Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I have been in heaven for the last three weeks. So many wonderful things have been going on and even though we have had roof people at my house to fix leaks and we have had county water people here to fix roots growing in pipes….I have been ecstatic about being at home. For the first time EVER I am working in the same city in which I reside! It has been heaven to wake up in the mornings in my bed and have my coffee in my favorite coffee mug. And it has made me very joyful to sit out on the patio and have wine with my husband after a long day of rehearsals. (Not that I sit around other places and have wine with other peoples husbands....ha ha ha) It has also been a wonderful thing to drive my car to work every day! You see, I never get to do these things. I know they probably seem like small things, but when you travel as much as I do, you start and long for the familiar and you certainly cherish the moments when you are with your stuff on your own turf. (And your stuff is free of bedbugs, see earlier post for that great story.)
My heavenly time is about to end because we are in dress rehearsal week here in Atlanta. That means that I have only 11 days left before I must head north and end my blissful time at home. However, I must tell you all that if you have never seen opera before, the production of Elixir of Love that we are performing starting Saturday night at the Cobb Center for the Performing Arts, is a knock out. I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself. The music is very festive and upbeat and is filled with wonderful choral singing. The Atlanta Opera Chorus is to die for and the orchestra is splendid. There are gorgeous duets and I am thrilled with my wonderful colleagues. Now, I don’t usually toot my own horn, but this show has really come together beautifully and that is because everyone involved cares about the production. That may seem simple but let me tell you that I have worked in situations where no one seemed to care and that friends, is a difficult position to be in.
Opera is about team work. Yes, we learn our music alone and we as singers spend a lot of time preparing on our own, but the final product takes a huge amount patience and people working together. There are stage managers calling the shots backstage who are crucial to things running smoothly and timely. We have the great Sherrie Dee Brewer running our show and let me tell you it is like the Marine barracks at Parris Island! (I would know, my Daddy was a drill sergeant there during Vietnam.) There are costumers and make-up and wig people who work to make sure everyone looks the part but also that everyone is comfortable in their costumes and that their wigs stay put. There are props people making sure wine bottles, handkerchiefs, baskets of corn, and various other sundries are making their way on stage and back off stage in the proper place. There is the fabulous orchestra who gives 2 ½ hours of their complete attention and devotion to the music, counting for entrances and working towards making the most beautiful music as possible. There is the director who has worked for weeks with us all giving us stage direction but most importantly giving us input into our characters and our motivations for movement around the stage. (I love it when that happens, the part where the director makes it make sense, thank you David Gately!) There is the conductor who stands in the orchestra pit and keeps us all together, on the same page. He probably has the most difficult position of all because he has to know what everyone is doing. He has to know not only all the music but also all the staging and has to be able to anticipate the needs of a singer and also must be quick to recover if something drastically goes wrong on stage. He is also there to inspire us and encourage us which Maestro Yoel Levi does magnificently. It is a thrill to be working with him after not so many years ago seeing him conduct the Atlanta Symphony when I attended my very first symphonic concert back in ……oh………should I say……1995?? Wow, where does time go?
So, I am proud of this production. We have worked hard but most importantly we have had a good time. It is my first time singing Adina and usually the first time I prepare and perform a role I have an extra bit of anxiety because everything is new. However, this experience has been a bit of fresh air and not just because I am home in the fresh Georgia air. It’s because people care and they are working together to present something we can all be proud of. Please come see us if you are in town. You will be enchanted, I promise!
The Atlanta Opera ticket info