Thursday, July 12, 2012

Opening night of Nabucco

By far one of the coolest performances of my life. There was quite a good crowd, not as big as I thought but that could have been because of the rain scare, and they responded quite well to the show. Normally we start dress rehearsals earlier than this night so that by the time we get to some of our numbers where we must sing out directly to the audience I can't even keep my eyes open because of the glaring sunset. But tonight we began the show at 8 pm and it was a nice surprise to be able to see off the stage. No glitches in the show, not a whole lot of tech things which helps, and the soloists sounded awesome!

But the best part of the evening came in act III, during the most famous chorus "Va pensiero", and maybe the most famous part of the whole opera. The chorus walks on in our opening black outfit, not on the stage but on the walkway that separates the top half of the audience and the bottom half, carrying lit candles. Because there are so many of us we fill the entirety of the walkway, which in itself looks pretty cool. At the end of the number we have it "choreographed" with the music to blow out the candles at the same time, it has a pretty cool effect. And my candle stayed lit the entire time! On Wednesday night, the final dress rehearsal, about four measures into the piece I inhaled a bug and had to cough a little. Well, I learned not to hold my candle so high, because it most definitely blew out when I was coughing to get the bug out of my throat. I felt awful because the press photos were being taken that evening and I hope that I didn't ruin the photo because of one burnt out candle. Oh well, it didn't happen during opening and that is all that matters. What made this performance so memorable was the fact that the show came to a halt after we finished singing "Va Pensiero" because the audience got up out of their seats to applaud. So much applause that the conductor started the piece over again and we sang it twice. I have never experienced anything like that it before, and I'm not sure if it will happen at any of the other performances but it will never replace that first time.


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