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New York, New York
USA

Blog

A New York harpist trying to figure things out - and the mishaps and adventures that inevitably ensue.

Filtering by Tag: pit orchestra

Another Op'nin', Another Show

Kathryn Sloat

Okay, wrong Cole Porter show. The show that we’re doing is “Silk Stockings,” and we just had our opening performance a few days ago. It’s an awesome show and a lot of fun, but it was a pain getting started, because the parts are a mess. They’re all photocopies of the original, handwritten parts. They’re scribbled on and in some places just barely legible. Although there are rehearsal markings, they don’t always line up. Much of the first rehearsal was spent trying to figure out where everyone was and fixing notes written incorrectly in the parts. 

Now that we’ve got the show underway it’s a lot of fun, and all of the writing in my part makes me wonder about the harpist who wrote them. If these are copies of the original parts she must have been the first to play it. Who was she? What other shows did she play? What else did she do? Did she know Cole Porter? It’s interesting to think about the person who held a part before you did.

Here is my harp in relation to the stage (you can see the pit at stage level, it gets lowered for performances). 

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Yup, right out in the open. It was very strange at first, but now that I’m used to it, it’s a lot of fun. I get to watch the shows when I’m not playing and people always come up to talk to me after the performance. My favorites are the little girls (and sometimes boys!) who stare bug-eyed at the harp and are too shy to actually say anything to me. Probably what I would have been like, too. 

In other news, the harpmobile crapped out on me again. I can’t wait to get rid of the thing in the fall. How do harpists get their harps around New York City?? I guess I’ll find out.

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Well, I hope it's hot enough for ya.

Kathryn Sloat

I will be playing in the Eastman Opera Company’s upcoming show “Street Scene,” by Kurt Weill.  It’s an interesting combination of opera and broadway styles, and it’s so much fun to play.  

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Lots of glisses, lots of arpeggios!  

I’ve tried explaining the plot to people, and it always comes out very garbled and confused.  "Well, it’s about these people who live in a tenement building in New York in the 1940s, and they complain about how hot it is and get into squabbles about communism and… yeah.“  

Basically, it’s set in front of a tenement building in New York and follows the troubles and travails of its residents for two days.  I know that doesn’t give you much to go on, but it’s a great story and has great music.  I tend to like operas that deal with ordinary people (rather than kings or gods and whatnot).  The characters of "Street Scene” sing about things we can all relate to - graduation, the weather, their hopes and dreams.  They even sing about how much they love ice cream.  

The shows will be April 4th, 5th, and 6th at 7:30 and April 7th at 2pm in the Eastman Theatre.  There will be sex, death, and great music - what more could you ask for in an opera?