Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday, January 27th

I am lying in bed barely able to move as I threw my back out yesterday afternoon. While I do that every few years over something minor (this time a coughing spell), this one is worse than usual. I am doped up on various muscle relaxants and pain killers and trying not to move any more than I have to. If I'm on schedule, I'll be in misery for another couple of days, able to get around a bit by Thursday and Friday and be OK for the weekend. I may have to carry a cane and avoid stairs for another week or so. That's not easy to do in our house...

Turandot was a significant success artistically. All the pieces came together and gelled properly and it was great to be part of a chorus backing up some truly fine singers with national and international careers in the principal roles. Veronica, the Liu, was our house guest during her time here and scored a major success with her arias. Roy, the Calaf, was a scream. His favorite activity being to turn upstage to the chorus and make faces at us and try to get us to corpse. I was in awe of Lori's Turandot. Her performance made reacting to her extremely easy. I'm going to see if I can collect up some photos and post them. Lush sets and costumes.

I feel I was a bit out of my depth musically with it all, but mostly because I was brought in so late to the process. Trying to learn the whole thing in two weeks (and the chorus is onstage about 2/3 of the show) was a bit much. I got the notes and vowel sounds down, but never did get the diction in some of the faster passages. Next time I do opera chorus, I do it from the beginning. Traviata starts rehearsal next week but I cannot do that one because of prior work commitments. They are doing Aida next January and I will sign up for that early. Maybe they'll let me ride the elephant.

I finished my promotion packet and it is on its way for review by the powers that be. I am keeping my fingers crossed. As I am not in a tenurable position and it more or less is just a courtesy title change, it should fly. At least I hope so as I don't want to go through that again. The next big work challenge would be recertifying in internal medicine. I've been away from some of it for so long that I'm not even sure I can do it. I'll have a long discussion with the bosses before embarking on that course.

Politically Incorrect Cabaret has two more rehearsals before it performs in February here and in Montevallo followed by a March date in Huntsville. It's in pretty good shape. I was going to pull my costumes out of storage today, but as I cannot move, that's going to have to wait. As long as it's done by Friday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, January 12th

Things remain incredibly busy at our house. As if things weren't insane enough, I succumbed to temptation and joined the chorus for Opera Birmingham's production of 'Turandot'. A six foot middle aged white guy playing a medieval chinese courtier singing in Italian. Grand opera at its finest. Of course, joining three weeks before production means that I am busy trying to memorize three acts of Puccini in Italian in record time. Notes are nearly there and I'm not having too much trouble with the diction. I'm having grave difficulty remembering what comes in what order and will have to work on that mightily this next week before we move into tech.

This is my first foray into opera. I kind of like it. A tribute to my recent voice lessons with Benny that I can even begin to do what the maestro is looking for. The other theatrical project is the 2009 edition of 'Politically Incorrect Cabaret'. The script is done and we're beginning rehearsal for February performances. It should be a decent show this year as we've constructed it in such a way that it should require minimal rehearsal with most people being able to work on their own and then just drop the pieces in place a week before opening. At least that's the theory.

Doing a murder mystery dinner party fundraiser for a local theatre company on Saturday night so I'm writing that up like mad. The plot's done and now I just have to get all the character sheets done for everyone who is attending. Life becomes a lot easier when a couple of these projects are out of the way.

Work is just rolling along at its usual pace. No major disasters yet this week, but it's only Monday lunch so anything is possible in the next few hours. My promotion packet is done and ready to go to the powers that be so at least that's off the desk for a while. Keeping my fingers crossed.