Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Traveling to "The Scarlet Letter" design meeting in NJ

It’s Thursday morning the 14th of June at 3:00 a.m., and I’m up and ready to head to DIA. I’m traveling to NJ for the final major set design meeting for our World Premiere production of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter. I arrive at DIA at 4:15 a.m. for my flight to Newark. Who knew that all you can get is McDonald’s on B Concourse at that hour of the morning! Not a good start to my day…I must have my Starbuck’s!

However, my flight takes off on time. I recline my seat, adjust my Bose noise reducing headphones and I read through the libretto of The Scarlet Letter one more time.

I arrive at the Newark airport to be greeted by our set designer Erhard Rom and by 1:00 p.m. (EST) the complete design team has assembled at Erhard’s home, we’ve had a bite to eat and we get to work stepping through each scene of the opera, determining how the set would be used and what additional props and furniture might be needed. Ideas flow freely and we quickly realize our biggest challenge is creating effective scene changes without disturbing the flow of the music or drama.

Over the course of the afternoon, we set a specific look for each scene, determine how the playing space will be used by the cast and chorus, and how lighting and other effects might be used to heighten the drama of the music and story.

At 4:00 p.m. (EST) Erhard whisks the team back to the train station and me to the airport for a 6:30 p.m. flight back to Denver. After a forced landing in Oklahoma City to refuel the plane and one lane traffic on I70 through the construction zone, I get home at 11:45 p.m. (MST), more than 20 hours after I got up! It’s been a LONG day, but an exciting one. There’s nothing like seeing the birth of a new opera and a great design!

By: Greg Carpenter, General Director

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