Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Backstage with John Mac Master (Part 4)

We’ve come to the end of the second week of rehearsals. The show has been blocked for several days, and we have continued polishing our work. We are now running longer and longer sections of the piece, making sure that the links move smoothly, and that there are no “dead spots”.

1/20/11 Boston, Mass.  -- John Mac Master as Harlequin delivers his lines from scene 1 during a staging rehearsal for The Emperor of Atlantis at the Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, Mass. January 20, 2011.  In the background is Kevin Burdette (right) playing the roll of Death/Loudspeaker.  Photo by Erik Jacobs

Most folks probably understand how much refining of the music would be part of putting an opera together – and we are certainly doing that! But in the process of staging an opera, a really fine director is always looking at the visual elements….She or he will be very concerned to make sure that the drama is well served, that the interactions between characters are clear, real, authentic…But the director also wants to make sure the story is told visually, and that it unfolds in such a way that the audience’s eye can follow the action, and that a multitude of memorable pictures are created along the way.

So in these last few days we’ve being fining and refining all of the action, editing out that which is unnecessary, tightening all the actions, making sure that the Supers are moving as a well schooled unit….Yesterday we started adding some sound effects. And later today we will do a first real run through. The design team will be there (set designer, costume designer, lighting designer, soundscape designer) and they will be seeing the show not just as it has been planned in meetings that have gone for over a year – but now seeing it on our bodies, in our voices as we have created it in these two weeks of staging. The set pieces or set dressing that we do not yet have will be added tomorrow while the cast has a day off, then on Tuesday we will start piano technical rehearsals….All of the design team will be here, adding costume bits as they are finished, adding the lighting, building the sound effects, and the show will continue to evolve, and be polished in this week that leads to our opening on Feb 01….We hope to see you there!!!! 

- John

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea this is! I love hearing how the work evolves, especially from one of the participants! John, I am looking forward to seeing your 2nd performance next Wednesday. Hope Tuesday night goes well! The Calderwood Pavillion is a nice intimate space that should be perfect for this piece.