On Facebook and Twitter this morning, I posted that second performances are akin to “Low Sunday” in the Catholic Church. That is to say, a letdown compared to all the festivities and poignant lead up to Easter Sunday; or in a way the opening of a new opera production. Now…in no way, shape, or form am I conflating these two very disparate events. I am, however, keenly aware of a phenomenon I have termed “theatrical deflation” (yes, its my own brilliant term!!). The opening night parties are over, the director has left town, the costume designer is gone, the well dressed swells and donors on opening night are not present in the audience for performance #2, the critics (good or bad) have mostly all weighed in, and we now settle in for a long run of this well worn operatic war-horse. The aforementioned is always a perfect recipe for release.
But this production IS different: it is edgy, unconventional, highly colorful yet dark, frightening while being ‘fantastically foolish’, sexy, fun, and ALWAYS entertaining. The cast that has been compiled is a wonder of fine vocalism, acting, and comedic ability. Inhibitions had to be checked at the door for all soloists, and chorus. We appear in various stages of undress (including virtual nudity for ‘yours truly’) and wild costuming throughout. We are also asked to do some very…let’s say…challenging things throughout the evening.
With such a tall order of frivolity that spans from the time of Freud’s Vienna period to the rise of Fascism (Directorial concept), there is little opportunity to lose our resilience. That is why our second performance last night (Tuesday, October 9) was as fresh and exciting as our opening. But we must also thank our audience; those gathered masses who guffawed, scratched their heads, recoiled with fright (for which I personally apologize…if you see the show, you will understand), and delightfully applauded our efforts. We will wait for performance #3 to answer this question:
Is this for real…or just a fluke???