Forgive me for not mentioning the music in my previous post. It’s there, it is the heart and soul of our production, and it has been painstakingly rehearsed.
In fact the cast is rehearsing the music right now. I’m not there because I’d be no help at all on this subject. But I do know good music when I hear it. And the voices in this production are glorious.
I’d like to give a little shout-out right now to our Musical Director, Alan Riley Jones. He gently but firmly guides our cast through the vocal calisthenics which are required to sing in this style; to make his musical vision a reality; and to uphold the integrity of Sullivan’s score.
And let it be known that he attends every rehearsal: not only vocal and orchestral rehearsals, but also every staging rehearsal. At music rehearsals he is, of course, in charge. And at staging rehearsals he provides invaluable insights and contributions — sometimes serving as a one-man orchestra when we don’t have the luxury of an accompanist — while always keeping a watchful eye on the music and ensuring that I don’t do anything to screw it up.
I greatly value his input and also the collaborative nature of our work together. For my part, I try to match the physical aspects of our performance to the vocal requirements. And, while certainly holding fast to the demands of the score, and to his own directorial intent, Alan will sometimes adjust the musical stylings to fit the staging. Alan and I have had many discussions about such things as the duration of a fermata; how to achieve my desired staging while also allowing for breath control; when sightlines to the conductor (Alan) are most important; and, occasionally, when I need to adjust the quality of the choreography to fit the quality of the music. Harmony is always the goal. And, fittingly, it is usually achieved by listening to the requirements of the music with a sensitive ear.