Above is the view from the house for tonight’s first run-through of Young Meister Bach, the one-act comic opera that’s on the program for our 2014 Family Concert, this coming Saturday. The cast and orchestra have been rehearsing today, and, this evening, The Choir joined them for a grueling and rewarding three hour rehearsal. A LOT of details have to come together in these rehearsals, especially with the added elements of staging, lighting, balancing soloists, orchestra and chorus, as well as some moving of sets, and orchestration of the interaction between all the various singers and players.
At the helm, our fearless leader, Greg Funfgeld, is doing a wonderful job. Somehow, in high stress situations, he draws on impressive reserves of patience and calm. In his more than capable hands, this music is coming to life in a very compelling, exciting way. Our colleagues in the orchestra are tackling a very challenging score with enormous aplomb. I think everyone would join me in giving our resident keyboard genius, Tom Goeman, a hearty bravo for the extraordinary work he’s doing from the harpsichord and organ. The basso continuo is the glue holding the musical component of this enterprise together, and Tom and his continuo colleagues are playing brilliantly. Lastly, a huge tip of the hat to Chuck Holdeman and Bill Bly, for their exceptional work as composer and librettist, respectively. Chuck’s neo-Bachian compositional language (fused with ragtime, what sounds a bit like mariachi in places, and some lovely French influences) is brimming over with wit, zest, contrapuntal mastery (as well as a great deal of fun), and his writing marries beautifully with Bill’s wonderful texts. Our vocal soloists are doing a fantastic job, and The Choir sounded wonderful from the house (I wasn’t able to sing tonight because I’m recovering from the dreaded stomach bug, but I’m looking forward to singing at tomorrow night’s rehearsal, and in the performances).
You really don’t want to miss this fantastic work – there’s still time to call the office for tickets, and it’s quite likely tickets will be available at the door. Stay tuned for another update tomorrow night!