Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Wake up and smell the orchestra
Tomorrow morning (at the horrible hour of 10 AM) my cast will finally be onstage with the orchestra. It should be interesting because we are running the second act, and none of us have even seen what the staging is for the final scene. We'll make something up I guess. After today's rehearsal, I have had a total of 9 hours of staging rehearsal, which let me tell you, isn't much. I think about other operas I've been in before when you had a couple of weeks of staging rehearsals in the room so that when you get onstage, and especially when you work with the orchestra, you are absolutely prepared. Of course, in the states, you usually only have maybe 3 or 4 rehearsals with the orchestra total. Here, There are 8 three hour sessions and a dress rehearsal for each cast - that's pretty amazing actually. The only problem for me is that I have really come to rely on the luxury of having solidified the staging with adequate room rehearsals, so having my first run through of an act be on the stage with the orchestra is very daunting. I'm sure it will be fine - people have managed to do performances on no rehearsal at all - but I have to admit I'm nervous. Also, the conductor has asked everyone to write ornaments for their arias, which is unusual in Mozart, but not unheard of, so everyone has obliged and written variations for their pieces. I discovered yesterday however that the ornaments I had written on my own are exactly the same ornaments that the girl in the first cast wrote. It's not that shocking since with the simplicity of this particular aria, certain things just seem natural. However, when I heard her sing the aria yesterday, I realized I was going to have to change mine, because since she goes first, everybody will think I copied her, which is not cool in the opera circles. Luckily, the tenor in my cast is a former violinist and an excellent musician, so he helped me think of some new ornaments this morning in between rehearsals. So add to the things I will be doing for the first time tomorrow a whole new set of ornaments for one of my arias, and you have a day that will definitely cause me some anxiety. But I'm in Italy, so I'm going to try to be as relaxed as possible, and think only about the lunch I'm going to have after the rehearsal is over. I am so going to deserve a gelato.