Sunday, January 20, 2008

continuo notes 2

‘I reckon Giovanni likes it shaken, not stirred’ said our chef.

Our Giovanni tossed his flop of silk hair.

‘And Elvira has one foot in a convent….’ he continued.

‘…And another in a panettone’ I said.

Our Elvira, whose child has a high temperature, had just returned from the doctor’s surgery. She adjusted the wrap of her toe-length frock, made a few singerish hmms and buzzes and flew into her tormented aria.

‘Ohmygod’ said our Californian Zerlina. She had abandoned her well structured Prima Donna face and was looking up from the voice diary in which she was scribbling furiously.

Our Dona Anna was absent because she was singing a Rhein-maiden in Berlin in between rehearsals.

Our Leporello sang his song about the little black book that Michael Nyman made so much money from (with me in his band) and went off to do more laundry.

The recitative rehearsals have come to an end and the band has arrived. Though I was tiring physically of being an orchestra of one, and though it is good to have some testosterone finally in the bass section, I am missing the intimacy of our troupe. Led by an all Jewish American double act of chef and chef de chant, we tried, for two weeks, to work out whether or not Giovanni was, at heart, a good guy; whether Leporello was disgusted by him or in awe; whether or not Masetto had balls, and what had happened to Ottavio that had transformed him from a wallflower into a stud. And that was only the men….Now, with oboes and horns and a swarm of violins, the problems are more mundane, such as where the hell is C sharp, and what do the marks that have been called ‘daggers’, ‘carrots’ and ‘cailles’ for two hundred years and which have been played as accented staccato notes actually mean? Treatises have been consulted, temperament examined and new bow techniques tried. We’re getting there.


Anonymous jenna said...

For what it's worth, I think people who have to go through a lot of effort to become parents have an easier time giving up the luxuries of life before kids than those of us who didn't. Perhaps because they've had more time to enjoy adulthood without parental responsibilities or maybe just out of sheer appreciation for the miracle of children, but either way, I think the transition will be a smooth one. I'm so eager to read the posts about parenthood!

2:38 PM  

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