A young(ish) opera singer's random thoughts and observations.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Always be ready to go on

A cliche? Read on...

It's been an uneventful couple of days, including a day off, some friendly catch-ups in person and over Facebook, some fruitful clothes shopping, and of course more rehearsals (both watching and doing). Nothing really worth mentioning until...

Wednesday, September 7th

Dress rehearsal day. And at that very rehearsal, which was open and attracted an audience, one of the principals got injured and had to be replaced in the 2nd half of the show. I won't go into detail, it's still very fresh in my memory, as I only just got home and am already writing (I confess to being slightly in shock, and that's only having been witness to the whole thing). I will however write a bit about the dynamic in the theatre as the scene unfolded.

It was a prop-related accident, not everyone saw it, as it was a busy scene on stage. Even when the principal walked off, not everyone in the cover cast caught on to what was going on (I don't know about the audience, we were in the circle, apart from them, but as we knew the show we had the best chance of noticing any mishaps, and it still took a while to permeate our ranks). The whispers did however slowly spread, so when a frantic woman came up to where we were, we knew that Adrian was going to have to go on. So as he went off to get into costume, we were left there fretting about the accident, wondering how bad it was, and stressing over the fact that Adrian would have to do the one scene we hadn't set yet, so essentially being directed from the wings. When he did step onto the stage, I sneaked a glance at our row. We were all leaning forward, our hands over our mouths, eyes open wide. Thankfully it went well, very well considering the circumstances, with the cast being very helpful in subtly guiding our colleague through the staging (they had also done a great job of covering the lack of their respective colleague in the immediate aftermath of the accident). We all relaxed up in the circle and even went through a bit of group hysterical elation at how well it went.

Afterwards I went to take Adrian's things to him backstage and to find out how bad the injury was (seeing the ambulance at the stage door did nothing for my nerves). No one was forthcoming with specifics, Adrian was released and told to be ready in case he had to go on tomorrow for opening night, so we headed home, bumping into the rest of the covers on the way out. Much speculation and worry understandably ensued (after everyone had expressed how impressed they were with Adrian's performance), but as we had no chance of finding out anything more, we all went our separate ways. I got to chat a bit with Adrian on the way home, he said the feeling he got was surreal. That's the only word he could find to describe it. I can't even imagine...

I got home only to realize, that I myself felt very unnerved by the experience. I'm on edge, restless, hungry for news, worried, anxious... And I wasn't even directly affected! How must everyone in the cast, backstage, etc feel? Again, I can't even imagine, but my thoughts are with them.

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