Monthly Archives: August 2013

Harley Erdman on NEPR

Librettist Harley Erdman introduces the Opera

Run-through #2

Run-through #2 felt comfortable and tight, coming in at just over the projected running time of 2 hours. Attention is going toward underlining transitional nuances, such flashbacks within flashbacks, e.g. the handcuffed convicts in the flashback trial speaking in the memory of witnesses.¬† Memory for all the words and notes is becoming quite secure for the cast, a virtuosic feat… (more…)

First run-through last night!

First run-through last night! It ran smoothly and helped us start to focus on pacing and transitions. The cast helps out with scene changes – each piece of furniture needs someone to move it, usually in a matter of seconds. Keith was back on his feet and (knock wood) is making a rapid recovery. The cast and chorus sound terrific… (more…)

Friday and Saturday brought the chorus to the stage

Friday and Saturday brought the chorus to the stage, 30 voices strong and packing a punch. Here they conjure up nighttime¬† mob revelry on the streets of Northampton in ‘The Swinging of the Bones.’ Thanks to Mallorie Chernin both for the photo and for her inspiring work as chorus master.

Halligan suffering a fracture

Things have gone so well so far – stunning cast and assured and visionary leadership on the musical and staging ends – that it was starting to feel like an opera production without drama, at least internally. That came to an end today with our Halligan suffering a fracture in his left foot in a stumble on the streets of… (more…)

Transformation of the day

This morning the motorcycle cover of Suzette our department administrator was reported missing from outside the hall. It seemed inconceivable that any of our lovely cast or chorus would have walked off with it. Following a fruitless search, it surfaced onstage, rolled up in a tight bundle as Finola’s baby. It’s been duly returned, but now we have to come… (more…)

Conductor and composer

Yesterday the composer got to stand in for our felicitous orchestra-pianist Jerry Noble, a good one-day solution at best. It must be conceded that the person who wrote the music has too many pre-conceived ideas and alternate realities to be a fully reliable executor of the conductor’s interpretation. Here the maestro sets things on the right course.

Daley and Halligan

A wonderful start – over the past two days we have worked through three scenes and gotten nearly everyone onto the stage. Amy Johnson arrives from Cincinnati tomorrow to complete the cast, then the chorus shows up on Thursday. The strange onstage friendship of Daley and Halligan is beginning to blossom, with a lot of bracing humor arising out of… (more…)

Rehearsals Start

Rehearsals start today! First we have a look at the latest sets and costumes and welcome our Production Stage Manager, Sam Gambaccini. Then it’s over to Buckley to put Scene 3, where Cheverus returns crestfallen form the Attorney General’s, then resolves to defy him by going to Northampton, onto the stage.

Four timps

Four timps in a box – the orchestra pit at the Academy is a tight squeeze, and we had a moment of anxiety the other day wondering about our plans to put timpani in the side box. The part is written for four drums, and as you can see, the covers fit. Furthermore, our timpanist Benny Koonyevsky has determined that… (more…)