New York City Opera is opening Séance on a Wet Afternoon this coming Tuesday, April 19th. It is the first opera by Stephen Schwartz, famed composer of many noteworthy shows and scores including the smash success Wicked. I will be covering the role of Inspector Watts. For you lay-people, that means I will be ready and waiting to step in and save the day should the artist performing the role become indisposed for any reason. In this case, the artist in question is Phillip Boykin. Fortunately for him, he is an incredibly nice guy and I like him a lot. As a result, I have had to put a halt to my plans to pull a Tanya Harding and have someone take his knees out.
All that said, the rehearsals have been going very well and it has been fantastic to finally hear the score with the orchestra. The orchestration is quite lush and beautiful in all the right spots and the show is filled with one fantastic melody after another, as one would expect from a successful veteran of the Broadway world. But have no fear, for those wondering if it’s going to be a real opera…..this is legit. Like a good opera does, it has full throated singing, spinny-floaty stuff, touching (and difficult) duets, and effectively built ensemble scenes. Even the occasional dramatic outburst that will raise the hair on your neck. Add in some fun chorus numbers and a story-line with intense psychological turmoil providing plenty for the fantastic cast to dig in to and you’ve got a powerful night of theater.
Come on out! Beside the fact that it is a show well worth seeing, City Opera needs your money!
The show runs April 19 – May 1 with 10 performances including a few matinees. More info here.