March 14, 2012

there is nothing these days for me but galileo, eating, sleeping, breathing. on friday night, I stayed up until 1 AM reading biographies of the astronomer. on saturday, the first of my final two weekend days in a row for the next six weeks, I stayed at the office from 10 until 6, at first watching rehearsal and then, that afternoon, having been tasked with translating the liturgical latin in one of the opera's final scenes, I came back from the library with eight books, which I stacked one on top of the other as I combed through several dictionaries. how fast could I remember noun declensions? I took half a latin course in college before dropping out.

if this sounds like complaint, rest assured: it is not. I leapt at the opportunity; if I could have taught myself latin in an afternoon, I would have gladly done it.

on sunday, strong winds and rain kept me from my original intention, which was to spend the day at the coast. instead, I sat wrapped in blankets in my living room and read all 124 letters that galileo's daughter wrote to him from her life in the convent at san matteo.

on monday, I rented the synthesizer. then I drank about a hundred gimlets with one of my coworkers and fell asleep at 9:30.

yesterday I nursed a terrible hangover, attended half the day's rehearsal, and processed all 60 orchestra contracts for next season.

today, I spent half the day teaching myself how to program the synthesizer, and the other half watching the first 'stumble-through' downstairs, where the cast ran the whole show for the first time. I cried at the end. then I went next door and finally unlocked the secret to making the footswitch work on the keyboard. our percussionist showed up with the chimes, and taught our principal accompanist, who's doubling on celeste and percussion for this show, how to play the maracas.

we're all doing things we never thought we'd do.

I have temporarily given up everything else in my life for this opera, gladly. I haven't had dinner yet. I'm still sitting at my desk, drafting questionnaires for the cast to run on the opera blog, writing article after article about the opera's ten powerful scenes. in rehearsal, the cast rolls balls down an exquisitely beautiful inclined plane; science experiments are recreated in silhouette, including the astronomer's telescope. the costumes are breathtaking, unbelievable. this pace is breakneck, and I can't keep it up forever. but who needs to run, or sleep, or eat?

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