Tales from the Pit: Eat, Sleep, Opera

July 28, 2017

Last night, we kicked off the last weekend of performances at the Miami Music Festival with opening night of Dead Man Walking.  Because it was such a full day of opera, I thought I'd do another post inspired by the Met Musician's Blog - "A Day in the Life." Follow along with me  and see what a day of "Eat, Sleep, Opera" is really like!


8:55 am: Good morning! The first thing on today's schedule is a dress rehearsal for Le Nozze di Figaro, so I'm starting my day with some score study and coffee. 

 9:40 am: I've arrived in the orchestra pit and am warming up.  Today we're rehearsing with the opening night cast for Le Nozze di Figaro.

 1:30 pm: Rehearsal has ended, and I am so ready for lunch because rehearsal makes me HUNGRY! Did you know for every hour spent playing the violin, you burn around 175 calories?  Mozart isn't just great music, it's a great workout too!


3:00 pm: As my morning coffee wears off, it's time to grab a coffee from the coffee shop on campus. Conveniently located right across from the theater, the festival musicians run on Cuban Coffee! The barista even knows my usual order - Coffee on the Rocks with no sugar. 

3:30 pm: Is there a better way to prepare for a performance than by the pool? It's time to switch gears from Le Nozze, and mentally prepare for opening night of Dead Man Walking. Took my score study poolside and studied the post it notes from the last dress rehearsal. A perfect environment to study this particular opera because the weather was "hot, hot, hot!" Did I mention it was hot?

 5:00 pm: Time to eat and start getting ready for the performance. Opening night is almost here!


7:00 pm: I'm back in the orchestra pit, ready to begin tonight's performance! 

7:30 pm: Here we go! Before the performance begins, the audience is warned of  graphic violence in the first scene, and "adult language" being used throughout the opera.  Maestro walks out, and we begin the chilling prelude in 5/8 meter. 


9:00 pm: Intermission time, and you know what that means! With the opera taking place in Louisiana State Penitentiary, it's only fitting we went mugshot style for tonight's photo. 

 10:30 pm: I'm not going to spoil the ending of the opera... but I will say it ends in such an eerie manner, it feels so wrong to accept applause. The last scene has ended, and we officially only have one more performance of Dead Man Walking left! A very insightful question and answer session featuring composer Jake Heggie and Maestro Brad Moore immediately followed the performance. Did you know that Dead Man Walking is the first opera Jake Heggie ever composed, and it has already been performed by over 56 different opera companies?! 

Feeling incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work on this opera with these two! It's been an honor to perform this opera with Jake Heggie (pictured left) in the audience and under the direction of Maestro Brad Moore (pictured right). 


11:40 pm: The official end to a musically fulfilling day! In less than 12 hours, we get to repeat the opera all over again with Saturday's cast. Eat, Sleep, Opera!


If you haven't seen an opera at the Miami Music Festival yet, come and see us! Here are my remaining performances for this summer:


Friday July 28th: Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Caren Levine, 7:30 pm

Saturday July 29th: Dead Man Walking, conducted by Brad Moore, 7:30 pm

Sunday July 30th: Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Caren Levine, 2:00 pm


More information and tickets can be found at www.miamimusicfestival.com 


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