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Marcel Duchamp said that the audience completes the work, and we got a taste of how our work would be completed with our invited dress rehearsal. We had about 100 people attend the rehearsal, and watching the audience interact with the production was an enormous joy–mostly because watching the audience is a significant part of the experience from every angle of the show. Whether you’re walking or seated, the rest of the audience is part of the performance in this configuration, and I love what that does for the audience’s engagement with the work.

My pictures of the audience are not particularly good but here’s Olga Koumoundouros’s Dive Bar in its proper state at last: populated by audience!

I was particularly encouraged by how exciting it was to be on the Pedestrian Pathway. I absolutely loved the ability to walk freely through the space as the performance happened and see the action from constantly different perspectives, leaning against the wall, passing my fellow audience members, catching a bit of action that is not the “main focus,” and so on. This walking path was in some ways one of the biggest experiments in a process full of experiments–and yet I think it’s a real success.

Here’s a shot of the team behind the Dive Bar: Anne, Olga, Timur, and me, courtesy of Dana Ross:

Opening night is finally here!

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In the swirl of activity surrounding our first orchestra dress rehearsal, in which we pulled off an entire run of the opera with very few stops, we weren’t able to take too many photographs, but a few are offered here.

For these last few rehearsals, I’ve decided to dedicate my view to one fixed seat to see how audience members on one side of the warehouse will experience the show from beginning to end. It was actually refreshing to have only one point of view after moving around so much over the course of previous rehearsals. The good news for me was that having one perspective never felt like I was missing part of the show, even when something was happening out of sight. This is in large part due to Jason Thompson’s fantastic work with video design, with robotic and hand-held cameras roving around the space, offering surprising and disorienting views of the action as it happens.

From the seats on the west side of the warehouse–that is, between the cemetery and the Junk Heap–you get a kind of epic view down the crossroads, and all the processions and parades I’ve staged throughout the opera look incredibly powerful, like the line in the libretto: “Roads to nowhere leading nowhere…”