Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Italian Lesson

"Piu staccatto!"

"Bravi! Bravi!"

"Crescendo!!!! Crescendo!!!!"

"Molto piano"

"Subito piano"

The maestro is so cool. He dances around waving his arms and shouting in Italian. I love it!

My rehearsal adventure starts, as always, with the parking. Today I found a spot on the street, hooray! Right next to some guy who was changing the tire on his car. I pop out of my car, "Hi, need any help? Uh, not that I could do much more than cheer you on. Hey, you're doing a GREAT job changing that tire!" He must've thought I was a freak. Then I put too much money in the meter. Parking is free after 7 and I got there 6:30. I swear I'm good at math... or at least I used to be... but I gave Parking Authority an extra 25 cents.

So I had 20 minutes to kill. I went to the music building and saw some of the chorus there. I said hello with a smile... nothing. Hmm. Not another repeat of last year! I went outside and sat next to Sean, said hello, he looked familiar, was he here last year... nope... but he was in Rigoletto. So we met. Then the meanie girl from last year came out. I said hello. She looked the other way. Very drama-llama dramatic. Okayyyy... I'll wait to see if she comes around. Then someone else came out and lo and behold she was... friendly!! Made me wonder, was she actually in the chorus, or just some random woman passing by? Seriously, so many of the chorus girls were so standoffish last year (and by standoffish, I mean, of course, well, this is a family show kids so I'll stick to standoffish) that I had a hard time processing the friendly interaction.

So once again the rehearsal started with the music, and I've summarized that above. The chorus sounds AMAZING. A MAZE ZING. Two of the leads weren't there so the covers sang the roles. Then we moved on to staging - another party scene. This time Ken and I carry a card table laden with drinks, cigars, cards and cash onto the stage. The we skedaddle out of the way so Kelly and Rachel can bring the chairs. Worked great without the chorus on stage... then the director had them come on, and part for us, but then they closed back in just as Ken and I were trying to exit and there was a lot of shuffling and bumping. I cannot count how many people I bumped into tonight. So anyway then Ken and I go back to the table and grab trays of drinks. The tray had I had had two gummy sticky things on it so I stuck two of the glasses there. Then we had to go right back onstage and serve the drinks. I just go into the crowd and people take a glass, so it's different every time. The last person to take a glass tugged on it and almost took the tray with her. She burst out laughing and I got the giggles. Well I had already had them from before, when I was trying to exit the stage and kept bumping into everyone. Then at one point we have to remove the table, and again *bump* *oops* *sorry* *snort* *don't laugh... don't laugh.... don't laugh...* Really this one guy just has to get out of the way, but each time he stepped to the side, I also stepped to the same side... Eventually we'll figure it out.

Then we had a break.

Overheard in the bathroom (translation: I was in the stall):

"Ohmigod! Look! Three blonds together"
"Well, I'm not as blond as you two."
"True, your hair tends toward red." Pause... "But it looks GREAT with your coloring."
(An aside here: They're all platinum blond. None of them tend toward red.)
"Ooohhhh! Did you know we're going to be in a lesbian scene together?"
(I'm still in the stall wishing so much that I had my notebook to write this all down)
"Yeah, he told me to put my head in her lap and my face ends up in her crotch!"
(I flush and exit the stall as they're on their way out.)

So I decide to sit outside. I plunk myself down next to some of the chorus members and pull out my little container of fruit.

My nearest neighbor:

"Hey! You have blueberries! And grapes!"


"Wow, you're really good at identifying fruit! Would you like some?"

And so we got to chatting. She asked how I became a super so I told her I had a friend who had a picture of herself with Nathan Gunn, and I asked her how she met him. She told me she was a super in an opera he was in and I was like, "A super? What's that?" and the rest is history. Well as soon as I said I had a friend who met Nathan Gunn her eyes lit up and she was all "OMG!" so of course I whip out my iPhone to show her The Picture.

I told her the whole story, and that I know one of his students, and she said that someone in the chorus this year studies with him. She also asked if she can come the next time I meet him... I told her to get in line! I also told her that I study voice at the local Conservatory. Turns out she goes to college that the conservatory is associated with AND my voice teacher was a guest lecturer in her pedagogy class. She asked me what I was singing and so on. I was still amazed - a normal person in the chorus! I think last year's experience really jaded me. This year is already a lot more fun.

Anyway, break over, back in we go.

So we go over some more table-moving and drink-serving. Someone left a libretto nearby so I was reading along. There's one point where the chorus sings, "Alfredo, voi." Alfredo, it's you! and at that very moment Michael Fabiano, who is Alfredo in the production, opened the door and came in. It was hysterical - I don't know if he planned it since he could probably hear the chorus through the door.

Did I mention that the chorus sounded AMAZING??? And Michael is awesome. WHAT a FABULOUS voice.

The director was very pleased with everyone's performance and we got out an hour early.

I walked out with Ken and Rachel and we talked about how nice everyone is this year compared to last year.

Next rehearsal: Friday afternoon.


poltergeist said...

I'm glad you are having such a good time at the rehearsals...I'm looking forward for the dresses description!! BTW when are the performances?

Susan said...

The performances are July 11, 13, 17, 19 and 26th. Thinking about coming? ;)

poltergeist said...

LOL I'd love to, but it's a little too far...But I won't forget to check the blog on those days ;)

Anonymous said...

You know I'm coming!