Spent the afternoon before rehearsal listening to different versions of Ariel’s songs online for inspiration.
Musically, I found some ambient/indie guitar stuff, some jazz, a classical and floaty soprano Ariel, and an utterly hilarious musical... Tchaikovsky wrote a fantasy overture based on The Tempest, but unlike his other works, it doesn’t do much for me.
The most interesting discovery was a fully-fledged opera composed by Thomas Adés and first performed in Copenhagen in 2004. The music doesn’t do much for me, (though interesting to note that Ariel is again a female, and a collaratura soprano to boot), but the visual design of the show is spectacular. Ariel’s costume is amazing, and the harpy flies in on a chandelier. Not sure if we’ll have the budget (or the facilities) for flying...!
Not sure if I will be able to sing or play flute for this production, but I did mention to Denise that I do both. Perfect for a singing and music playing sprite!
I also discovered that historically, from the early 1700s through to the mid-twentieth century, Ariel had been played by women. In my own humble and completely unbiased opinion, Ariel is one of the most interesting and fun characters in the show. I love the idea of women being able to perform a role that isn’t a portraying a virgin/sex object. On that note, I love that we have a female Prospero. It adds an interesting dimension to the story, a woman and her child being exiled, Gonzalo’s care for them, the mirror and foil of Sycorax, the idea of women having power that isn’t sexualized. Brava!
More Meisner reading of the text. As the scenes grew bigger, with more cast involved, it became harder to do the Meisner stuff. Though challenging, it was still interesting to be finding the truth of each scene. We read through my first scene with Prospero, which is loaded with information about who I am, my past, and why I do what I do (obey Prospero in order that I will gain my FREEDOM).
Today was the first time we had a full-cast present. YAY! It was wonderful to finally meet everyone, and exciting to everyone in the room. I realized just how many MEN are in this show, and the significance of having a female Prospero and Ariel. Without us, Miranda, the virginal innocent, would be the only female on stage. I say NO to that representation of fifty percent of the population.
Questions arising from today:
How does it feel to be imprisoned by Sycorax?
What is it like to re-live the torment?
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