So, last night was the opening. Really, it couldn't have gone any better, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.
But it was a very curious experience as a performer, if only because the evening was so SHORT. This opera is usually paired with a companion and, without a "second act", it felt uncommonly truncated; I felt like I was leaving the theater after the first intermission rather than at the end of the show! Also, my (small) role does most of her stuff just before the curtain falls - this means that I put out my biggest surge of energy and dramatic angst at the END and then have nowhere for it all to go! It's definitely a different experience than tracing a dramatic and vocal arc across an entire evening's "emotional journey" onstage.
But it all went fine and we now just have to keep our concentration and energy together for two more performances. Three in a row isn't so bad for my role, but I know it's hard for the tenor and soprano, since their parts are emotionally as well as vocally "big". Additionally, illness is sweeping through the cast, so we're just working very hard at keeping everybody vocally healthy through the run. No late night dinners and hilarity this weekend!
It was great having my husband here last night; I wish he could have stayed through the weekend and travelled back with me on Monday, but it just wasn't practical and he headed back home this morning.
And home is, if I'm honest, where my thoughts are headed too. It is of course VITAL that I keep my concentration focused on the job I have to finish up here, but it's definitely time to go home and I find myself missing it desperately.
And this is, of course, the curious duality of this silly operatic life: the stimulation of creating a new production, meeting new people, turning notes on the page into a living, breathing musical experience - and getting PAID to do it! - is satisfying beyond anything most of us could ever dream of. But nothing - NOTHING - beats going home. It's the eternal conundrum, and I don't know a singer out there who doesn't feel the same way. When we're at home, we're champing at the bit to get out there and do the job (or, worse, feeling marginalised that somebody ELSE is doing a job that we would quite have liked to do!); when the job is done (or nearly done) nothing is more attractive than the lure of home. I've never been able to decide if it's the perversity of human nature or something more to do with the kinds of personalities that become singers but... it's a consistent theme in my life and that of many of my colleagues.
So, two more shows; two more chances to create and let the hard work of the last 3 weeks become that living breathing musical and dramatic experience. And then? Back to my girl and my garden. I can hardly wait.