Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Benjamin Richardson Reports from Rehearsal, #3

Hello, Benjamin Richardson here, also known as the Second Spirit in the Gold Cast of Seattle Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, reporting from our third week of opera rehearsal.

On Wednesday April 26th, we sang for the first time with the orchestra. It was MUCH different singing with an orchestra instead of a piano. We had to sing much louder and brighter. The orchestra was made up of members of the Seattle Symphony, and as usual they were playing with amazing skill. It was also nice to have a real flute play the part of the magic flute instead of it being played by a piano.

The orchestra rehearses in McCaw Hall's Rehearsal Hall, backstage and upstairs (Rozarii Lynch, photo)

Our rehearsal at McCaw Hall on April 29th was by far the most exciting rehearsal we’ve had so far! The catwalk was there and was very long and pretty shaky, but solid, and it definitely feels higher than it looks. We first walk up a stairway, and when we reach the top the catwalk slowly lowers down to our position, then we walk across it up to the center of the stage. Being up there and staring out at the huge hall and all the hundreds of seats was incredible to see from that height.

Feel like singing? (Photo by Bill Mohn)

On the first scene we tried out the glitter that we throw on Papageno. The glitter is silver and square-shaped, and it looks magical when it falls from the catwalk onto Papageno. The catwalk also has to tilt down so we can come off, and I was a little scared at how it would do this, but it turned out to be very gentle and easy; it tilts to one side while lowering down a little, and we step off it and into the backstage. We had to forget about marching dramatically because if we did it would sway too much.

Most of the set was there, including the pyramid lights. They are two large tubes that that touch each other at the top of the stage to form a pyramid. It is very big and it can light up with all sorts of colors.

We also went on a tour of McCaw Hall. We were shown our makeup rooms, where we will have our own makeup artists! We walked through all of backstage, where props are everywhere, including our scooters, bubbles, and glitter. In addition, we saw the people who played the animals that come onstage when Tamino plays his flute. There was a girl who played an emu, two very acrobatic women playing two monkeys, two people inside a rhino costume, and one woman in a griffin costume. They were very funny to watch onstage when they jump about looking at Tamino and his flute.

Costume sketch for Pink Emu by Zandra Rhodes

The Green Room is very nice, too. It has many comfortable chairs and couches, and a T.V. to see what is going on on the stage. It has a couple vending machines, and they always have tasty snacks out for us.

Next week is going to be our last week of rehearsals, and they’re going to be full of surprises. Check in next time to see what happened!

1 comment: