It's lovely doing a piece that most people not only know, but know well; everything sounds good even the first time, and the style is already partially gelled. To use a writing metaphor, we're polishing and proofreading rather than drafting or doing a first edit. It's the kind of singing I can easily lose myself in; not lost in a vague way, but lost in a highly concentrated, focused way.
In keeping with the period practices, we're singing sans conductor. Matt will be playing continuo on organ, and giving us the occasional head nod or maybe a cutoff now and again if his hand is free. We've been joking that no one ever looks at him anyway, so it's a piece of cake. Actually, it is pretty easy, because this is a small ensemble and almost all of us have been singing together for a long time. Since we know the piece well, it's easy to feel it. Will be interesting to see how it goes with the orchestra. Hopefully, we'll be able to adjust quickly.
I can already tell this is going to be a magical performance.