Dancers, Singers, and Robes, Oh My!
First dress in Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Most of us came early to watch the run-thru of Serenade, the other ballet on the bill. It was as lovely as I'd remembered, and the final moment with all the dancers slowly crossing on that upstage diagonal moved me to tears. (I'm such a softie!)
And we finally saw the choreography for Carmina - I don't want to give anything away by sharing details, but it was powerful and moving. Seeing the cast up close reminded me how gifted this company is, how incredibly hard ballet dancers work, and what tremendous athletes they are. Completely focused, uncomplaining, 100% committed to whatever they're asked to do. Another reminder that this is one of the best ballet companies in America.
We also heard the soprano and tenor soloists, and - wow. The tenor looks like a linebacker, a really big guy, and it's fascinating hearing these high notes just blasting out of that body. The soprano, Nadia, has a glorious, light, sweet tone - her notes just floated effortlessly forward, filling the entire house. And Matthew, the baritone (who has several fiendishly difficult solos, singing from a high falsetto down to the very basement of his range), just kills it. He's only in his 20s and already SO good, I can't quite imagine how much his voice will improve as his career continues...but of course, it will. I have such admiration for classically trained singers working at this high level.
And...I know you were wondering, what of the orange robes? Several dancers in the opening number already wear them, as do the three vocal soloists (soooo glamorous, NOT) and the chorus arrived yesterday to find two massive racks of robes waiting for us, too. They are huuuuuge (I am guessing 5-6 yeards of fabric each, see pic of me and my pal Valerie), heavy, and pretty dang toasty to wear. Someone had the genius idea of being less than fully dressed under them, and singers were stripping off pants and skirts left and right after trying them on. By tonight, there may be an entire chorus wearing sports bras and gym shorts under these voluminous garments. As the song says, "life upon the wicked stage ain't nothing that a girl supposes..."