The whole world may be a stage, but this project sometimes feels more like a circus. So this picture works well to sum it all up.

The whole world may be a stage, but this project sometimes feels more like a circus. So this picture works well to sum it all up.

I said goodbye to the bear, and snuck through the halls, winding to a door that I hoped would be correct. Peeking through the door, it was mostly darkness, but I moved inside, sitting down beside another on-looker. Leaning over to the bearded lady, we whispered for a few minutes as I tried to figure out  what was happening on stage and where we were in the show. Was this the part where the robotic woman came out? Where was the wolf boy? Are we currently outside the circus tent?

This was my Sunday (Jan.27), as I was at the tech rehearsals for the Edmonton Opera’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Tales of Hoffmann). To say it was surreal wouldn’t do it justice. It was probably one of the most interesting days I will spend along my project, and I’m so thankful that the Opera let me come and see the behind-the-scenes of it all.

Life and many other things have prevented this blog entry to be out in a timely fashion, which I would apologize for – but I hate apologies in blogs for late content. So, rather than talk your ear off about the Opera, which I’ve never actually experienced before, I’m going to give you the best quick post with photos from the experience.

The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Waiting for you to come see the show!

This is part of the women's dressing room behind the scenes. What I was most impressed about was how incredibly organized every little thing is. Speaking with one performer (Sable, she's in the next photo) she mentioned that every single part of her costume was labelled and tailored to her. There were bags of labelled jewellery, hats, wigs, outfits, shoes - heck, even the pantyhose is labelled!

This is part of the women’s dressing room behind the scenes. What I was most impressed about was how incredibly organized every little thing is. Speaking with one performer (Sable, she’s in the next photo) she mentioned that every single part of her costume was labelled and tailored to her. There were bags of labelled jewellery, hats, wigs, outfits, shoes – heck, even the pantyhose is labelled!

On the left is a woman dressed as a wolf boy. She spends two hours before every performance having hair glued to her. She is a great sport about it. And it looks amazing! Next to her (on the right) is Sable Chan, Choir Girl and all around amazing woman. She has been posting throughout the process of being in the Edmonton Opera chorus - you really should read her posts!

On the left is a woman dressed as a wolf boy. She spends two hours before every performance having hair glued to her. She is a great sport about it. And it looks amazing! Next to her (on the right) is Sable Chan, Choir Girl and all around amazing woman. She has been posting throughout the process of being in the Edmonton Opera chorus – you really should read her posts!

Tales of Hoffman is sung in French. Occasionally during the rehearsal, the surtitles (subtitles shown above the stage) weren't shown. The performances are amazing, and even without translation, their actions and emotions are shared. However, there are surtitles, so we anglophones can easily follow along.

Tales of Hoffmann is sung in French. Occasionally during the rehearsal, the surtitles (subtitles shown above the stage) weren’t shown. The performances are amazing, and even without translation, their actions and emotions are shared. However, there are surtitles, so we anglophones can easily follow along.

Sandra Gajic, the CEO of Edmonton Opera, is a woman with an incredible and infectious passion for opera. She spent some time telling me about the show and showing me the stage, which I’m very grateful for. She was also very sweet and humoured me with this photo.

 

My favourite photo of the day… well, I can’t share with you. If you want to see it, you still have two chances – albeit one is tonight – and it’s the very last scene. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it.

Tales of Hoffmann is an opera that is easily loved by both traditional audiences and newbies alike. As a newcomer to the opera scene, I’m pretty excited (as you might be able to tell) about this performance. The tech rehearsal was incredibly interesting, and I enjoyed watching the performers and crew – as well as meeting them after. I was so excited, I convinced Vickie to buy us tickets  and we’re going to go and experience the show. I’m positive I’ll tweet about it. And I’ll see if I can post my favourite photo after the run is over. But if I can’t post the photo, or you just can’t wait – you really should check out Tales of Hoffmann. When are you going to have the opportunity to see an opera with a robotic woman, circus folk, a man in a bear costume and a stilt-walker! Side note: Marianne, the stilt-walker is a very sweet woman – she is 5’5″ without the stilts but wanted to know how the world looked as a taller person. Turns out she’s a natural.

If you want to see the show, tickets are still available for Thursday nights performance.

Want to know what it would be like to be in the chorus? Sable gives you a multi-part look at her experience.

 

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One comment on “Tales of Hoffmann – Piano Tech meetings

  1. I can’t wait to see your favorite photo of the day. Thanks for all the mentions and links to my Choir Girl Blog. It was nice to know you were in the audience yesterday!

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