Are you tired of all opera, all the time? Sorry. I'm sure this is not what you thought you were signing up for when you started reading my blog. Now that the show is no longer in rehearsals, and we only have one more performance, we will soon be returning to our regularly scheduled program of... um... what is my regularly scheduled programming?
Our performances this weekend were a perfect example of the term "the show must go on." I mentioned that our lead soprano came down with laryngitis. She did not recover. So a lovely lady from our a local opera company stepped up to do the part. She was phenomenal. She had performed the role before... about a DECADE before. Seriously. Our chorus master stood in the wings with a score and spoke the Italian lines to her before she sang them. She did beautifully. Sure, there were a few dead spaces, and a spot where she grinned knowingly at the conductor while she sang words from a different part of the song, clearly unable to recall what exactly she was supposed to be singing at that moment. And probably lots of other moments that I missed because I was tucked away backstage. But it was stunning. She was kind and gracious to the whole cast, and I, for one, am so grateful for her, because otherwise the show would have been cancelled, and after the hours I spent working on it I would have been rather sore about that point.
On Saturday night, opening night, my husband drove down from the conference he was attending to see the show. I think I owe him a lot for that one. The supertitles(projected English translation) weren't working and there was no synopsis of the plot in the program (he said "I've been to Shakespeare plays where they give you more information, and those are done in English!") so he basically had no idea what was going on. When anyone asks him how it was he responds "It was three hours of singing in Italian." He did tell me, rather graciously, that we sounded great, the orchestra was great, I looked great, and that he wasn't bored. I'm not sure I believe all of it, but I'll take it! I spent the drive home explaining to him what had happened. And he made no comment at all about my kissing a woman on stage.
The next night the supertitles were working... sort of. There were none for the final scene, and apparently sometimes they flew by so fast that you couldn't read them. My friends who came to see it took to making up their own story lines. I haven't gotten the whole scoop on their imaginings yet, but I do know that the lead was not dying of TB, but rather a venereal disease, and the father of her lover managed to catch it as well (ahem). I think the rest will be just as fun to learn about.
The audiences seemed very appreciative regardless, and we had a good time. The cast party was fun (although I think I may have actually AVOIDED the director, since I had already written my previous post and couldn't see him without thinking about it), and I left as people were gathering around the piano singing beautiful Italian songs. Can I impress upon you how much talent was in that small room? It was astonishing.
Rumors have it that someone was videotaping the performance, but it hasn't shown up on youtube yet. Next weekend I should be getting some pictures from our dress rehearsal, but in the meantime, here is one of me in costume taken backstage: