Yesterday ended with a flourish. At precisely 7 p.m. Daryl Snodgrass of WKNO FM radio introduced the sounds of the world’s first operapella to mid southerners via a live broadcast.
You wouldn’t expect such an endeavor could be so dicey, but sound is far more ephemeral and difficult to capture and transmit than sight and light. It’s impacted by so many things. The shape of the room. The floor. The ceiling. Even the people seated in the room and the chairs they sit in can have an effect. Throw in microphones and sound equipment, add a live broadcast, and you’ve got yourself a real mystery to unravel.
Fortunately, Tennessee Concert Sound, the company that works with Opera Memphis and also with DeltaCappella and Take 6, was there to lend an expert hand–and ear.
When Midsummer Night’s Dream is performed at Playhouse on the Square, the a cappella vocal bands will be sitting in the orchestra pit making like instruments. It will be imperative that they sound all blendy–and that they can hear each other, since they are constantly tuning to each other.
That’s the kind of anxiety-producing situation that can send me chomping, munching, and crunching into a a full blown, frenzied caloric free fall.
Although I was “stress-hungry”, I was still fine because I had managed to swing by Mr. Wu’s between taking down the tree at the Pink Palace, putting some time in the office creating some new ads, tracking down twenty music stands, and looking in on the preparations for the broadcast at the Clark Opera Center. Mr. Wu was not around to choose a dish for me, so I decided to order one of my favorite meals, the Royal Panda shrimp, which gives you shrimp prepared in two different ways–one with a white sauce served with a side of snow peas, and the other one with a spicy red pepper sauce and sauteed spinach. Having a good hot lunch is so helpful for getting through a long day of pulling things from here, there, and yonder.
There are so many different elements that go into a production. A vast number of people are involved in the creation of that one evening’s performance so when anyone sits in a seat and enjoys the play or the concert, it is amazing that the ticket costs so little. That tiny little piece of card stock covers more than just the time and talent of the folks who are performing–just like a doctor bill is not just for the doctor.
And it’s not just people who work as staff members for the arts company who make an arts event “happen”.
Generous people like Chuck and Marcie Goldstein and the volunteers and sponsors who give of their time and treasure make it possible for the rest of us to enlarge our existence with an artistic experience.
So it was indeed a very blendy night. Just as our performance required a perfect blend-the support of many individuals and businesses made the preview party a harmonious, blendy success.