...well, I'm embracing my Geek -as come to find out, I get rather squirrelly when it comes to things opera -but especially when it comes to things touching on Verdi, his contemporaries and associates.. On the bookshelves in the back of my mind, I keep a catalogue of operas that I would love to find recordings of, as they are, invariably, operas no one would ever do live -being too obscure; too costly; too much of a dig into musical depths of history..!
The first principal rehearsal commences; we are at the top of the opera. Maestro DeMain, Bill Bolcom and the production team sing the role of the Chorus, leading the principals to their entries. But the scene is raising questions. Maestro DeMain stops to clarify points of nuance with the composer, concerned with articulation and dynamics. But Bill is flexible about his markings- “I don’t want anyone to hold my feet to the fire over them –they’re guides.
Arthur Miller’s play, A View From The Bridge, is an exploration of cultural crosscurrents in an adapting immigrant community in 50’s America. It is also an unflinching view of a marriage, strained with too much unspoken, festering with human wants that ultimately erupt in a public tragedy of classic proportions. As theatre, the work is a raw coil to an inexorable end.
In life, as in theatre, you should always be ready to make room for the unexpected. …leaving my first rehearsal: Cindy Oxbury, the Assistant Director, asked if I’d like to find some time with Bill Bolcom? I said “yes”, assuming this meant for the following day when the composer would be in town. –Ah, no; I’m working with a collection of ‘get-it-done’ professionals!