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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
Bruin Walk

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Spring 2005
Living La Vida 'Lorca'

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A couple of weeks before opening night, there’s a spike in the intensity level of rehearsals. All of the activity has moved into Freud: fittings, run-throughs, set construction, lights. There are no more days off; rehearsals are over when Stockhammer says they are. Gondek cautions the singers to take extra care of their health and their voices. Hughes makes sure he gets 10 hours of sleep a night and drinks water by the gallon.

The odd thing is that nobody is looking for perfection. A perfect performance, Stockhammer says, “is quickly forgotten.” When singers take chances, mix it up a little, try different things — that’s when you get a memorable performance, the conductor says.

When the curtain rises on opening night, Stockhammer says, his job is basically over. The singers know what they need to do. The musicians have the music in front of them. All that is left for the conductor to do is give everybody permission, with a nod or gesture, to get on with their jobs. From time to time he might need to steer them back on track if they wander off course.

Other than that, he just gets out of the way and lets it happen.

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