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UCLA Magazine Spring 2005
From Murphy Hall
Living La Vida 'Lorca'
Stress Fractures
What's at Stake
The Importance of Being Elma
House of Cards
The Quest
Through Women's Eyes
Dynamic Duo
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Spring 2005
Living La Vida 'Lorca'

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Rehearsals for Lorca coincide with two other big productions on the music department’s winter-spring calendar. The musical Lakme: Redux ran for four performances in late February, followed by Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, which will open on April 29. Music students don’t have the luxury of working on one production at a time, so cast members often arrive at Lorca rehearsals red-faced and heaving, having scurried down the hallway from other rehearsals, loaded down with backpacks, water bottles, cell phones and music scores. It’s good practice for life post-UCLA; professional opera singers race between auditions and jobs as they try to patch together a living.

But the juggling act can be confusing. In addition to her principal role as the bride in Lorca, Dastoor was the Brahmin priestess Lakme of Lakme. All told, she had four simultaneous boyfriends — fictional and otherwise: León and Wilson in Lorca; Nathaniel Reynolds, who played her dashing lover, Gerald, in Lakme; and Matthias Metternich, the Lorca chorister who was her real-life boyfriend. It sounded complicated. “You have no idea,” she says, chuckling.

THE REHEARSAL ROOM CAN BE A PECULIARLY INTIMATE VENUE. Cast members hug, kiss and caress. In Schoenberg Hall, Mushegain and Hughes sit next to each other to listen to Chy sing an aria. Mushegain slips her right arm under Hughes’ left and lets her head fall on his shoulder. The two are just friends, but they look like love-struck teenagers in a movie theater. Sometimes, for no obvious reason, two cast members throw their arms around each other, tighten their grip and rock from side to side. Dastoor says the affection is a survival technique in a business that is tough and surprisingly lonely. “You know, when you get up on stage, you’ve really only got each other,” she says.

At a Royce rehearsal, Vanessa Michelle, the stage manager, shares a tip with the cast. “OK. You know the basic rules. If you make a mistake, just keep going. Nobody will notice.”

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