Friday, September 28, 2007

Adolescence

So. How’s the language going, you’re asking? Well, after a great coaching last week, the things that everyone else I’ve worked on this with finally clicked into place. I’ve been getting the same notes over the past few months, you see – brighter vowels, shorter final consonants, find the direction of the phrase – but sometimes I guess I need to hear things a few times, and practice them often, before they become automatic.

CL’s most valuable piece of advice for me was to make the verbs my focus in the recit. Obvious, right? Why would I stress the word “che” (that) when the word “diedi” (gave) is so much more essential to the meaning of the sentence? When focusing on the verbs, the natural flow of the language comes out and all those little notes and rhythms fall naturally into place. Easy! (It really does feel easier this way; I felt so labored before I figured this one out.)

Another note I’m still working on is final syllables. Make a longer vowel on the first syllable, give a good double consonant if there is one (as do most of the words I have this issue with), and just barely touch the final syllable. This one isn’t quite organic yet, but I’m practicing. If you see me walking down 9th Ave mumbling to myself, I’m working on my final syllables…

I got to sing my aria yesterday since we worked through Acts III and IV in cover staging rehearsal. (An aria! Alone on stage!! Pinch me!!!) We’ve also blocked the recits, which is giving me time to play with my physical characterization of Barbarina. She’s supposed to be young, and, well, I’m kind of on the tall side. Since I don’t automatically look like a child due to my size, I’m trying to make her exceptionally awkward. Gangly, fidgety, but! She still has to be sweet and attractive enough that Cherubino and even the Count want to spend time alone with her… So maybe my Barbarina isn’t 12 or 13; maybe she’s 14 or 15. Hmmm, tall, gangly, awkward yet flirty 14-year-olds… add seriously frizzed out hair and you’ve pretty much got me in junior high!

I’m having fun working with KL and the rest of the cover cast. Some of them will carry over into the November cast, so we’re all in this boat for the long haul. Great people.

Today: Macbeth musical rehearsal. It will be fun to see MG again; can’t wait to sit and listen to this wonderful opera for a few hours. Then Figaro final dress tonight! Should be an exciting evening…

2 comments:

Kevin said...

LOL on the frizzy hair and high-school. Thanks for the update, and sharing singing an aria on stage.

abner said...

love the part about focusing on the verbs ... my college theater teacher, a wacky and remarkable guy, used austin's book "how to do things with words" to teach us about speech act theory, the main idea being that we should always focus on the action we wanted to accomplish, as a verb: are we pleading? cajoling? insisting? etc. ... we spent the entire first week of acting class on two lines from volpone: "good morning to the day, and next, my gold! open the shrine that i may see my saint" ... and it was all about figuring out what volpone was *doing* with each word ... helps me in my teaching and, perhaps a bit more surprisingly, in how i read

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