Thursday, February 21, 2008
So, I've gotten sick again. Or maybe it's not even again, maybe it's STILL. Maybe I've got the same cold that I've had since Christmas. Either way, I'm really sick of it......no pun intended. The really frustrating thing is that every time I have to prepare a concert or an opera or something recently, I've gotten sick. I'm not sure what's going on, but it's really annoying.
Orpheus opens on Sunday. Our first rehearsal with the orchestra is tonight. Yay, singing with a sore throat.....ugh....Anyway, I listened to the orchestra rehearsal last night, which is good, because it gives me some information that I can use tonight. #1 I cannot rely on the orchestra to give me a beat. Yes, you heard that right. At one point, there were 3 different beats happening, and none of them was the beat the conductor was giving. #2 The whole cast needs to sing quieter. When we're all singing with piano, we can't hear it, and sound awful. The orchestra is really small, and therefore only a little louder than the piano.....
I'm worried that none of our rehearsals have been in the performance venues. One of the theaters I know pretty well, but I've never been to the other, so I have no idea what the space, light and acoustic will be...
In other news, I got an expensive haircut the other day. I think it makes my head look like a mushroom.
This week off from work was supposed to be relaxing, but as usual, it hasn't really. I'm trying to get the repertoire planned for the next Donne di Mezzi concert, which will be in April.
For those who don't know, my friend Celeste and I started an early music ensemble last year. The name is a bastardized-Italian translation of the phrase "Women of Means," but it's also a pun, because we're both mezzo-sopranos, so mezzo/mezzi, you get the picture. Our little gimmick is that we try to feature female composers. Since we focus on 17th C music, that goal is much easier than it would be with other centuries. There were some awesome women writing in the 1650's, from nuns writing for their convents to daughters of famous poets or artistically-minded wealthy people.
This time, we'll have 2 pieces by Chiara Margherita Cozzolani, who was from a wealthy Milanese family and studied composition with the leading teachers of the time, before becoming a nun (and later abess) at a convent whose music program was famous at the time. We'll also have a couple of duets by Barbara Strozzi, hopefully, even though our viola da gamba player hates Strozzi's music. We might also add one by Francesca Caccini, who penned the first opera written by a woman, and who was the daughter of the man who revolutionized solo singing. Our first concert, last year, focused on what we called "duets for matched voices" since Celeste and I sound almost identical (though my voice sits a little higher than hers). We'll do some of that this time, but also incorporate more solo work. Our instrumentalists rock, and they'll do some solos as well. We are, however, going to break our "chicks over dicks" rule and include one man, a fabulous lute/theorbo player. We've decided NOT to make him wear drag.....The picture I linked to is of two random guys and a theorbo. I did that to show its sheer size. Gary, our player, is so tall that he's pretty much the only guy I know who's taller than his instrument.
Anyway, more on the concert will undoubtedly follow, as I have more plans and eventually a poster or flier or something.