| Posted by Nathan Medley, countertenor in "The Gospel According to the Other Mary" in Lucerne
Nathan Medley (far right) consoles Mary Magdalene (Kelley O'Connor) with his fellow countertenors (Daniel Bubeck and Brian Cummings) in a scene from John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary
Who knew John Adams could sound so good with a little extra cheese in the belly?
That's a random observation about performing The Gospel According to the Other Mary in Switzerland, sure. But, after our Lucerne experience, I can honestly say that "those hills were alive with the sound of music."
As we round the half way point of our tour and head onward to the discerning French it is a perfect moment for this kind of reflection. Two wonderful observations come to mind:
Stacy and I have been touring with major symphony orchestras for 30 years. Before we came to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, we played with the San Francisco Symphony.. This has been a wonderful privilege to have been able to do this and most especially together.
The LA Phil's road crew - (from l-r) Jesse Kolouch, Production Director Paul Geller, Alex Quintanar and Chris Duarte (not pictured - Production Manager Jeff Wallace)
Putting a tour together takes work. It's not all standing ovations and sightseeing - it's WORK. Travel schedules are brutal, rehearsal times short and hotel checkouts early. And, indeed, when the orchestra arrives in a location, the road crew has likely gone ahead of them to make sure the aforementioned time crunches affect the performances as little as possible.
Audiences in Europe and New York aren't the only ones excited for the LA Phil's 2013 Tour - Music Director Gustavo Dudamel is eager to hit the road with an especially "LA Phil-esque" repertoire of some 20th century favorites as well as some newerworks. We'll let him tell the rest of the story:
Despite what you might think, it’s not that easy to pack up a 105-member orchestra, complete with instruments and wardrobe, and move them approximately 12,500 miles in three weeks time.
It's especially tricky when you consider the fact that the orchestra is taking a staged production – John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary – to four cities on two continents, in addition to its more expected orchestral fare such as Stravinsky’s Firebird and Debussy’s La mer.
It’s the time of year when cellos, basses and percussion are packed into road cases, when instrument cases are lovingly carried onto airplanes, when the orchestra staff scrambles to make arrangements and the LA Phil heads out on the road to take its unique brand of innovative, daring and classic programming to audiences worldwide.