Before the Curtain Rises

proc·ess  n. pl.  A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result

What happens before the curtain rises may be more interesting and feel more important to the participants than you can imagine. Take a look inside the process.

 

Opera Maine cast

Amelia Goes to the Ball by Gian Carlo Menotti

Still to Come

At one time I was the Executive Director of an opera company as well as a performing musician. One night after the last rehearsal, for Tosca I think, I was leaving the hall with one of my artists. I commented that I was feeling sad because now it was all over. Mind you, the performances were still to come. I thought I might get a what the heck are you talking about kind of reaction. To my surprise this singer concurred with me. I thought I had been alone in this feeling. I have since learned that this feeling is more common than you might think. In fact I think it may be universal to all seriously creative people.

Bravo

Don’t get me wrong. The performances are always glorious and nothing can beat the feeling of exhilaration you get when the audience rises, as a whole, to its feet in bravos and applause. And the exhaustion you feel bringing it to opening night is certainly worth it. But a performance is in some ways an anticlimax to the process.

Learning the music and the words are just the beginning of the process. The real fun begins when you get into the head of the composer and the character. When you begin to live the music, that’s when it gets exciting.

Opera Maine's Julia Child

Elizabeth Patches as Julia Child in Bon Appetit by Lee Hoiby

The Process

Everyone is going through the learning process together, even if …

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