Unsung heroes: How many Canadian performance companies manage without understudies
The Globe and Mail
From the stage of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on opening night of Vancouver Opera’s Sweeney Todd, conductor Jonathan Darlington knew there were problems “from the very first note” sung by the show’s star, Greer Grimsley. By the time Grimsley, as the mad barber, had sung his duet with Mrs. Lovett (played by his real-life wife Luretta Bybee), it was clear that the bass-baritone was in trouble.
“While he was literally going voiceless on the stage, I was looking into the wings to see if they were telling me to bring the curtain down, because of course I had no communication with anybody,” says Darlington, who had the orchestra with him on stage rather than in the pit.
After the duet, Grimsley walked past Darlington to get to his next position on the stage. “I whispered to him, ‘So what do you want to do?’” says Darlington, recalling the night in late April. “And he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
Classical Music | Classical Music Video | Orchestra | Classical Musician | Concert Hall | Violin | Cello | Piano | Symphony | Viola | Concerto | Philharmonic | Opera Singers | Music Lesson | Choir | Concert Band | Music Teacher Directory