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Cinderella in Concert

There will undoubtedly be more on this later, but finally, a brief explanation on my gloom-and-doom postings from the last few days. I’ll post a slightly more detailed and satisfying account in a short while, but for now, here’s the official notice: ROSSINI’S CINDERELLA IN CONCERTDue to unforeseen circumstances, the Thursday, August 18 performance of

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Matinee audiences

Second Sweeney performance. Matinee. Sunday afternoons are prone to what I call “buffet coma” – all those folks who chow down at the brunch buffet and then come to the theatre to sleep. The cast was understandably optimistic after Friday’s opening, so I tried to damp audience response expectations for this afternoon. I needn’t have

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More bad news

Stayed up most of last night drafting some correspondence. A difficult situation about to emerge. Still can’t write about it here. But sadly, will be able to soon.

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Opening night

Opening night. But first I had to get through my pre-show talk. For several years now, I’ve been doing free pre-show “Inside Opera” talks for any ticket-holders who want to show up an hour early. In a perverse way, I love doing it. Maybe it’s because I was never an “insider” myself, having come to

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A turning point

Company day off. Also payday. I spent the day in the office, ostensibly to hand out paychecks and work with our press photographer to select rehearsal photos to send to the media, but also to crunch some numbers. A very depressing day, very likely leading up to a difficult decision. If it magically works itself

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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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