Tonight is our dress rehearsal for Musica Poetica, the first of Early Music Hawaii’s concerts for the 2015-2016 season, which will take place tomorrow night, Saturday, September 19th at 7:30 pm at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.
If you look up the definition of “dress rehearsal,” and you are putting on an opera, the cast members wear their costumes, and the scenery and props are in place for the opening night. However, in a musical performance, the dress rehearsal refers to the final practice before the opening concert, and the performers do not wear their concert clothes.
The Early Music Hawaii Choir for the concert tomorrow had only two rehearsals before tonight’s dress rehearsal — we met on Monday and Wednesday nights in the choir room at St. Andrew’s Priory, where soprano Naomi Castro is the choral director. Singers were asked to come prepared already knowing the notes — there was no “pounding out of notes” at the rehearsal so that guest conductor Dana Marsh could spend the rehearsal time working on style and interpretation. This is in great contrast to most church and community choirs who come to the rehearsals to learn the music.
This week we also had soloists rehearsals, which are practices without the rest of the orchestra or choir. So it was really funny that in the Thursday soloist rehearsal with countertenor Padraic Costello, he, along with guest conductor Dana Marsh, and I all happened to wear purple! This was completely unplanned! Just call us the purple people eaters!
For tonight’s dress rehearsal, I am wearing a T-shirt which says “Schein . . . on harvest moon,” a play on the early 1900s popular song credited to the vaudeville team of Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth. It was one of series of moon-related Tin Pan Alley songs of the era, and continues to be performed and recorded even in the 21st century (Wikipedia)
Here are the words to the chorus of “Shine on, harvest moon.”
Oh, Shine on, shine on, harvest moon Up in the sky; I ain’t had no lovin’ Since April, January, June or July.’s no time, ain’t no time to stay Outdoors and spoon; So shine on, shine on, harvest moon, For me and my gal.
My T-shirt refers to Johann Schein (1586-1630) and here’s a video of one of Schein’s instrumental pieces using Renaissance recorders.