Life is short, opera is not

Last night I finished the – rather short – rehearsal period for the wiederaufnahme (revival) of Holländer.  If you’re looking for a new drinking song, here’s the music for my scene.

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Tonight was the BO (not what you think – it’s the Bühnenorchester, which literally means “Stage Orchestra.” It’s essentially the tech dress). Yesterday was the Piano dress, and my first time on a dramatic stage since I was in Godspell in the seventh grade. Seriously.

For twelve years, I was a professional liturgical musician. This a fancy way of saying that I did church work – singing, directing, teaching, writing, wrangling choristers, touring the US, England, and France. This means a ton of performances and a metric ton of rehearsals. But no staging, costumes or acting. Well, actually…ok scratch that.

So I’m in the piano dress on the big stage. I’m bouncing around backstage looking straight up into the flys, because, frankly, I can stop.

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It’s go time – the third act overture is cranking and we’re all poised to run on stage…still poised…the music is still going, y’all…the gang of guys on the other side is looking at us with a mixture of expectation and confusion, which, I assume, was the same look we were giving them, right up until the time…yep, there it is…when the entire men’s chorus missed it’s entrance. BACK IT UP!

Anyway, on a second go around, I make it out on stage, I do NOT panic at all, cuz I didn’t have time, and by some measure of instinct find myself elbowing my way to the highest, most central point of the stage.  Which is when I made one of the more startling revelations of my life.

I am an attention whore.

I’ve usually been the shortest guy around, but I’ve come to accept it. But big things come in small packages, and my center of gravity is more stable, so bite it, tall people.  How do I counteract this cruel smite of my nature? By becoming the center of attention (thank you, lightening-fast Pesci wit).

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It’s Emily and Frank! said our friend’s adorable daughter…

So, when I am all decked out in my drunken Norwegian sailor costume (pictures forthcoming), you will find me where I am destined to be – up and in the middle, like a nice, high fastball. Less ambitious tenors – Best. Step. Off.

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