We've got to the stage now where I'm frantically trying to make sense of a whole load of acronyms on the call sheets. BO? HP? GP? Whut?
So far we've managed BO (which, seeing as I'm English, makes me giggle and the Germans look bemused) - Bühnenorchesterprobe (stage & orchestra rehearsal, so you have the orchestra playing their hearts out while you're trying to co-ordinate your tempi with those of the conductor, and simultaneously trying to remember where you're meant to be heading, whilst stepping over the inevitable accidents that occur once the actual props turn up) and Hauptprobe (back to piano, with everyone trying to avoid treading on the same toes as at the BO, but hindered by costumes which are too wide for entrances and in which one can't step back and faint neatly).
There are the usual niggles en route, but at Saturday's rehearsal, which was open (free!! how wonderful!) to the public for the first half, there was laughter in all the right places (which is reassuring). The costumes are stunning for all involved, it's such a pleasure to be in the middle of such a visual feast (even though I'm still getting "Hmm, we need to make you look more bonkers, you're a little elegant there...").
I have to admit that, whilst I normally bat around madly, I'm doing my best to conserve energy at the moment, so that I can concentrate properly and stay in decent voice. This is not easy - whilst it's not cold here, we have evidently passed the date when the Germans Put The Heating On. I was confronted by a wall of heat even in the library today, and have had to sneakily turn the radiator off in my dressing room. Flipping from hot to cold and back again is one of the worst things you can do to a voice; they sulk.
Here's hoping the remainder of the rehearsal process continues apace. Meanwhile, the picture is a bleak reminder of what happens when you sit with a couple of friends on a sofa quite happily at a cast party and ask a baritone to take a picture...