That’s how long we spent between first rehearsal and dress rehearsal. How does that even work? A whirlwind schedule like that can function if you have important people in place. First and foremost, of course, we have our cast from the premiere performances in Houston: the incomparable Frederica von Stade, our wonderful gospel quartet and brilliant actors. Add to that our director, Lenny Foglia, and important assistants from HGO. The composer, Ricky Ian Gordon, who exudes music, was with us as well, along with Laurie Rogers, the principal musical assistant conductor and pianist who prepared everyone. And so the many new people, from the technical personnel of the (beautiful and acoustically glorious) Annenberg Center, to me and my orchestra, have spent the last four days being brought up to speed by these fabulous artists. It’s a bracing experience, and I found myself grateful for my years in Vienna, where a four-day rehearsal period is fairly common in opera repertoire.
After four rehearsals in the last 36 hours, we’ve all gone home for a good night’s rest before opening night tomorrow. Los Angeles is in for a big surprise, and I’m so honored to be a part of bringing this beautiful work to a new audience.