Putting it Together
It’s bittersweet, our last rehearsal before concert weekend. Most of the hard work is behind us. It’s time to make beautiful, expressive music—for an audience.
Dress Rehearsal always feels a little chaotic. There’s the environment, Provincetown Town Hall, in all of its echoey grace and largeness; there are risers to stand on and lines of sight to negotiate with those around us; there’s the orchestra, in the flesh, and it’s our first time singing with them. So much is different, yet, because of Allison’s foresight, so much is familiar. We know the music, we know where to stand, we’re ready to go. How in the world is all of this going to work?
The music goes well—all that attention to detail has paid off—well, maybe a nervous mis-step here and there, but we know we know it, even if, oops! did that little solo come out of MY mouth? Never again, nope, won’t make that mistake twice! It doesn’t take long to align to the space, the orchestra, the new energy of something about to happen that is exhilarating and, yes, fun!
I think the most disorienting part of dress rehearsal is the appearance of an orchestra where once there was only piano (though Arthur’s piano playing is far from “only”). Suddenly the richness of the instrumentation is there flowing and weaving with our singing. What was for weeks implied by the piano is suddenly the pure sound of the clarinet, a mellow undertone from the bassoon, a merry or solemn rise from the strings—or a heart thumping beat from the drums. They round out the sound of voices, they complement and they contrast. It is a sound that has become whole. It works! Our scant audience of friends (we see a few singers there who have taken a sabbatical this spring—and our good friend Betty Kelly, who says the dress rehearsal is a special time which she loves to watch) seem to like it. The soloists have figured out how to get up to the front without banging into the bassoon, they sing beautifully, we come in when we’re supposed to—that’s how it works. I guess we’re ready.
Yes, we’re ready! Let the fun begin!
– Martha Magane