The Amarendine locket is said to have been forged around 600 AD, in the dunes of Amarenda, North Africa.
Helias was a kingdom across the sea from Amarenda, and is thought to be the foundation of what we now know as the modern Lorallian. In those days, Helias was ruled by three kings in succession, Terizo, Zeno and Marios. The rulership of these three kings was consistently threatened by the presence of a dark force known as the "Grand Inquisitor", Mazin, who had ruled before and was overthrown by the three kings. Mazin had the ultimate weapon; his daughter, Kyterea, who was the most beautiful woman known throughout the kingdom.
During the reign of the second king, Zeno, Kalkeus, being the most unfaltering of citizens, was given Kyterea’s hand in marriage, by Zeno, to prevent conflict between the other royal citizens. There was a great deal of unrest caused in the aftermath of Mazin (The Grand Inquisitor) that many feared that the state would erupt into civil war. Kyterea was Mazin’s daughter, and Zeno believed that they could resolve the conflict by marrying Kyterea into their family.
Kalkeus and Kyterea had an arranged marriage. But Kyterea, disliking the idea of being married to Kalkeus and tempted by the idea of becoming the future queen, began an affair with the third king, Marios. Kalkeus discovered their affair and caught them in the act.
Kalkeus, broken‑hearted, retreated into the dunes of Amarenda and swore revenge against Kyterea. Out of the sand dunes, he forged a magical locket made out of Amarendine, which would allow any woman wearing it to remain eternally young and beautiful. It provided eternal life. The stone in the middle of the locket was made out of the mystical substance Amarendine, and around it, forming the shape of a heart, were two serpents, one gold and the other silver, whose open mouths formed a clasp. The locket was also encrusted with various jewels – ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond. However, the locket would ultimately bring great misfortune to its wearer or owner.
Kyterea later became engaged to Marios, and their union was thought to be the great promise to the future of the kingdom. Upon hearing of the engagement, Kalkeus made contact with Ana (the former lover of Marios). Ana presented the locket to Kyterea on her wedding day.
Lured by the mystical powers of the locket, Kyterea's obsession with immortality deepened, and combined with her desire to become the future queen. Believing that Zeno's ultimate power would eventually be transferred to Marios, Kyterea brought back her father, Mazin, to overthrow Zeno so that Mazin would rule again once more and Kyterea would be in direct succession of the throne. Mazin stirred up a revolution and a great conflict ensued. Kyterea’s betrayal led to the deaths of Terizo and Zeno. Marios got caught in the onslaught and pleaded for Kyterea to help him. Kyterea nearly did but was frightened at the last moment and abandoned Marios. Seeing that her world was falling apart, with the three kings (Terizo, Zeno and Marios – the past, the present, the future) now dead, Kyterea tried to flee, but the ground opened up and swallowed her.
Ayda flew in, collected the four bodies of the deceased royal family, and buried their essences deep in the cauldrons of the mountain. She kept the locket, and lived on, through the generations, awaiting the return of Mazin in a future life.
Mazin returned in the present day as Celius. His wife, Frida, finished off Ayda, but they were too late. Kyterea was already reincarnated as Isabelle, and, together with Luís, Randolph and Seth, had possession of the locket. The locket was eventually bestowed to Hayda Loral, the modern reincarnation of Ayda, and its legacy lives on.
Hayda passes the locket onto her daughter, Nadine. Hayda and Hayrak die at roughly the same time, transform into serpents (gold and silver) and ascend gracefully to the ‘Land of Paradise’ (a land of pillows, mattresses and pink and purple glasses). Nadine keeps the locket and it continues to be passed down through the generations of the Lorallian.
Dunes of Amarenda
Ah! A light!
In N'veskan 'lore, the lamp is the lamp of the wicked, a burning lamp that is held by The Lakas (= The Devil) as she looks into your soul and laughs her evil, manic laugh.
These were the famous words uttered by Hayda Loral, in March 2006, shortly before the second Great Eclipse. They represent her last moment of sanity before succumbing to the dark force that was tormenting her very existence.
Hayda was a residential patient at the Institut Psykiatren, Slottetsval, Sweden at the time. It was the night after the murders of Luís Rodríguez, Alejandra Torres, Isabelle Oreille, Pierre Martel, Randolph Spitzburg and Lysann Arageiner. Hayda was sleeping in the ward overlooking the bay of Slottetsval and noticed the lights emanating from seven helicopters passing over the bay, to collect the corpses of the deceased and transport them to their final resting place, St John's Cathedral, Phenrow Hill.
Hayda, traumatised after witnessing the six murders, cracked, and went mad, and the lights were her last remnants of hope before they were dashed, sending Hayda over the edge. After this pivotal moment, all hope was lost, and not much of what Hayda experienced afterwards could be explained empirically by rational reasoning.
During the days following this fateful night, Hayda was de-briefed by the angel of the Loral no more and no less than seven times, and, when it was over, Hayda could not tell whether what had happened had actually happened at all or whether it was just a fig of her wild imagination. Despite this, she was told that she would belong to the Loral for life, and nothing would ever get in the way of that.
Since then, Hayda has cultivated a fascination for lights in the darkness, especially when refracted through reflective surfaces.
Pierre Martel is the son of Sandrine and Zenäid Martel, and elder brother of Angelique Martel. Born in Vannecy, France, Pierre Martel is a high range tenor, an opera singer and a choral scholar, who completed a degree in vocal and opera studies at the Blue Mountains Conservatory.
A shy, introvert and conservative young boy, Pierre was often overlooked by his peers. A romantic artist who was technically gifted, and a true artisan of the voice, Pierre was loved and cared for dearly as a young boy, and, as a result, grew into a man who is kind, affectionate and protective of those around him, including none other than the madame Isabelle Oreille.
Merle Moéthie, who was, at the time, contemporary vocal student and best friend of Pierre, introduced Pierre to Isabelle, through an accompaniment class at the College des Sirènes in the early seventies and the two young students were instantly besotted with one another. According to Hayda Loral (Time Wanderer),
"Whilst by no means the most attractive young man Isabelle was drawn by the depth and clarity of his voice, his sensitive artistic expression and his innovative construction – the unusual ways in which he would sculpt and craft his melodies and compositions – unparalleled by any other vocal student in the land. Many of the staff and students were mystified at how a smart, talented and attractive young female pianist such as Isabelle (who had all of the other young men chasing her; with her lavish aquamarine eyes, her luxuriant wavy blonde hair and her classic, aphrodisiac looks) would be attracted to the pale, bespectacled and skinny young opera boy with an awkward disposition. Yet their ensuing musical partnership naturally became the fertile soil out of which a young music school romance would blossom and flourish."
Top: Pierre at Flood Control Dam no. 3 (1987)
Above: Pierre and Isabelle graduate from the Blue Mountains Conservatory (1975).
Pierre became one of the six original protagonists in the Divine Coregency saga, as the third mortal admitted into the big secret (after Alejandra and Lysann). Devoted to Isabelle, Pierre went out of his way to attain her love and affection. Unfortunately his efforts were to no avail, as on the arrival of Seth, Isabelle left Pierre to pursue other romantic interests namely Randolph Spitzburg. When Pierre discovered the affair, and the nature of their business, he did not know how to resolve himself and so he, along with a faction of people in the Durance River Province, chose to disassociate himself from the madame and everything that she became involved with.
In 1987, after witnessing the spirit of Corina, naked in Kelley's Crypt, Pierre, in his shame retreated to Flood Control Dam no. 3., where he would become gatekeeper. He spent eighteen years there in solitude, a prisoner of his own guilt and broken hearted after the rejection of Isabelle. During this time, he kept contact with a few friends, Merle Moéthie and her husband Claude Dripussy, and Maurice de Ravin. He was only roused from his melancholic existence in 2005, by Hayda Loral who encouraged him to go out there and pursue his dreams.
In 2006, Pierre relinquished his post at the Flood Control Dam no. 3., and was summoned back to the College des Sirènes, where he was offered a seat as one of the twelve members of the newly formed Lorallian council. There, he was granted one wish. Pierre wished that he would be liberated from Flood Control Dam no. 3., permitted to roam wherever he pleased, throughout the Durance River Province and Lorallian European Union, and that he would one day be considered handsome and free to make his own artistic choices.
Pierre had no other love interests (Isabelle was the love of his life) yet he went on to excel in the performing arts, becoming a treasure of the Vannecy and Durance River Province cultural scene. Starring in many operas, musicals and music dramas, Pierre became known as "The Voice" and won gold medals in the vocal olympics held in Athens and Rome. Since 2006, Pierre and Isabelle have reestablished contact and Isabelle is in the process of making up for all of those years in which she abandoned him. They are now too old to have children, but she has pledged to offer him her companionship in their later years.
Y'Gaëlle Edenne Oreille is the daughter of Lilithe Oreille, the wife of Celeste Martineau, the primordial mother of Isabelle Oreille and the grandmother of Phoébie and Deimienne Oreille. Born as "Gaëlle" on the 7th of February, 1919, shortly after the end of the First World War, Gäelle is said to be of mermaid ancestry and a direct descendent of the great Néreide Oreille, the mermaid who is said to have constructed the Venetian palatial structure of the College des Sirènes during the nineteenth century.
Gaëlle was born in Brocéliande, Paimpont Forest, Bretagne, in the north-west of France. She was named after the nearby village of Gaël. She spent much of her time as a child wandering around the forests and lakes around her home. It is these early conversations with nature that are thought to have blessed her with one of the finest voices in the Lorallian. Gaëlle soon learned to sing, and decided that her true calling in life was to tell stories through song.
Gaëlle studied music at the Junior Conservatoire in Geneva, Switzerland, before going on to study the voice at the Blue Mountains Conservatory. At the time, orchestras in the Lorallian were purely instrumental, and remained segregated from choirs. Gaëlle was frustrated because, in her mind, the ultimate union of music was with the words, and the celestial marriage of the male instruments with the female voices was its ultimate destiny. Gaëlle was highly influenced by Beethoven, and her revered Symphony of Fornication was the first symphony to include voices.
Gaëlle inherited the riches of her mother, Lilithe Oreille, and travelled to Vannecy in the French Alps, where she purchased the College Des Sirènes from Valerie Laurent the last in the Laurent family dynasty (right), who had dominated the college for much of the first half of the twentieth century.
Below - room with a view: College des Sirènes master bedroom overlooking the Vannecy Flood Basin.
In Vannecy, Gaëlle told many stories through her operas and music dramas, some fictional and others true stories (but most of them fictional). There, she met the aeronaut, Celeste Martineau, at one of her concerts and the couple immediately became attracted to one another. For Celeste, Gaëlle had grown up around the forests and lakes, and was a true mistress of the earth. Celeste, on the other hand, introduced Gaëlle to the wonders of the skies. Together they were a match made in heaven. Celeste took Gaëlle on many moonlight airship flights across the mountains and valleys, discovering new and unknown territories. They married at Flood Control Dam no. 7 at the end of the Second World War.
The Durance River Province is different from the other lands in the Lorallian, because the maiden naming system is reversed. In the Durance River Province, the spouse and children take the last name of the female and not the male. Celeste was from a very noble family, yet he agreed that their children would be named "Oreille". Gaëlle was henceforth known as Y'Gaëlle. Celeste affectionately added the "Y" apostrophe to the beginning of her name in honour of her storytelling. Ever since, Gaëlle has gone down in history by the name Y'Gaëlle.
In the summer of 1951, Y'Gaëlle became pregnant, and gave birth to a baby girl nine months later. Y'Gaëlle decided to have a water birth, and the baby girl was delivered in a clam shell in the middle of the Vannecy Flood Basin. Y'Gaëlle named her Isabelle, and Isabelle would go on to become the second headmistress in the Oreille family dynasty.
Y'Gaëlle went on to be headmistress of the College des Sirènes for over forty years, until her retirement in the early eighties. During her time at the college, Y'Gaëlle brought about many changes and reforms to the school. She was the first headmistress to controversially combine the College des Sirènes orchestra and chorus into a singular performance, and introduce theatre, opera and music drama into the college core curriculum.
Shortly before her retirement in the early eighties and the invasion of Celius and Nordic Implementors Y'Gaëlle chanced upon the copper chalice of Arielle. Once filled with water, its depths enabled her to see things that have been, things that will be in the future, things that are, things that were, things that could have been, things that would have been and things that might have yet to be... Tempted by dark arts, Y'Gaëlle was seduced by the power of the cup and sought to possess it, believing that if she took it, instead of a dark lord (Celius), the Lorallian would have a queen (above). However, once offered the cup, Y'Gaëlle decided to relinquish it, and so she passed the test. She bestowed its ownership to her daughter, Isabelle, and hid the cup deep within the waterworks of the college. Upon her retirement, she diminished, and went out into the west, where she would remain Y'Gaëlle for the rest of her life.
During the eighties, nineties and noughties, with the College Des Sirènes under the governance of her daughter, Isabelle; Y'Gaëlle, with her husband Celeste, retreated from public life, becoming almost legendary figures in Lorallian 'lore. Their only known appearance was at the celestial marriage of Hayda Loral to Hayrak Donda at the turn of the century, in Rouenac, France.
Y'Gaëlle will turn ninety-five next year, making her the longest living person in the Oreille family. Legend has it that the only knowledge that she obtained from the cup was the exact date of her death. From her aquatic ancestry, Y'Gäelle inherited from the water nymphs a collection of several hundred dresses, each dress representing a day in her life, thus each dress being worn until the day of her death. The last dress is thought to be the most mysterious and magical, made of silk and satin, and richly embroidered with moonshine, sapphires and pearls.
Y'Gaëlle, like other members of the Oreille family, has a fair milky complexion, and long, straggly blond hair which grew paler as she advanced through her sixties, seventies and eighties. Now, she has waist length wispy white hair. Her eyes are an aquatic blue white, and her cheekbones are fine and delicate.
Sophie Michelle Morris (née Oliver) was born in Winchester, Hampshire, on 19th March 1974, the only child of Marin and Corale. Sophie was born with a fascination for the sea, and spent much of her childhood on the beaches around Hampshire. Her parents, both general practitioners, owned a boat, and as a child, Sophie also had the opportunity to travel around the world with her parents.
Naturally gifted and bright, Sophie attended St Swithun's school, Winchester, where she quickly became involved with the badminton, polo and sports teams, and also participated in the choir and ballet clubs. But it was her interest in 'caring' that led her into medicine and nursing.
Socially, Sophie took one of the main leadership roles in her clique of girls, and had her first drinks aged 11 an her first clubbing experiences aged 13. She had a string of relationships between the age of 11-18. When she was 18, she decided to settle down.
However, Sophie attained twelve GCSE's -
A* - Biology
A* - Chemistry
A* - Physics
A* - Maths
A* - English
A* - Music
A - Spanish
A - French
A - Geography
A - History
A - Design Technology (Food)
A - Leadership
- and five A-Levels
A - Biology
A - Chemistry
A - Physics
A - Maths
A - Further Maths
In 1996, Sophie embarked on a course in nursing at the University of London. The course involved an Erasmus year working as a practitioner in a foreign country, with an added language elective. Sophie decided that she wanted to do Spanish, and she went to work in Madrid. This was an amazing experience for Sophie, and an opportunity for her to sample the culture of another country. Sophie fell in love with Spain and decided that she wanted to live there after completing her course.
Sophie completed her nursing course with first class honours in 2001, and relocated to Escaletaña because she wanted to live near the sea. Her parents bought her a pad with a pool for her 23rd birthday. Sophie decided to decorate it with sea shells and water nymphs. Sophie made a special friend called Dolores who moved in with her. They threw the coolest frat parties on the peninsula.
In 2002, Sam Morris was on holiday in Spain, and was staying at the hotel next to her apartment. Sam met Sophie on the beach, whilst buying towels, and they instantly fell in love. Sam had also been through a string of unfulfilling relationships, and was looking to settle down. Sophie was also thinking about moving closer to home, as she was missing all of her friends in Hampshire, who were now on exodus in London.
Sam offered Sophie a job at Sisorca Hospital, and Sophie joined the team, initially on work experience, a few weeks later. In September 2002, Sam offered Sophie a more permanent contract with the hospital. Sophie soon threw herself into the busy work and social schedule of the hospital, and, within weeks, made friends with nearly everyone. She found everyone a little strange, but, nevertheless, was happy to go along with things and humour them, saying that she was just as 'crazy' as everyone else.
However, Sophie made a few enemies. She got involved with one of the patients, Ryan Hewston, who went under the alias of Newton Syrah, and the Legionnaires plot. She euthanatised Matias Larsson because she believed him to be a dangerous influence on society. She also seduced Erik Andersson, and blackmailed him out of money by telling his girlfriend, Leanna. When Erik decided to train as a doctor, his position of head nurse became open. Sophie and Leanna both applied for it, and Sam appointed Sophie. Sophie got a promotion, more money and maternity leave when she became pregnant. Leanna, on the other hand, left the hospital, because she was clinically fed up.
Sophie and Sam married in Bethany Church, New Houston, in July 2004. They had a son, Luke, and bought no. 5, London Park Road, where they live happily ever after.
Samuel J. Morris, born on 19th August 1974 in Cardiff, Wales, the eldest of the two sons of Owen and Donna Morris, his younger brother Thomas being two years his junior.
Sam, although one of the youngest in his year group at school, was one of the popular kids, always being in with the right crowd.
When he was eighteen, he studied medicine at the University of London, and soon qualified to become a doctor in 2000. Sam was soon promoted to head doctor at Sisorca Hospital, where he met his then girlfriend, Laura Hill.
Sam spent a number of years at the hospital, drifting between long-term relationships with Laura Hill and Emma Patel, and also enjoying casual flings with Sarah Winchley, Emma Notnub and Cassandra Silverspoon, but his heart was never settled. Finally, in 2002, Sam met the love of his life, Sophie Oliver, whilst on holiday in Escaletaña in the south of Spain. Sophie moved back to London with him, and he gave her a job at the hospital.
Sam is noted for mixing business with pleasure, and often confusing the two, or putting pleasure ahead of his work. Sam's appointment of Sophie Oliver as head nurse caused great controversy at the hospital, and resulted in Leanna Sethsson (who had applied for the position) handing in her notice.
Nancy Violet, distinguished jazz vocalist and cabaret compere, is a resident vocalist with Sisorca Arts Jazz Ensemble (SAJE). Daughter of Maisy Violet (nurse at Sisorca Hospital) and Robert Spencer (mayor of Sisorca), Nancy was born at Sisorca Hospital in October, 1977.
Between 1982-1995, Nancy was a boarding student at Wycliffe College Junior School in Stroud, South West England, between where she flourished in the areas of music, drama and performative arts.
Upon finishing her A-Levels, Nancy gained a scholarship to study music and drama at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in Marlybone, North London, where she studied between 1995-1999. During this time, she developed her skills in jazz and musical theatre; appearing in roles such as Talulah in 'Bugsy Malone', Nancy in 'Oliver', Roxy in 'Chicago' and Mary Magdalene in 'Godspell'. Her time at the Royal Academy also included a year spent studying in New Orleans, and the following summer was spent on a whirlwind tour with none other than Irish-American folk singer Kathleen Blackwell, who she later sourced for London-based pop girl group Seveness.
When she finished college, Nancy began freelancing with jazz ensembles and West End musical theatre productions, before securing her residency as lead vocalist with Sisorca Arts Jazz Ensemble (SAJE) and hosting her own jazz cabaret at Silverspoons on Orento Street. Nancy soon built up a local reputation as an emerging jazz star, and, in 2004, became the seventh member of Seveness (replacing Hayda Loral, who acted as temporary replacement for Kate Sandersson when she left the band in 2002).
In 2002, Nancy starred in a brand new musical theatre commission 'Love Story', a production made up of songs written by Seveness. In the musical, Nancy plays the part of Evita, a young Spanish ballet dancer who falls in love with Juan, an Argentinian playwright. The young couple meet in Las Vegas where they embark on a whirlwind ride into drunken debauchery and drug fuelled escapades. But when his visa expires and his true identity as a gangster is exposed, Juan is exiled to Chile, Evita is left with a misunderstanding and has to work out her true feelings for him. Her search for love becomes an all-consuming quest to the heart of what it means to be a woman, the true identity of feminism in the world and new found friends along the way. Eventually, Evita and Juan are reunited, but he has since had a child with an Andean shaman, Priscilla. Evita has reevaluate her feelings for Juan. Eventually, despite Juan's promise to kill his wife and return to her, she decides to return to Spain, where, some years later, she contracts TB. When Juan hears about her illness, he races to Spain to see her, but he is too late, and she dies peacefully in her sleep, still dreaming of his kiss. The musical was a great success, and made a name for Nancy as a great glamour diva.
Nancy was the seventh member of Seveness from 2004 until the band split in 2010. Since then, Nancy has gone on to release a series of successful albums, and has toured Europe with German singer Ute Lemper. Nancy currently resides in Elderbury Crescent, where she lives in a posh, regency townhouse with her musical director husband Evelyn Costello. In 2011, she gave birth to a baby girl, Lily-Crystal.
Isabelle Fantine Martelleau Oreille, bb. 09.03.1951., internationally renowned classical pianist, graduate of the Blue Mountains Conservatory, headmistress of the College Des Sirènes, musician, composer, writer, poet, painter and one of the four cornerstones in the Corina Torres conspiracy.
Isabelle Oreille is the only child of Celeste Martineau and Y'Gaëlle Oreille, headmistress of the College des Sirènes until 1980.
Her mother, Y'Gaëlle, was a great lover of nature and many of her compositions were inspired by the natural forces, e.g., 'Concerto for Violin and Volcano' and 'Concerto Grosso for Woodwinds and Waterfalls'. Her father, Celeste, was a local aeronaut.
Isabelle was born in a clam shell in the middle of the Vannecy Flood Basin. During her early life, she grew up at the College des Sirènes where her mother was headmistress.
From an early age, she is noted to have developed a rare musical affection, being able to transcribe from ear and replicate songs and even entire orchestrations from the gramophone to her little toy piano.
From the age of three, she took piano lessons from her mother, and in this sheltered environment she was surrounded by swans, sparrows and all of the lovely wetlands and wildlife in the temperate valleys, which inspired much of her music.
A childhood visit to the suspended gardens of the Château Marqueyssac in the Dordogne in the south of France, where she heard the waltz movement of the Shostakovich 'Jazz Suite' played on a solitary piano under a full moon, inspired Isabelle to pursue musical perfection. She attended the junior school at the Conservatoire Nationale de Géneve in neighbouring Switzerland from the age of five.
When her mother, Y'Gaëlle, bought the College Des Sirènes from the long established Laurent family, Isabelle began formal education here at the age of eleven, where she continued her piano lessons and also began to study the violin, the voice, composition, harmony and counterpoint, alongside other subjects such as drama, philosophy and history.
Upon completion of her Baccalaureate in the fine arts, Isabelle went on to study join honours piano and composition at the Blue Mountains Conservatory, the most prestigious music academy in Europe, where she would go on to win many distinguished competitions and prizes, and to partake in many auspicious masterclasses and laboratories coached by some of the finest musicians and clinicians on the continent.
Through a piano accompaniment laboratory at the Blue Mountains Conservatory, Isabelle met her first true love, the young tenor and opera student, Pierre Martel. Their partnership was musical as much as personal, for Isabelle accompanied Pierre through all four of his recitals given at each stage of their degree. They soon earned themselves a reputation as two of the most distinguished and promising young musicians on the continent and earned them much respect from their peers and professors alike.
Isabelle's other notable accomplice at the Blue Mountains Conservatory was the soprano and opera student, Merle Moéthie. The girls soon became fast friends, bonded through their mutual love of the art-popular crossover genre with a certain cosmological weighting. The girls began to collaborate together, writing operas, music dramas and small musical theatre pieces and suites. Merle would write the lyrics and construct the melodies, while Isabelle would compose the harmony and realise the orchestration. The result was a succession of mind-bending, tantalising musical compositions that formed the basis for Isabelle's later arguments on music and its relationship to cognitive ideas.
Unfortunately, much as the girls were peas in a pod, alike in so many ways, there was one significant difference that led to a major breach in their friendship during their postgraduate years at the conservatory. Isabelle disagreed with the way that her music should be subservient to the words, and she believed that it should speak in its own 'language' of sonic forms, textures and timbres. But Merle was insistent that their music should reflect the lyrical content and subject matter of the poetry, and it was for this reason that their collaboration split. Isabelle and Merle soon made up for their argument, and they decided that, for the sake of their friendship, they would stop musically collaborating together, because they feared that their musical collaboration would become a detriment to their friendship. Subsequently, their friendship has become stronger, and formed upon a basis of acceptance, trust and mutual respect; embracing one another as complementary sides of the same coin. Instead, they work together, but they keep their projects separate, and as such, their friendship has become one of the most notable among musical circles.
Isabelle also composed many of her fine concerti during her time at the Blue Mountains Conservatory. Her debut performance of the Pouenc First Piano Concerto in 'C sharp' Minor was received to great acclaim, as was her performance of the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto in 'C' minor in a special gala recital for the final performance at the end of her fourth year earning her the status as Second Recipient of the now highly-coveted Berlitzer Award, along with a First Class Joint Honours Degree. Isabelle went on to study piano and composition to Masters' Level at the conservatory before embarking on a doctorate in the Philosophy of Performance.
During her PhD, Isabelle specialised in the 'Musica Universalis' ('Music of the Spheres') - a quasi-mathematical, quasi philosophical school of thought that believed that the natural proportions of the celestial orbs (Sun, Moon and five planets) correspond to the vibrations of the notes. This was tied into her fascination with astrology and the cosmos.
After leaving the conservatory, Isabelle freelanced with many of the finest orchestras and sinfonietti in the land, and she was revered for her knowledge of the precious Western Harmony, which was said to be virtually unparalleled. In 1980, Isabelle inherited from her mother the College des Sirènes, situated in the high flood tables of the Durance River Province, in the Alpine region of France, where she became the youngest headmistress to preside there. Now that she had her own headquarters, she continued her research on music and its relationship to the soul, she founded the 'Old Girls Association for Extremely Talented Musicians' and she composed her first two symphonies, 'Symphony of Enchantment' and 'Symphony of Celestial Spheres' - the latter of which contained five movements, each representing the five classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn).
By this stage, sources state that Isabelle had a reputation for having an overtly-technical approach to music. While many thought that she was a 'good' musician, a virtuoso, and technically-brilliant; she was never thought to be a 'great' musician. Her compositions were thought of as conventional and her performance skills were merely technical. Her dislike for chaos and disorder manifested itself within her music, which, while adequate, showed no passion or emotion, adhering always to the rules and to conventionality. It is quite possible that it was for these reasons that Isabelle had decided to pursue an academic, theoretical direction at the culmination of her education. Of course, much of this might also be attributed to her declining relationship with Pierre and subsequent affair with Randolph Spitzburg.
When a party was held at the College Des Sirènes, Isabelle had the opportunity to reunite after several years with her childhood friend Randolph Spitzburg and she fell in love with him. She found solace there. And even though the stoic Randolph was committed by honour and wealth to his wife, Lysann, and Isabelle had been dating Pierre for some years now; Isabelle knew that he was for her. She was not the type of woman to be dissuaded from her goals, and she pursued Randolph with vengeance. Isabelle soon realised that alchemy was the perfect solution to both her aesthetic mediocrity and her quest for love. Her ultimate ambition with alchemy was to ensure that she and Randolph were both eternal, and therefore, eternally in love. Any dalliances with mortal women could be forgiven and forgotten. Lady Lysann Arageiner would grow old and die, and Isabelle would be waiting.
Isabelle and Randolph are believed to have met in a previous life. Not much is known about this previous life, but that they lived in the islands surrounding Ancient Greece. One day, Randolph was swimming, when he looked up and he saw Isabelle sat, like a mermaid, upon a rock jutting out over the water. He thought that she was the most beautiful girl that he had ever seen. But he was too shy to go up and talk to her. So his friend offered to approach her on his behalf, but Randolph told his friend not to. Yet his friend was neither shy nor obedient. So he went to meet her and he introduced them the same night, at a party. Late that night, Isabelle leaned in and whispered in Randolph's ear, Randolph touched Isabelle's cheek, and they kissed. Isabelle and Randolph were married in this previous life, and when they met, memories began flooding back and rekindled their relationship in the present life.
Isabelle and Randolph had illegitimate twins in 1987, Phoébe and Deimienne, who were sent to Strasbourg to be cared for. This was not made public until some years later, and has since become the biggest scandal in the history of the college. Isabelle and Randolph parted in 1987, soon after the disappearance of Luís' own illegitimate daughter, Corina Torres, and Pierre left Vannecy, stationing himself some miles to the south-west where he spent eighteen years tending to Flood Control Dam no. 1., seeking seclusion, broken-hearted by Isabelle's infidelity.
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Isabelle (left) and Hayda Loral, circa 1992
It was of course during these years that one of Isabelle's students was none other than Hayda Loral. At this point, Isabelle had become part of an elite society of alchemists known as the 'Divine Coregency', consisting of herself, Randolph Spitzburg, Luís Rodríguez and Seth Gladenssen. Together, these four alchemists perfected their practices and sought to harness the Elexir of Life through blood sacrifice. Hayda Loral became the blood specimen for this Devilish plot, and was adopted by the alchemists in return for the Amarendine Locket, which prolonged the life of Hayda's father, the wine merchant, Louiss Loral.
Hence each of the four had a sign, indicating a planet, a metal and an element. Isabelle's planet was Venus, her metal was copper and her element was water. Isabelle presided over Hayda during her seven adolescent years, until Hayda, discovering that something was going on, secretly planned to flee with her true love, Hayrak. Unfortunately, Isabelle thwarted their plan, and attempted to re-establish contact with the other alchemists, so that they could fulfil their dream. However, Hayda went against her destiny, and lived on. Isabelle, Randolph and Luís were betrayed by Seth, who attempted to hand them over to their main rival, Celius Horn, who was headmaster at the Blue Mountains Conservatory. The ensuing struggles were drawn out through the nineties and early noughties and collectively were known as the 'Third World War' (although many still believe that it was a disagreement about the substances injected into meat products that were commercially available on the market).
Isabelle's main rival, naturally, is Lysann Arageiner, the current wife of Isabelle's former love, Randolph Spitzburg. Originally, they were friends when the couples were introduced. But when Seth Gladenssen formed the alchemical circle, Isabelle deliberately cut out Lysann. Lysann found out about their affair because her sister, Vera, was teaching German at the College des Sirènes. Lysann decided to take matters into her own hands and confront Isabelle directly, via letter.
Although we have never been formally introduced, I feel like I have known you for years. At least, I know many things about you. I know that you sleep with my husband. I know that you are just one of his many mistresses. Or did you believe that he loved only you? Has he been entertaining you with ridiculous talk of the future, of marriage? Did you ever imagine that he would leave me for you, and that you would rule Arageiner as the next Lady Spitzburg? Let me assure you, madame, that you have no future with my husband. He needs me, our fortress, and our lovely money. Without me, there is no Arageiner. And there is nothing and nobody that he loves more than that. I am the only one Spitzburg has loved, I am the only one with whom he shares a bed, and I am the only one who will sit on his right hand as Queen of Arageiner. You, on the other hand, are nothing but a common slag, and you deserve to drown in your own mire.
Lady Lysann Spitzburg (Spitzburg’s wife)
To which Isabelle responded:
Dear Lady Lysann Arageiner,
Thank you for your wise words and your conscientious advice. I understand that you cherish your earthly matrimony with admirable vengeance. However, our destiny together far transcends your mortal needs. Spitzburg and I are destined to be together forever, which means that you need to keep your abnormally large nose out of our business. I challenge you to sit on your plush throne and to wait for your husband to return. Believe me, you will be long dead before then. Meanwhile, please do attend Coronation Recital. There, you will be able to enjoy an evening of fine music and poetry, and to witness yourself who the true queen really is.
Madame Isabelle Oreille
However, Lysann, having secured her throne as Queen of the Heidelberg ridge, was not so easily defeated. Unlike her fellow 'mortals', Pierre, who retreated to the Flood Control Dam for eighteen years, or Alejandra, who returned to Andalusia; Lysann followed Randolph all the way to the St John's Cathedral, when they emancipated Corina Torres. Upon discovering Lysann's presence at the cathedral, Isabelle strangled Lysann and left her for dead on the floor of the cathedral. Lysann awoke some hours later to find that the cathedral was in flames, and Corina was dead. She escaped moments before the cathedral was devastated by the blaze.
Isabelle and Lysann briefly reunited in 2006, when they were both taken prisoner by Seth, and Hayda came to rescue them. At this point, the two women were united in their fight against Seth and Celius, but nothing much was said between them.
A few years later, Isabelle approached Lysann and apologised for the bad blood that had been between them all of these years, reassuring Lysann that Randolph loved Lysann, that during the time in which he was with Isabelle, he was always thinking of Lysann, and that when Isabelle and Randolph kissed, Isabelle could see Randolph's dreams, and they were always of Lysann. Lysann made peace with Isabelle.
Above (left to right): Celius Horn, Alejandra Torres, Lysann Spitzburg and Isabelle Oreille, photographed whilst being imprisoned at the Institut Psykiatren, Slottetsval, Sweden, 2006.
In amongst these dramas, Isabelle had become one of the most widely-respected presidents of the College Des Sirènes. Most notable for directing the first ever performance of Claude Dripussy's celebrated musical ballet 'March of the Swans', Isabelle coordinated a number of music theatre productions put on by the students of the college. She is also notable for having recorded several albums of solo piano music, such as 'Isabelle Oreille Plays The Blues' on the right.
Despite her aesthetic mediocrity, Isabelle is still widely respected as a performer. She currently holds the principle violin chair with the Vannecy Sinfonia, and also works as a pianist with several chamber groups and ensembles such as the celebrated 'Azure Contemporary Music Ensemble' and as a répétiteur/accompanist for the Vannecy Opera. In addition to these projects and her post as headmistress, director of music and piano tutor at College Des Sirènes, Isabelle gives regular recitals across major European cities Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna and Rome.
Isabelle is expected to retire from College Des Sirènes in 2015, which will mark 35 years as headmistress of the college. She will be succeeded by the eldest of her twin daughters, distinguished concert flautist, Phoébe Oreille. The occasion will be marked by a formal handover ceremony, which will combine members of the Vannecy Sinfonia with rising young stars of the College Des Sirènes Senior Orchestra in a synoptic orchestra conducted by Isabelle herself. During her retirement Isabelle will return to Pierre and rekindle the relationship that had been snuffed in years gone by. Will Pierre take back Isabelle? Only time will tell.
Isabelle has wavy, blonde hair, blue-aquamarine eyes, and classic Aphrodisiac looks. Her colours are blue and turquoise, colours of the sea. She wears seahorse earrings and a treble clef neckless.
While she is teaching, Isabelle tends to opt for a simple, humble navy dress with a collar and frilly sleeves. When she is performing or at a concert, Isabelle wears glamourous gowns of black or blue and green.
LIST OF MUSICAL WORKS
- The Mermaid (La Sirène)
- The Life of the Angel Gabriel (La Vie de l’Ange Gabrielle)
- Ana “Belles-Artes” and the Maharajah
- March of the Swans
- Montage of Nature (Montage de la Nature)
- Planets Rhapsody – a composition in 5 notes (Rhapsodie des Planetes)
- Fugue for Woodwinds and Waterfalls
- Eclipse Suite for Piano and Flute
- The Russian Doll Overture
Concerto no.1 – for Violin and Volcano
Concerto no.2 – for Piano – The Toy House (Mock N’veeran; Kandisian)
Symphony no.1 – Symphony of Enchantment
Symphony no.2 – Symphony of Celestial Spheres
LIST OF PUBLICATIONS
Instrumental Arrangement: A Critique of the Contemporary Architecture
Introduction to the Orchestra
Melodious Vat: A Joke Recipe for Pure Music in Liquid Form
On Music and Cosmology
On Music and Language of the Soul
On Music and Perfection
On Music and Revelation
On Music and Transcendence
On Music, Poetry and Sculpture
On Musika Essencia
On Musika Moderna
Recipe for Romanticism in a Jar
The Temple of the Ancients – An Imaginary Pagoda of Musical Symmetricism (Orientalism and Mysticism in the Music of the Mountains)
Cosmic Harmony – The Inner Resonances of the Spheres
Practice, Preparation and Performance: Three “P”s On the Path to Perfection
Towards an Alchemical Approach to Music
Towards an Appreciation of the great 19th century Classics
Towards Enlightenment: Music and the Metaphysics of the Soul
Anthology of College Fellows and the Great Deeds They Have Done
Anthology of Old Girls and their Contributions to College Welfare
Anthology of Composers in Vannecy
LIST OF RECORDINGS
Isabelle Oreille In Conversation with Luís Rodríguez: On Pastoral Music, Nature and the Eternal, Unfolding Revelation.
Isabelle Oreille In Conversation with Pierre Martel: The Great Operas and Operettas Of Our Time
Isabelle Oreille In Conversation with Valerie Laurent: On the Gramophone and Metaphysics in Art
Isabelle Oreille In Conversation with Sophie-Camille Parquette: Mimicism in the Mimes and Panto-Mimes of Dripussy the “Sad Clown” – reminiscences of our society
Isabelle Oreille in Conversation with “invisible” players from the Vannecy Philharmonic Orchestra: Introducing the Instruments of the Orchestra (for Dimwits)
Isabelle Oreille – Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no.2 and no.3 with the Blue Mountains Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Isabelle Oreille – Celestias The Divine Piano Concerto with the Blue Mountains Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Isabelle Oreille – Plays The Blues
Isabelle Oreille – Elemental Sketches on a Shoestring
Isabelle Oreille – Plays The Delicate Works of Maurice De Ravin
Isabelle Oreille – Poulenc Piano Concertos with the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra
Isabelle Oreille – Sadie Preludes
Isabelle Oreille – Dripussy Preludes
Isabelle Oreille & Phoébe Oreille – Reunited: Newly Commissioned Duets for Piano and Flute
‘What very fine hands you have. Just right…’
‘Hayda…Your locket! I’ve never seen it off you. It’s lovely…’
‘And, for the final item of the evening, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the newest prodigy to graduate from the college.’
‘And, as we all know, no concert can be complete without the standard conclusory anthem. Hit it girls!’
‘The lights will go on now…Oh! – and don’t forget to donate those euros into the donation booth outside. Thanks again…’
Chantal Rouge was responsible for noticing Hayda on the front cover of the newspaper, graduating with her classmates of 1992 at the College des Sirènes. Chantal wrote to Hayda, explaining that she shone 'like a candle in the dark' and that she would be perfect to model Chanel's black dress. Subsequently Hayda became the face of the little black dress, Summer 1992.
From a career and aspirations point of view, Chantal was the manager and agent who swept Hayda off her feet, drew her to Paris, and turned her into a superstar - as Hayda had always dreamed. Unfortunately, Chantal went bust and Hayda was left in Paris with no job and no money.
Between 1992-2010, Chantal maintained her life in Paris, and her contacts in the fashion industry. In 2010, when she found out that Hayda was merging her business with The Dolum, she contacted Hayda offering to help out, in redemption of what had happened eighteen years previously. Hayda delightedly took up the offer, and she made Chantal associate director of DoLor. Now, Chantal shares an office with Hayda and the Dolum, and she spends many hours with Hayda drinking cups of coffee and panning their next business moves.
Chantal has short, fake red hair and she wears loads of makeup. Her lips are bright red and pursed. She usually wears designer jackets and suits with high-heeled shoes.
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Véronique Laurent was born on 12 September, 1973, to Monsieur Antoine Laurent and his wife Rosalie, in Vannecy in the French Alps. She began to learn the 'cello at just five years old, and she trained at the Conservatoire in Geneva where she progressed rapidly, whilst being schooled at home in Vannecy.
Véronique spent much of her childhood at the College des Sirènes where her mother taught history. Véronique fell asleep to many of the four hour concerts that were long and drawn out through the night, and the music seeped through her ears and into her subconscious mind, sharpening her intelligence for later life.
In 1984, Véronique was one of two students (along with French Candadian Arianne Richarde) who was admitted to the reception year of College des Sirènes, where she was first taught theory by Madame Isabelle Oreille. Véronique and Arianne became fast friends, and stuck together during their subsequent years at the college.
In 1985, Véronique and Arianne were joined by ten other students, including Alexandrie Louparde, Chao Pao, Antheille Du Mont, Magalie St Pierre and Hayda Loral who became her best friends. Véronique, being the oldest in the class, became 'mother hen' to the other girls, and was always the most popular, although during their turbulent teenage years, Véronique was always the one never to stray from the straight-and-narrow.
During her time at the College des Sirènes, Véronique participated in nearly every school ensemble and society, including long-term member of both Junior and Senior orchestras synchronously, String Orchestra, Baroque Orchestra, singing alto with the Choral Society and Senior Vocal Troupe, Musical Theatre Collective, her string quartet with Arianne, Alexandrie and Chao, and even performing briefly with Hayda (clarinet) as part of a trio accompanied by Isabelle Oreille on the piano.
In 1990, Véronique became head girl for two years. She performed in Coronation recital in a trio with Alexandrie (violin) and Madame Isabelle Oreille on the piano, and performed a concerto for her final recital.
Véronique specialised in Baroque repertoire, and became a leading member of the committee for the College des Sirènes Baroque Orchestra, with Madame Isabelle Oreille on the harpsichord.
Academically, Véronique was the best in her class, and she scored the highest marks for Baccalaureate level, with 'A' classifications in Music, History, French, English and Traditional Studies (Classics). Musically, she was the third best in the class, only succeeded by Alexandrie and Chao, who were technically brilliant. Véronique went on to study music at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, in Geneva, Switzerland where she perfected the art of 'cello.
In 1996, when she finished conservatory, Véronique returned to Vannecy where she continued to freelance with various orchestras, string groups and ensembles, and took up the teaching post of 'cello at the College des Sirènes.
Sixteen years on, Véronique is still teaching 'cello and conducting the String and Baroque orchestras at the College des Sirènes, the only member of her class to have stayed on at the college. She has also become chair of the Old Girls Association for Extremely Talented Musicians, and manages the alumni relations office.
Current responsibilities include:
- Teacher of 'cello
- Conductor of the String and Baroque orchestras
- Chair of the Old Girls Association for Extremely Talented Musicians
- Alumni relations manager (organising nostalgic reunions for old girls)
- General student welfare liaison (organising out-of-hours clubs and activities for girls)
Véronique plans to linger on at the college as 'a big fish in a little pond' for many years to come.
Véronique was the tallest in the class, with long dark brown hair and dark green 'interested' eyes. During the '80's and early 90's, she had long, waist-length straggly thick and frizzy hair, which she scragged back, and a cow's lick parting in the fringe that looked like the handlebars of a bicycle. Now, her hair is sleeker and smoother with layering towards the front, but still at arm's length.
Véronique is said to have a 'refined smile'. She is always there, always about, and always with a wise, knowing smile. Véronique is also a familiar face, associated with the college by all who visit (presumably because she features prominently in the college prospectus).