Author Topic: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?  (Read 3615 times)

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cuelight

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Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« on: Mar 25, 2007, 09:45 am »
Hello all. I've recently gotten the job of DSM for 'Ariadne auf Naxos' by Strauss and was wondering if anyone here had done it or seen it with any potential tips for me. I was told in my interview that it was a technically challenging show - or was that just an interview myth to judge a reaction?

It's my first opera job so anything helpful will be much appreciated. I've gone over the Opera Tips threads with a fine tooth comb already and it's been extraordinarily helpful. Thank you SMNetwork!

I've got one ASM who'll be in rehearsals with me and was wondering if I should put them on book whilst I take blocking or if I'll be expected to take blocking at all. Also, should I ask for a piano/vocal score only? And will there be anything specific to opera that I should know about before going into rehearsals?

Cheers in advance!

kiwitechgirl

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Re: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25, 2007, 11:25 pm »
You definitely want a piano/vocal score - if you have the full orchestra score you'll be turning pages every four bars!  The one thing I would say is that opera singers tend to be more diva-ish than actors - at least I've found it to be that way.

LisaEllis

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Re: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 26, 2007, 12:37 am »
I've got one ASM who'll be in rehearsals with me and was wondering if I should put them on book whilst I take blocking or if I'll be expected to take blocking at all. Also, should I ask for a piano/vocal score only? And will there be anything specific to opera that I should know about before going into rehearsals?

"On book" is not a phrase often heard in opera...you're not prompting if someone goes up...music staff is.

You'll need to take blocking, if only for yourself during lighting sessions if nothing else.  If you have an AD, much of that resposibility will fall to the AD.  Otherwise, you'll need to keep track of that for the director.

Since you say DSM, I'm going to guess you're in Britain, so some things are different here in the states.  But I would think you'd still want your ASM to deal with props and cueing the heaviest side of the stage.  Here, every artist is generally cued for every entrance, if possible.  The 1st Act will be heavier with props and shtick than the 2nd...and the comediens are usually hilarious.  I don't know how much technically you can do with "Ariadne"...the 1st Act is one set, and the 2nd is a different set.  There can be crazy funny stuff going on, and Bacchus could have some kind of dramatic entrance, but the last 20 minutes is a LONG duet.  There's no chorus, just a relatively small cast.  I can't think of anything else specou ific to tell you about it.  If you're doing it in German, you'll need to read the English libretto, because there is a lot of comedy in there that you'll understand/anticipate better if you know what's going on.

I hope it goes well for you!

ljh007

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Re: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 26, 2007, 02:30 pm »
Ariadne is a lovely show that is usually fairly simple technically. The music is rich and you can get thrown in a couple of parts if reading music is not your strong suit.

As the other posters have noted, you will probably be taking blocking in your piano/vocal (P/V) score but stage management is never "on book" in an opera. Your ASM should be ready to cue entrances in rehearsal and backstage, and that you might consider delegating a tech area (like costumes or props) to be the full responsibility of your ASM. My only recommendation in general for this one is to muster your patience and grace for dealing with all your principals - do you best to make all of them feel like their comfort and creativity is the very most important thing to you. They'll love you forever, and it will make the overall process run much more smoothly.

cuelight

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Re: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 27, 2007, 02:31 pm »
Thanks for all the tips guys. They're a lot more helpful than you know!

LisaE, I am a British DSM. I also speak German so I'm hoping that my understanding what's going on will be the least of my worries!

Also, is there anything else that you guys would include in your Opera Stage Management Bible (or Prompt book if you prefer) that you wouldn't normally include in a folder for say, a musical or a play?

LisaEllis

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Re: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« Reply #5 on: Mar 28, 2007, 01:16 am »
I always have a tab for Music, where I file cuts, banda information, etc.

An additional usual piece of paperwork is an AV sheet, with monitor positions (audio of the orchestra and video of the conductor).  For example, at my podium I usually have an orchestra audio (handy if you control the volume knob and can crank it up when Maestro is giving notes, etc. during an Orchestra Dress), stage video (because I'm backstage) and Maestro video.  Then there are speakers and video placed (often a set R/L just US of the pros) for the singers onstage, and a couple on mobile tv carts for things like banda and offstage singing.

Also, all the paperwork is referenced by time into the Act and page/system/measure.  And because you've timed the score, you know that it's 11 minutes, give or take 30 seconds or so. 

What else can I tell you?...

cuelight

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Re: Tips for "Ariadne auf Naxos"?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 28, 2007, 11:10 am »
Thanks Lisa. Hadn't thought about AV but it certainly makes sense!

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