We opened L’italiana to thunderous applause yesterday – a really nice reward for all the weeks of intense of rehearsal we have put into this piece. The audience really seemed to enjoy themselves, and we started to enjoy ourselves as the evening wore on and got used to their laughs. Comedies are tricky creatures to rehearse. After repeating each scene so many times without an audience, we weren’t sure what was funny anymore. Yesterday was the second time we had an audience, and it was nice to know that we were still funny. The cast sang incredibly and beautifully – it’s a strong group of people here, all of whom have been great colleagues, and it was nice to hear everyone shine vocally as well as make the audience giggle.
My parents and some family friends arrive for performance number two tomorrow, which should be fun. It will be nice to have some visitors after being a hermit these past few weeks.
I’ve actually come to enjoy my solitude these past few weeks – it’s allowed me to have an intensity of focus on the musical and dramatic challenges that face me here that I’ve never achieved before. This piece really does require it from me – it’s the kind of thing where I have to conserve every ounce of energy for it, and I’ve really learned a lot about myself, my singing, and music in the process.
I was talking with Jeremy about this today, and it really feels like I’ve embarked on some sort of quest for my very own musical/vocal holy grail. I’ve seen ups and downs with this journey, and I learn something new every step of the way, whether it be about myself or my singing. Last night felt like a huge step forward on that journey. I really look forward to the fact that I have so much farther to go and so much more to discover, since I still have six more weeks of these (we have six more performances here in Lille, two in Amiens, 3 more in Caen, and some rehearsals in between – a little tour of Northern France).