>This weekend is going to be, um, interesting. I have three different shows in two days (after a week of rehearsals for yet another), all of them in German, all involving spoken dialogue, and two of them I haven’t done in over a month (one, over two months.) Time to get out the score and start reviewing.
For anyone looking to come to Europe and sing full-time for one repertory house, this is what awaits you. It’s not bad — on the contrary, I can’t imagine myself doing the 8-shows-a-week-two-matinees run — but it is going to pull you out of the comfort zone. My take on how to best use this to your advantage is not to say “I can’t do this”, but rather “How do I do this?” And then, figure out how to make it work without completely losing the reason you wanted to be on the stage to begin with. You have to give the audience something, but you can’t give so much that you let yourself burn out. It takes time to figure out how much, and exactly what, you need to focus on in the performance in order to keep it new, and it’s not always what you assumed it would be.
And it goes without saying that you have to think of your voice and how to best pace yourself through the different demands of each performance. When I first started having these back-to-back shows I was worried about doing, say, a musical and then an opera on the following night (the other way around seemed fine) until I had to do just that, one time, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I had expected. It’s all in the pacing. Give yourself what you need, don’t fret, don’t bore your colleagues with veiled pleas for pity, find that place where you need to be, mentally, and let it happen.
Yes, the big opera stars do their performances and then take two days off to recover, but you are not going to have that here! Especially at this time, when money is tight, and the companies are back to hiring all-rounders rather than specialists, you will be hired based on your ability to fill different roles, and then you’re going to be used in just that way. Enjoy the variety!
Addendum: Just to be clear, no one is forced to sing three leading roles in two days (although possibly one big and two mid-sized.)