A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ladies who Bluff

Turns out that Opera Memphis has a group that has been coming up from Pine Bluff, Arkansas to see the shows. I finally got a chance to meet them after the Sunday performance. Pine Bluff is two and a half hours away from Memphis.

Picture is in the lobby of the East Memphis Hilton.

Cheers to three Orpheuses

Our opening weekend of Orpheus was a success, with strong houses and strong audience reaction.

Picture is Marc Schreiner, our Saturday Night Orpheus, backstage at Clark Opera Memphis Center.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dance of the Blessed Spirits

Gluck's ORPHEUS has much ballet in it, including the famous "Dance of the Blessed Spirits." This photo of dancers from the New Ballet Ensemble.

It is choreographed by their founder and director, Katie Smythe.

Orpheus stage management book

Ever wonder what the stage management book for an opera looks like? Our stage manager, Erin Whipkey has her light cues for the show marked with post-it notes so they can be moved around as changes happen. She has to follow the music precisely--opera is cued from the piano vocal score.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Orpheus in the Daily News.

An article on ORPHEUS by Jonathan Devin in the Memphis Daily News and a post in a fun blog, I Love Memphis.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Masks for Orpheus

Our Wigmaster, Elizabeth Harris Berglund, and our Director of Production, Erin Whipkey, have worked some lovely magic on the masks for the production

What is the plural of Orpheus?

Director Patrick Hansen, Countertenor Nicholas Tamagna, Mezzo soprano Kathryn Cowdrick, our Euridice, Kearstin Piper Brown, and tenor Marc Schreiner

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Preview Thursday Night

On Thursday night, January 14th, we will be on WKNO-FM for a preview of ORPHEUS. If you aren't in the area, you can catch it on the web from 7-8pm.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Staging Furies

Yesterday we participated in the public opening of the new theater complex at Playhouse on the Square. We used one of their new rehearsal rooms and staged the section of the opera where Orpheus is harassed by the Furies. Our director, Patrick Hansen, taught the ensemble some memorable moves, including the "shifting hunchback" and the "backwards monkey."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Euridice in her mask

Euridice (Kearstin Piper Brown) in her mask.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Orfeo ed Euridice staging rehearsals

We have had several days of staging on our ORFEO ED EURIDICE in Memphis. We have cast three different singers, countertenor Nicholas Tamagna, tenor Marc Schreiner, and mezzo soprano Kathryn Cowdrick. We have one Euridice, Kearstin Brown--so she's a busy one. Each singer will get to sing the opera twice.

Why do it with three different leads? Gluck's opera was originally done by a castrato (approximated by a countertenor today) and then by a tenor. Later it was taken up by mezzo sopranos. So all three voice types are part of the performing tradition of the piece. I'm sure it's been done this way somewhere before, but it's rare.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Orfeo ed Euridice

We are starting rehearsals for ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE.