Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Catchup, part 2

It's good to be the king!!

In the last scene of BALLO, the king has invited his court to a masked ball. In our production, everyone at that ball is dressed as the king. It is, in a word, postmodern - in another word, cool.

While our chorus resides in AwesomeLand (when not becaped for Verdi, they are singing precise French and marching about in FILLE DU REGIMENT rehearsals), work continues apace on THE REFUGE back in the Studio. The week is full of an interesting conjunction of the sorts of assignments that can come the Studio's way: two singers are away at a patron's ranch for an important event, one is in New York singing a recital, four are singing Brahms quartets for a Houston-based ballet performance. Three are in BALLO, two are in FILLE, and the music staff is running interference in between all of these activities, sometimes coaching, sometimes practicing, sometimes performing. At this moment, a brand new and technically difficult work like THE REFUGE feels like quite a burden. It's long, it's difficult, and it's really hard to sing - and for people who have all this other performing to do, it feels like a burden and a compromise. It especially feels so confined to the practice room - but that's the slow and steady work I referenced a couple of posts ago. When you're shuttling between the stage and the practice room, the practice room can feel so small. That's where we are. Patrons and recital lovers stand up to applaud us one night, we lurch with a huge opera toward completion the next - and after it all, we head back to the practice room for more slow, unspectacular work. Those kingly robes feel mighty pretend at times.

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