Living La Vida 'Lorca'
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Jonathan Stockhammer rehearses the orchestra in the Schoenberg
Galbán’s libretto for Lorca
reflects the author’s obsession with themes of death and violence,
but also passion and lust. It’s new territory for a lot of
cast members, even those who have grown up at Hollywood’s
front door, where such things might seem old hat.
In January, the soprano Alison England, who lives
in Paris, came to UCLA to give a master class for the Lorca
cast in Schoenberg Hall. England, who has spiky red hair and a personality
like that of a lunatic aunt, knows Lorca well, having performed
all three principal female roles in a 1987 workshop production.
England is encouraging the singers to use their bodies more. “Physicalize
it, don’t conceptualize it,” she tells them, setting
the tone by rolling on the floor and laughing like Carol Burnett.
has been running on fumes for weeks. But there is no denying
that he has invested a huge part of his life in bringing ‘Lorca’
to the stage. And while he and Galbán gave life to ‘Lorca,’
neither of them has any idea how it will turn out. In the world
of opera, anything can happen.
In Act II, which is drawn from the play Yerma, Hughes,
as Lorca, has a tender but complicated scene with Kyung Chy, 30,
a soprano from Seoul, Korea. Chy, who plays the barren Yerma, has
a heart-shaped face, dewy complexion and a beauty mark above her
upper lip. In the scene, love and lust are mixed with yearning for
children and childhood. England wants the two singers to let passion
take over, but that’s easier said than done when your classmates
are watching and the lights are turned up. England reassures them:
“Go ahead.” As the scene plays out, the hall grows quiet.
A photographer who has been shooting pictures of the rehearsal sets
down his camera. When the singing stops, England congratulates Hughes
and Chy on a wonderful performance. Chy, who is the daughter of
a Presbyterian minister, and married, walks off stage, her head