So Little Time

The days just crowd in on themselves, and the choice of sleeping or blogging is a common one. So there’s much to catch up on.

Anti-Master Class

Today, three of our singers talked to and worked with some high school singers. It’s gratifying work, and our artists are always more than happy to volunteer. When we first started doing these classes, it surprised me that I’d have so many volunteers that I’d actually have to turn people down. And they always enter into it in such a positive, supportive way. (I call them Anti-Master Classes because I’ve seen my share of Master Classes whose unspoken agenda is to gratify the ego of the master artist. We are not going down that road.)


Yesterday, Yoga for Singers with Suzanne Jackson. I took the picture at left before class, at which time I was anticipating stretching out on one of those mats. Alas, yoga also gave way to the siren song of Friday at my desk. But I was doing Downward Dog in spirit.

Rehearsal Notes

Every evening, the Production Stage Manager of whatever show is in rehearsal sends notes to all of the folks involved with the show –
Costumes, Set/Tech, Lighting/Electrics, Sound, Music, Wigs/Make-up, Props, Administration… The notes indicate what happened in rehearsal that day and give marching orders for problems to be solved and tasks to accomplish.

I particularly liked this L’Etoile note from earlier this week: “The sound of clocks is defined as 7000 Czechoslovakian clocks ticking not in unison, and increasing in volume over approximately 1:15 of music.” I haven’t been in L’Etoile rehearsal nearly enough, and I plan to remedy that very soon!

On the other hand, I received a detailed email this week about technical specs for our production rental of Magic Flute. Not coming from the technical theatre side of this business, I am easily confused. Suffice to say that I got a little lost in this part: “Lighting & effects rental includes: 2 Dry Ice foggers, 2 Bridge Spots: Source Four 26 degree 750watt with iris and spot yokes, (8) + (2 spare) Rosco twin spins on four rovers.” (Actually, I understand more of that than I used to. The Technical Education of Ms. Witman proceeds apace.

Personal Best

It is only July 14, and I have finished all of the supertitles for the summer!!! (Well, L’Etoile and Flute are still in draft version, but the hard work is done.)

Auditions? In July?

Yes, it seems rudely early to be spending hours a day working on the fall audition tour. But our poster and applications are being printed in the next couple of weeks, and the information needs to be on the website in early August. So here we are, searching airline schedules and renting audition spaces. (Did you know it’s horrendously expensive to fly from Philadelphia to Cincinnati? Had to redo the routing to avoid it.)

If you want to audition for us next fall, look for the information early. Application deadines are at the beginning of October this year. And we’re auditioning for both the Filene Young Artist program and the Studio during the same time period (roughly October 28 through November 21). I’ll publish details very soon.

Once Upon a Time

Instant Opera! starts in a few days. Rehearsals are winding up, and we are so ready. Tomorrow we invite our colleagues to become our first audience, and on Tuesday we take our lives in our hands in front of 7-year-olds. Today’s rehearsal plots involved Spiderman, Hilary Duff, a pancake house and Harry Potter. Much more Instant Opera! news to follow this week.

Difficult News

Our business is reeling from this week’s news about Jerry Hadley. I only worked with Jerry briefly in the 80’s when his career was taking off and I was the third-assistant-rehearsal-pianist-in-the-corner. Of course our hearts go out to his family and friends, and it’s wrenching to imagine the amount of pain he must’ve been bearing. Tragedy can hit in all walks of life, but this hits home with us because we understand so well the difficulties and challenges of our business.

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