Author Topic: Opera tips  (Read 33027 times)

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SMrose

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #15 on: Aug 05, 2008, 10:27 am »
Not only do I get a recording of the opera, but after we paper-tech and a few days before tech rehearsals begin, I'll use the recording to practice my cue calls outside of rehearsals.  Since opera is dictated by the music, I feel: unlike a play where an actor can change the timing of dialogue, opera--to me--remains very consistant in timing.  In practicing my calls to the recording, this helps me be very prepared so that I'm not wasting valuable time (try working with union musicians and union stage hands at the same time!).  The marked entrances of all principals, chorus and supers is paramount!!--others mentioned this and I can't emphasise it enough (the cast has to be on time for entrances--which means you make sure they're "waiting in the wings" or where ever else they enter from) or it's an "opera meltdown".  I agree with others: there is nothing quite like SMing opera.

vicky17ad

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #16 on: Nov 10, 2008, 04:46 pm »
can someone ell me more about  the www?? as i have never heard of it and my tutor has also never heard of it, i am a student at the RSAMD and we have an opera school and produce 3 large operas a year.

thanks
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BlantonRK

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #17 on: Nov 10, 2008, 09:16 pm »
Vicky,
The Who/What/Where, or WWW is a master document which tracks all elements of a production. Check out ljh007's sample in the "File Cabinet/Uploaded Forms/WWW form...anyone?" thread. Some companies only use a Who/What/Where as an archive document and for others, it is the running sheet for the ASMs.  Everyone has their own way of formatting the document, and you should read the comments in the thread for opinions of what should or shouldn't be in there and why.

babens

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #18 on: Oct 06, 2009, 07:42 pm »
Concerning the orchestra

Find out whether actual curtain time is the same as published curtain time.  I have encountered several companies that contract the orchestra to start 5 minutes after the time printed on the tickets, as they are well aware that a production in a theatre seating anywhere up to 5000 people is not going to start on time.  So rather than paying the orchestra for that almost inevitable house hold, they just assume that the house will need to be held at least five minutes.  This can mean the difference between squeaking in right under three hours or going into overtime for those biggies like Carmen.

Maribeth

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #19 on: Oct 07, 2009, 09:40 am »
Concerning the orchestra

Find out whether actual curtain time is the same as published curtain time.  I have encountered several companies that contract the orchestra to start 5 minutes after the time printed on the tickets, as they are well aware that a production in a theatre seating anywhere up to 5000 people is not going to start on time.  So rather than paying the orchestra for that almost inevitable house hold, they just assume that the house will need to be held at least five minutes.  This can mean the difference between squeaking in right under three hours or going into overtime for those biggies like Carmen.

That is a really good note- thanks.

Maribeth

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #20 on: Oct 11, 2010, 07:55 pm »
I have been looking back at this topic, and I love how much great information is on here!

Recently, my SM suggested that the SM team spiral-bind our scores (instead of keeping them in a larger binder), and I think it's really useful. The score is a lot more portable that way, and I can walk a part in a cover staging rehearsal without lugging my whole binder with me (helpful when running the show as well). I still keep a show binder with all of the other paperwork, but having the score bound separately makes it a lot easier to tote around.

Concerning the orchestra

Find out whether actual curtain time is the same as published curtain time.  I have encountered several companies that contract the orchestra to start 5 minutes after the time printed on the tickets, as they are well aware that a production in a theatre seating anywhere up to 5000 people is not going to start on time.  So rather than paying the orchestra for that almost inevitable house hold, they just assume that the house will need to be held at least five minutes.  This can mean the difference between squeaking in right under three hours or going into overtime for those biggies like Carmen.

This also can affect the chorus call time on an AGMA contract.

cschott

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #21 on: Oct 11, 2010, 09:33 pm »
Just FYI, Ricola no longer provides those lozenges for free.  They're still quite discounted, but not free.  You pay $75 for 8 tins of about 250 each.  Not too shabby, but it makes the whole thing more difficult - you can't just take on getting them yourself, you have to get someone to handle paying for them.

jenkoldsm

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #22 on: Mar 17, 2012, 08:53 pm »
I spent 8 of the most valuable weeks of my life discovering that opera stage management was NOT for me, although I was (and continued to be) an accomplished theatre SM. I know it's been years since this thread was started,  but I think it bears revisiting every so often, because until you have actually done both, you have NO idea how different an animal it is. It is vital to understand, as stage management folk tend to be a tad perfectionist and hard on themselves, that it is possible to be excellent at one and hopeless at the other. If you can do both, you're like a left-handed pitcher for the Yankees at the World Series, and you will work forever!
A couple of points that didn't get mentioned in the past thread that I'd like to hit:
1. In opera, any costume change to take less than 20 minutes is a quickchange, and requires paperwork, a dresser, and a backstage changing area.
2. In opera, a costume change is the removal and/or addition of ANY article of clothing, including a mask or a shawl.
3. In opera, you never know when someone will whisper, "here, hold this a second." If you take it, do not look back to see what it is. It could be anything from a retainer to a bear.
Yes, a bear. This is opera.

Bwoodbury

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #23 on: Mar 20, 2012, 07:11 pm »
We've been having a hard time finding any mass quantities of Riccola, free, discounted, or otherwise. Could you post or PM a link? We're buying cough drops twice a week!

iamchristuffin

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #24 on: Mar 20, 2012, 08:36 pm »
Possibly going to prove myself a fool, but why do you need to find cough drops?
Over here, if singers need a VocalZone or Soother, they buy them!

C

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Maribeth

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #25 on: Mar 20, 2012, 09:14 pm »
We've been having a hard time finding any mass quantities of Riccola, free, discounted, or otherwise. Could you post or PM a link? We're buying cough drops twice a week!

Let me ask someone- the last opera company I worked for ordered the tubs by the case, so it must be available somewhere.

Possibly going to prove myself a fool, but why do you need to find cough drops?
Over here, if singers need a VocalZone or Soother, they buy them!

It's a courtesy that's usually provided at most opera companies, in my experience (working in the US). Water, coffee, and tea are also usually made available.

ewharton

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #26 on: Mar 20, 2012, 10:39 pm »
One of the theatres I worked for ordered them directly from Ricola by the case. I believe they charged us $65 for the case plus shipping, which I think was a discount.

Try contacting them directly at
6 Campus Drive, Second Floor South Parsippany N.J. 07054
Phone: 973-984-6811

My company had a direct contact with someone there that I don't feel comfortable giving out, but try calling them directly.


dallas10086

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #27 on: Mar 20, 2012, 10:40 pm »
We've been having a hard time finding any mass quantities of Riccola, free, discounted, or otherwise. Could you post or PM a link? We're buying cough drops twice a week!

Here's a response I received a couple months ago when I was searching for freebies:



Thank you for your interest in Ricola products.

In response to your question, Ricola is no longer donating product to Broadway, theatres and the like; however we have made the product available for sale.  If you are interested in receiving product from Ricola the cost is $65.00 per case (8 drums in a case, 265 drops per drum) plus shipping ($10.00 for the East Coast).

Please let me know if you'd like to place an order and I will send you a list of the information that I need.

Thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,

RICOLA USA INC.

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ChaCha

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #28 on: Mar 21, 2012, 12:12 pm »
Possibly going to prove myself a fool, but why do you need to find cough drops?
Over here, if singers need a VocalZone or Soother, they buy them!

C

same here.
ChaCha

reneelibra

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Re: Opera tips
« Reply #29 on: Nov 30, 2013, 02:22 pm »
About cough drops and you would have to be a singer to know...

Singers do not like menthol, its the agent that numbs the voice, giving it that minty feeling, and singers can damage their voices more easily after using cough drops that are heavy in menthol.

Ricola's are great because they have a lower menthol level than most conventional cough drops, please note that sugar free cough drops have the least amount of menthol and sugar is also not so great for singers.
Ideally, zinc lozenges with no menthol at all would be best,obviously the ones with no menthol, they keep the voice moist but can be expensive because you find them at health food stores or whole foods. Alternatively, vitamin C drops can be used, but sometimes the acidity level may be too much.

In opera, everything runs by the WWW. The ASMs have all the information about who enters, wearing what, carrying what, on which page/system/measure/and sometimes beat. In large companies every entrance is cued by the asms. Assistant directors use a WWW to keep track of onstage action. The running sheets for scene shifts or rails use something similar to a WWW.

Timings are imperative to opera. Yes, everyone in the production team will have notated in their score every 15 seconds in their book. The SM calls places to actors at 5 min and the ASM asks for people to be repaged if they do not have singers by the 2 minute mark. So ASMS, have in their book 5 min warns, 2 min warns, for entrances on their side, or to warn crew members of upcoming action.

Principal singers are accompanied by their dresser in opera and are given water backstage. Wigs are huge in opera, as well as the skirts and swords in sword belts.

Tags: opera 
 

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