Assistant Director Lucy Bradley updates us on the progress of rehearsals for The Lion’s face at the Jerwood Space.
We made great progress last week in securing things musically and physically and are focussing our last week on tweaking the story’s we’re telling. The week finished on a high with our first rehearsal between Mr D (Dave Hill) and the boys (Jonathan and Harry) their beautiful voices helping to add one of the last remaining pieces to the jigsaw puzzle.
On Friday, our Clinician (Ben Nelson) met Simon Lovestone (Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry), which proved fertile ground for Ben’s character development. The meeting was massively informative for Ben and helped him to find the truth behind some of the Clinician’s interactions with Mr D. Professor Lovestone described a mini mental test which patients suffering from Dementia undertake every 3 – 6 months and which features in our Opera, Ben was astounded to hear Simon describe almost exactly the scene that plays out. Simon also described his own Eureka moment – which saw him running around the corridors at King’s and interrupting his colleague’s meetings.! It was also interesting to hear about the idea of a rating for Scientists whose work is published (the H rating-a number given to each scientist who publishes papers and derived from the number of times any publications are cited by other scientists) – almost like their own reviews – perhaps Opera and Science have more in common than we expected!
Time is flying by and it feels incredible that we only have one more week of rehearsals. We have just a few more days to tweak before Nick begins orchestral rehearsals on Thursday and then we all get to hear how the piece will sound at the Sitzprobe [a term used in opera and musical theatre to describe a seated rehearsal where the singers sing with the orchestra] on Saturday.
As the Opera has been rehearsed in small segments it feels exciting to be at the point of putting these together and opportunities for runs this week will no doubt be excellent to see how the story fits together, for performers and the creative team. The space between the scenes and music are emerging as thrilling parts of the story telling and we’re enjoying these moments of breath.
Tonight we will welcome some of our science advisors in to see part of the piece, which will give us an opportunity to hear their comments and feedback about the world we are presenting and how it sits with their own experiences.