Well, Sweet Solitude is over. Although plans are afoot to perform it again. Psyched. But rather than give you the gory details of that future plan, for now I’m going to relive the recent past and tell you a bit about the show. I won’t give minute by minute details of the show- there are photos and videos for that (besides, you should just come and see it!). Instead, here is my overall impression of my experiences in putting together this crazy idea.
I have to begin by saying that it was a very successful first show for OperaDans. And even I – perfectionist extraordinaire – was thrilled by how well everything went. The program was a bit heavy: modern vocal music by Samuel Barber and contemporary instrumental music by my friend Diego Soifer. Not your run-of-the-mill Handel and Bach, which are the usual classical musical offerings in The Hague. But I think the unique setting of Het Nutshuis (a bank converted into a theatre), the intimate audience of 100, along with the visual aide of dancers helped the listeners to understand and perhaps begin to appreciate music that is normally quite inaccessible. At least that’s my hope.
In any event, putting the show together was an unbelievably intense experience for me, both musically and personally (if it’s possible to divide the two). Nothing could be better: I got to sing music that I love and work with people whom I love. Which was awesome. And don’t forget I was in charge. Which was even awesomer. Because, let’s face it, I’m a bit a lot of a control freak. That’s not to say I needed to DO everything. Really, I could not have done everything that needed to be done on my own. To plan the budget, choose music, sort venue, find musicians, find dancers, plan rehearsals, build the website, design posters, design tickets, make tickets, SELL tickets, arrange for the lighting technician, choose costumes, make the program, get wine, etc., etc., etc… there was no sweet way I could have done it alone. I was more than happy to delegate.It was just nice. Really, *really*, REEEEEEAALLLY nice to know everything that was going on. And to be the one to give the final yes or no stamp on decisions. Heaven. Sheer, blissful, orgasmic, sundae-with-caramel-on-top-hot-fudge-on-the-bottom, KFC skin heaven.
My friend Laure did a lot of the administration, including ticket sales and handling the finances. She was an absolute star. Adam managed the website(s): again, stellar. Diego (who was himself in the final week of his Masters and managed to get, like, the highest mark EVER for a composer at The Hague Conservatory- congrats!) organised his instrumentalists for his pieces. And Zaddik (my choreographer and giant twin) organised dance rehearsals. Thank god. I’ve really learned throughout this process that if I delegate to people, life is easier. But once I delegate, I need to trust them to do what they say they’re going to do… although it doesn’t hurt to get regular updates on their progress. CONTROL FREAK! *cough*
Something else I’ve learned is that people are all too happy to give huge dollops of advice- whether it’s needed or not. What I affectionately call “diarrheadvice”. Bless them. But I’ve also learned that it’s far easier to patiently listen to and graciously consider diarrheadvice, than it is to avoid it or get annoyed at the people who continually give it. Because although most advice is pretty useless, or more often, hammer-to-the-face obvious, there are the occasional gems that make the hours of having a pencil scrambling my retina worthwhile. Like Diego’s advice, which was to use Het Nutshuis. Or Zaddik’s, which was to dance in the show along with her. Or Laure’s advice about an hour before the show: YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING! Note to self: sometimes my nervousness manifests itself as bossiness. But happily, this is not a democracy. In the end I have learned that I don’t need to take any advice: crappy or good. Ha! But actually, it’s true that two (or more) heads are better than one.
So it was a great night. Now what? First, relax. Allow the creative juices to keep flowing. Second, think about selling Sweet Solitude. I’ve already started collecting names and dates of music and dance festivals across Europe. And looking into theatres and universities to see how they program their yearly concert series’. I’m really hoping to get Sweet Solitude showing around Europe by next summer *crosses all fingers, toes, limbs, eyes, kidneys, lungs, ovaries, stomachs*. Third, go to Manitoba at the beginning of August to sing on the first official recording of the Canadian Chamber Choir. Have fun. While there think about the next OperaDans show. Brainstorm with friends. Fourth, return to Holland and jump back on the OperaDans horse. Meet with Diego and Zaddik in late August to discuss the next project. So! Excited!
I have to say a final thanks to all of you who sent good wishes and “toi, toi, toied” me before the show. I know I felt your positive vibes on stage!