Rehearsals Have Begun

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By Francesca Zambello (Director)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Although I have presented the first three operas of this Ring production previously in Washington, D.C. and the first two here in San Francisco, they each have to be reworked with new soloists and with a new conductor. Since so much of the Ring is driven by the performers, it has to be built around the unique personalities of the cast.
We just completed week two of preliminary staging and musical rehearsals. Every day from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. there are as many as five rehearsals going on at once in and around the opera house. Everyday my staff and I are working on a complex “battle plan” to get these four big operas on their feet.
Running five rehearsals at once truly takes a village. My Senior Associate Director, Christian Räth, and I are each running individual staging rehearsals in different rooms. The choreographer, Larry Pech, has his own rehearsals and conductor Donald Runnicles and his music staff are leading multiple music coachings with the singers. As we finish the second week of rehearsals, we have worked through many of the large group scenes. Not all of the singers are here, so my main focus was preparing the Norns, the Rhinemaidens and the Valkyries. Meanwhile, Christian set Act 1 of Siegfried with Jay Hunter Morris and David Cangelosi.
We are now embarking on week three and my focus is solely on Götterdämmerung which is a brand new production, never before seen. It is gratifying that after all the years of work that have gone into this production, we are now working on the final installment.
Like the mythic story itself, producing the Ring is an epic journey. We are looking forward to sharing it with you.