Monday, February 1, 2010

Under Cover

I am in New York City right now for the next few months working at the Metropolitan Opera. My job is to cover two main stage roles, both of which I have never performed before. I have told family and friends that I am covering at the MET and they are completely lost as to what this means. I know, it is an odd term. One person actually thought I was hovering at the MET and that is really closer to what it feels like. Basically, it is the new term we use instead of ‘understudy’. It is like being second string on a football team. I have to be prepared with all the plays and strategy in the case that I get put into the big game. So, I learn the music, watch rehearsals, get some play by play staging rehearsals, and then sit around waiting to see if I am ever needed to come in and save the day by throwing the 90 yard touchdown pass. Yes, it is stressful work but I am happy to say that I am very excited. Covering is more stressful because you lack the rehearsal time to get the role into your body. You have to do all of this on your own, in your apartment or in the small amount of rehearsal time you get when they give you the blueprint of the role. I am covering the effervescent Diana Damrau in La fille du Regiment and the show opens this Saturday and I still haven’t staged Act II. Am I worried? Nah. Do I fret at night over the pages of French dialogue that I will have to perform? A little, but Nah. For me there is something so enticing about the possibility of being thrown on stage with little rehearsal. I know it sounds crazy but I am kind of an adrenaline addict. I’ve never done drugs but I can only imagine that an adrenaline rush must be something close to it. So, I say bring it on! Opera is my drug!

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