Opera Project 2013 is underway. Had the first full rehearsal today, a read through of all the pieces. And for this project, I volunteered my services as wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. Every so often, I end up doing this, mainly as a "last resort" or as special favors.
In this case, it was a very simple decision: This project contains 90 minutes worth of music. All are premieres. We have rehearsal at least once a week until the last couple weeks, then we'll add more. Rehearsals run 2.5 hours.
We're lucky we have the great musicians and singers we have. Finding another performer, and a conductor at that, willing to prepare 6 separate scores, run 2.5 hour rehearsals every week for no guaranteed pay...rough to say that least. Yes, we are planning on paying everyone involved but, at best, it'll probably be a token.
So, I took the role. We had another trombone player on board anyway, so I was a bit redundant. I'm definitely still finding my footing with the pieces; i didn't get hard copies of some of them until the first instrumental read Friday. I spent some time on them yesterday, but not as much as I should have. Now, I've got a week to prep like a mad man. One score is about three quarters marked up. The others will be marked all the hell this week...though I'll be changing the markings as I get new scores each time, I'm sure.
And I'll be fighting myself. It's a fair sized ensemble: 2 violins, 2 cellos, tenor sax, bari sax/bass clarinet, clarinet, trombone, piano, and the singers (ranging from 1-4 at a time). Yeah, I've been in front of orchestras and bands, but that was long ago...and they can run themselves surprisingly well. And I've done some chamber stuff, but even that was, what...almost 2 years ago? right? And opera? I only filled in as a conductor back in '09. and that was in '09.
My arm is sore from flapping. My eyes felt like they hadn't blinked in 2.5 hours, and have only started to really feel better. And my mind is shot beyond compare.
The concentration. I forgot about the level of concentration. The mind is not working at the level it used to. Thankfully, I've learned to prep a bit better.
Onwards and upwards. And, hey, it's 6 more conducting credits. Should I be listing those too? Damnit...
BTW, this Black House Collective/Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance collaboration is gonna kick some major ass. It's gonna be the opera event of the year in KC, which is saying something since there have already been like 3 premieres this year!