Well, this has certainly been a busy week, with all the masterclasses, acting classes, music rehearsals, blocking rehearsals, costume fittings, and vocal coachings. I’m amazed at how quickly everything’s coming together!
I should probably introduce myself- my name is Lauren Bryant-Monk and I’m originally from Toronto, but living here in Halifax and working towards a Combined Honours degree in Music and Early Modern Studies at the University of King’s College. I’m playing the fairy Moth in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and having a blast doing it.
It’s been nice to have so many new faces descend on Halifax, but it’s easy to tell they’re from away- this has been one of the hottest weeks this summer, but many of the participants have been complaining about how cold it is! I was worried that since the program takes place in the Arts Centre (where most of my classes take place), it would feel like summer vacation ended early and I was going back to school in the middle of July, but it doesn’t feel like that at all! Just like in Midsummer Night’s Dream , where fantastic things happen in familiar settings, HSOW has transformed the Music Department into something different. Something, as Shakespeare would say, “Wondrous Strange.” (Hamlet. I.v)
As a fairy, I get take part in all the mischief that happens to the human characters. Nina and David’s idea of the fairies is distinctly inhuman-think Terry Pratchett- cruel, beautiful, and terrifying. The way Shakespeare’s audiences would have viewed fairies and other supernatural beings. Moth and the other fairies (Cobweb, Peaseblossom, and Mustardseed) are hunter-guards serving the fairy queen Tytania. There’s been a lot of dancing, playing with (fake) weapons, and even some militaristic drilling in rehearsals. I think it’s going to look pretty excellent.
Today is our second last day of blocking and we’ve almost gone through the whole opera in four days! Everything is coming together so quickly and everybody is so on the ball. This is probably the most efficient rehearsal period I’ve ever been in!
Well, it’s time to get back to work- I’ll see you next time!