So, we're now in the second week of rehearsals. If a world war happens to have broken out, I'd be grateful if someone could please let me know (although obviously only if it's going to impact upon the rehearsal schedule).
Eating, sleeping, breathing this music. I awoke yesterday morning with an unholy mixture of this opera and My Fair Lady running through my head. Nightmare!!
We're pretty much working through it chronologically, which helps to fix the sequence of things in our poor overstuffed brains, although illness and planned absences make it impossible to stick to this 100%. I'm simultaneously very much looking forward to and dreading starting to set my mad scene tomorrow morning. A wonderful, WONDERFUL opportunity, but the dread stems from not being totally certain what comes where; NOT a feeling I have ever had at this stage of rehearsals. I'm definitely not the only one; thank god for the support of colleagues and their admissions of similar panics.
What it feels like at this particular stage is that each entrance and the music which follows therefrom is like a bead. Each bead has been exquisitely handmade, painted and polished. Some are large, multifaceted, complex; some small and seemingly insignificant. And now they need to be strung into a necklace, and my hand hesitates sometimes when choosing which bead is next.
Doesn't really help that my mad scene consists of odd little reflections of previous scenes, slightly distorted memories, off-key echoes; in effect, the same beads, but a little squashed and strung out of order. I am frankly astonished at how much I am using my physical location on stage to fix sequences in my head. Doesn't normally work that way. (Mind you, isn't normally this astonishingly bloody difficult to remember!)
Me being me, I wondered if actually making beads to represent the entrances would help - but came to the conclusion that (a) since my memory is very strongly visual, the kinaesthetic aspect probably wouldn't be such a strong support, and (b) I was far, FAR too knackered to try.
Ach. Back to metaphorical bead-stringing, I suppose. Silently, at this point, since I don't want to give the poor neighbours nightmares. I'll probably try the "learning through osmosis" method, as practised frequently in the afternoon, between morning and evening rehearsals (such is the German system, as I may have said before. Ten(ish, depending on how much of a morning person the director is) till two, then six till nine or ten). This consists of lying on the bed with the score under your head. Occasionally you raise your head to glance at and memorise a phrase or two. More often you fall half unconscious and dribble over the score. I mean, you're so NEAR the music, it has to be absorbed, no?