Former Adler Fellow Melody Moore returns to San Francisco Opera to portray Susan Rescorla, the living widow of Rick Rescorla, in the world premiere of
Heart of a Soldier. Rehearsals have only just begun, but already the experience is making quite an impact on the soprano. Read what Melody has to say as she reflects on her first week of rehearsals.
I'm getting ready to enjoy our first day off from rehearsals and it's hard to believe one week has flown by so quickly. All of my initial jitters have worn off and we are so blessed to have such a GLORIOUS cast of singing actors. Every single member of this ensemble is bringing their best and it's hard not to cheer in the middle of musical rehearsals when Bill Burden hits some crazy high note with no sweat--or when Tom Hampson gives you chills with his spot-on dramatic interpretation. [Right: Bill Burden, Tom Hampson and Melody Moore in a musical rehearsal for Act II]
The staging rehearsals are looking wonderful although, I must admit that I have not been a huge part of the first week stagings (I enter in Act 2 with only a small appearance in Act 1). The men (soldiers) range anywhere from professional dancers to athletes to actual soldiers returning from tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The energy in the room is palpable as they march across the stage.
I tell you, I've already done a lot of interviews and I know that opinions vary wildly in this world of opera. I also know that some people make their livings by meticulously scrutinizing new works. But...I think it will be hard to walk away from this opera untouched by Rick Rescorla--unmoved by his special brand of duty and honor and by his deep love of humanity. I am full to the brim. Thank you, Rick, for what you teach us every day. [Above: The soldiers move across the stage in a staging rehearsal]