News from the Opera dress rehearsal

Some friends saw the opera dress rehearsal last night, and
wrote me about it.

One said:

BEMF Opera is quite a production. Good dancing, mostly toward the end,
excellent orchestra, costuming and herald’s trumpets. Male voices mostly high tenor or countertenor. A complex plot of ambition, ego and betrayal.

Another said:

Opera is highly recommended but it lasted 3 hrs., 45 minutes last night with
no breaks for notes other than the long & short (stretch) intermissions.
Today they are no doubt madly trying to pare it down a bit. Dancing is
very good, mostly at end of acts, & provides (with one comic nurse
character) some needed light moments so one doesn’t like to make cuts there
– although they probably will.

In response to my asking about reeds and brass in the
orchestra, the first correspondent said:

Two haut-bois, who also play recorders, and a bassoon/dulcian player.

Brass are four long trumpets, with one loop, estimate about as
much tubing as a sackbut halfway out. Hunting calls in harmony,
and some passages as part of the orchestra.

And in reponse to a question about how good the ensemble
singing was:

Most of the singing is solo narrative. There are some wonderful duet
passages where the voices entwine in delicious canon.

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