Archive for the ‘Production Process’ Category

Among Erin Thompson’s many brilliant contributions to the show, maybe none of them were as dead-on and necessary as the frozen treats she brought for all of us yesterday. It was right up there with Ivy’s Margarita Mondays (which became Tequila Tuesdays):

For the penultimate rehearsal, I sat in the Skybox, which I think is really a spectacular place to see the show. Right from the beginning you have tenor Jonathan Mack ascend to your level for his aria to the sunset:

I also loved the ability to see so much of the world splayed out in front of you and watch the intersecting lines of the cast’s choreography through the space. What you can’t quite see is very satisfyingly filled in via video monitor.

Scott Timberg for The Los Angeles Times printed a fantastic feature story with a lot of pictures. I really love that he sees one of my values as “instability,” which to me might be equated with a sense of “potentiality,” “openness,” and eschewing of fixed values. That is indeed of tantamount importance to this project and to what I believe in for opera (and, for that matter, life) in general, so I’m glad he picked up on it.

I think I speak for everyone when I say: it’s all sinking in that there is only one rehearsal left!

We all spent Monday getting finishing touches in place to make the warehouse feel more like a performance space for Thursday’s opening, so the photographs are not particularly compelling…Luckily, Timur asked his friend, photographer Dana Ross, to stop by on Sunday, and he took some fantastic pictures:

Another run of Crescent City and things keep improving piece by piece. Today I dedicated myself to the seats between the Dive Bar and the Good Man’s Shack and had the following fantastic views:

We also did some shooting of the Loa for their big scene:

And started putting the musicians into the space:

Hyperopera!

Today’s tech was about one of the more challenging scenes in the libretto: the ghosts flee the cemetery as they hear a new hurricane is coming, one will really wipe Crescent City off the map. Marie Laveau gets this information from a Bound Ghost, who informs her: “All the baddest ghosts are out for blood. Please let me stay dead: I can’t live through another flood!”

I’m excited about how this will be portrayed in the production but don’t want to give it away, as I think the surprise element is crucial, but I’ll offer these pictures as a hint. (I’ll also say that our conductor makes a phenomenal cameo in this as well…)

Appropriately for a day about ghosts, Martin Gimenez and Ryan Ainsworth spent the afternoon in “quiet time,” ringing out the space so the amplification will be as pristine as possible.

Today we rehearsed two of the principal voodoo possession scenes, which seemed like a fitting first day to introduce the chromelodeon, Harry Partch’s amazing pump organ, which Anne has used in her orchestration for Scene 11, and which resides in Olga’s Dive Bar.

The sounds inspired us to have add a few more voodoo possessions, namely at the top of Act II by our Reveler Stacia Hitt:

And we’re adding filmmaker to Maria Elena Altany and Timur Bekbosunov’s many talents…and challenges in this production!

We got through all of Act I, even though time was against us for a full Act I run. Nonetheless, we got great work done, and lighting and video made massive strides. Among the trippy activities that happened throughout the day, pictures within pictures offered the most surprising perspectives around the space, like this one of Jason:

Our Revelers are now in full gear, manipulating the video cameras, creating a ruckus, and occasionally having spoken–and sung!–lines, like Justo Leon:

And Timur got to strut his stuff in full costume and wig on Olga Koumoundouros’s Dive Bar:

Transitioning from Timur on the catwalk to Cedric Berry in Mason Cooley’s Shack was an absolutely thrilling moment:

Now on to Act II!

May Day means kicking this show into its high final gear! We teched the first three scenes of Act I, complete with lighting and video…and theatrical haze!

Jason Thompson’s video design is going to be truly extraordinary and fully integrated into the storytelling:

I’m excited about the Loa, or voodoo gods, singing from the orchestra loft…

…but appearing to Marie Laveau in the clouds.

And we also played with Ivy Chou’s terrific costume designs for the first time–our Marie Laveau looks absolutely fabulous in her first entrance:

And the pool of water in the tire came to life in Ashley Faatoalia’s fantastic aria: