Parlando: The COC Blog

3/3/2011

The Nightingale Opens at BAM

[This is a guest post by Jennifer Pugsley, media relations manager at the Canadian Opera Company. Jennifer is joining David Feheley and many others from the COC for the U.S. premiere of The Nightingale of Other Short Fables at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). This post was written March 2.]  

You could feel the magic in the air on Tuesday evening the moment you stepped through the stage door at the BAM Opera house.

 Everyone was so excited: the crew, the cast, the puppeteers/acrobats, the chorus, the orchestra, even the security guards at stage door. 

A few of us went around to the dressing rooms, makeup rooms and warmup spaces telling all the artists "toi, toi, toi" and the wattage coming off of the smiles we got in return was strong enough to light up Brooklyn and Manhattan. People were really ready to get out on the stage and show New York what a great production the Canadian Opera Company, with Robert Lepage, had created with The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. They were pumped.  That's the only way to describe it. 

From the moment Maestro Debus raised his baton and the COC Orchestra launched into Ragtime, the crowd was with us. They seemed to fall more and more in love with the production with every moment's passing. To say that the audience was laughing out loud during the first half would be an understatement. People were slapping their knees and clutching their sides; that's how delighted they were with what they were seeing and hearing. 

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3/1/2011

The Nightingale goes to BAM: Dress Rehearsal

[This is a guest post by Jennifer Pugsley, media relations manager at the Canadian Opera Company. Jennifer is joining David Feheley and many others from the COC for the U.S. premiere of The Nightingale of Other Short Fables at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). This post was written Feb. 28.]  

The big day is almost here. With opening now just one day away the mood backstage has noticeably changed. The whole group has been in good spirits all the way along, but now there's this crackle of energy in the air. Before tonight's dress rehearsal, I was chatting with COC Ensemble Studio member bass-baritone Neil Craighead (who is a member of the Japanese Envoy in The Nightingale) about this very thing. Tonight's rehearsal is the first time in New York that all the elements of the production will come together for a full rehearsal, and before a small audience made up of staff members from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It's terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Neil and I both agreed that it's absolutely fantastic. Nothing beats the rush of live theatre!

 
As you can imagine, there is a lot of activity going on backstage before a dress rehearsal. Here's a bit of a glimpse of what everyone was up to:
 

Here are two members of the COC Ensemble Studio: (l-r) mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and lyric coloratura soprano Teiya Kasahara getting their makeup done for part one of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. They sing Pribaoutki and Two Poems by Konstantin Balmont, respectively.

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2/28/2011

The Nightingale goes to BAM: The Orchestra and Chorus Arrive

[This is a guest post by Jennifer Pugsley, media relations manager at the Canadian Opera Company. Jennifer is joining David Feheley and many others from the COC for the U.S. premiere of The Nightingale of Other Short Fables at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). This post was written Feb. 27.] 

The theatre may have been dark on Sunday, Feb. 27, here in Brooklyn, but it was still a big day for the COC's The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. Today, the chorus and orchestra for the production was scheduled to arrive. We're not talking about a few people here, but just over 120, all of whom are needed to hold the final rehearsal on Monday night and, most importantly, the U.S. premiere on Tuesday.

The opera gods smiled upon the COC today and ensured flights departed Toronto and arrived in New York on time, that traffic from the airport moved smoothly, and that all singers and musicians arrived at the hotel safe and sound. The first wave of chorus and orchestra members arrived around 8 p.m., the second wave came at 9:30 p.m., and I can't quite remember when the third and final group arrived, but I can tell you that it was around the time that Natalie Portman won the award for Best Actress.

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

 

 

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