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Invited dress rehearsal

Nice to have an audience. Friends of the musicians, staff & crew, Foundation donors, volunteers & employees, and the Sweeney Todd cast from the local high school! Nerves on the stage; some things surprisingly hard, other things paying off nicely. The stage/pit balance coming into focus more and more each day – also improved by

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Orchestra Tech

A return to the staging. With the added complication of the orchestra in the pit. No more pretending that you can turn upstage and still be heard. A rude re-awakening. But adjustments are made, and we get one step closer. Although we have one more rehearsal tomorrow night, it’s a dress rehearsal with an invited

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Sitzprobe

“Sitzprobe” – German for “sitting rehearsal.” After these last two days scurrying around the set, sorting out things with piano accompaniment, it’s time to welcome the orchestra. The singers sit (or sometimes stand) on the stage, and the focus is on incorporating the orchestra into the process. It’s not one of my favorite rehearsals, for

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It’s only opera

More technical rehearsal – tonight is Act II. Little by little getting the mechanics in hand. Having a talented and dedicated scenic and costume shop staff makes a huge difference. They work all evening with us in the theatre, then they come back at 8 the next morning to fix everything that didn’t work before

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First technical rehearsal

First technical rehearsal. All about figuring out how the doors open and close, how the rake* complicates the blocking, how those damn chairs get on and off the stage, how all of Mrs. Lovett’s props stay on the pie shop table, how much noise the barber shop door makes, and how the trick razors and

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Designer run-through

Designer run-through tonight. We go from beginning to end in as unbroken a stream as possible, so that our scenic designer, costume designer, lighting designer, and wigs & makeup designers can see the show and best determine how to use the next 5 days of rehearsal in the theatre. What a marvelous thing to be

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More orchestra

Second orchestra rehearsal. Not quite as smooth as the first. There’s a stretch in Sweeney’s second act that’s a bit thorny from the “road-mapping” perspective. (That is, the notes and the music themselves are not hard, but figuring out exactly what comes next is.) Some old “cuts” from previous productions got in the way. Finished

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We’ve achieved Pirelli

Spent my day away from opera, in a day-long session working on the Wolf Trap Foundation’s next strategic plan. Fascinating. (No, really.) But, at the end of the day (literally), I can only think of a few things I’m more grateful for than the opportunity to spend my working life making music. At 5:00 the

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Orchestra arrives

The days passing in a blur. Already at the first orchestra reading. More of an adventure today than is typical. Most operas have what is called a partitura – a conductor’s score. The conductor works from a master score that literally contains every individual note played by every musician. That way, if something doesn’t go

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Giovanni creep

We’re having Giovanni creep. For two weeks, we had the luxury of focusing on one thing. But other projects are looming. The Giovanni schedule is being discussed, rehearsals for the July 9 concert with the National Symphony are beginning, and music is being finalized for Steve Blier’s upcoming recital with 4 of our singers. And,

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