Archive for the ‘Singers’ Category

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!

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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:

The orchestra and the singers came together for the first official time yesterday to play through the entire opera from about where they will be in performances: the orchestra in the loft and the singers among the installations. It was the first time for all of us to hear it together, and Marc did an incredible job keeping it all together under extremely challenging circumstances:  singers scattered all over the place with no direct eye contact with the conductor; lots of electronica; brand-new and at times fiendishly difficult music that has only had three previous rehearsals; and a first integration of amplification. We all had our first opportunity to hear what the sound reinforcement would be through Martin Gimenez’s design. His system has a lot of power and a great ability to create surround effects, which will be great when we get to the wild electronic numbers, but the space also has a presence and intimacy that allows us not to lose the acoustic beauty of the natural voices.

The scenario is nonetheless a bit of a composer’s nightmare, since the perception of sound is radically different depending on where you are in the world of Crescent City. So Anne was listening all around, and amazingly always seemed to have a smile on her face!

Gwen requested we add “Don’t Rock the Boat” to the CRESCENT CITY playlist after we rehearsed the climactic “Judgement at the Swamp” scene. I would do so if I knew who sang it…and in any case, Gwen treated us to a beautiful rendition of it while she floated along.

I really don’t want to give too much away from the imagery of this scene but offer a few little tidbits from our rehearsal:

We also incorporated Jordann Baker’s stilt-walking skills:

And a first glimpse at Timur Bekbosunov’s Deadly Belle costume by Ivy Chou, complete with 7″ heels (another kind of stilts!):

A great orchestra rehearsal through the entire opera and our first staging of the swamp–complete with wigs and masks–made yesterday a very exciting day for Crescent City. Now seems like a good time to share some of the great photographs Asher Kelman has been taking of the process, ever since right before we moved into the space: