In the rehearsal room all week putting together an extract from Tonseisha – The Man Who Abandoned The World for a staging at the Dinefwr Literature Festival at the end of this month as part of ‘The Brautigan Book Club Trilogy’.
I‘ve blogged elsewhere about Erik Patterson’s sensational play, and how with the aid of composer Kim Ashton I am turning it into an opera with saltpeter for a major staging in 2013. Kim and I had some time earlier in the year to work on the text with a group of performers which led to an outline for the music and song, but this is the first time we have been able to bring a score and performers together, albeit to work on only a quarter of the piece.
It’s been a week of unadulterated pleasure, imaginative performers willing to risk (and trust my vision), great music, and a real sense of building something worthwhile. I am not a fan of describing the rehearsal process (you have to be there), but suffice to say despite my innate talent for talking too much (and probably too many breaks to play my favourite music to the cast), we did a lot of work, and had a lot of fun. Not entirely sure what the festival goers will make of it all (we are certainly the only opera being performed), but can’t help but feel that they are going to be blown away by it. We have made the work from them after all.
It’s all about the work, in a particular place, at a particular time.
And the electric typewriter…I love the sounds produced by mechanical objects when amplified, and a play in which the character Richard Brautigan plays a central role – how could I resist? Composer Kim Ashton will be playing the electric typewriter live on the night.
You can see saltpeter’s presentation of The Brautigan Book Club’s trilogy at the Dinefwr Literature Festival – June 29th to August 1st.
A word on the venue for this week’s rehearsals – the People Show in Bethnal Green. I’ve had the opportunity to work in their studios before, so I know what a pleasurable experience it can be. Was struck again today, how much I like the place. Exciting work happening, food being eaten, tea being drunk. I recommend it.