Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I slipped out at about quarter to noon to get a quick haircut at a place in Raymond that advertises styling. The proprietor struck me as family as soon as I walked; when I got in the chair and he struck up a conversation about the metal in my captured ball earrings, I figured it was a slam dunk. We got along well, the cut looks better than the ones I used to get in Cambridge, and when I walked back into Fritz’s Center the first thing both he and his office manager did was comment on what a great cut he’d given me. So, along with becoming established at an excellent auto maintenance and repair shop that’s virtually within walking distance, I’ve found a barber/stylist who’s got the goods.
The Inman Diaries opera opens this Friday evening, plays again on Saturday evening, and closes Sunday afternoon, after which we strike the set and load out. My colleagues at MIT told me I have lifetime rights to borrow, not rent, from the stock of props and furniture that I protected and expanded during my time there. Since none of them is willing to put in the time and effort I did to running a rental business, the stock will no longer be open to the Boston-area professional and academic theater and opera groups that had come to depend on it. I was told yesterday by one of Boston’s other scenic designers that as news of the closing spread, there’s been real concern among these companies, but I can understand my colleagues’ reluctance to take the job on. It requires a LOT of time and energy and I’m very grateful that I’ll have access for as long as I maintain my position as designer for the Intermezzo Chamber Opera Company.
The opera sounds very good. The music is melodic in a confident, late-Romantic style. And composer Thomas Oboe Lee (great name for a musician) knows how to write a scene, how to write not just good music but theatrical music. Our music director has been flogging the cast (not literally, fun though that might be with a couple of the guys) for greater clarity with their consonants and I’m getting a good 75% of the text at this point in rehearsals. It should all be even clearer by the time we open.
Tonight and tomorrow night are technical rehearsals. I spent the afternoon yesterday crawling on catwalks above the Mass College of Art theater focusing lights. The College actually doesn’t use the theater for performances of their own, just for lectures and the occasional mass meeting. As a result, they really don’t stock a lot of materials and equipment and the lighting system is just a bit ramshackle these days. We’ll see if the big Strand lighting control board actually saved the light cues that were recorded into it yesterday—difficulties were being experienced, but I was assured everything was OK. If it isn’t, it will be a far more pressured tech tonight because everyone wants to go through the entire opera without stopping if at all possible.
Tickets are apparently selling in advance at about three times the rate they normally do, and four Boston-area papers, as of last count, had told the company’s Director that they were sending critics. Some time later in the fall J, the company’s Director, the Music Director, and I will get together (hopefully over dinner and a bottle or two of good wine) and lay out the works to be performed for the next three seasons. J tells me that his desk now has a pile of scores sent unsolicited by composers who would very much like to have us premiere their works. Our little company’s getting up in the world.
it must be lovely to live in an area that puts so much value on music and theatre.