We Welcome Back the Haymarket Ballet!
In the French tradition, L’Amant anonyme overflows with stylish dance, performed by members of the Haymarket Opera Ballet. Choreographed by baroque dance specialist Sarah Edgar, Haymarket welcomes dancer Kali Page Benz, Julie Brumfiel, Andrew Erickson and Emmanuel Ramirez. Alongside the delights of this charming opera, enjoy the elegance of early ballet this June!
The premier for Haymarket Opera’s rendition of L’Amant anonyme is set for Thursday, June 16th. With Sunday’s performance sold out and only a few tickets available for Friday and Saturday, get your tickets today!
The Stage is Set by Chase Hopkins, General Director Haymarket Opera Company
It was a huge day for the technical team as the hand-painted scenery was unfurled and hung. Four crew members were needed to hand-tie these fabric panels into place, and even in their initial stages, they look beautiful. Designer, artist, and historian Wendy Waszut-Barret has created something very special for this production.
Our lighting designer, Brian Schneider also had a big day with our master electrician to rig the lighting. The next process will involve focusing the lights in the directions they should hit the stage and scenery. Following that, our team will use “light walkers” or stand-ins for the cast to test lighting levels and set cues for the show. We are running slightly behind on this schedule, but not to worry, it will sparkle when it’s done! Brian and I are also playing with the refracted light from dim chandeliers in the hall to emulate candle glow in the audience. We’ll see where that ends up, but I think it could be an added element that transports us back to the 18th century… without real candles of course. Enough wooden theatres have burned down to ensure that no modern theater allows for real flames on stage!
Costumes had their final fitting, which is always such a joy. The cast have been creating their characters in staging rehearsals for the past two weeks, but once the gloves, hats, skirts, and coats are on, they come to life! The final fittings require a great deal of coordination with our fabulous costume designer, Stephanie Cluggish and the stichers that make each of the garments by hand. Now that they have had their final fittings, last alterations can be made ahead of the dress rehearsals and performances.
Similarly, wigs are being fitted and styled. Each of our 10 cast members, both singers and dancers will appear in period-style wigs. As we have learned, people of the 18th century were actually disgusting, their wigs and hair being no exception. For the comfort of our cast, we’ve chosen to ignore SOME historical practices to stay in line with health and safety standards of today 🙂 For the first time we welcome wig designer Megan Pirtle. Megan is a chicago-based designer with great experience from the Lyric and other theatres. As Megan finishes styling the wigs this week, I look forward to seeing the finished product with you at the performances!
On Monday we work with our fabulous orchestra. Craig will be leading these orchestra-only sessions ahead of work with the cast and the dress rehearsals. We welcome 8 specialists from around the nation who perform on 18-century wind and brass instruments. It should be a fantastic addition to our merry crew. Unfortunately, covid has already taken its toll, as Craig and I had to replace one of our natural horn players today. We are lucky to have sourced a replacement in such short notice! That’s what producing in the time of covid looks like now!