Monday, September 16, 2013

A New Season

A new season for Opera Grand Rapids is just around the corner so I guess it is time to dust off the blog. The only problem is that this is a blog about singing in the chorus and the first opera of the season doesn't have a chorus. Hmmm, what to do? Well, we are trying to keep the chorus singers busy by doing some smaller sings. Last week we had a group sing at a party for a local law firm's 125th anniversary. It was a lot of fun, but also challenging. We are used to singing and moving and interacting, but not among a group of people who don't realize what we are doing. Yes, it was a flash mob. I think the unexpectant audience enjoyed our brindisi (the drinking song from La Traviata) and I appreciated the wine and bruschetta!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Closing Night

We had a good opening last night and now we close the show tonight.  In a way it seems like we have been doing this show for a long time (we started chorus rehearsals at the beginning of August), but really we only perform for an audience three times.  Samson + Delilah is a big show to tackle, especially on a tight budget, but I believe that Opera Grand Rapids did it again.  We all should be proud of the work we have done.  Now, let's go out in triumph and die one last time in the temple of Dagon.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Opening Night


Opening night is only a few hours away.  Hope everyone is ready!  Samson + Delilah begins with the chorus wandering the stage as the enslaved Hebrew people, lamenting their plight.  Dieu!  God!  Dieu d'Israel!  The people call out to the God of Israel and then Samson appears among them to rally their spirits.  And so it begins; the Biblical tale of the heroic Samson who kills a lion with his bare hands, but falls prey to a seductress!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dark Day

Today is our dark day; no rehearsal or show.  I still have to work all day and go to a different rehearsal tonight, but I should get home at a decent time.  The final dress rehearsal last night went okay.  We had some glitches, but no train wrecks.  The Grand Rapids Symphony is sounding awesome, as usual, and the Grand Valley State University dancers look beautiful...and handsome...in the bachanal.  I even get to join in dancing with some of them during an earlier scene.  It's always fun to be able to dance in a show!
The chorus isn't in Act II and I was hoping to be able to watch it from backstage at some point, but taking a short nap was necessary in order for me to make it through Act III since I haven't had much sleep for the past week.
I hope to be able to watch Act II on opening night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

video
Chorus women rehearsing in the dressing room before the orchestra dress rehearsal.  Yes, we do act like this.

A Change of Tenor

Opera is always an adventure.  The best thing about live theater is that it is always changing.  Sometimes the changes surprise you.  The tenor we had hired to sing Samson had to leave because of personal reasons (it's personal, so I didn't ask) and Maestro Lyall had to call in another tenor to step in and assume the title role.  This isn't the first time that I've been a part of a show where someone had to be replaced and I'm sure it won't be the last time, either.  This is life; people get sick.  Life interuptus.  But, the show must go on.  Frank Porretta, a natural Samson (long hair and all), has jumped into the role and is taking contol of the DeVos Hall stage. We are very fortunate that Frank has agreed to come sing with us considering that this is the time he scheduled off to be with his wife and newborn baby.  Here's a link to the Press Release: Grand Rapids Press Article.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time to dust off the Blog again!

It's been some time, but I finally decided to get back to the blog.  Opera Grand Rapids is in chorus rehearsal for Samson + Delilah by Saint Saens.  Once again I am dealing with the French language.  I actually really love the language; I just have some issues memorizing it. I would love to spend an extended time in France to learn the language, but that isn't going to happen any time soon so now I have to work on repetition instead.  So far I have been working on my notes (I sing the alto line) with a keyboard and rewriting the French on my computer so I can make note cards for when we start staging.  One more chorus rehearsal with Maestro Duane Davis on Monday and then we start staging on the weekend.  Time to buckle-down and get comfortable with this score!

operagr.com