Tonight was a principals-only rehearsal and our goal was to work through all the scenes. We got a lot of great work done, but we did not reach our goal. I think I tend to talk too much and I know that I will get extremely nit-picky if given a long enough leash. So, I’ll take 99% of the blame.
General notes are about volume and diction and, more than anything else, "owning" both the text and the action. What does this mean? Well, I have a two-part answer. 1) It means taking what the librettist, the composer and the directors have given you and making it your own — claiming it, re-defining it, and putting a spin on it that no one could ever immitate. 2) It means being confident and consistent. I can’t remember which great theater guru said it but, a great performance will be "Precise, Relaxed, and Fierce." This means: Know your stuff; Know that it’s good; and then Kick ’em in the Teeth!
Most of my specific notes are simply about magnifying what the actor is already doing. We have a talented and intelligent cast and they’re making great character choices. More than anyting else, I find that I want to see more of what is already there, or to have them take the time to let what they’re doing be appreciated.
It is sometimes hard to grasp the concept that even a very rapid scene, if well done, is made up of a vast and complicated series of actions and rests. Just like in music! There needs to be a rest, however brief, to let the previous phrase reach completion before moving on to the next.
Plotting this course and then consistently navigating it requires great determination and hard, hard work. And that’s why people pay to see it.
I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far. We’ve still got a lot of hard work ahead, but we do have the time in which to get it done. I, for one, cannot wait to see it all come to fruition on March 30.