Whose Idiotic Idea…

…was it to promise a daily blog entry? Today was the most exhausting day so far this summer, but I do believe it will be bested by tomorrow.

Candide in concert

We now have a backlog of experience with these concerts-on-steroids, and each time we get better at predicting the arc of this brutally short period of preparation. Our singers have been working for a couple of weeks now, memorizing the show and oddly enough, preparing to be flexible. It seems like a contradiction in terms – logically, the more thoroughly you prepare something, the more specific and unbendable it should become. But there’s a certain kind of flexible preparation that the best musicians can do – it simultaneously gives them confidence and grounding while making them more able to turn on a dime and respond to colleagues or conditions as necessary. This is the goal.

The conductor arrived on Tuesday, and the director on Wednesday. We took the 4th of July off. We weren’t fully populated until this morning when our guest Pangloss (Jason Alexander) arrived. And in 5 hours we both began and ended our official rehearsal period. Then we went to the Kennedy Center for a sprint-through with the NSO. The show begins in 20 hours.

The beauty and the surprise of all this is that Candide does not feel under-rehearsed. It’s amazing what happens when you put together a group of performers who know themselves and their work so well that they can accomplish amazing things in just a few hours.

Apologies for the half-formed thoughts. (By promising a post a day, I seem to have pledged quantity, not quality, this month:) Photos tomorrow.

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