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 well (human error or mechanical mistake in the printed music), it’s not too daunting to figure out exactly what happened and then fix it. Operettas and musicals usually don’t have a partitura (the conductor works from a slightly glorified version of a piano accompaniment score); therefore, if something doesn’t sound right in an orchestra rehearsal, it can take many valuable (read: expensive!) minutes to search and destroy.
Fortunately, Sweeney has benefited in recent years by opera company productions in which mistakes were corrected and then passed back to the publisher. Since the Lyric Opera of Chicago production, Sweeney’s publisher (Music Theatre International) printed a new and improved set of parts. The result is that we had very little time wasted on basic repairs and could focus more on the music-making.