Tomorrow I have no rehearsal or concert. Nice. The last day I had no rehearsal or concert was November 7, so it’s not been that long, but for some reason it feels like eons. I suppose it was those five double service days in a row that made it feel that way. I still have student … but only three. Prior to teaching I get my hair cut. (Yay!) And after teaching I go work at Jameson’s school, setting up for the benefit dessert for Bye Bye Birdie.

So I’m still busy. Just different busy.

The opera is … well … it’s a very long sit, with far too little playing. I play the overture and number 1, sit out for number 2, play numbers 3 through 5, sit out 6 and 7, and play a portion of the first act finale, sitting out the end. For the second half I tacet numbers 9 through 11, play some of 12, although not through to the end, and tacet the remainng three numbers.

Like I said, it’s a lot of sitting.

Meanwhile the first flute, clarinets and bassoons play and play and play. (Second flute has less to play, although perhaps a bit more than I.) Of course nothing beats the second oboe; it’s included only in the overture! And the second oboist will leave after the overture; sitting for THAT long would truly be a killer.

The question is, do I leave when I’ve finished number 12? Some might suggest I should stay, but to be honest, sitting for that long with nothing to see is pretty darn difficult. I used to stay for this opera in the old theatre because I could watch the opera and I would have been seen making an exit and I don’t like to be a distraction. In this pit it’s doubtful that anyone would notice.

It’s not that I don’t like the music or my colleagues, and I certainly love opera—but sitting for so long and just staring into space? Not my cuppa. You know? And I suppose I could read, but after a while ….

Oh well, we’ll see what happens. If the Maestro says, “Stay,” I stay. If he says, “Whatever,” I’ll probably … whatever.

I’m not staying now, though. I’m off to bed. This body is weary.


  1. You know, I never really think of the orchestra members sitting out that much (I guess whenever I look into the pit, the people I can see are playing!).  I can imagine how boring that would be.  The chorus has very little to do in this opera and there’s a lot of sitting around.  But at least we can go backstage and play games, or chat, or even nap (although that last one can be a little probematic, I’ve seen people do it).

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Yeah, it can be very odd to just sit there. Especially now that I can’t see a thing. (I can barely hear sometimes as well.) But this happens in Mozart, Rossini … other operas as well. NOT in Puccini or Verdi though; they keep us working. Honestly? I’d rather be playing. Sitting makes things go very slowly!

    I’ve been told by the personnel manager that I can leave, so I might see what that’s like by sneaking out on Wednesday’s dress. If it’s not too disruptive I’ll probably give it a go.

    It’s nothing to do with the opera or wanting to escape. I just don’t want to be yawning … or, worse yet … fall asleep in the pit! 🙂

    I saw the tables some chorus folk had set up, and I do see the games. Looks like a good way to fill in the time … AND it looks like fun, too!