Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"The 'Orfeo' Diaries": Giving Back

Orfeo is an opera that at its best imitates life—there are ups and downs, turns and twists and plenty of push and pull! The musical underpinnings of the piece are beautifully structured to highlight the emotional journey of an epic love story. I sneaked into the rehearsal room this afternoon to enjoy a work-through of Act III featuring Katharine Goeldner and Christine Brandes, our production’s dynamic duo of Orfeo and Euridice. 

I’m moved by the respect these two have for their colleagues, and the rehearsal process itself. Their work ethic is to be envied. It’s a bit warm in the rehearsal hall today—owing to the fact that having the air conditioning turned on in this rehearsal facility creates so much noise that meaningful musical work is rendered obsolete by the comforting, cooling whirr of the fan motor. They are a remarkably impressive pair, and watching them rehearse is a lesson in dedication in and of itself. They are focused and fully immersed in the storytelling. Together with Maestro Revzen and Director Groag, the score is plumbed for fuller understanding and constantly used as a reference guide for the creative evolution of these characters. 

Their work doesn’t look effortless (as I’m sure it will in performance) but it does look to be joyful, thoughtful and rewarding for them both. Even more impressive (from my perspective) is that both of them are sharing their knowledge and love of this art form with our Resident Artists in a variety of ways. Just about a week ago, Katharine offered an open master class to them, and followed that class up with a few hours of private sessions with two of the singers. Tonight, Christine is working privately with the Resident Artists in Baroque, Classical, and Modern repertoires. These ladies even showed up (on their day off, I might add!) to support these same Resident Artists in rehearsals for their upcoming season-finale showcase production, offering insight into performance practice and helping to shape the musical understanding of our developing talent. It’s a real gift to work with artists at this level of caliber and commitment.

This production is sure to satisfy our audiences, and I’m grateful that the artistic footprint left behind by these two extraordinary performers will have a multitude of positive ramifications well into the foreseeable future! —Ryan Taylor, Director of Artistic Administration

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