The Toronto Symphony’s New Creations Festival opens today!
With Machover as guest-curator, the 2013 New Creations Festival takes a suitably technology-driven perspective, exploring the evolution of music from past to future with a selection of boundary-bending works which bring the past to the present and redefines the instruments of an orchestra. The Festival opens with the Canadian première of Arcadiac, where Canadian composer Nicole Lizée’s work will have the orchestra perform live accompaniment to vintage arcade games of the 1970s and 1980s, followed by Machover’s Jeux Deux, an interweaving of hyperpiano, orchestra, interactive software and live graphics (Mar 2, 2013). The Festival’s opening programme closes with guest conductor Carolyn Kuan leading the Canadian première of the Mason Bates’s symphony-scale piece Alternative Energy, which depicts the past, present, and future of energy using field recordings and acoustic orchestra.
Here’s yesterday onstage at Roy Thomson Hall with “hyper pianist” Michael Chertock rehearsing “Jeux Deux”, composed for the Boston Pops in 2005. Chertock performed in the world premiere (watch video clip).
Last night was the final dress rehearsal before the show opens tomorrow night, and even I was anxious running around backstage with my camera. Though I’ve seen the show from start to finish several times start to finish (as proven by the fact that my dinner table and I sang through almost all of scene 1 during dessert), I still watched wide-eyed and with bated breath. We have a truly amazing show that’s about to open tomorrow night – to put it modestly, Tod came up to me after and said, “well, I think we have a show,” – and it’s hard not to get excited. Here are a few shots I took during the rehearsal:
Yesterday afternoon during rehearsal I spent a good two hours, armed with my camera, crouching in the front row of the Salle Garnier. Besides getting a few strange looks from conductor Gil Rose and almost getting tripped on more times than I can count, I managed to get a few good shots of the last run-through before the sitzprobe. Check them out:
I’m currently sitting in the audience at Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston watching Jim and Joelle rehearse one of the pivotal scenes in the opera. “We evolved as meat to want sugar and fat/once that was good, but now that is fatal,” croons Jim, writhing in anguish on a blanket on stage. I watch mesmerized until choreographer Karole Armitage stops them, reminding them that they shouldn’t touch during this section. “When does the touching start?” Joelle asks into the dark audience of mostly empty seats, save for director Diane Paulus. “Let the touching begin,” deadpans Jim.
It’s a Sunday afternoon, and despite the fact that it’s the weekend the majority of the cast and crew are working hard at perfecting lighting cues, tweaking the sound balance, and fixing everything else that needs to be finished before everything ships to Monaco next week. Today is one of the last rehearsals before Wednesday, when the Opera of the Future team will hold a complete run-through of the opera in preparation for shipping everything to Monaco. More rehearsing and a full dress rehearsal will take place after everything ships, but even now anyone can see that things are really starting to come together. At the same time, though, everyone has also been working nonstop for the past few weeks, and it’s all coming down to the wire in these last few days.
(l-r) Peter Torpey, Elly Jessop, and Ben Bloomberg
Elly and Peter work with the visualizations for the walls
A chorus of robots wait for their cues backstage.
Needless to say, it’s a thoroughly exciting time to be hanging around in the wings of Opera of the Future. Tonight is the sitzprobe, or the first time the singers will be performing with the orchestra, and in the next few days there’ll be more staging and the full run-through on Wednesday. So be sure to watch this space for more behind-the-scenes footage of Death and the Powers!
Posted by June
We thought you’d enjoy these photographs taken during the first set of rehearsals in June 2010. Can’t wait to find out how these look on stage with lighting and imagery!!