Sunday, September 16, 2007

There haven’t been any reviews in the print media yet, but if the strong response to The Inman Diaries on Friday night is any indication, people liked and responded enthusiastically to the new opera.

Of course, that response may not be a fair indication, since premieres habitually bring out friends and supporters of the creative team and singers, along with contributors who’ve underwritten the commission or production. Large numbers of all those people were on hand Friday, partially because our star, Ray Bauwens, and composer Thomas Oboe Lee both have large local followings, and partially because Intermezzo has attained greater visibility and audience credibility since the strong reception for our “Curlew River” production last year.

Fritz came down for the premiere with me, which meant so much—his second opera in two months—and he said he got a lot out of it.

The performance went well Friday night—very well. One or two lighting cues happened a couple of seconds too early or just a bit too fast but there were no other lighting mishaps—a big relief given the problems we’d experienced during rehearsals. In fact, the only thing that went wrong was the failure of the gun to fire at the very end, signaling Arthur Inman’s suicide. We were bailed out by music director and conductor James Busby, who signaled our percussionist to give a sharp stroke on the side drum--and the opera was over.

There were multiple curtain calls including, for the first time by this company, one for the production team. I made sure to wear the tan split cowhide vest that always seems to draw favorable comment, not that I’m a compliment whore or anything, you understand. Then the four Cs--creators, contributors, cast and crew—were treated to dark chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, my kind of party above all others

I sat out last night’s performance because we had a Sweat Lodge gathering scheduled, and with rain having fallen several days this past week we didn’t have to cancel it for fire danger as we had to on Labor Day weekend. It was an intimate gathering, seven of us including a welcome newcomer. At dinner afterward, we were serenaded with the Courante from one of Bach’s suites for solo cello, by a handsome young violist who played naked—a sweet, magical moment.

The third and final performance of the Inman Diaries run begins today at 3pm. The size of the audience today will be a good indication of how word of mouth may or may not have been effective in generating ticket sales. I’ll be there, and as soon as the opera ends, we strike the production and pack all the furniture and props into my Cherokee and the company founder-director’s Grand Cherokee. We then load it back into MIT’s prop storage and the production is officially over.

Sometime next spring, dates to be determined, we premiere another newly commissioned piece that’s being composed now, perhaps in the music room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, whose style and furnishings are perfect for an opera set in the parlor of a Beacon Hill townhouse. My attention now turns full time to the Mozart Symposium in October. And the new house, of course.

Sometimes I feel so dreadfully ignorant when I read your posts. I have never been to an opera. I wear cowboy boots and like country music ...what can I say? :)
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