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.
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!