Friday, March 8, 2013

Opera in Rehearsal

I wanna write this fresh fresh. Yesterday was the first professional opera rehearsal I ever watched. The opera house just around the corner from my cousin’s apartment (where I’m currently living during the week in São Paulo) is doing Cenerentola a week from this. And the conducting professor in my college is the conductor in this opera and was letting some of his students watch the rehearsal, I asked my friend if it was ok if I went and so after he said yes, off I was to the opera house.
Nice pic of the Theatro São Pedro, I did take some pics of the rehearsal but I don't wanna post them before the opening
Walking into the opera house was already thrilling to me, we entered from backstage, so we walked on the stage and I tried to take in as much as I could from those 2 minutes we made our way to the audience. It’s very much like Renée Fleming’s description of the Met's backstage, it’s not as beautiful and as glamorous as the parts the public sees, it’s got wires and things we singers cannot comprehend but it’s also kind of cozy. It definitely has a very good feel to it.

The rehearsal startsed at 7, so 6:30 we were there and so was the majority of the orchestra and the singers. The noise I heard was indescribably amazing. A mixture of all the orchestra instruments warming up,  playing their scales at their own time and tone, people talking in Portuguese and Italian, the scenery coming in and out of stage. I just sat in the audience in total bliss, feeling like the luckiest person in the world!
My friends who went with me were actually helping backstage and were a bit lost, so they had the scores with them so they could write down stuff. But I didn’t need that; I was there to watch, only. I felt sort of special then, because we were the only ones in the audience apart from the crew and I was the only one there that didn’t have my nose glued to the sheet music, so I felt as if they were singing only to me. And boy could they sing!

As the opera started I was absolutely transported, the singers weren’t in costume and the lightings weren’t up but I left that to my imagination. Sometimes I’d imagine the costumes from that famous production of the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona. The blocking had already been rehearsed so it was more like a run-through with the orchestra, meaning there were very little pauses and so I could sit back and watch just as if it was the day of the performance.
But something very cool about being in the rehearsal is seeing the singers up close sitting in the audience near you. In their normal people self persona, they laugh, make jokes, talk, you could mistake them for everyday people. But then when they step on stage they are transformed, it’s like they’re all two meters tall when they take the stage!
My friends chitchatted during some of the arias, but I didn’t even move, I couldn’t take my eyes off that stage. The breaks came and went by so fast, and then I’d finally unglue my butt off the chair and chitchat as well.

All that coloratura made me dizzy! But I was loving it, it’s at these moments that you reaffirm what you really love and want to do, and this is definitely something I love and need to do. Their rehearsal isn’t like the ones I’m used to, with hundreds of jokes and silly things. The jokes were made but the music didn’t stop so the singers would actually laugh and sing at the same time which was quite amazing.
In the end and mustered my courage and went to talk to the two sisters playing the sisters. Let me explain this one from the beginning, the day before yesterday I was leaving the subway station when I saw them and was too shy to talk to them and then immediately regretted not talking to them. So today after the rehearsal was done I went up to talk to them, and when I told them I had seen them yesterday they asked me why I hadn’t talked to them. When I said that I was shy, they both gave me big big hugs! So sweet! We talked for a while and I was feeling like the luckiest cookie in the jar! They said “See you tomorrow!” and ah I wish I would see them tomorrow, because if it were up to me I’d live in that theatre!
I got home 2 minutes after saying goodbye to everyone and felt as if I was Eliza Doolittle singing “I could have danced all night”, too excited to go to sleep!
Ah opera is life, you gotta love this, it’s so cool! I will try and get into other rehearsals next week. If I do I’ll be sure to post my experience here! Cheers everyone!

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