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
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.”