Still to Come
At one time I was the Executive Director of an opera company as well as a performing musician. One night after the last rehearsal, for Tosca I think, I was leaving the hall with one of my artists. I commented that I was feeling sad because now it was all over. Mind you, the performances were still to come. I thought I might get a what the heck are you talking about kind of reaction. To my surprise this singer concurred with me. I thought I had been alone in this feeling. I have since learned that this feeling is more common than you might think.
Don’t get me wrong. The performances are always glorious and nothing can beat the feeling of exhaustion and exhilaration you get when the audience rises, as a whole, to its feet in bravos and applause. But a performance is in some ways an anticlimax to the process.
Learning the music and the words are just the beginning of the process. The real fun begins when you get into the head of the composer and the character. When you begin to live the music, that’s when it gets exciting.
Everyone is going through the learning process together, even if it is a work they have performed before. It can at times be messy and frustrating. There is much discussion, experimentation and repetition. It can get quite heated, both inward and outward, as everyone struggles to come to their own small truth and to the bigger truth. Much laughter punctuates rehearsals as well. Without it we could not go on.
You become a family of artists and a family of characters at the same time. You live together and learn more about each other than you care to know. TMI as they say. The process is all consuming.
When you finally feel something, when you feel something together, (in performance the audience too will feel something if they have any soul at all) the vibration in the hall rises and everyone reaches the same frequency. At this point it is as if the real world disappears. The walls disappear, the ceiling disappears and you and your fellows are one in the experience. When it is over you have the feeling of having been somewhere else, not knowing where or how you got there or back again. But you know you were there. There is nothing like it.
It is all about the process. Since then I have spoken with and read of other artists, not just musicians but painters, dancers and actors. They express similar thoughts that the process is the really exciting thing. We share the end result with you and hope that you can experience some of the magic that we feel.
Recently a dance critic chided choreographers for blogging about their process. Ugh! That makes me doubt their understanding of any kind of art.
all rights reserved © Diane Kern 2012