When LizBeth Lucca, artistic director of the Repertory Opera Company, invited me to photograph a dress rehearsal of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, I was glad to go. The Repertory Opera Company is the group I enjoyed so much last April when they performed Music in the Mansion at the Fenyes Mansion of the Pasadena Museum of History.
Last Sunday night was the first dress rehearsal for Don Pasquale, which opens this Thursday at 8PM at the Neighborhood Church of Pasadena (details here). If you've never been to a first dress rehearsal the chaos might shock you. But I felt right at home amid the inevitable wardrobe malfunctions, missed entrances and forgotten lines. After all, the purpose of a dress rehearsal is to iron out the kinks.
The singing, though, was something else altogether. Above, soprano Keiko Clark sings the role of Norina. Thursday night she'll be singing with, among others, Conrad Immel as Don Pasquale. I know from my stage experience that by then the lights will be in place, entrances will be perfectly timed, and the performers will be as comfortable in their parts as Michael Phelps is in the water.
Director Lucca, a trained singer and actor herself, teaches an acting class for opera singers and prides herself on a company with acting chops. Even in rehearsal, the comic moments had me laughing out loud. In the short time I was there, the kinks got smoother and smoother, and the excitement of opening night filled the air like music.