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Thursday | Apr 18, 2013

Tweeting the Final Dress by Conductor and guest blogger, Hal France

Kara Shay Thomson as Judith and Samuel Ramey as Duke Bluebeard. Photo by Jim Scholz

Tweeting The Final Dress

Last night we had a final dress rehearsal and, as these things go, it was the kind of result I hope for. Lots of promise, but still room for improvement.

The Omaha Symphony’s sound and the acoustical walls of Bluebeard’s castle are a match!! Thank you, Julia Noulin-Merat and Andrew Eggert for creating this great sound environment.  The lighting and video projection designs of Allen Hahn and S. Katy Tucker are stunning, as are the performances of Natasha Grimm, Claire Goodwillie, and Bret Samson from Ballet Nebraska. Nils Haaland as Bluebeard’s butler is perfectly cast. Of course, we are honored to have Samuel Ramey on our stage in the title role and the magnificent Kara Shay Thomson as Judith.

Hard work and careful assembly of a talented team of people has paid off for Opera Omaha. Kudos to Roger Weitz and his production staff of Steve Grair, J. Gawf, Blythe Watkins, and Cammy Watkins. They have stewarded this show for the past year with professionalism and elegance. I’ve been impressed with our wonderful Stage Managers, Sarah Hall and Jenna Link, and so happy to be working again with the crew and Opera Omaha Craftsman’s Guild at the Orpheum. It’s great to return to the Craftsman’s Canteen and it’s home baked treats!

Yesterday evening, Opera Omaha invited people to watch the final dress rehearsal and share their experience moment to moment through Twitter.  I looked forward to reading what people thought. I find this format to be full of potential. There are compelling reasons for public discourse and communication about the arts in our world.

The creative artists of music, theater, visual arts, literature, design, dance, film, and opera reflected on what they saw around them. They had the opportunity to tell stories, share images, and give voice to those reflections.  Experiencing art involves our ability and willingness to self-reflect. Art is communication that takes aim at the most important moments of life when the daily buzz quiets so that we can think. Art and social media share the desire to communicate life experience beyond the ordinary.

It’s exciting to think about what may happen when social media and art find a meaningful relationship. I appreciated the reactions and comments on Twitter from the Orpheum last night! People had interesting things to say. Thanks for the tweets and bravo Opera Omaha for starting the conversation.

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