Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Figaro overture: not just a timer for cooking an egg!

We opened last night at the Barre Opera House to what had to have been the most incredible audience ever.  I want to take them with me for every performance I do.  They laughed at every joke, they were energetic, they were with us the whole show.  The quality of the supertitles definitely ups the yuk-yuk factor, but I think that this group of people genuinely were into what we were doing on the stage (not just reading about it!).  That makes such a difference for us!  I wonder if the audience had any inkling that they directly contributed to the quality of the performance with all the energy they gave us.  I guess that would assume that the audience had some sort of collective consciousness, and, well, that's a conversation for a different blog.  I'll just say that it a gratifying experience to be re-introduced to a piece through the eyes of a fresh and engaging audience.  It reminds you of the genius of the piece- that there is a reason it is still being performed after all these years.  In Nozze's case, the overwhelming humanity of the opera is what lasts.  

I was so grateful for Mr. Mozart last night.  My faith in humanity has been on the low side this week. 

First, there is the saga of my phone.  Last Sunday, on my day off, I went to Burlington with some friends for the day.  When I got back, I could not find my phone.  I checked the car, checked my bag, my room, tore the whole inn apart, tore the car apart, and found nothing.  Cut to 24 hours later: i have driven 2 hours round trip up and down a mountain to the Barre Opera House in the pouring down rain. I asked a friend to help me search the car again, and as I walked outside, I saw my phone sitting on the roof of my car.  Where it had been for 24 hours.  In the rain.  On a moving car.  

It was soaking wet, of course, so I took it apart and set it out to dry for a few days.  Much to my surprise, it started right up.  I was in utter shock and disbelief.  This is a miracle phone, right?  Unfortunately, the next day the 'p' button and the speaker phone button stopped working, and the day after that, all the buttons stopped working.  So I basically have a high-tech hockey puck.  Whatever- I have insurance on the phone, so no biggie, just incredibly annoying.  Mostly it just made my angry with myself.  

Next, I have had the worst week in customer service that I have ever had in my life, and have found myself yelling at lots of people over the phone, making demands and threats.  That's not my preferred modus operandi, and I have found it most unpleasant.  

Lastly, and most importantly, this business in Milwaukee has really been hard to deal with this week.  It's great that we have the technology to be connected across great distances, and it has enabled me to feel somewhat present, but it has also filled me with helplessness, watching my friends and colleagues go through this painful journey while I can only read about it on Facebook and the blogosphere.  I love the Skylight so much, and this whole situation has been weighing heavy on my mind and my heart.  I mean, I'm slated to spend three months of my life there in the next year, and I don't know what company I'm going to be working for.  It's like you went away to college and when you come back for Christmas your Mom and Dad have split up, Mom is dating some graphic designer named Kip, your brother is in jail and your room has been rented out.  Oh yeah, and your house is on fire too.  

Anyway, I'm sure I'll have more to say about that later, but what I'm getting at is this:  This stupid little job I have is a wonderful gift.  When I got into costume last night, I left my dressing room and walked the stage.  When the overture started, something strange happened: a smile formed on my lips and my heart lightened.  The anger, frustration, and sadness that was in my heart was replaced with this overwhelming sense of gratitude that I get to sing this opera with these people for this company at this time.  For three hours, I can be someone else.  Someone who can instantly cook up a solution to the snags he gets into.  Someone who sings amazing music.  Someone who is awesome. It was nice to be slapped in the face with a reminder of what a gift this whole dang thing is.  And I accepted the gift last night.  And I pictured my friend Jamie in the audience with his ridiculous ponytail laughing at all my stupid jokes.  

We have one more shot tomorrow afternoon, then I'm coming home to my girls.  


PS- have you noticed the "currently drinking" sidebar on my blog homepage?  Thanks for the idea Mazer.

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