My first virtual opera: Act II of "Get Me Home"
A couple of months ago my friends and colleagues messaged me on Facebook to ask if I would be interested in performing in an act from a virtual opera. They had already directed and produced the first act with a set of different performers for the Taphouse Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas as part of a virtual program that featured new works written by composers since the beginning of the nationwide shut down in March. I had been feeling pretty isolated from the music world since before quarantine so I jumped that the chance to sing again!
Having first hand experience in what it takes to organize musicians and musical material I knew that this process could end up being messy, especially since we would all be working and recording independently from our homes. However, the whole experience ended up being positively delightful! I was one of a cast of four and we all had a virtual meet and greet to get to know each other. The rehearsal materials were meticulously prepared and reviewed with the cast by our director and producer. We all received a score, a list of clearly marked cut-offs and breaths, and (most importantly) a series of rehearsal tracks that were tailored to our specific parts with voice leading assistance and accompaniment. We even got to have a Zoom call with the composer half way through the rehearsal process which was delightful.
I went in to the experience feeling nervous about all the of the things I would have to learn how to do but honestly, it was probably the smoothest rehearsal and performance experience I have ever had! My cast mates were dedicated and talented, the leadership was organized and highly communicative, and the music itself was easy on the voice, fun to sing, and uplifting for the spirit. Do I wish I could have been there in person with my cast-mates? Of course! Are there things that I wish I had done better? Absolutely! Who can't say that about any performance? Even though creating a show during a global pandemic is less than ideal, I am so thankful that it gave me the opportunity to have this experience. I am looking forward to what other new, virtual experiences may come my way in the future!
Here is Act II from Get Me Home by Neal Learner. It debuted on August 29, 2020 on the Taphouse Theatre Facebook page.