Tonight is opening night at the Ohio Light Opera! I arrived in Wooster, Ohio two weeks ago (wow, two weeks! It’s flown by) to start rehearsals for the season. The first week we played through about half the shows (there are seven, although I am only playing in three) and for the past several days we’ve been in dress rehearsals for The King and I.
When we got into the theatre, I received kind of a surprise - they do not have room for the harp in the pit, so I am on a small platform next to the stage, basically in the audience. I was warned about this by a previous OLO harpist, however, the shock came when we started to play. I could actually hear myself! All the time! Sometimes I could only hear myself, and could barely hear the orchestra - usually it’s the other way around! It was very unnerving.
I’m slowly getting used to it, but it’s still rather nerve-wracking (is it wracking, or racking??) to feel like the audience can hear every single solitary note (or wrong note) that I’m playing - and there are quite a lot of notes. The harp book for The King and I is almost TWO HUNDRED PAGES. That’s at least twice the length of any show I’ve ever played before. Really, Rodgers &Hammerstein, can’t you give a girl a rest??
On the bright side…
I have the best view ever!! Usually when I play a show I’m sitting in the pit, wondering what on Earth is happening onstage, but now I can play the show AND watch the show! Just not at the same time… that could get very distracting.