Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Wizard’s Pool

First foray into the woods. Theatre-in-the-Woods, that is. Load-in at 7:30am. Didn't get home from last night's tech rehearsal until 12:30. Ouch.

We finally had a chance to try out our improv project on real children, and we lived to tell the tale! Today’s “mad lib” format netted the following challenge: Once upon a time in a castle, a wizard and a janitor swam every day until a mean lifeguard came to drown the wizard.

The tale that unfolded during the improvised recitative was faithful to the suggested storyline, with the exception of the death of the wizard, who, of course, came back to life. (The audience chose a happy ending, thank goodness. Opera traditions notwithstanding, we've learned it’s not wise to kill off characters when the average patron age is 7.)

Somehow, we managed to fit in excerpts from Cenerentola’s aria “Una volta c’era un re”, Monostatos’ rage aria, Juliette’s waltz, and the Count’s aria from Marriage of Figaro. The kids were a great audience, and we left feeling that we had won a huge victory! They were very excited to learn about bravo/brava/bravi – showered us with much cheering throughout the performance.

Back in the real opera world, we’re in the theatre for orchestra tech of Giovanni. It’s been so gratifying to work on this masterpiece that we’ve forgotten how long it is, and how utterly exhausting it can be. Just so beautifully dense. Makes the minutes and hours fly by for the audience, but takes its toll on the performers. Just no place you can coast.

Again, didn’t get through the whole show. Budgetary restrictions are tough on an opera as long as this one. This means we’re going into the dress rehearsal not having been straight through the opera since last Friday. Not optimal, but then again, not at all uncommon in the ‘real world.’

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