Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm a ramblin' guy

Last night's concert/open house at Skylight was a huge success. The bar was jam packed for the cabaret portion of the evening, and Catalano square was jam packed as well for the outdoor concert. And they stayed!!! The concert was long and went on much later than expected, but the crowd basically stayed for the whole night. We all moved into the Cabot theatre to finish off the night (it was pretty amazing to hear Colin Cabot invite everyone into the Cabot theatre). I think we all expected people to go home at this point, but the Cabot was jam packed too! Then the bar was full again after the evening was through. There were tons of fantastic performances, including our cast members Greg Schmidt, Katy Pracht, and Kathy Pyeatt, as well as the glorious Tanya Kruse (she'll be playing the Countess in Figaro here at Skylab later this season), but I think the pinnacle was when Mike Lorenz played the Habanera from Carmen on a tuned set of bicycle horns. It was nothing short of genius, and I hope it ends up on YouTube soon.

As for my little portion of the evening, I did an abridged version of Largo (the fastest Largo ever- Jamie Johns and I were off to the races). It was the first time I've performed it in the English translation [sidebar: we're using the George Mead translation that is published in the Ricordi score. It's the third English translation I have done, having sung Bartolo in the Donald Pippin translation (my favorite line: "Figaro, you're looking healthy, pink and plump"), and the Ruth & Thomas Martin translation (my favorite line: "I am the king of lather and foam"). Luckily, those were all so long ago they have faded from memory, and since this is my first Figaro, it's all new]. It went pretty well I must say- the crowd liked it (thank God- the aria is designed to be a show-off piece after all), and all the G's came out well (I was a little worried after standing outside for the whole Catalano concert). What really worried me, though was that I had lines in the Groucho Marx skit (played by the brilliant Norman Moses, who stayed in costume afterwards in the bar as well!). I had to inroduce the sawing-Groucho-in-half-trick, and that made me more nervous than anything. I was in very good hands with Norman- it makes me want to come back and see the Marx brothers show he is doing here at Skylab later this season.

I was very proud to be a part of last night's concert. The audience, performers, staff were all there celebrating the rich history of Skylight and ushering it into another 50 + years. There was such a feeling of camaraderie, that we're all lucky to be here at this moment, especially after all the maelstrom that was this summer. I hope it did something to start to heal the divide, and maybe sell a few subsricptions as well. There were reports of big $$$ being made in donations last night, and that is hugely encouraging (the figure I heard was upwards of $10 k!!!).

Last night was such a big event (kudos to the SOT staff and volunteers for pulling it off with such panache), that afterwards in the bar I sort of felt like we had opened. Oops. That feeling rapidly went away this morning as I showed up for a full day of reviewing Act I, staging the Act II Quintet, and stumbling through the whole first act. Oof. Ah well, it's a happy tired at least. More later.


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