Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sarasota Hobbit Day 6 Et Voila! Gollum!

As you can see, Gollum turned out wonderfully and the difference in the Gollum scene at last night's rehearsal was astounding. Cammie, the young girl playing Gollum totally threw herself into the part. She a small gymnast so it always looked twisty and creepy, but last night, for the first time, it looked dangerous and intense. I was riveted. This is not an easy scene. Bacically, my opera is what you would call an "opera-within-an-opera" meaning the Elves of Rivendell are putting on a show which tells the story of Bilbo's quest. So in reality (the opera's reality) you would not just be a goblin, you would be an Elvish actor playing a it? Gollum is meant to be a person playing a gollum puppet with marionette strings and several other elf charcters pulling the strings. The Puppet-Gollum doesn't even talk. Six other characters do the voice to show all the mixed up thoughts in Gollum's head.
As you can imagine, this can be a real challenge and there is sometimes a tendancy to say that young people can't do it. I disagree 100%. Young people are capable of STUNNING things on stage, the equal to any adult performer. Sometimes is might take a bit longer, but you can't sell young people short. Now we have seven young ladies who can do something they couldn't do before...who have ramped up their performing abilities for every other show they do in their lives. Watching them last night made me feel really good. (PS If you're one of those seven reading this--KEEP IT GOING, DON'T GET COMFORTABLE, IT COULD BE EVEN BETTER!!!)

By the way, I say this "traffic sign" backstage to remind people to stand back when others are exiting the stage. I got a kick out of it. Good advice for any hobbit on stage...or in Middle Earth!


PCM said...

Mr. Burry - What a great show! I hope you are proud of what you have created and what Sarasota Youth Opera has done with it. Having watched it come together over the last couple of weeks, it's incredible how powerful it is. Not just the Gollum scene (which is way creepy, especially now), but ALL of it. I've seen this show about six times already, and I still get goosebumps. If I can make it through the end of the battle scene without crying this weekend, I'll be surprised.

I dare say, you have not only 7 girls who can do things they couldn't do last week, but you have about 80 kids who have ramped it up to a level they probably didn't realize was possible when they started this. Kudos to Martha, Maestro DeRenzi, Maestro Lance,Becky Taylor, Leigha, Rob, Jill and everyone else who have pushed each of these kids to be their best. And each day it gets measurably better. Too bad we only have 2 performances!

I've seen some of these kids become different people from this experience -- as a parent and a supporter of youth opera, I couldn't be prouder of what they've done, what you've all done, together. It's what makes the long hours and and stress all worthwhile.

Congratulations to you and everyone else involved. May the hair on your toes never fall out. :)

Patty M. (Glo'in's mom)

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