Thursday, June 30, 2005
where's my picture!?
just kidding, there was a photagrapher at rehearsal tuesday night, maybe there's one in the print edition? i don't know, it ran in the Richardson section. i only get Garland and Rockwall/Rowlett.
An opera in its early stages
Production puts a premium on audience appeal
09:00 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 29, 2005
By KRISTINE HUGHES / The Dallas Morning News
It was music to Michael Chadwick's ears when Ann Eisemann told him she wasn't afraid of opera anymore.
The two had just bumped into each other during the intermission for Don Giovanni, the first show produced by Mr. Chadwick's new company, The Living Opera.
While Mrs. Eisemann is an avid arts supporter – the Eisemann Center is named for her husband, Charles – she considers herself an opera novice. She had previously seen only one production. That was nearly 30 years ago. "I'm so used to only going to symphonic or instrumental music concerts and seeing choral works, such as oratorios by Mendelssohn or Handel," she said. "I was pleasantly surprised, and I want to go again."
Newcomers such as Mrs. Eisemann are among those the nonprofit organization is trying to attract. Its stated goal is to make the musical style more "accessible, affordable and appealing to a broader spectrum of the community."
Mrs. Eisemann said projected translations – called supertitles because they appear above the stage – helped her follow the plot. Also, the music wasn't as foreign as she thought it might be.
"It was beautiful," she said. "I think of music as a gift to enrich my life, and opera is a new kind of gift."
Mr. Chadwick, 34, said many audience members at the inaugural show, June 17, had the same reaction – even though a Dallas Morning News critic panned the production.
He said ticket sales at the door for the second, final performance June 18 were brisk and people are buying season passes for 2006. Still, the company's founder and general director conceded that the production had shortcomings.
The company, which uses professional performers, relied on volunteers in other areas but didn't have enough, Mr. Chadwick said. As a result, many were asked to do tasks they weren't trained for.
They didn't have a place to build the sets until a few days before the opening, so they pulled all-nighters just to cobble together the meager scenery they ended up with. They also realized the pieces appeared much smaller once they had them on the Eisemann stage.
The company chose a complex show as a first effort because it had name recognition and because organizers felt they had a cast of well-rounded, experienced singers.
However, Mr. Chadwick said, he realized the tenor was asked to sing a style of music for which his voice isn't best suited.
"This tenor is more suited for romantic era dramatic roles," Mr. Chadwick said. "The fact that he even survived the opera was a testament to his artistry and his flexibility. He was cast so that the very large voice of [the soprano] wouldn't have some wussy, little, tinny, baby tenor standing next to her.
"He was cast because he was the only tenor that could match her, and given that fact he did an excellent job."
Opera houses are rated on a letter scale based on both vocal quality and budget, with the Dallas Opera being an A house, the Fort Worth Opera being a B house and so on. Mr. Chadwick said The Living Opera is trying be a C house – but on a D house budget. He equates it to the minor leagues in baseball.
The singers are usually at a time in their careers between apprenticeship and major opera house work, between their early 20s and early 30s, when their physicality and voices haven't quite matured enough to carry bigger shows.
"They're still professionals, but they're not ready for the majors yet," he said.
Ticket prices reflect that difference as well. A center orchestra seat for a Dallas Opera show costs $225 to $265, with a range of prices for tickets elsewhere at $19 to $240. The same center orchestra seat for a show by The Living Opera costs $80, with other tickets selling for $10 to $60.
Dallas Opera officials gave Mr. Chadwick its season ticket subscriber list for his marketing efforts. He said they encourage The Living Opera because it extends the opera calendar and builds audiences for the future.
The Garland-based company applied for a grant from the Richardson Arts Commission last year but was turned down because it hadn't had nonprofit status for the requisite year. However, the company received funding from McKinney and Plano and has been encouraged to reapply to Richardson, Mr. Chadwick said.
Other early sponsors have included WRR-FM (101.1), the Marriott Courtyard Campbell and Residence Inn of Richardson and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Mr. Chadwick hopes it's just the start.
"Donors can give money to the symphony or a choir and get a nice concert. They can give money to a dance company and get a nice performance, to a theater and get a nice play," he said.
"They can give money to us and get all of that. We are the ultimate multimedia production."
or call 469-330-5640
i've been informed that the photo was of one of the other Jennifers. here's my own pic of both of us.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
an option if you'd like to help but have no money, like me.
Greetings Living Opera Friends and Volunteers:
Please pass this on to anyone you think may be interested.
Please reply to this e-mail and I will be sure that your interest is passed on to the appropriate person.
First, please be aware that we need every volunteer possible to raise funds to finish paying for DON GIOVANNI and to get THE ELIXIR OF LOVE on the stage. It has reached the point that if we do not raise the needed funds, THE LIVING OPERA will die. All ideas will receive serious consideration and every contribution of time, effort or money will be appreciated.
NEXT, WE HAVE SOME FAIRLY URGENT PRODUCTION NEEDS:*
Loan of a large truck is needed to transport sets*
Donations of costumes, set pieces and props are needed*
2 Volunteer Assistant Stage Managers are needed -duties to include calling cast/crew to rehearsals and performances, arranging costume fittings, obtaining and maintaining props, costumes and sets, and disseminating information.*
Volunteer Lighting Designer to create and execute a lighting design for 1500 seat proscenium stage and to oversee all aspects of lighting for the production.
MORE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Finally, please review the following volunteer job categories to help you decide what you’d most like to do as a TLO volunteer. You will be called or emailed about the date and time of the next meeting which will be for your training and orientation for that particular job.
1. Fund Raising Committee - The fund raising committee is responsible for sending or delivering and following up on donation letters. Also responsible for sending thank you letters to volunteers and donors. Conducts online or library based research for individual, corporate and grant donor prospects. Solicits donations for silent auctions. This committee is also responsible for writing the proposals to solicit grants from foundations, municipalities and corporations. Team Leader - TERRY STALLCUP
2. Publicity and Promotions Committee - The Publicity and Promotions Committee is responsible for the organization and distribution of show and events posters and brochures in businesses, restaurants and markets and to news media in the area. Tasks include mailing or e-mailing news releases to newspapers, radio stations etc., insuring that posters/flyers are distributed throughout the community, assembling and distributing press kits and soliciting reviewers’ attendance and feature stories.Team Leader – ALEXI BONIFIELD
3. Hospitality Committee – The hospitality committee is responsible for artist accommodations and for artist appreciation including welcome gifts and care packages for out of town principal performers, opening night gifts (token) for cast including chorus and principals and flowers for principal performers on final performances. This committee arranges for transportation to/from the airport for principal out of town performers.. Also responsible for organizing cast party. Team Leader – TBD
4. Gift Shop/Guest Relations Committee - The Gift Shop/Guest Relations Committee is responsible for the front of the house prior to, during and after performances. This involves setting up in the lobby and selling merchandise, distributing information and selling tickets before, at intermission and after each performance. All members will help with the strike of concessions and information tables after each performance and with disassembly on the final performance. Committee members will stay in the lobby during the show to ensure each area is manned and assist patrons.Team Leader – TBD
Production Committee – Oversees all activities associated with the actual performance Consists of the following subcommittees
5. Production Committee Team Leader – Amber Chadwick.
a)Dressers/Costume Committee - The costume committee helps with makeup, wigs, shoes, hosiery and costumes and checks to be sure all performers have their costumes ready by show time. May assist with measurements and submission of forms to vendors. May also place calls to vendors to obtain pricing and availability for costume needs. Dressers help with quick changes. The committee is also responsible for any emergency mending or repairs to costumes and for gathering the costumes after performance for return to cleaning, storage and/or the rental company.
b) Prop Committee - The prop committee is responsible for soliciting, finding or making the needed props as listed by the director and stage manager. A Prop Master is needed during each performance to maintain the prop table. The committee is responsible for staying within the planned budget.Team Leader – TBD
c)Set Construction Committee - The Set Construction Committee is responsible for construction and painting of the set. This committee will work during rehearsals under the direction of the General Director or his designee. The Set Construction Committee is asked to help with load in, usually scheduled during 2 evenings of the week prior to performances. They will assemble and finish the set on stage prior to opening and are responsible for organizing strike.Team Leader – TBDd.
d)Stage Crew Committee - The Stage Crew tasks consist of set changes and special effects during the performances under the direction of the Stage Manager or Technical Director. The Stage Crew Committee is asked to help with load in, usually scheduled during 2 evenings of the week just prior to performances. Technically adept individuals are needed to run supertitle projection during tech week and performances. To maintain continuity of the performances committee members must commit to working a minimum both shows of a two performance run and must be available during tech week to learn cues.Team Leader – TBD
Many thanks for your kind interest and support!!!!"
my own quick comments. copy and paste didn't quite work ,i think i got it fixed but if something doesn't make sense please let me know. and please, please, please contribute if you can.
i'd hate to meet his wife....
in the paper today.
Garage diggers work their way down
09:29 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 29, 2005
By JAMES M. O'NEILL / The Dallas Morning News
it's about some guy that, well, digs parking garages. yippee!
my favorite part, and they block quoted it in the print edition:
uh, is that good or bad? or more importantly does she think it's good or bad?
Mr. Woodbury, who wears a graying moustache, said he's totally at ease in a
dozer cab. "To me, it's like I'm at home with my wife."
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
tosca. i went to high school with this guy, he was a year ahead of me, has a great tenor voice, but he decided to pay his bills on a regular basis so he's a lawyer. ;D
other fun fact.. the main chorus bit is at the end of the first act, we're all coming to church to celebrate napoleon's defeat (the news is SO wrong about this, oh well) anyhoo, not many of us were used to crossing ourselves. Todd here kept having problems, he'd be like "darn it! i messed up again" i let him know he'd be going to hell for that.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
from today's paper.
letter to the arts editor
Defending the Living
The principal purpose of the Living Opera is to provide a venue for young singers in the early stages of their careers. It is a disservice to everyone to have judged this performance ["Debut a valiant effort," Overnight, June 19] by the criteria one would use for a traditional, established opera company. These are quite wonderful young singers, their bios are impressive and they are a pleasure to hear.
Jean G. Felsted, Richardson
please make a donation
i asked rto if he thought some of our friends might get offended if i sent them the letter i posted here asking for donations to the Living Opera. he said
RTO: is that what that was? I didn't know what you were talking about, it wasn't clear.
MK: what part of please visit the website or send money to this address isn't clear?
RTO: oh, was that in there?
MK: i kill you.
things are back to normal...
we're watching rumsfeld talk to chris wallace about why we don't need more troops in iraq. the generals haven't asked for it. more people would make a "heavier footprint" more imposing "occupational force" which we don't want over there.
RTO: obviously, mr. rumsfeld has been reading a lot of what i have to say about this.
MK: HA HA HA HAAAAAA.......... i'm bloggin that.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
rearranging the rehearsal schedule...
well, we found out last night that one of the other tenants in the building we're rehearsing at has a band. a very loud band. so the director went and talked to them, got them to commit to practicing on thursdays (he said at first they said they usually only practice one night a week, but not always the same night) we left early because we couldn't hear ourselves, much less the piano. so now thursdays are off and wednesdays are on. though i was thinking, wouldn't there be some kind of noise ordinance that would apply here? and having never been in a band, is it really necessary to crank up the sound when you're just practicing? i mean trying to be heard over a crowd i can understand, but if it's just the band in a medical supply store does it have to be deafening?
Thursday, June 23, 2005
i've heard stories, but never witnessed this before, until today. just put my mug in the microwave to heat up some leftover coffee. take some pictures of the cats. go to get my coffee, and most of it is on the bottom of the microwave! mug is NOT leaking, fortunately i just started a new pot so i won't be deprived for too long.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
no rehearsal b/c most people in the chorus have church jobs and have rehearsals for those tonight. yay! not me. soooo when we bought the paint for the bathroom we asked the guy about the best way to remove the wall paper. he told us to not even attempt it because most paper today is thin and it "won't come off in sheets" like heavier papers did.(it once took him several hours just to get a couple square feet cleared because the paper would just tear into little bits) well, there were spots where the paper was peeling and he told us to just cut those off and smooth them out. anyhoo, i got bored tonight and started pulling the loose bits off, then moved on to all the paper, because it DID come off in sheets (more or less, i didn't remove any fixtures, and there were a couple spots i'm just too short to reach) it only took me about an hour. yay!
then, i spent some time at the piano. scimmed through a book i found last week that we'd had at home (the greentree songbook). oh, the memories. i primarily bought it for Little Flowers, but i found such gems as The land of oohs and aahs (did christy lane ever record this, JG?) and Give them all to Jesus. i think i may have to show those to the voice teacher. hee hee.
my german language visits are up to almost 18% today. Danke! they were 1% last time i checked. kitties must be popular.
is anyone else
using gmail and having problems? i'm getting stupid error messages when i try to send things (your connection has expired, please log in again.) and the google toolbar is blocking pop ups. i may have done something in trying to network with the desktop, who knows.
For those of you who don't know, I'm a part of a new opera company, TheLiving Opera. 2005 is the inaugural season, though the company is 2 yearsin the making. The Living Opera is a certified 501(c)(3), and its missionis "to make opera accessible, affordable and appealing to a broader spectrumof the community by offering high-quality performances, providing educationand outreach programs and promoting the development of emerging artists and artisans."
As with any start-up, whether it's a business or a non-profit, the first fewyears are the toughest, particularly financially. This hardship has becomea serious reality for The Living Opera. We just concluded our first performance, Don Giovanni. And while it was a tremendous success from the standpoint of the stage, the incredible costs of orchestra and principal singers has left us $20,000 in the red.Despite the debt, the season must go on! Yesterday, we began rehearsals for our next show, The Elixir of Love. Of course, we're all more than a little anxious about the shortfall from the last show. BUT with your help, we can bridge the gap. Asking for money has never been my thing. In fact, I run as far away from these types of situations as I can possibly get. But I'm enjoying my time with The Living Opera and look forward to the doors it might open for me as a singer. Who knows, maybe one day, I might have a lead!
And so, any contribution will help, whether it's $5 or $5,000! And your contribution is tax deductible (assuming you itemize your deductions on your tax return).You may donate online by visiting the company's website: the living opera or you may mail a contribution to:
The Living Opera
1830 Elm Creek Drive
Garland TX 75040
I hope you'll consider supporting me in this endeavor. At the very least, Iwould love to see you at a show!
Jennifer White (maggie katzen)
(special thanks to susan fox who provided this email) also i might add, i'd be willing to throw in some of my own handiwork for donations made.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
he ain't crazy, he's just oppinionated
Monday, June 20, 2005
when rto's away....
MK: CARLOS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE!! GET OFF THE COUNTER!!!
MK: don't MAKE me come over there, get off the counter!
Carlos: HEY! DON'T TOUCH ME!(sees puppy) HSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
MK: you dork, you know you don't belong up there.
ten minutes later....
MK: GET OFF THE COUNTER! DIDN'T I JUST MOVE YOU!
MK: come 'ere
Carlos: PUT ME DOWN! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!!!!
MK: my your toasty, you want the sunlight, is that it? here, sit on the window sill.
Carlos: I STILL HATE YOU!!!!!
MK: stupid cat
Carlos: well, maybe this isn't so bad, just keep the dog away from me. grrrrrrrrr.
yay! yay! yay! yay!
WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS!!!!????? okay, first, the guys at gails (scribal terror) have been crackin' me up with their artwork. was gonna comment on this one. and in researching found out that toon disney is running the tick cartoons every night at 11 eastern! we're talkin' cartoons i would get out of bed early on saturday mornings to see when i was in college. they're some of the funniest stuff i've ever seen. course now that i've said that and set the tivo they'll be a big dissapointment, like the super friends, or old g.i. joe cartoons. but i don't think so. tomorrow's episode (if the tivo is correct) is one of the best. the tick vs. the tick. the tick fights barry over who keeps the name of tick(and all the stuff that goes with it) at the comet club. two words: sidekick lounge!!!!!! oh, and the midnight bomber what bombs at midnight.
i have mowed the lawn....
and lived to tell about it. it ain't the prettiest job i've ever seen, but it's done.