In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Backstage with John Mac Master (Part 4)

Jan 26, 2011 6:23:00 AM
By BLO Staff

We’ve come to the end of the second week of
rehearsals. The show has been blocked for several days, and we have continued
polishing our work. We are now running longer and longer sections of the piece,
making sure that the links move smoothly, and that there are no “dead spots”.
1/20/11 Boston, Mass.  -- John
Mac Master as Harlequin delivers his lines from scene 1 during a
staging rehearsal for The Emperor of Atlantis at the Boston Center for
the Arts in Boston, Mass. January 20, 2011.  In the background is Kevin
Burdette (right) playing the roll of Death/Loudspeaker.  Photo by Erik Jacobs
Most folks probably understand how much
refining of the music would be part of putting an opera together – and we are
certainly doing that! But in the process of staging an opera, a really fine
director is always looking at the visual elements….She or he will be very
concerned to make sure that the drama is well served, that the interactions
between characters are clear, real, authentic…But the director also wants to
make sure the story is told visually, and that it unfolds in such a way that
the audience’s eye can follow the action, and that a multitude of memorable
pictures are created along the way.
So in these last few days we’ve being
fining and refining all of the action, editing out that which is unnecessary,
tightening all the actions, making sure that the Supers are moving as a well
schooled unit….Yesterday we started adding some sound effects. And later today
we will do a first real run through. The design team will be there (set
designer, costume designer, lighting designer, soundscape designer) and they
will be seeing the show not just as it has been planned in meetings that have
gone for over a year – but now seeing it on our bodies, in our voices as we
have created it in these two weeks of staging. The set pieces or set dressing
that we do not yet have will be added tomorrow while the cast has a day off,
then on Tuesday we will start piano technical rehearsals….All of the design
team will be here, adding costume bits as they are finished, adding the
lighting, building the sound effects, and the show will continue to evolve, and
be polished in this week that leads to our opening on Feb 01….We hope to see
you there!!!! 
- John

Topics: Opera Annex, Backstage at BLO, The Emperor of Atlantis

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