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

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Working fast

Thursday, September 1st

A day of relative laziness, as it is decided that the rehearsal I was planning to attend is to be closed to covers. The evening, however, is a completely different story. We have a session with the choreographer and get started on the dances. There are 2 main dance sections, a minuet and the infamous can-can. As an added twist, because the production moves the action to modern times, both these dances have to be adjusted to fit a rave scenario ( Hell is a nightclub ). This is reminiscent of the Fledermaus production we put on this year at the RWCMD, but here there is a lot more specific choreography. The minuet is turned into a line dance, which is made quite tricky because of the translation from the traditional line dance 4/4 to the minuet 3/4. The can-can retains its basic step, but adds 'rave' elements. While the line dance is fairly manageable, the can-can is so fast and furious, that even with the MD allowing us to refrain from singing a verse, it is a struggle to catch ones breath to sing. It may have been different if we had a chorus, but as it is, our job is to make this scene as loud and busy as we can, and there's only 8 of us.

Friday, September 2nd

Today we watch the whole show for the second time, as the principals have their floor run. This gives us the opportunity to take in more of the background action, which is often racier than what happens in the main focus. There is quite a large audience gathered for this run, with management and company employees taking advantage of the last chance to see the production before it leaves this building and moves into the Citizens Theatre.

The evening covers' rehearsal sees us plowing on with Scene 1, and I get to do my Aristeus song, complete with slightly pervy pilates session. We reach Eurydice's death song and dialogue thereafter. It's tricky insofar as we are meant to strike some of the set, but as covers we don't have access to the actual set, props and costumes until our final run. There's only so much you can do with miming...

The hall / break room, where we end up spending quite a lot of time, despite the fast pace

Saturday, September 3rd

We spend the morning with our choreographer, going through some more of Scene 4: raving, pills, Rohypnol, cocaine, myself DJ-ing, and a gimpanzee to top it all off... And in the afternoon we pick up where we left off our chronological work through, getting to about halfway through Scene 2.

Our director keeps saying what a terrible thing covering is: only a week or so to prepare what the cast had 3 weeks to work on, having to work at a hectic pace, not being able to go back and polish things, if we get a scene to a decent state it's time to move on, etc. However, everyone agrees we are doing well, and it's a good learning experience (good thing I'm still a student), plus it's reassuring to see that I am capable of working this fast.

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