Backstage at San Francisco Opera > November 2011 > Micaela's Great Wait
Micaela's Great Wait
I think I have something to the effect of 125 minutes between my last exit in Act 1 and my entrance in Act 3. If you haven’t done the math yet, that’s about 2 hours. Realistically, except for all the previews, I could probably catch a movie and be back in time for my Act 3 aria.
Waiting for Act 3, that’s the challenge of this role. I know, cue the violins. But let’s talk about this. Part of what has been so interesting about taking on this role is figuring out how to manage my time.
Because I was curious, I tracked it all during our Tuesday, 11/15 performance:
6pm: I arrive at the stage door 45 minutes prior to my makeup call. Why? To warm-up, review my French dialogue and sing anything I want to feel in my voice. Also, to beat the traffic and to make sure I get a parking space. I am kind of particular about these things so I’m out the door early.
6:45pm: Toby, my make-up artist arrives, to begin the transformation into Belle Michaela.
7:30pm: Stage Manager, Rachel, calls 30 minutes to places.
7:45pm: My dresser, Linda, arrives to get me into my “jupe bleue” (blue dress). I’m really starting to look like Belle now…”little town, it’s a quiet village…”
7:55pm: Places call. Just getting on my wig and unwrapping a Ricola as I am walking down the stairs to stage left. Linda checks me one more time and I’m good to go… “everyday like the one before…”
8pm: I’ve made it to the wings and am greeted by the fantastic San Francisco Children’s Chorus. We had the Supers and Stage Crew in stitches as I joined the Children in “conducting” the Overture along with Maestro Luisotti.
8:04pm: A stagehand hands me my basket and my “Belle” transformation is complete.

8:13pm: First scene of Act One complete. Can’t find Don Jose. Tension builds in the house; will she find him? The brigadier?
8:45pm: Act One duet complete. NOW it begins. The Great Wait.
Here are some of the things I do to pass the time, suggestions welcome.
-get out of my costume. No one needs to be in a corset when they don’t have to be.
-drink tea. Ginger Lemon by Stash is my favorite.
-review upcoming music for Adler Final concert on December 1st.
-address upcoming wedding Save the Date envelopes. So excited to marry David Lomeli- former Adler Fellow whom I met when I was a Merolini. Yes, he put a ring on it.
9:50pm: When Don Jose starts his Act 2 aria, that’s my cue to re-warm up the voce.
10:04pm: Second intermission. Toby comes in to freshen my makeup and Linda straps me into the corset again.
10:50pm: It’s time; you guessed it, to find Don Jose.
Maybe by the end of the run, I will have figured out a way to catch a movie. Until then, I shall wait.
Posted: 11/22/2011 11:02:50 AM by Sara Gartland (Micaela, Carmen)
Filed under: Carmen, singer


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