Posts Tagged ‘Jason Thompson’

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!

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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…”

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.

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 tech process is about to start, so these entries are going to start getting pretty short–but I’ll keep updating with pictures from the day’s activities! The costume ladies Ivy and Cindy decreed Monday “Margaritas Monday,” and while it seems a bit late in the process to initiate such a good idea, better late than never, I say:

Olga Koumoundouros’s bean bag chairs are nearly ready, and I think they are soon to be both a highly coveted perspective for the show and an object afterwards. Until then, they were being stuffed in a perfectly painted room:

Elizabeth Harper and projections designer Jason Thompson were in full gear today, and the space shows it:

We’re almost there!!