Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Show Must Go On

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:

23 comments:

thailandchani said...

That is a beautiful costume! And contrary to what you might believe at the moment, all of this is actually very interesting. :)

slouching mom said...

Look at that gorgeous dress! And the gorgeous woman wearing it!

I am awestruck by the fact that the replacement could sing like that on incredibly short notice. THAT -- is talent.

I hope you can post a video of some of it! We'd like to see YOU!

Jen M. said...

I second that - it is fascinating stuff for me, too.

the dragonfly said...

I'm not bored!! This is fun for me! :)

Hope your next performance goes as well..or better! (any chance of the soprano recovering by the next show?)

Family Adventure said...

The drama of opening night! Wow! I'm glad someone was able to step in and do so well!

You look beautiful! Your husband was right!

Heidi

Mad Hatter said...

How positively Guffman. Just getting caught up after a few days away. I'm so eager to hear how it all went!

amanda said...

I am so glad it was a wonderful experience for you. Meanwhile, I am still incredibly jealous in PA.

Rimarama said...

Yes, this was fascinating reading. And you looked mahvelous . . .

Candy said...

I've done some community theater, and you've reminded me of a show I did some years back. It was called "Sylvia" and I was a dog. On opening night, our leading man went to the wing during the blackout at the end of the show to set up for curtain call, and fell off the front of the stage and broke his leg.

And yes, the show did go on. The next night, our Stage Manager did the role with a script in his hands, and by Sunday they had found someone who had done the role a few years earlier, and we re-blocked the entire show.

Something about surviving those moments are what theater is all about.

Emily said...

I was SURE she would recover. You are so fortunate you found someone!!

Victoria said...

I am so not bored either - it's all so interesting! Glad it went well - you look lovely! =)

Kathryn said...

Can I just tell you that is my ONE reoccuring nightmare? That I must step in for someone else on a lead role that I had previously done 10 years ago. I hate that dream. I never have ANY time to practice, the staging is all different, and I can't remember any lines. I always wake up sweaty and relieved.
So glad the show went on. I love your costume. It sounds like you had a blast.
Time well spent, yes?

Jennifer said...

Beautiful costume! I'm afraid I would be in the same camp as your husband "Three hours of singing in Italian" would probably sum it up for me. But, that doesn't mean I don't like reading about it. I do, I do. Fun!

Julie Pippert said...

What a story! Wow! I'm glad it all went off well...and your friends are very creative LOL. Beautiful costume.

Julie
Using My Words

Amy Y said...

Look how beautiful you are!

Glad it (mostly) went off without a hitch.
Let us know when it's on youtube...

b*babbler said...

Don't you look beautiful!

And this isn't boring at all... I'm loving this peek behind the curtain!

susiej said...

Very exciting -- are you working out those details for the you tube video?!! Thrilling.

WorksForMom said...

Wow,how exciting! You look AWESOME!!!

Christine said...

you look like an angel!

i bet you sing like one two

b*babbler said...

Thought I'd add that I tagged you for a meme. If you aren't interested, no harm, no foul!

(Although seven random facts? I'm curious/nosy!)

Kelly Malloy said...

I am so jealous - you are done! My dance classes and youth theater group are perfoming the Ntucracker, but we don'tfinish until December 8th! You lucky duck! LOL!

niobe said...

What a great story. These little (or not-so-little) mishaps always make things so much more, um, interesting.

And, as everyone's already said, you look gorgeous.

soccer mom in denial said...

What? You aren't going to be in this opera FOREVER? I, for one, am not sick of reading about it.