Last Friday, with thanks to Liz, I was able to get an invite to the President’s Council working rehearsal which I gave to my folks so they could head down to the Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts to see us practicing for From the House of the Dead. I think they both enjoyed the opportunity to see an opera being rehearsed (and me on stage of course). My mom found Act II a little raunchy, which it is of course.
Papa, having had a career in criminology, found many a flaw in the staging of the jail scenes that our Director had not considered. To cite but one; guards (and I play a guard in Act I and II) would never carry pistols in jails. They are too easy to conceal/steal and are rather random when it comes to shooting people at a distance. Jailers carry rifles.
Last night was our final rehearsal before the full dress rehearsal (with full audience) tomorrow night and then we’re off to opening night on Saturday. If you are in Toronto, and enjoy opera, come see us. From the House of the Dead is very rarely performed because 1) it is such a difficult opera to stage; 2) the music is exceptionally challenging for the orchestra to perform; and 3) the singing is exceptionally difficult for performers to sing. This will be only the second time in Canada that it has been done (Vancouver Opera did it previously, actually its North American stage premiere, way back in 1986).
Below are a couple pictures of me in my dressing room in my Russian guard costume (Act I and II) and Russian orthodox priest costume (Act III).
We’ll see what the critics end up saying.
1 & 2) me as a Russian prison guard