The Sound of Music Rehearsals: It’s Like a Giant Puzzle!
Monday, we ran through act one. Tuesday, we ran through act two. Wednesday was a day of working on various groups’ weakest songs. Today (Thursday), Shane and Lindsey are busy working on leading man and lady stuff. Tomorrow… well, they haven’t sent out the e-mail for tomorrow yet. Rolf and Liesl are called tomorrow, for sure, which Erin announced on Tuesday.
The run through of act one went pretty well. We were mostly aware of what we were doing, and had missed the blocking of few scenes, in spite of the fact that we’ve been blocking things out of order and piecemeal. The run through of act two was less good. The only scene in act two which had been neglected was scene one… but that scene is half the act. Oops. Since it is the second act, people are also less solid on both lines and music.
Had a bad moment during the wedding scene in act two — we nuns failed at working our blocking properly. That ended up getting completely reworked on Wednesday anyway, though. There were set pieces (desk, chairs, suitcase) to be removed as part of all this, which had people ending up in different places than they had originally been blocked, and then that threw off this and that and the other thing. The end result is that we’re still doing basically the same thing, but with some people in different places and now all the nuns know exactly when to move. It’s a good thing.
Everyone’s command of their music is gradually strengthening. Some people are singing songs they’ve never heard before, even though all the cast members have at least seen the movie. As with any full-length musical adapted to film, some of the songs from the musical were either omitted from the movie or used as background music in passing for the movie. One song, the love song Maria and the Captain sing together, was replaced with a different song for the movie. Max and Frau Schraeder both get to sing — twice, I think, off the top of my head. The nuns do more singing than everyone else — except, perhaps for the von Trapp children.
The youngest actor among the von Trapp children is six years old, and adorable. She has also never had to learn any music as complex as the stuff they’re singing here. She’s not the only relatively inexperienced singers amongst the von Trapp children, and the next-youngest child is eight. But I’ll tell you what — they’ve come a long, long way since their first singing rehearsal. They sound beautiful. And they’re only getting better. :D
Have I mentioned that this production is gonna be awesome?
People keep telling us that the nuns are getting similar compliments from people who overhear us rehearsing. We know better, though. We’re much improved, ourselves, but there are a few rough patches that are taking a while to file down. And our weakest song, so far, is the finale. (Its official title in the score, by the way, is Finale Ultimo. No pressure.) Now, granted, it’s our least-rehearsed song. However, we want it to sound fantastic, because the song is fantastic. The nuns, in general, get some of the most beautiful music in the show, but that song is truly lovely. Amazing four-part harmony under the Climb Ev’ry Mountain melody line, sung by the mother abbess.
Ah, look at me — I’m getting a dreamy smile on my face just thinking about it. I’d say I’m going to go practice it, but the truth is that I’m going to go watch the second episode of this new Japanese drama show I’ve been watching. Now that I’m off book, I use some sound files I made to practice my music while I’m at work.