Parlando: The COC Blog

8/30/2010

Aida Rehearsals Start Today!

Rehearsals officially start today for Aida, and everyone is buzzing with activity.

Jon Morrell, the costume designer, is hard at work in the costume area, overseeing costume and wig fittings. The Imperial Oil Opera Theatre is filling up with furniture, clothing racks, and props both massive and delicate. Tim Albery will soon introduce to us his overall concept for the new production—which, for the time being, we will keep under wraps. The Ensemble Studio (our young artists training program) has also assembled, and is beginning its work for the season.

So, what will happen during the weeks between now and opening night (Aida opens October 2)? Here's a general overview of the rehearsal process:

The chorus starts rehearsing before everyone else. The chorus members are expected to begin rehearsals already knowing their parts.

When the soloists arrive in Toronto, they begin the music rehearsals with the director and conductor, accompanied by piano. They, too, are expected to know their parts inside-out before the rehearsals begin.

In a separate set of rehearsals, the stage movement is blocked out. The locations of set pieces and props are marked on the floor with tape so that the singers get accustomed to the layout of the stage and set.  During this time the orchestra rehearses separately, apart from the singers.

The week before the dress rehearsal, there are three "ORCA" rehearsals, where the orchestra, chorus, and soloists finally come together to work their way through the opera from start to finish. At this point, costumes, sets, props and lighting begin to be incorporated, and this is the last chance before the dress rehearsal to work out any problems that remain. (If you're curious about this process, take note: on Saturday, September 25, the third ORCA rehearsal for Aida will be open to the public as part of our activities for Culture Days. This is a first for the COC and sure to be fascinating).

Finally, a few evenings before opening night, the dress rehearsal takes place. This is meant to be a dry run of the performance, exactly as it will appear on opening night. Full costumes, sets, and lighting are in place. While in theory the dress rehearsal should be indistinguishable from the "real thing," many singers choose to conserve their vocal resources and sing less powerfully than usual, so that they can be at their best during the performances. This is known as "marking."

And then comes opening night, with critics, audience, and (rapturous, of course) applause. It's almost five weeks between now and the big day—make sure you get the chance to see the results of everyone's hard work.


Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (2) / permalink

Definitely the Opera (8/31/2010 1:44:00 PM)
Oh, I am so there on Sept 25th. Are there tickets to be picked up somewhere, or is it ok to show up 30 min before? Only one week for the ORCAs! How much time do singers need to prep for the role, I always wondered... Some say three months, though schedules often allow more like three weeks.
Cecily (8/31/2010 2:19:00 PM)
DtO: I've never seen anything like an ORCA before (except maybe for the school musical?) and am really looking forward to seeing this one. It's going to be first come first served at the door, where they'll have a limited quantity of numbered tickets to hand out. The exact number of spots available is TBD but will be somewhere between 250 and 500. I hope you can make it!

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001