Friday, 15 March 2013

All aspects colliding at present.  Which is probably just as it should be at the point of the piano dress.  (First time out with make-up, original costume, lighting (of sorts), technical wizardry, so those are basically the focal points, rather than our singing or the music - hence no orchestra, just piano accompaniment.)

First time in my life I have *fought* to appear unattractive!  Or at least older.  The costume designer (who is also in charge of the make-up concept) was supremely helpful throughout costume fittings.  Her ideas are fabulous; nothing outré, everything suited to both the character involved and the overall concept.  She was fabulous (although maybe slightly bemused) when I wanted rid of a belt because I needed to get rid of my waist as an older woman; accommodated my barefoot ghost-wanderings (did I mention I'm fairly hard to kill here?) and wandered dangerously near obsessive territory when waxing lyrical about Granny shoes purchased unworn in Basel after a gap of nearly sixty years.  (Myself, I can see why they were unworn.  I think costume designers have a different take on fashion.)

Anyway she wanted minimal/nude make-up for us all, and... well.  I didn't.  I have worked hard to bend my body into an older, less sure frame for this; we collaborated upon clothes which hid my figure and projected an unfashionable image; for myself (in all my insecurity) I needed a slightly altered face from which to face the world in this persona.  I shamelessly played the "oh lord if you don't give me decent make-up you're basically telling me that I look about 70 au naturel" card, and in the end, I got my wrinkles.  Subtle, yes, of course, but... hooray.

Which is veeeery weird, because there was me arguing passionately AGAINST looking good.  How does that even happen in real life??   Interesting, though.

What I personally also found to be fascinating (in a sort of geeky technical way) was the conductor's comment that when I was right at the back of the stage, I needed to be more before the beat.   I took it on board by basically working out how far back along I was on stage at each point, and relatively when I needed to anticipate the beat because of that.  And people think that opera singers are stupid!  One of those paradoxical things where, if you stop to think and calculate, you often fall off the gate you're sitting upon because the world just got too damned complicated.  But if you just tell yourself, yup, further back means more anticipation of the beat, and allow your body to work it out on its own, it really does.  Wonderful!

There's more.  Of course there's more.  However a morning call tomorrow (first stage rehearsal with orchestra) means that I probably ought to stop now, and pray for a minimum of sleep.

And also for a proper Ending.  I shouldn't laugh, but I was out front for the last scene tonight, and all the repressed emotional fireworks ended up with ... the curtain falling JUST before the final passionate phrase.  Ill-suppressed sniggers all around, the director calling out plaintively that the Oneging had a couple of sentences still in him...

Ah, just for that, accepted with a grin between good colleagues, it's all worthwhile.  Fabulous!

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