Tales of Hoffmann, 2010 Santa Fe

The first run through of Hoffmann onstage today (July 10) was a bag of mixed emotions.  Less than 24 hours earlier I returned to the home in Santa Fe to which I was assigned, to find it had been broken into and robbed rather thoroughly.  Paul Groves wondered why I hadn’t returned to his house post rehearsal for a birthday celebration of his now two year old daughter–I was dealing with the police!  I feel terrible, especially for the owners of this home.  It was ransacked, with televisions stolen, drawers turned over, etc, etc.  While some of my things were stolen…cash (replaceable), jewelry (replaceable), clothes and luggage (replaceable) the worrisome things taken were my travel wallet (with additional credit/debit cards, passport, and the like),  and back up hard drive for my computer.  Luckily, I was protected with Lifelock, the identity protection service.  Just like the commercial says:  I truly made one phone call; they canceled everything in seconds, and the thieves were not able to use any of my credit/debit cards anywhere!  (Despite their many attempts at doing so.)  I would love to see their faces when they expect a “big score” at the electronics store, gas stations, ATM’s, and find a brick wall instead.  Lifelock even contacted the State Department to invalidate my passport and assist me with replacing it.  No, this is not a commercial for Lifelock, but this is what really happened.  I was moved to another home and got back to business, as my computer, wallet and mobile phone were not stolen, as they were in my possession the day of the robbery.  I don’t have anything really sensitive on my hard drive, but changed all passwords to every secure site, just to be cautious.  If they do peruse my hard drive, I hope they enjoy the many lovely photos of friends and family, and interesting locations where I have been in the world.  It is likely that they will never see such places, or experience such things–they are busy in their own hell, supporting drug habits, I suspect.  What is more likely is that, as petty thieves, they will eventually get caught and see prison walls instead.  Too bad, as I am sure they started life as basically good people…

But back to Hoffmann:  Christopher Alden has done a terrific job on this piece.  He justifies everything we are doing onstage, even though it may look a bit abstract to the audience at times.  It is a bizarre telling of these tales, but then again, aren’t they all???  He exposes the underbelly of the piece but finds moments of light comedy, gentle internal relationships for some of the characters, and is justified in everything he suggests.  That is to say, with one comparable director over the years, Mr. Alden knows EVERY word, both spoken and sung of this entire opera.  (Funny, the last director to do this was also directing Hoffmann {Marc Verzatt} years ago when I first did it.)  While a bit long for a 9 p.m. curtain, the audience will surely be sucked into a world of fascination when we bring this to the stage for next weeks opening.  Despite the upheaval noted above, I hope to have my voice in clear shape, and my mind clear of victim status to deliver on a par with my incredible cast.

Kudos, in fact, to my wonderful cast-mates for their support regarding the break-in, and for their wondrous talent:  Paul Groves, Erin Wall,  Kate Lindsey (really fabulous), and the incomparable Stephen Lord in the pit.  Not to forget Mark Schowalter, and Jill Grove, plus the myriad of uber-talented young artists who are here to begin their hopefully long and successful careers!!!