Opera: never a dull moment
Tonight is the first Falstaff orchestra dress rehearsal, after a weekend of tech. Ordinarily tech rehearsals mostly involve working through aspects of the show like set changes and costume changes. We use all the real props (as opposed to rehearsal stand-ins), and everyone is, for the most part, in full costume. But last week, our Ford, Weston Hurt, fell and injured both his legs, putting him -- for the show, at least -- in a wheelchair. (He is going to be OK but can't walk around the stage for 2+ hours). He still very much wanted to sing in this show, so much of the past several days has involved restaging the opera to accomodate a wheelchair. This has meant the cast has come in for extra rehearsals; we've had carpenters building ramps so that the whole stage is wheelchair-accessible; our production crew has altered stage calls and dressers and dressing rooms and a whole lot else. We more or less ran the show with all these changes last night, and everything is going to work out fine. Weston is in good spirits, the cast are 100% rockstars, and our production folks are, I'm quite certain, the best on the planet. Here's an industry secret: 'the magic of theater' is made entirely of very hard work.
By the time you see the show, it'll look like the wheelchair was a part of things all along.
Dispatch from the spot booth
surtitle score, George Manahan via maestro cam, surtitle computer