Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tutto è tranquillo e placido

We had our final rehearsal room run-through last night.  After a short notes session this morning, we have the rest of the day and tomorrow off.  It's good we're getting a little break.  It's sort of the calm before the storm, because starting Monday we're going to have some late nights.  The opera house is located in a town called Barre (pronounced "Barry") about 45 minutes away.  There's a sitz + tech on Monday, and orchestra dresses Tues and Wed.  So it's good we will start the week rested (actually, we will probably take this time off to stay up way too late, drink too much beer and play too much pool. At least I know I will.  Hey, it's science).

I think we are in good shape with the show.  It is a total joy to sing this piece with such a seasoned group of colleagues.  I feel like I'm in a pretty decent place vocally as well- better off than last time.  We'll see once we get in the actual house with the orchestra, but I think I've made a few adjustments that will allow me to sing this role at less cost than last time.  The challenge I'm encountering is that I have the sensation of less local control when I sing.  That's tricky to get used to.  It's much less micro-managerial (and probably more rewarding to the listener) and also much easier, but when you're used to controlling and manipulating to a certain degree, it's tough to let go.  There are a few coordination issues.  The role lives so much in the middle voice, that suddenly an E flat is a high note (at least in the grand scheme of things), and feels like what an F would feel like in a more baritonal tessitura.  So that's weird.  The plus side is that I'm not darkening the lower middle anymore, so it's about a zillion times easier to sing down there and I don't get super tired halfway through the piece.  Plus, the Dalai Lama told me that when I die, on my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness.  So I got that going for me, which is nice. 

I've also noticed that I'm a tremendous slouch.  Even while wearing my rehearsal shoes (they are really cool period shoes with a chunky heel), I stand like I'm a standing-in-front-of-the-QuickStop-slacker, and not an 18th century valet to a Count.  I'm looking forward to being in costume and the inevitable change in character and posture that will take place.  I'm pretty confident all the earthy, goofy, stupid Ritter-esque crap I am doing will still come through, but it will be filtered through a period costume and stance.  

Yesterday, I gave a short little interview for a local video arts blog.  I'll post it as soon as it is available.  She asked me what did I think Mozart would think of us if he stopped by rehearsal.  The first thing that came to mind was, "well, he would probably say, 'holy crap! what are all those shiny metal boxes careening down the street at an alarming rate?'" That's the kind of highly articulate commentary I bring to the industry.  She also said that one of the local Vermonters (Vermont-ites? Vermont-ians?) said that he thought opera singers are like mythical creatures.  That we are seemingly normal beings, but then unleash these big crazy voices on everyone.  I like that.  Andrew Wilkowske, mythical creature.  It may have to go on my resume.  Hey, it's better than the whole baritone/bass-baritone conundrum.  


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