For the past few years, I’ve been creating little shrines at my dressing station every opening night, built up of all the cards and trinkets and candies that appear from colleagues throughout the evening. To be brutally honest, my expectations were low for this show, considering that almost the entire cast is male, and, well, guys aren’t generally known for their collection of cute stationary. So imagine my joy - and shamefaced-ness!! - when I walked into my dressing room to find that almost everyone had not only placed a card on my table, but had gotten their cards out even earlier than mine! Opening night calls should really be about half an hour earlier than other nights, since we spend time running from room to room, handing out goodies and hugs and spitting over each other’s shoulders to keep the devil away.
Included in this photo: more chocolate than I can eat in a month; Rosina’s last-act hair ornament; the perfect lipstick & pencil combination (for stage, anyway), as paired by Tom, my awesome makeup guy here; a new Moleskine; a rose-scented candle (my gift to my cast - and one for me!); the envelope to the Mo’s card, which is labeled with a transcription of the sweet moment when Figaro and Rosina spell her name; and what will likely be the first in my collection of kaleidoscopes, a gift from someone very special. Oh, and a cigar from JR, which was dutifully enjoyed post-show with the cast. An embarrassment of riches...
It’s a reflection, really, of the chemistry of this cast, both on and offstage. We have had such a great time! Tonight we’re meeting at a local piano bar for some karaoke, a fact which we should maybe keep quiet, as opera singers tend to be either “too good” or spectacularly bad at karaoke… It’s going to be an awesome night!
Opening night was pretty awesome, too, and felt like a real triumph. About ten minutes before curtain, I was almost overwhelmed by nerves, including that very rare voice trying to convince myself that I wasn’t ready, that I was going to fail. That was a scary moment, one I’m not really used to. I sought out MB, a castmate for both this debut and last month’s Susanna, and asked for a hug and a pep talk. His calm joyful energy helped, and the butterflies and fear gave way to excitement. The night got off to a great start, with a wonderful energy in the house and light-hearted interactions between us onstage. As we entered the final chorus at the end of Act II, I think I did a little hop of joy, so happy to have made it through!
I felt like the dress rehearsal was at about 85% of what I wanted to accomplish with the role, and opening night felt like a 95. Pretty damn good, but room to grow! There were some fun moments of discovery onstage, musical and dramatic, and new things were happening (in the best way), so I am excited to see how this character will continue to develop this week.
Tomorrow night we have a donor event, and then I think I might make a midnight trek into the woods to watch the spotted salamanders mating… stay tuned!