SARAH HORGAN finds out what Cork’s Carol Anne Ryan plans to bring to the role of Maria in The Sound of Music
CAROL Anne Ryan has waited all her life to take to the stage on July 27 to play the part of Maria in The Sound of Music at Cork Opera House.
The 30-year-old from the Douglas Road, says that her favourite sound is that of the orchestra warming up before a performance.
“I love hearing the orchestra getting all psyched up prior to a show, particularly on opening night. The reverberations give me this overwhelming feeling of
anticipation. It’s a bizarre sensation, like having a wasp’s nest in your centre.”
Carol Anne, who previously directed I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in the Cork Arts Theatre, admits opening night can be daunting.
“Before the curtain rises, the audience already has preconceived notions of how Maria should be. The film radically altered public perceptions of the character, resulting in a lot of people associating the show with Julie Andrews.
“She really gave an iconic performance but at the same time I think it would be a mistake to concentrate wholly on trying to imitate her.
“In those first few minutes after the curtain goes up one finds one’s self in a vulnerable position but it is important that the actor wins the audience over without compromising their own individual style.
“The Maria I play on stage will be my own artistic interpretation of the character. I always keep in mind that while I’m playing the part of someone else, I should still remain true to myself.
“I can vividly recall while casting for a musical I directed, Little Shop of Horrors, the picture I had fixed in my head of the main character Audrey. We had to choose three different people for the role. They were all entirely different in their own ways, yet they were all Audreys, which illustrates the point that there can be many different versions of one particular character.”
Carol Anne details the drawbacks of a career in musical theatre.
“Rejection is a sad reality of show business and it’s something I’ve had to experience many a time whilst growing up.
“I was never the most confident of children when it came to acting. Even when I left school it was dance that I majored in. When I arrived home from London I started teaching in stage schools and acting in various shows around Cork. I know there are a lot of children out there who auditioned for a part in the show and were probably vehemently disappointed when they didn’t make the cut.
“It is vital to remember that not getting a part isn’t necessarily a reflection of one’s level of talent. Sometimes a child might have impeccable musical theatre skills but unfortunately may not look right for the part.
“A lot of the time factors like height are taken into consideration and The Sound of Music is one of the finest examples of this. In fact, when my co-star Michael Sands tried out for the part of a Von Trapp as a child, he was unsuccessful and this was purely down to him not being the right height. Thirty years on and he is playing the lead role of Captain Von Trapp. It just goes to show what you can achieve if you keep persevering.”
Read thge full interview in WOW!, free with Wednesday’s Cork Evening Echo