I went to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center to watch a rehearsal for "A Tribute to Lenny" conducted by Andrew Lane. In the lounge there was a younger crowd than usual having sandwiches and drinks prior to the rehearsal. I thought I was going to an event that is usually attended by board members, where the board members are invited to sit on stage right next to the performers. I quickly made my way onstage. I was surprised to find none of the other patrons back stage. I got a chair but when I sat down, I couldn't see over the whole orchestra. I decided I had to sketch standing up.
This concert was a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, with selections from Candide, On the Town, and West Side Story. I love the overture to Candide and it helped me relax as I blocked in the sketch.
Soprano Angela Mortellaro was standing right behind me as I worked. I started feeling self conscious thinking I might get kicked out of the wings when Union stage hands realized I was in the way. I even thought Angela might ask me what I was doing and ask me to leave. When she walked onstage to sing Glitter and be Gay from Candide, she turned to me and smiled as she walked by. I realized she had much more important things on her mind. Her performance was stunning she has a range that the music fully put to the test. The song left me felling joy and excitement mixed with a deep sadness.
As is typical in a rehearsal there were many stops and starts. The harp player didn't play for the longest time. I had planned to sketch her playing but instead she sat through most of the rehearsal reading a magazine. I patiently waited to catch her performing and then I sketched frantically thinking she might stop before I finished. The same was true for the string players who would remove the instruments from their chins and hide it in their laps. I was just about finished with my sketch when half the program had been performed. The orchestra went on a break and I put down my final washes and packed up. I decided this sketch was enough for one night. I planned to see the concert the following evening with my wife.