Last Saturday, participants from Denver Public Library’s Fresh City Life took a road trip to Central City. First on the agenda was attending one of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program’s classes, which focused on auditioning. We watched as the young artists, chosen from a pool of over 900 applicants, rehearsed an aria as if they were at an audition. Program Administrator Marc Astafan and Principal Coach Michael Baitzer gave each singer feedback on their mock auditions — everything from their attire to the organization of the book of music given to their accompanist.
|Apprentice Artist Stephen Carrol sings his audition aria as Program Administrator Mark Astafan, right, looks on.|
After watching a few of the talented young artists, we made our way down the hill to Main Street for an old-fashioned shoot out, performed by members of the Gilpin County Historical Society.
|An unsuspecting onlooker is roped into an attempted shotgun wedding before being run out of town.|
After a lunch in the beautiful Opera Garden, we took a tour of the historic Teller House, once the most opulent hotel between Chicago and San Francisco. Finally, it was time for the Oklahoma! wandelprobe.
An important stage of the opera production process is the sitzprobe— a German term which literally means “seat test.” It’s the rehearsal in which the singers sit on the stage while singing with the orchestra for the first time.
A wandelprobe, however, is an entirely made-up word, used for when the singers actually move around the stage while rehearsing with the orchestra for the first time. After enjoying the first hour of the wandleprobe from the Opera House’s balcony, we made our way back to Opera Garden for a quick Q-and-A session.
|Participants from Fresh City Life watch from the balcony as the cast sings “Kansas City” with the orchestra for the first time.|
|Gene Scheer (Ali Hakim) sings “It’s a Scandal, It’s an Outrage,” surrounded by a chorus of cowboys.|