Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Pirelli! da King of da Barbers, da Barber of Kings!

this is an audio post - click to playOne of our own Wolf Trap Opera alumni comes back to make a guest appearance as Pirelli in Sweeney Todd... We finished preliminary blocking of the entire show this morning! (That is, except for Pirelli’s scenes, as he doesn’t arrive until next week.) ... Load-in began today and the set is arriving from the warehouse... Enjoyed a much-needed day off yesterday after 7 days in a row. Thinking much more clearly now. And it’ll be even better tomorrow after yoga class! (Our very own Mrs. Lovett is a fabulous Kundalini yoga teacher.)
Transcript of audio post
It’s Tuesday, May 31. Able to think a little big more clearly today after a day off. We work pretty much a 6-day week –we get one day off a week, and it sort of rotates through the week. We started last Monday and went 7 days straight, and by yesterday, we were really feeling it.
Having time off helped, and the other thing that helped is that we have achieved Pirelli. It took about a week. We’re bringing back a friend. What happens here is that because we’re a young artist program, you can only come here twice as a performer because we have to keep the revolving door going, making these opportunities available to new singers. So after two seasons maximum ,our singers move on with their careers. Occasionally, though we have a chance to bring an “old” friend back as a guest. One of our tenors who was with is in 2003 & 2004 has just enough time off in his schedule – he’s actually in Europe right now doing a series of auditions in Austria, Germany, and the U.K. A big load off my mind.

We finished blocking this morning, in pretty much 7 days, and that’s really pretty quick. Now we get to start over again at the top, make some more decisions, refine things. Overall in pretty good shape. Load-in (when we bring the scenic elements from the shop to the theatre) and finishing the build.

We rehearse here at the Center for Education, our relatively new facility here on site. Our rehearsal room is within spitting distance of the theatre – incredibly different from when we used to rehearse several miles away. We’re right next door, and it’s simple to borrow pieces of furniture or props when we need them.

So, things are starting to speed up.

We start tomorrow morning with yoga – our Mrs. Lovett is great Kundalini yoga teacher. Not a typical combination – Mrs. Lovett and yoga, that is – and we’re fortunate that she said she wants to keep practicing herself, and she’s happy to give us classes and keep us limber and focused. I’m all for it.

We get to turn the calendar over to June tomrorow - that nice little shot of adrenaline that tells us we’re on our way. One of the great things about being in a business like this – you can only micromanage things for so long. Eventually the curtain has to go up.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Day 6

this is an audio post - click to playMeant to start at the very beginning last Monday but was sidelined. Mostly by the need for a last-minute tenor replacement. Never a dull moment! But here we are, in rehearsal for the first show of the 2005 season, Sweeney Todd. Check the audio posts for a brief look backstage every day (or as often as I can possibly get to it!). And we're off!
Transcript of audio post
It’s Day 6. Wolf Trap Opera Company 2005. This is the audio blog that was supposed to start on Day 1, but we got just a little sidelines this week by a couple of thing, the first being tenors, and the second, microphones. But more about that later. First, a little context.

We do lots of different things at WT. We do lots of retro things, we do lots of cutting edge things. And the opera company is probably a little bit of both. Very often pretty old-fashioned, but then again very often about the newest things under the sun. So here we are, blogging our way across the summer season, taking you behind the scenes. We’ll tell you everything that we feel we can get away with. If you’re an opera fan, this might be your chance to see how things get put together. If you’re not, well, we hope you’ll learn that this is a fascinating place to be. We’re all about young professionals. The average age of our singers, our coaches, our stage mangers is mid-late 20’s. It’s an exhilarating place, and it comes together every summer for about three months.

So, I’m going to try to blog every day for a few minutes – it’s hard to find the time, and I’m sure it’s hard for you to find the time to listen. We are in rehearsal, as I said, Day 6. Sweeney Todd – the first thing we start rehearsing. Other things will be layered on later, but Sweeney is our first project. We started on Monday, and it’s now Saturday evening already. Rehearsals are over, and I’m keeping a promise to myself to get this blog started. As I said, it’s surprisingly this week, alittle bit about microphones, andit’s about tenors.

The reason it’s about tenors is that we began rehearsals one tenor shy of a cast. Pirelli has mononucleosis. These things happen. Our erstwhile Pirelli is at home recuperating, and he will join us later in the summer for other projects. Meanwhile, we have precious little time to sort this out. More tomorrow, Day 7.