Author Topic: Outdoor opera issues?  (Read 4414 times)

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limelight

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Outdoor opera issues?
« on: Jul 01, 2007, 03:39 pm »
I'm currently SM-ing an opera to be performed outdoors in a couple weeks at my college. It's a student-produced show on a low budget, so we don't have any sound or lights (it's being performed around late afternoon) -- we do have a small orchestra, though. We recently were in the space (a garden of sorts) and I discovered some potential problems: one actor is highly allergic to bees, mosquitoes were everywhere, etc. I'm prepping my kit with lots of sunscreen, bug spray, and water bottles so everyone stays hydrated.

Does anyone else who has done outdoor shows have any tips? Any other potential problems I'll need to look out for?

Thanks :)
Toe-dancing is a dandy attention-getter, second only to screaming. -- Agnes de Mille

Jessie_K

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Re: Outdoor opera issues?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 01, 2007, 07:26 pm »
Try burning citronella torches along the audience entrance/ exit pathways.

Have a rain plan.  Make everyone knows where to gather and what items are important to get out of the rain immediately.

centaura

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Re: Outdoor opera issues?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 02, 2007, 08:39 am »
Is there any type of pond / body of water in the garden?  If so, you  might be able to throw some mosquito disks into it now, to try to cut down the mosquitos by the time of the performance.  Or ask the caretaker of the space if they have any mosquito repellants that they like to use in the space.

For the actor with the bee allergy - be sure to have the appropriate shot ready in a pre-arranged place backstage - two if you can, one on each side, and have everyone prepped on what to do.  Have the actor describe what their reaction is, so that if anyone sees it they know to get them their shot immediately.  I'd also check out the garden at that time of day, to see where the sun is going to be slanting.  If there are any complicated blocking moments, fighting, etc., you want to make sure no one is directed to do something with the sun in their eyes and blind.

-Centaura

smalltimeSM

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Re: Outdoor opera issues?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 02, 2007, 05:47 pm »
I too am allergic to bee stings.  (its not fun)  :'(  If multiple eppi pens (the shots) are not available, Make sure you have Bennadril allergy to SLOW down the reaction.  It will not stop the reaction, but it will buy you time to get paramedics on site.  As for the misquotes, they make a bug fogger that you could use about 10 mins. before house opens, and that should keep the bugs down.  (I'm at a summer stock in the woods right now, and we fog the camp when bugs get bad, and it WORKS!) Hope this helps. 

P.S. if you have any more Q's about Bee stings feel free to message me.  ;D

JPL

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Re: Outdoor opera issues?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 03, 2007, 11:11 am »
 they make a bug fogger that you could use about 10 mins. before house opens,


I would be cautious about using anything in the air where singers are.  Opera singers are especially sensitive to aerosols, and their reaction to a fogger could be far more extreme than their reaction to mosquitoes.

John

jwl_868

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Re: Outdoor opera issues?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 03, 2007, 12:36 pm »
This is more from audience experience, but if the venue is a place that was not originally intended to be a venue, you may want to check for any sources of external noise, random or regular.  For example, railroad engines, firehouses, church bells, sirens, loading docks.  While there isn’t much you can do about the noise, you may want to plan how to react to it – pause, restart, whatever. 

Joe

ljh007

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Re: Outdoor opera issues?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 11, 2007, 08:13 am »
I heard from a gardener recently that these citronella plants really do work amazingly well. Buy them from a garden store in little pots (one plant per pot) and set them out all around the stage and backstage wherever they're not in anyone's way. Apparently they keep the bugs away like a dream, and you don't have to have the live flame or icky smell of those citronella candles/torches.

I would definitely echo John's comment about avoiding putting anything into the air - outdoor setting or not - where the singers will be. It will kill their voice and irritate their throat immediately despite your best intentions.

Other than that, I would suggest you look and the threads elsewhere on this site with great tips for outdoor shows.

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