Is It Crowded in Here?

Remember Sybil? I guess she made an impression on me because I was in thrall of a music therapy career at that time, fascinated by all manner of personality disorders. (Plus, my own very sheltered childhood included a Sally Field fixation.)

There have been far too few hours in these recent days. The combination of the abrupt frequent changes of gears and the lack of sleep has made it seem as though a temporary (purely recreational) dissociative identity disorder might be just the ticket.

Thelma, Mild-Mannered Arts Administrator

Thelma has been dogged by guilt this week, for she has let many things slip through the cracks. Ready or not, opera will be happening in just 6 weeks, and she is ill prepared. Verdi orchestra parts must be created, Handel cut lists must be finalized, and Candide roles must be assigned.

Web page content needs to be fleshed out, program copy begs to be written and supertitles cry out for attention. Guests artists and teachers must be booked for seminars. (She’s thinking that a website development session might be helpful – not the nuts and bolts, but how to find a designer and what to expect.) And Thelma knows that there’s no time for any of this nonsense once artists arrive. On your mark… set… administrate!

Ella Mae, Fearless Accompanist

If Ella Mae were of a younger generation, she’d call herself a Collaborative Pianist. But old habits die hard.

She had far too good a time playing a concert last week. Crazy transpositions and lead sheets and all. The day of the performance, just in the nick of time, she remembered an important lesson. Rehearsing with singers gives a pianist a good amount of inadvertent practice, but only on the “sung” portion of the rep. But what about those preludes, interludes and postludes… when no one is singing? That’s when the audience listens to the pianist. Oops… those are the parts Ella Mae always forgets to practice. But she generally found her way to that magic place between accuracy and fakery, and she made some pretty good music.

Singers for this program were former Wolf Trappers, and it was such a joy to make music with them. Being a mentor is wonderful, but it’s refreshing to shed the coach/teacher mantle and just be a colleague.

Priscilla, Inspirational Opera Lecturer

Remember the Inside Opera class that began March 24? Imagine Priscilla’s surprise when she realized that it was really happening the same week as the aforementioned rehearsals. Teaching this class seemed like such a good idea a few months ago…

Priscilla managed to pull off Session 1, and the response was gratifying. She had a great time with the Florentine Camerata, Monteverdi, Handel, deux ex machina and Farinelli. By tomorrow evening she’ll figure out how to jam Mozart, bel canto, librettists, supertitles, baritones, and commedia dell-arte into 90 minutes.

Mazie, Crazy Jazz Pianist

Overlaid on all of this opera are crazy fun rehearsals for Cy Coleman’s City of Angels. Mazie is having the best time with all these cool half-diminished and major-minor-ninth chords. Yum. She did a production of On the Twentieth Century a lifetime ago and has been waiting 25 years to get back to Cy.

Harriet, the Happy Housewife

Well, Harriet hasn’t been to the grocery store for 3 weeks, so she’s not going to win any awards. But she did do laundry today, and she swept up the worst of the dirt on the floor. She made a quick shopping trip to look for a new sofa, but got into a fight with Mazie, who quickly established dominance and blew the sofa budget on a cool new Yamaha S90ES. I guess Harriet can sit on the floor a little longer.

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