures, the functions of both arms and hands, giving cues, analyzing and arranging scores for clarity etc. We find out what singers and the orchestra need to see from a conductor.
As such, repetiteurs are trained both as replacers of orchestra and as conductors, so as to be in charge of guiding soloists or ensembles in rehearsals and concerts. When singers feel that the repetiteur is on top of his profession, they are more likely to have faith and feel more comfortable, and will therefore perform better themselves. This, in turn, benefits all masterclasses and projects of the IOA.