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05-07-2014

Salome Tuesday Recap: Guest Blogger John Mac Master

5.7.14
Day 7 in our magnificent preparation to open Salome in Philadelphia tomorrow night! And what a day yesterday was! 2 rehearsal calls with orchestra in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Centre, The Philadelphia Orchestra's home, on the set, with costumes and wigs for the first time. To be 12 feet above the stage, with the very large 106 members of the orchestra spread out in front of us - it's a long distance to Yannick on the podium, and a large hall, seemingly - to fill with unamplified voices. But what a hall; reminiscent of the inside of a cello because of its shape and all the gorgeous wood, we seemed to manage the balance better than I hoped. Herod makes his entrance after about a half hour, so I took the opportunity to sit and listen in the boxes on the side of the hall. The sound of this magnificent orchestra! And the voices seem to soar over the orchestra into the hall. Yannick is ever conscious of balances, and the orchestra is only really allowed to let loose in Salome's Dance, a purely orchestral moment.

This score is surely one of greatest compositions of the 20th century, and I really cannot imagine it sounding better than this orchestra and cast are performing it. And coming back from lunch yesterday, it was pretty sweet to have Yannick lead them in Happy Birthday for me! Between that, your many greetings, and singing the great role of Herodes with these magnificent colleagues, it is quite a birthday celebration. OK, time to get ready for the 10:30 am dress rehearsal this morning. I am sure we are all a little tired, but excited too. More soon...