Posts Tagged ‘Ji Young Yang’

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 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!

The visual artists have been making significant progress on their installations, and every new element they complete makes the space feel more and more astonishing. Their work is moving hand-in-hand with the performer’s development: they each get more and more confident, more nuanced, and more open with each rehearsal. Brianna Gorton installed her illuminating columns, which gives fantastic dimension to the cemetery when viewed in a constantly shifting perspective:

Olga Koumoundouros completed her spectacular chandelier for the Dive Bar:

Mason Cooley’s Shack has a jaw-dropping oragami-like roof:

Jeff Kopp diligently continues to add to the Hospital, and Alice Könitz’s swamp is taking beautiful shape, with a series of mirrored plexiglass towers creating an unbelievable landscape for the Swamp.

The total effect of all this great work is nothing short of incredible, and the singers and I are having an amazing time exploring this world:

The Nurses’ Scene in Crescent City is a highlight among highlights in the opera: Anne’s electronica weaves so beautifully and naturally with the stratospheric soprano lines she wrote, and the characters of the two coked-up nurses hallucinating their escape from Crescent City from the helipad are so instantly engaging–the whole scene feels perfect. We rehearsed it yesterday and it was a fantastic process: Jeff Kopp’s brilliant design for the hospital made for great staging possibilities throughout. On top of that, Elizabeth spent the whole day focusing lights, so we could start seeing how the scene could look in its proper lighting states–an amazing thing to be able to do three weeks before opening!

Gwendolyn Brown, Ji Young Yang, and Maria Elena Altany made the experience simply a great one with their great humor and their adventurous spirits.

And luckily, they are also not afraid of heights!

I knew today was going to be a good day when I won a free burrito at Hugo’s Tacos in Atwater Village! In monumental projects like this one, little victories like this one almost make you want to cry with joy.

The rest of the day was very productive, including a pretty revelatory rehearsal of the scene in which Marie Laveau invokes the voodoo gods, begging them to save Crescent City. The concept I had in mind was for the voodoo gods to be on the video screens looking into the city, as if looking down at Marie from the clouds. This arose partially from the practicality of trying to get the fantastic ensemble singing Anne wrote for the Loa as unified as possible, and partially from wanting to make the scene in the Swamp as powerful as possible. So we started the rehearsal introducing the singers to the loft area:

But then we started rehearsing the scene on the ground level, and the results were just too much fun to not try and include into the full performance:

So we decided that at a certain stage in the scene, the voodoo gods would descend into the space and pick up their offering from Marie. The path they took ultimately seemed to have one ideal option: through the Swamp.

Alice and I always talked about the Swamp as being the home of the gods, the murky place where the land meets the water, so it seems like the perfect ladder from the sky to the earth for them to descend into the city like a fog. Now that there is an intermission, I couldn’t let all of Act I go without any introduction of the swamp at all, so it seems like this is the ideal way to hint at the importance the Swamp will play in the final scene of the opera.

In short, the lesson of today was: It’s amazing what a free burrito can do to your creative impulses!