Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Day of School

We had our first rehearsals today.  It was great to dive back into the score.  The Maestro paying special attention to the dynamics.  He said that opera is too often done with a "mezzo nothing" dynamic.  I love this- a generic dynamic makes both crescendi and decrescendi less effective.  Granted, I think the reason a lot of us are used to singing everything mezzo nothing is because we have to be heard in a huge house over a big orchestra, and the dynamic nuance goes into the toilet.  We are in a small house (800 seats or so) and have a small band, and I have no doubts that the Maestro can keep everything down to a dull roar so we can actually sing the dynamics Mozart wrote.  It will be a challenge not to sing everything loudly out of habit, but I think there is a lot of great stuff to be found by paying closer attention to the dynamics.  Already it has shown new facets to the character I wouldn't have otherwise discovered.  For instance, we are working at keeping the entire A section of 'se vuol ballare' at a piano, even the top F.  While it is tremendously difficult to sing it that way, it brings out the quiet sarcasm that is at a slow rolling boil in Figaro at this moment.  If he blows his top in the first scene, where do we go?  I think there's a lot to be said for the smaller dynamic.  It's just hard as hell to sing it that way!

Since our Countess is still en route to Louisiana, we jumped into staging the first scenes this evening.  We have a very short rehearsal process, so there is no time to lose. We covered a lot of ground tonight, and I look to tomorrow's musical rehearsals and the amazing Act II finale!  

The first cut is the deepest, according to Cat Stevens, anyway.  It's good to have broken the ice.  Onward.


PS- the food here is amazing.

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