all together now (including pauses)

Oh! There are a lot of people here. I wasn’t expecting that! Not just an obvious number of friends and so on populating the central reaches of the stalls, but most of la Monnaie stacked with bums on seats. Pre-Générale was approximately our first public performance. I suppose I could show all the photos now, as everyone’s seen the mystery.

It feels, writing at 1:30 in the morning, eyes wanting to watch Dr Who (I wonder if I’ll associate Parsifal with the Doctor in the same way I do Zürich with Exile on Main Street and Sticky Fingers?), or just sleep (fairly assured of strange dreams), that I write chains of and then and then and then.

I decide for sleep. More disturbing dreams from the thrall of Parsifal.

I am writing this now after the next, i.e. writing Saturday night after writing Sunday afternoon. I hope it adds to the confusion.

Perhaps the pre-générale was to Friday night’s run of Act II what second night is to opening. Things were weird. I felt calmer, though getting the white body paint right is proving a comic routine. The new stuff takes a very long time to dry and remains slightly oily (lucky is washes off ok), so we applied talcum power. After finishing our warmup and doing our ropes, it had mostly rubbed off. It’s still a negotiation though of body, rope, whiteness. Perhaps this is good, finding a struggle and difficulty in it, that might add something. From the video of Friday, I know it looks breathtaking, all this whiteness, but I can’t yet find peace in it.

I now get to strike a vast black line through Anna’s name. Quite fitting, the only black in Act II’s whiteness and it comes from me. Well, Anna-Lise could also, somethingsomethingblackmetal…

Dasniya and I vanished into the circles to watch the end of Act III. It’s really emotional, the music and starkness of the stage besieged by a mass of bodies all walking. Though when they sit, and later depart, the men’s chorus coming from both sides until emptiness, Kundry also departed, Parsifal alone, the world overturned, this is emotionally battering.

We almost miss the curtain call, or have timed our arrival perfectly). Nicole the stage-manager, who is utterly brilliant at her job and makes us all smile when we see her on stage, does a sublime job of herding everyone on, taking their bows, shouting at us from the side, and the curtain drops, finish.

In all this though, I’ve seen so little of the work. It runs for hours and yet all the preparations keep me away from the wings, and then cleaning up after keeps me away also. I hear it through tiny speakers or see it out the corner of jardin.

We have notes, food and drink after. It’s the first time we’ve all been together in a not-work situation. And … It’s coming. There’s a lot to do yet, but so much already done. The sets and lighting are … I feel like superlatives would spoil it.

More photos once we open.