Friday, June 26, 2015

Opera Project Columbus Cavalleria Rusticana Rehearsal Diary Sixth Entry

I didn't drop dead last night. At least I think I didn't.

I can't take comfort in the hackneyed nonsense "Bad dress rehearsal good performance" because last night we had a very good dress rehearsal. Likewise I'm confident of stellar performances. Last night there were a lot of stops but these 'patching' sessions, while horribly nerve wracking, resulted in musical glory. The detail and love given bar to bar for this 200 plus page score can be excruciating to watch and glorious to hear.

Alessandro Siciliani, conductor of Cavalleria Rusticana this weekend. Devastating devotion

Those of us doing this work at a periphery, without the years of total absorption in music and drama, hear the clock ticking and breaks approaching and mental lists of all that will be left unattended and undone, find it easy to lose respect for the score of Cavalleria Rusticana and its drama. I doubt Mascagni himself had such painstaking musical preparation for the opera's premiere in 1890. I wonder what he thought, over the rest of his long life, when it became clear that none of his subsequent works would enjoy the success of Cavalleria, his first opera, written in his twenties. If worked all his life with the intensity, with the drama and the love I have seen over the past few weeks,  he must have been tormented by a few successes d'estimes and a few more downright flops.

I have a new respect for the work-akin to ditch digging, which I've done-involved in preparing a
performance like Opera Project Columbus will present tonight and Sunday. There are people who torment themselves out of respect for the music and the words. I don't have that talent. OPC has been privy to such dedication. You wills see and hear the results beginning tonight.

Visually, I am so proud of this company. They looked splendid. We have a lighting designer who had colored in the pictures with glory.Our thirty plus chorus still sounds like a fine eighty plus chorus. The orchestra is digging in, and singing. I am running around accomplishing little, and sucking down bite size Milky Way bars like they are Vicodin. Where are the guys for the procession? Where's the light cue? Is this the rope for the curtain? What to do about the two principals who showed up last night late and didn't give a shit? Can the people on stage remove their glasses? Can the chorus remember to get in the light?

Yes, I worked hard to establish some sort of vision for the piece. I was disappointed that musical values presented me from a lot of moves on which I had high hopes. Never mind. The point is the score and the point is the audience and both points are and will be wonderfully served.

Here's another artist whose devotion is like what I've been experiencing these past few weeks:

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