Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How did we get here?

How did it get to be the day of the final dress?  It never fails to surprise me how the entire rehearsal period gets gobbled up so quickly and we suddenly find ourselves in a dark theatre with an orchestra (who sound great, btw), costumes (very slimming....thank God!), and a set (no comment).  One of my favorite people in the world always says (usually during tech week), "well, don't worry, we have six weeks 'til we open."  It's sort of a running joke, but it is shocking how the imminent opening night can sneak up on you.  

We had our final tech (sort of a misnomer- most of the actual props and set pieces arrived at our dress) on Sunday evening, which was preceded by a fandango rehearsal.  Monday we had our sitz, and an orchestra dress.  The good news is no one died.  We were all pretty wiped after such a marathon, and I don't know that I would choose to ever have that kind of schedule again but, all things considered, it went down pretty well (just like the beer I had cha!)

The sitz was a blast.  The orchestra sounded great, and we were all having a good time.  It is such fun music to sing, and by now I'm feeling really comfortable vocally (I better be after all this time, right?).  It was fun just making music together- like we were some sort of all-Mozart garage band or something.  Our conductor used to play in a rock band, and even though he is a highly trained classical musician, he still brings a relaxed, jam session feel to the rehearsals.  I love it.  There's a great sense of give and take, and he's totally in the moment and spontaneous.  He also plays Foreigner songs on the piano during breaks, so that's pretty cool too.  

The dress was, well....we were all tired.  All of us.  Orch, conductor, cast, ensemble.  It went fine, but we were all making amateur mistakes, dropping lines,  wandering around the stage like McCain at a debate (sorry- not very topical reference).  It was a little rough.  It's just not an opera you ever want to do twice in one day.  Ever.  Again.  We have a lot of work to do tonight, but, I think we're in fine shape and well-rested.  

I fully meant to mark the dress rehearsal, but damn if it's not hard to sing out when there's an orchestra playing.  It just doesn't feel right to mark- it's not natural.  Plus there's the fact that I am terrible at marking.  I usually feel more tired after marking than when I am singing, and so I ended up singing most of the dress after having sung a full sitz.  It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but I'm happy to report that it was actually kind of easy.  It was really encouraging, especially since I was feeling fatigued after doing it only once in Lafayette earlier this season. 

This is a sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants interpretation of Figaro this time around, which, in the world Beaumarchais created (and lived in!!) is totally OK I think.  

I'll leave you with a quote from Shakespeare in Love (don't judge me) that couldn't be more appropriate.  

Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business.  The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Fennyman: So what do we do?
Henslowe: Nothing.  Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Fennyman: How?
Henslowe: I don't know.  It's a mystery.


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