4.24.2011

home before midnight!

Hot. Damn!

Tonight was orchestra tech... the night where we have all of the pieces of the opera (sets, props, costumes, wigs, makeup, lights, sets, orchestra), and we try to get through the show. After the show there are two meetings that happen simultaneously: the director gives notes to the performers, and the tech folks give notes to each other. (The musicians union mandates that players' notes be given during rehearsal, which is only one of the reasons that the other meetings lag until post-rehearsal.)

These rehearsals tend to be ugly (depending on the length of the opera and the number of technical effects/issues), and the meetings afterwards tend to be long. So, the fact that I'm on my couch with a glass of wine well before midnight?

HUGE SCORE.

Especially when you consider that we have 2 mezzos in 2 new roles. Costumes have been altered, last-minute rehearsals have been called and attended. We've chained our poor pianists to their instruments for more hours than is, well, nice.

But we're officially in the home stretch! Here's the outline of the next few days:
Sunday - Easter! Prayer, running, cocktails in the neighborhood (Easter Bonnets! Have you ever had one?), a meal with hubster's cousins (and a playdate for Boo with their lab and their pond. Needless to say, I will not be dressing up.), and an eeeeaaaarrrrlllyyy bedtime for yours truly. I'm needing a little more sleep than I've averaging. Oh - and I can finally eat meat again! Celebratory burger, anyone?

Monday - dress rehearsal! Our first time with an audience.

Tuesday - a wedding! Well, reception - the lovely couple is eloping. I've only met them since this project started, but they're just such a fab, low-key, adorable couple. And they're having their reception at a cupcake place... with champagne! FANTASTIC!

Wednesday - OPENING NIGHT. I've only been working on this project since I was hired. It's a big day. And I'm pretty thrilled, I have to say.

Thursday - Likely an office catch-up day. Those folks from the summer are likely wanting answers from me for many many questions.

Friday - Show #2.

Saturday - Salon day. Keep the crazy blond bangs? Go all bottle blond? Go back dark? I can't decide...

Sunday - Show #3.

Monday - "Shop" for art with Artee at the Phillips Collection for our summer collaboration - one of my all-time favorite things to do!

Busy, busy week. Take into account that I need to buy groceries, get my car inspected (emissions...Damn you Virginia for requiring 3 different steps for registration!), and buy show shoes. Because let's be frank - any opera with a shoe ARIA requires fabulous footware. It's non-negotiable, right?

Busy, busy week. But pretty epic in its awesomeness. Awesomity? AWESOMEPALOOZA???

Maybe.

I'm hoping to have a little time to reflect on the last month...between The Inspector and Lent, it's been a little intense...ultimately in a good way, even it some days have been less than comfortable. There's some sense to be made of all of it, even if I'm not quite there yet.

My five:

  1. Generosity. Even the usually stingy yoga dude gave me exactly what I needed today. I hope I did the same for someone.
  2. Risks. I have been watching people take them on a daily basis. And it's exciting.
  3. Warm breezes. They feel like uncharted territory after this cold, wet spring.
  4. Whack-a-mole. Boy, do I love the adrenalin rush of real operatic WAM! (Is there a 12 step program for that?)
  5. Celebrations. It's going to be quite a week for it.

4.22.2011

whoa.

wow, folks...live theater is an interesting animal, for sure.

...and I am saying that with an incredulous note in my voice, even though I've had the privilege to work in this little niche for more years than I have fingers.

SO. We're opening this little (world premiere) opera (that we started working on at about the same time I started my new job) in five days.

Which is cool...

We had some mezzo difficulties in the beginning, but we worked it all out.

Except suddenly? Not.

So we're in this weird space...having to bid adieu to a sweet colleague who left crazy personal turmoil to be a part of our process, joined the project late but threw herself into it 200%...and, in a cruel twist, hurt herself in an effort to make up for lost time. Singers are a generous bunch, to be sure...and this lady really gave us a huge hunk of herself, at a time when she was being pulled in seven different directions.

It's too soon to say goodbye - I hardly had a chance to know her!

But the girl who's been waiting in the wings? Is one of ours, and has proved that she's fast, flexible, and has nerves of steel. I'm so very, very proud of her! (Even though I didn't have a single thing to do with her development...I'm still preening like a mama hen.) It's a big opportunity for her, and I have not a single doubt that she's going to shine.

Tomorrow? One new singer arrives, and we rushrushrush her through a rehearsal/staging process. Our intern defends his thesis. The recording guys (the ones who submitted our last opera to the Grammy committee? Yep, those guys.) start hanging microphones. And we have our first rehearsal with the orchestra in the hall.

It's been a week of miscommunications, overstepped boundaries, bad news, and - shocker - not quite enough sleep. (Related? Hmmm....) But it's also been a week of happy announcements, smiling babies, silly pets, tasty Thai food, birthdays, and homecomings. All of them? More reasons to be grateful...for generous colleagues (who aren't above stress eating or finally saying "REALLY??"), for the inherent flexibility built into this art form (and those who embrace it), for the mandate to move forward, and for the crutches of chocolate, cheese and wine.

And also? I'm grateful for the fact that my windows are open to the breeze, my neighborhood is preening in pinks and whites and greens, and that my Lenten discipline of being meat free is almost over! (And, while this veggie thing is just now starting to work for me and I'll likely continue it for a large part of my eating, I'm looking forward to a bacon cheeseburger like a girl in hoochie shoes looks forward to flats and a foot massage.)

My five:

  1. Colleagues with a strong commitment to collaboration. (Say THAT five times fast!)
  2. Happy songs.
  3. Dreaming. (Seriously, I need to stop watching these cooking shows. Or, I need to start trashing my kitchen more often. One or the other.)
  4. Having the opportunity - and presence of mind - to shore up folks who need it.
  5. Large glasses of wine. 

4.16.2011

whirlwind

This spring is a whirlwind...there's more going on, more details, more new experiences than in a normal spring. There are more a-ha moments, but also more balls to drop.

It's mid-April, but my house looks strangely like summer...bare fridge, ginormous dust bunnies...and I swear someone threw a clothes-bomb into my closet. It's trashed.

Today is a day off - it's been 2 weeks since my last one, so it's feeling both luxurious and 100% necessary.  The weather is conducive to staying inside...windy, rainy, cool. I've made it to the grocery store and grabbed fixings for lasagna and grilled cheese sandwiches with 'mater soup. (AND, in my Lenten state of non-meat-eating, made the ultimate sacrifice and deboned a rotisserie chicken for hubby. Now that's love.) There's a load of laundry in the washer, house porn on the TV, and sleeping pets within arm's reach. I have  a book I've been hoping to finish (I've fallen asleep with it on my chest no fewer than 5 times. Shameful.), candles lit, and a blanket across my lap.

I'm. Not. Moving.

(And I think hubs is going to need to walk to dog tonight...it's a fair trade for that chicken, right?)

Eleven days until opening night. Nine days until the final dress rehearsal. Eight days until I can have a hamburger.

Fifteen days until closing night.

Thirty-one days before stage management arrives for the summer season.

(Help.)

My five:

  1. Weather-enforced slackitude.
  2. Magazines.
  3. A day of no makeup/blow-dryer/grown-up clothes.
  4. The zillion shades of green that are shining in my neighborhood.
  5. Sleeping in.

4.07.2011

ain't no middle ground here

my neighbor's lovely cherry (?) tree
I'm not writing much here because things are so changeable.

We went from middle-of-winter calmness to full on whack-a-mole in .2 seconds. And life in general seems to be devoid of middle ground.

Work fluctuates between big-picture dreams and the micromanagement of the smallest details...between incredible rehearsals and horrible, music-halting family emergencies. My poor boss, because of some poor planning on my part is bouncing back and forth between left and right brain for the next two days, while juggling both the demands of an insistent musicologist and the whims of a lover with a sweet master plan.

I have received horrible news from two close friends, and am hoping against hope that these particular things don't travel in the customary threes.

I have, finally, insisted that my mother visit me. And she's accepted! Funny how things sometimes don't happen until you ask for them.

And my little suburban neighborhood? Has been iced in pinks and whites and yellows. They are breathtaking, these tiny instances of beauty.

I'm craving balance...even while knowing that it simply is not attainable for a while. The inside of my head - and my heart - feel like a pinball machine.

My five:

  1. Skype. 
  2. Blossoms.
  3. Blue skies.
  4. Laughter.
  5. Sleep.