|With Actor / Director Austin Pendleton|
As I type this long-delayed blog post, I sit backstage at Severance Hall, with Randy Newman onstage, performing with the Cleveland Orchestra. Trying my best to use my time wisely and do a little updating. Yes, I have fallen behind ... again.
After Opera Cour d'Alene's Faust, I returned to Ohio to do La Boheme with Opera Per Tutti. Without going into it, let me just say that I am surprised that such a little opera could come with such hurdles. In the end, the opera was beautiful and stage director Scott Skiba worked wonders with what he had to work with (regarding the set). While the opera was fully staged, there was no set, per se. He was able to use the furniture props so effectively that I, personally, wasn't thrown off that there was no set! No formal assemblance of a loft apartment for the men, nor cafe, etc. Very effective use of space.
After Boheme, I went IMMEDIATELY to OPERA Western Reserve's production of Tosca and took the helm at their production week. (One of the singers, baritone Max Pivik was with me in both productions.) It was great to back in Youngstown for a quick stay and work in Stambaugh Auditorium again. The crew that does most of the work there is very easy to get along with, which I appreciate. The final dress was a lot of fun for me. That night, we had an invited house and a special guest was there, as well. Film and theatre actor and Ohio native, Austin Pendleton, was there and I recognized him right away. He is a friend of the conductor, Ma. Susan Davenny Wyner, and came as her guest. After the dress, I had the opportunity to chat with him a while, which was nice. Wonderful man.
|With the talented Philipe Pierce|
Our opening night, however, was not so pleasant. We were not clued in, but the House staff left the temperatures fairly varied (backstage vs. in the House) and, upon opening the main rag, we found it snagging the stage left super title screen. After a few back and forth with it, the rag finished the night with a two-foot tear. But the production was a success anyway and there's really nothing more important than that. I don't know how he does it, but Production Director David Vosburgh always pulls manages to do so much in that theatre.
On a personal note, I was a little sad when something else was brought to my attention. Singer Pilipe Pierce was in the cast and he reminded me that I was his stage manager for the first opera he did in Ohio, as well as the last (Tosca). He moved to NYC full-time after the opera closed. This was the result of the (likely) evaporation of Opera Cleveland.
Working on my own one-man show now, titled Managing! More on that soon!