Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So, I am not always good about publishing my current projects. One of my goals is to improve my own publicity. So this week, you will get a few personal updates.

My current big project is that I am Assistant Music Director for the Boston Opera Collaborative's production of Carmen. What does the title mean, you ask? It means that I am the cover for the conductor (if he gets sick or abducted by aliens, then I conduct the show.) I also help him out with whatever he needs, and cover rehearsals when he can't be there. Mostly, however, I need to be ready to conduct anything at any time, just in case.

This is very exciting, and a huge learning experience. I think this is the first time that I have ever had to learn the score of a show from scratch with the goal of being able to conduct it. I've conducted Gilbert & Sullivan before, but I grew up on those shows, so they're already completely integrated into my blood. And for Otello, I only had to learn the chorus parts. This is a bigger nut to crack, so I'm learning a lot about how I learn, and what exactly I need to know in order to conduct and what I don't. (Sample hint: You don't actually have to be able to sing all the French up to tempo in order to conduct it.) However, despite not having to sing any French, I am using the show as an excuse to learn French diction, so I'm also taking weekly French diction lessons during the run of the show.

Another way in which the show is a learning experience is the fact that I've never worked with this caliber of singers before. The whole cast is extremely professional. It's interesting to figure out when to follow, and when to lead. Luckily, the music director, Michael Sakir, is very good, so watching him and how he works is very helpful. He's also very considerate about letting me conduct in rehearsals so I see how all the tempo changes work.

Staging started Saturday, and it's really fun to watch the director work. He demonstrates everything, and watching him move as different characters is fascinating. I would love to see him acting in something, as well as directing.

The show goes up in mid-July. Performances are July 17-19 and 24-26, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 and Sunday performances at 3 pm. They will be in the Bulger Performing Arts Center at Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Blvd, Boston. This show has great music, and great performers, and great directors, and there's a small chance I'll be crashing some cymbals together, so please come!

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