We have only one more rehearsal for Così fan tutte. Yesterday we moved into the (small) theater, and we had a whopping four hour rehearsal. (This is, by the way, no biggie for the “grown ups” in San Francisco Opera, I’m sure, as they do long operas all the time. Here in San Jose we rarely go over three hours. What wimps, eh?!) It took me the entire first half to adjust to how I have to listen; the second oboe has to sit behind me (hi Troy!), since we can’t have four winds in a row. So we sit this way: row 1) oboe, flute 1, flute 2 row 2) oboe 2, bassoon 1, bassoon 2, row 3) clarinet 1, clarinet 2, with horns 1 and 2 to the right and slightly behind the clarinets … yeah, really! Last year they had fixed things so that we could do four in a row by taking the “wall” that is put up between us and the audience (to make it look like a pit, I’m sure) away, giving us more room. This year not so. I yearn for the 2 ob/2 fl and 2 bsn / 2 cl seating. Ah well. I think the second half was much better, as all of us were adjusting to this new seating plan. Mozart so frequently wrote for pairs of instruments, but the oboes probably have the least soli work, so I think this is the best plan, even while I miss the support of oboe 2.
It’s great fun to get to actually see and hear the singers! What with the pit situation in Opera San José I miss that greatly (even while I love the hall), so I’m truly enjoying this. Funny thing is I leave a bit sore, because all that turning to watch them means I get a stiff neck! So gee, I still have something to complain about. Whew! What a relief.
Reed-wise it’s the same old same old … what I thought would work doesn’t, and I’m relying on older reeds. They allow me to play under the singers more easily without having to worry about pitch. I know this is often the case, but I tend to attempt first to use the newer beasts, hoping one or two will decide to acquiesce to my every whim. Fat chance!
I looked on YouTube for any of the singers, but I’m not finding much. Here are a couple of the women, though:
Ellie Jarrett (she sings Dorabella in Così):
Caitlyn Mathes (singing Despina in Così … she’s the singer on your right):