Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Memory Stone (Week 2: April 3)

It was remarkable to watch the opera from start to finish tonight. At 47 minutes, it is longer than I expected. This mainly due to the slower tempos and expansive cadenzas, but somehow it feels like the perfect length. With the amount of text I was provided, I can't imagine how I would have squeezed that much content into less than 30 minutes. Over the past week, we have observed such development and growth in our singers. Their personalities and voice types are perfectly suited to their roles.
In most projects I am involved, I am usually requested to take the lead and coach the ensembles from start to finish. This week I have learned how to let go. As the composer, I was under the impression that my opinion would be solicited more often regarding musical decisions and that I would be asked to provide feedback to the singers and musicians. However, I have learned that these tasks lie more in the hands of the musical director and staff/consultants. At first, my reaction to this was less than positive. How could somebody think that they know what this music requires better than me? Through this production, I have learned that the creation of an opera is a collaborative process in which the music director holds a certain creative contribution towards the creation of the work. In all but a few instances, I concured that the decisions made were reasonable ones. It is an honor to know that so many people regard the work in such a positive light, and that so many people are listening carefully and working hard to help it come to fruition. At the run through yesterday, the music consultant took detailed notes in preparation for individual coachings with the singers today. And without my interference, it was suggested that one of the orchestral musicians meet with a member of the music staff for a coaching session.
Tonight's rehearsal is very important, as we will be going through the opera with the orchestral accompaniment for the first time!
Reviewing minor musical issues after the run through evening

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