Erika is a very special woman to allow me this sort of frivolity, but let me tell you, it was awesome! we had a string quartet, organ, timpani, and crash cymbals (and a conductor!). Nerdy, I know.
We have finished staging the opera and had our first run-through yesterday. We've spent the last few days working on the end of the opera, and I have to say, I really enjoy wearing a long flowing cape. I think I need to start wearing one in real life. It's very slimming, and you can totally use it as a prop as well. I'm telling you, the cape is coming back.
One of my favorite moments is in the Act IV finale when Figaro realized that Susanna is impersonating the Count and he has been duped. It's awesome music, and there's lots of potential for stage antics. It's also when Susanna hauls off and (lovingly) slaps Figaro around. That can often be an eggy moment, but I'm happy to report that we have taken the time to carefully choreograph it into a really funny slap-around. It should be a funny moment, and it rarely is. She slaps me, punches me, steps on my foot, tugs my ear, and shoves me off a bench onto the floor. It's Komedy with a K and it's tons o' fun.
Figaro can be a tough comedy to play because the humor comes out of the situation, and if you add stuff on top of it, it can get totally schtick-y and lose the humanity that has made it the masterpiece that it is. But if you go too far in the other direction, it can turn into daytime television. Striking the balance is the key. I'm having a blast in this production because we have lots of really great, silly, fun schtick, but all the characters are still real. I was telling someone the other day that my mantra is usually "What would John Ritter do?," then I trip over a couch and do a spit take at the audience. I don't see why I can't have it both ways- Three's Company meets Mozart/ Da Ponte. Why not?