Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thanks to Chris Blank for a nice review of DREAM in the COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Although opera folks would sometimes complain about him, I always thought his reviews were honest and fair, and now that I'm not running Opera Memphis, I can admit that he was occasionally right about a lousy show! Chris now has a group called the performance club. Operating out of WKNO, the group attends various arts events in the Memphis area and then has discussions about them.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I don't think the Wall Street Journal keeps these things so you can link to them forever, but here's a really nice review. Having gone on to Hawaii and LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, it was a little surreal tracking the actual paper down. When I picked it up, the guy at the Borders behind the counter shouted at me "You have to buy the paper, you can't just look at it!"
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
A clip from a rehearsal of Act III scene ii in which the lovers, Hermia, Helena, Demetrius and Lysander quarrel. Oberon chastises Puck for having confused his instructions. Scene has Laura Stracko, Emily Bodkin, Robert Legge, and John Dooley in it as the lovers, and Kyle Huey and Jeremiah Johnson as Puck and Oberon. Directed by Gary John LaRosa.
It's always challenging but important to create ensembles in opera...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
When we first set about creating an a cappella opera, one of the concerns was that the voicestra would tire out. I may be speaking too soon, but this has turned out not to be the case. We have had two very long work throughs (four hours each) and the group is still going strong. So it appears that as long as the registers are reasonable for the voice types, an a cappella group has a lot of stamina.
The way the piece was written, I put lots of breaks in it--places for people to rest out. Sometimes, I have alternated sections--sopranos for a bar, then echoed by mezzos, for example. This actually creates learning confusion. With a cappella it appears that "the more the merrier" is the best policy. If everyone is singing frequently, it enhances the intonation and everything sounds more assured.
Live and learn. And edit. Edit!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
After several snow delays, it is good to be able to be back watching rehearsal. Director Gary John LaRosa has been wonderfully collaborative with the cast and also very detailed in getting the text to work just right. For example, he made the useful suggestion that we change lanthorn to the modern lantern.
We had our first rehearsal with both the cast and voice orchestra present (except for getting ready for the preview). Although it might have been a bit scary in a handful of spots, it is clear that the opera acappella concept is going to work well, even spectacularly in some spots.