Kennedy Center "field trip"

We multi-task furiously in the middle of our season, and I feel very out of touch with Giovanni these days. We’re into our second week of stagings, but the looming NSO concert on Saturday night has consumed most of our administrative attentions. I say a little prayer of thanks that the Giovanni team is such a strong one, and that they won’t mind a bit of neglect.
Off to the Kennedy Center this morning for the orchestra rehearsal of “Murder…Mayhem”. No matter how many times we do this, I love watching the reactions of our singers as they enter the Concert Hall. We take this collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra for granted sometimes (and we shouldn’t, of course), but the adrenaline hit that results from this first rehearsal is never diminished.
The singers handle it well, even though standing on the edge of the stage and singing Verdi with the entire NSO inches away is a little humbling. Even the most sanguine of them need to be reminded that this music was meant to be done with singers on the stage and a moderate-sized orchestra tucked away in a pit. Once we get to the Filene Center, amplification will smooth out the differences in placement and orchestration, and we’ll get to enjoy the voices as well as the luxurious orchestral sound. But for now, the name of the game is not to get sucked into thinking that you can compete with the entire NSO in a decibel game. That’s a pretty quick route to stripping the vocal gears and having nothing left for the concert.
A little flurry of excitement surrounding the updated “I’ve Got a Little List” lyrics. This is, of course, The Kennedy Center, and although our lyrics were created in a spirit of equal opportunity (meaning that absolutely everyone is insulted so no one should be offended), one wonders if it’s appropriate to say these things out loud on this stage. After being assured that this is a closed rehearsal, we settle in. Of course, during the introduction, a tour group walked into the back of the Concert Hall. Those folks will just have an interesting tourist story to tell when they get home.

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