The week has been a bit stressful at times. Having taken a week off before the concert to put on four performance (including two dress rehearsals) of Orfeo (which was great by the way), it was straight to the first orchestra rehearsal Monday afternoon. That rehearsal went just fine - a great sounding group of musicians, and just a few tweaks of style and tempo that needed to be done.
Tuesday was another day though.
After having to take care of three media appointments, one TV, one radio and one newspaper, I was off to the soloist's rehearsal. The soloists are fantastic, a career highlight for sure! The orchestra was a bit taken back by some of the fast tempos, but we managed to work through them together. The only problem was that with a 2.5 hour orchestra call, we completely ran out of time, and didn't get to the end of one one of the more difficult stretches in the work - which wouldn't been seen again until the dress rehearsal. Tuesday night's orchestra and choir rehearsal went very well though - the choir is in fine shape for this show, and are now at the stage where we NEED to perform this work before the excitement slides.
Wednesday, after teaching my morning class at the University, it was off to another TV engagement around noon, then off to find a replacement for my white bow-tie, which went missing after the last show I used it, and a trip to the chiropractor (it seems that the spirits scene in Orfeo did quite a number on my back, and I've also developed a bit of conductor's shoulder and forearm. My DCS is an active release technician though, and worked through the kinks, so it is much better today).
Wednesday night - dress rehearsal!
First half went great - just a couple of the adagios at the end of the soloists arias that needed reworking, but otherwise, the choir sounded great, as did the orchestra. Second half - not quite as good. The aria we didn't get to on Tuesday afternoon needed much work, eating up about 15 minutes of the rehearsal, where I really only had ten minutes to spare. I had to cut out the last four arias in the rehearsal in order to get to the final movement (there was an audience of junior high and high school students there, and I didn't want to end without the final chorus!) which will mean that those movements will see their second run through ever - at tonight's performance! Still on my mind right now is if the second half is indeed too long. I've thought of cutting a few recits, but I think we'll keep it as is.
If we do go past 10:30 PM though, it's going to mean a pretty heavy fine for the choir to pay overtime for each member of the orchestra, as well as the staff of the Winspear. I really don't want this to happen, but as my wife says - once the first downbeat is given, I can't worry about it.
So in the hours I have left - I need to get comfortable with some tempos, some segues between recits and arias, and a feel for the piece as a "whole" which we really didn't get a chance to feel at the dress rehearsal.
There might be some "exciting" moments at the performance tonight, I just hope they are as a result of the great music, and not as a result of anything that might go wrong!
Toi Toi Toi