It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings…

First off, June Anderson, the diva of our opera is not fat. She is beautiful; gorgeous even and the true epitome of a “Norma”. Now, I know I said I’d not prattle on about Norma anymore … but … well, it’s my xanga and I lied so though. This will be the last time, honest.

Stage Door Pass no more

My stage door pass for the Hummingbird is no more. I’m thinking I should ebay it because it’s the last time the Canadian Opera Company will ever perform there. I’m banking on some over zealous old wrinkly starting a bidding war for it. Whatcha think?! ….

Some other interesting opera-related things:

  • Last Act, Scene 3 Mullings – in this act I wandered around with my big COC prop spear and then had to wander to the rear of the stage and stand there while Norma and Pollione chatter their last love duet before mounting the fire pyre to their deaths. The Director wants us totally still during this 8 minute interlude (which is quite a task considering the heat on stage [with lights], the canterlevered stage we’re standing on and the fact I’m like inches away from the backdrop [a black nylon screen]). Anyway, during this time each night I focussed on this white thread stuck to the backdrop which was shaped in a letter “S”.  I played a word game thinking of related words that started with “s” … I kept coming back to these:
    • sex and safety;
    • sanity is sacred;
    • sorry is salvation; and,
    • sin.
  • On Stage Antics – you’d be amazed (as a member of the audience) as to what’s actually happening on stage at times while you’re being all puffed-up and stoic watching an opera. We spend a great deal of our time – especially when a large group of folks are out on stage – trying to make each other laugh. A sure sign of success is when you see everyone on stage turning around to face the rear of the stage. This is done not only to allow a focus on the principals or to feign idle chatter among the chorus related to what the principals are singing about, but to hide the grins and smiles on our faces.
  • Audience vs. on stage – I never cease to be amazed at the interplay between audience and those on stage. It remains an amazing symbiotic relationship … when we feel the audience is ‘on’ (so to speak) I believe we ‘put out’ (so to speak) a better performance.
  • Green Room – I shall not miss the green room at the Hummingbird with its circa 1960s interior and accourtements. Cribbage is the game of choice while waiting for your cue to be called by the Stage Manager, and a great deal of educational tv is watched (when the Leafs or Jays are not playing that night).
  • No Mics – next time you see a Mirvish show, think microphones. Without fail, actors in these shows are miked. Then when you see an opera, remember no one is miked. The voice you hear is the singer’s voice projecting into the space, filling it with sound. Opera singers are utter professionals with voices as well tuned as any other instrument. I cannot begin to explain what an awesome experience it is to be on stage next to them as they perform.
  • The voice – June’s voice is so strong that, in Act 2 when she is singing with the children in her lap, she actually covers their ears because her voice is could cause damage to their young ears. On this note as well, the kids not once knew she had a dagger with her, which is probably best.

Right that is all for now as we’re off to the Canon Theatre tonight to see Cirque Eloise’s Nomad. Review tomorrow.

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13 Responses to It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings…

  1. bobmiles1 says:

    HI — it is a tradition the during the last peformance of a run, for off-stage actors to try to get the on-stage actors to corpse.
    But the rule is that the on-stage actors MUST NOT turn their backs to the audience!!! 
    and if they DO corpse this is what happens —
    see you

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice profile.. pix…. have a good day….

  3. orchidgrass says:

    not fat? hehe…you don’t like divas to be fat?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is there a pic of the lovely Ms. Anderson?

  5. abcyeung says:

    Wow..very interesting backstage!!!

  6. kunhuo42 says:

    i never knew all those things occured on stage; we have our own fun backstage though…  the comments that come over headset about things happening onstage are hilarious!

  7. Anonymous says:

    how much can you get for that on ebay?

  8. zanychk says:

    OMG…I just read back on your Oscar Dinner!!! Awesome! You guys outdid yourselves….made my mouth water! thanks for linking me to it. have a great day!

  9. bennykan says:

    RYC: Thanks for the comment on Waiting for Godot. I decided to go as I am very curious to check out the play. I will keep you posted on friday night! Thanks!

  10. Fatcat723 says:

    I saw the book you are reading. I intend to go back and buy it. Is it any good?
    RYC: Sounds like the ability to know what you can change and cannot.

  11. mattfifer says:

    ryc: did someone say……KARAOKE?? Woo-hoo! Name date, time, and place, and I am so there!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting to read about what goes on behind the scenes. I really enjoy looking at the District Lofts building. The lines are so clean and elegant. Aw – you don’t like Lee Gardens. I saw the invite for the Madonna event this Saturday. But I already had planned something special with my bf that night to make up for another night. I think he’ll castrate me if I rescheduled. I meant to ask you, there are so many cookbooks out there – which ones would you say are the “must haves”, the ones that really stand out above every other cook books?

  13. zanychk says:

    hi there! just coming through via one of the cooking blogrings.

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