Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The power of music (and possibly rain)

Well, today was a rather weird day. Everyone is blaming the weather here in Portland, which went from gorgeous over the last week to cold, windy and rainy today.

I woke up feeling exhausted and as if the hotel bed was suddenly nothing more than a piece of plywood covered with a scratchy sheet. When Danny drove me to rehearsal, we were exiting the bridge that takes us across the river, when a driver in an SUV started pulling onto the bridge on the wrong side of the rode, and heading straight towards us, IN OUR LANE! Luckily Danny laid on the horn and the SUV swerved into the correct lane just in time, avoiding a head on collision. That was enough to wake me up. But apparently not enough to improve my motor skills, because soon after arriving at rehearsal, I managed to knock my reusable plastic water bottle (that the lovely, environmentally conscious, Portland Opera was so kind to provide for all of us) onto the floor, shattering it in a million pieces and drenching the newly swept floor with water and mezzo spit. Later, I was acting the hell out of a scene with Bartolo, when I threw my embroidery prop onto the chaise and snapped it into not two, but three pieces, causing yet another headache for the same stage manager who was forced to clean up my earlier water spill. Not to mention the fact that I forgot a lot of my blocking during today's rehearsal, which almost never happens to me. Some people were blaming it on the change in weather - I was almost hoping that somebody had slipped a roofie into my drink last night and I was still stoned today or something. At least that would explain my forgetting the blocking- the klutzy part isn't such a huge surprise for someone who can fall while walking UP stairs.

But all that aside, I did manage to have one coherent thought in the last day or so regarding how music affects people. All these wacky videos I've been making have been a lot of fun, but they've also been surprisingly educational. I would put all the scenes in an order, and cut and paste a few moments from here or there in a way that I thought would be humorous. Then I would watch the whole thing and giggle a bit at everyone's antics. Then I would overlay the Barbiere overture onto the movie, and suddenly everything everyone was saying would become totally hilarious. As a person would finish a joke, the strings and winds would crescendo as the laughter in the room would explode, and the music would serve as punctuation, increasing the effectiveness of the moment. Now, I'm talking about a dinky little homemade film I made in an hour, but it got me thinking about why Opera is such an appealing art form. Yes, watching a play can be hilarious or heart wrenching, but if you add music (good music - let's not get carried away) the emotional moment can take on an even deeper meaning. I was watching a tv commercial for the Humane Society this morning, and they were showing video stills of shelter dogs that needed homes. Heart-breaking enough on its own, sure - but with an added soundtrack of Barber's Adagio for Strings, I was about ready to cry my mascara off. None of this is news to me, of course, but it was interesting for me to discover it from a new perspective - that of "film-maker" (HA!).

Well, I guess I'd better tuck myself into bed now, to avoid any other accidents or incidents (I didn't even mention the red-light-running incident that just occurred in the car I rode home in), and hope tomorrow is a more coherent day. Or at least a day in which I don't break anything. That'd be an improvement.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Boy, I'm within an inch of flying out from New York to see this production of yours. It looks like loads of fun