Sunday, January 23, 2011

Backstage with John Mac Master (Part 2)

Day 2
This morning we have a meet and greet with all the staff at Boston Lyric Opera….It takes an office full of people to run an opera company….The artistic side that plans repertoire, chooses artists; the technical side that rents or builds a physical production and gets it into the hall in a timely fashion; the marketing and PR side that tells the world about the work we are trying to do, and sells the tickets for the performances; and the development people that raise the money for us all to do this work. In a typical performing arts organization, if we sell ALL of the tickets to ALL of our performances, we will still need to raise 60% of the company’s budget from sponsors and donors! So at the meet and greet we all get to meet each other, as we will all be working together to make the show a success.

Stage Director David Scheweizer shares his vision with the company. Photo by Julius Ahn.

Now David Schweizer, who is the Stage Director for this production, will tell us his plan, his ideas about this show, and how he is planning on staging it. Like all of us, David is a freelancer – hired by Boston Lyric Opera to come and work on this project. David is a very well known director, and has worked in theatre, music videos and for opera companies. He has a huge and well deserved reputation garnered over some 30 years of directing; and in many cases he has shepherded the weird and the wonderful to the stage….so we are in great hands. He has already spoken to the entire cast on the telephone in the weeks that led up this, to get our ‘take’ on our characters, to give us a sense of how he will be proceeding. Nothing is a surprise this morning, but it is good to experience his calm focused manner, and a kind of “Puckish” humour that promises some laughs along the way…..

Day 3
Is a snow day! We are all within walking distance of the theatre, but the building itself is closed as the staff cannot get in….By early afternoon there have been some e-mails exchanged, and a few of us gather at David’s for some wine and snacks, a chance to get to know each other better.

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