Sunday, April 11, 2010

Texan times

I'm trying to keep up with my Border Crossings work at the same time as directing Xerxes here in Houston. Not easy - since the rehearsals are intense, run for six days a week with a variable day off, and often include evenings. And I have a three-session day tomorrow. Still - somehow this week I managed to get an application in to Cultures Action France towards the costs of Denise and Micha's work on the Trilogy, and to begin another EU application for a project we're hoping to do in collaboration with the Palestinian company Ashtar. A lot of their work is in the tradition of Boal - very interesting as a politically open and egalitarian approach to devising. The forms for the application are, of course, very complicated! I have until May to submit, so I ought to make it. The best time for working on this seems to be in the morning when we have an afternoon and evening rehearsal - that way I remain awake!

Xerxes is proving very exciting. It's partly because the cast is so great, and partly because the rehearsal method that has emerged from my collaboration with Will Lacey is really allowing us to integrate music, text and drama in a much fuller way than is usual in opera. The virtuosity of singers like Susan Graham isn't just showy for the sake of it (though it's certainly very impressive!) - we are also making ornamentation which is about the character's intention and emotional state. Very inspiring.

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