Sunday, September 24, 2006

Opera in the rain

After two very well received and sold-out performances of Tapestry New Opera Works' Opera Briefs 6 at the Distillery Friday and Saturday, we repeated 3 of the 10 works at Word on the Street today at Queen's Park on the CityTV stage. The weather proved to be somewhat less than optimal for outdoor opera, as it began raining hard half an hour before our start time and continued throughout the performance. Nevertheless, there were many people in the audience and consisted of numerous new faces in addition to familiar ones. The singers were miked, always a difficult proposition since professional operatic voices singing into traditional microphones can result in blowing out speakers if the mike distance is too close.

Since this was an outdoor stage, fellow pianist Jennifer Tung and I arrived to find an electronic keyboard, but no stand and no pedal. (Prior to arriving at the venue, Jennifer and I joked that I would have a higher chance of being electrocuted by an electronic keyboard should it get wet as I was to play in two of the scenes whereas Jen was only playing in one of them). A packing crate had to suffice for a base for the keyboard, and the tech guy very kindly rigged a guitar pedal as a sustain pedal in the following manner: button #2 triggers sustain pedal, button #3 releases pedal. Nevertheless, I was thankful that in my student years I had been paying attention to the lessons that pertained to finger legato. The bold, rugged, stalwart, and soaked audience responded favorably to the three scenes that we all performed and both Jennifer Tung and I escaped electrocution.

Here is a complete list of the mini-operas of Opera Briefs 6 (librettists are listed first and composers second):

  • Buring Bill by Dave Carley and Anthony Young
  • Up, Up and Away by Krista Dalby and Kevin Morse
  • Au Cafe Trudeau by Leanna Brodie and Kevin Morse
  • Going Home by Dave Carley and Kevin Morse
  • She Sees Her Love by Leanna Brodie and Craig Galbraith
  • Miss Jones Laments by Dave Carley and Craig Galbraith
  • Spel-ling by Lisa Codrington and Kevin Morse
  • Eva in the Underworld by Dave Carley and David Ogborn
  • Striker from the East versus Laszer (also from the East) by Lisa Codrington and David Ogborn
  • The Perfect Match by Krista Dalby and Anthony Young
Striker, Miss Jones, and Cafe Trudeau were performed at Word on the Street.

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