Rehearsal went well, but I am still nervous about the dress tomorrow. That will be our first and only complete run before the performance. I know adrenaline will keep me on my toes for all the transitions, but it's not just me that counts, it's close to a hundred singers whose hearts have to beat as one. And I want it to be fabulous. I may never get to sing "St. Matthew Passion" again, and I want it to be fabulous; I want it to make an impression on the audience, and I want to be transported.
There's an extra edge one gets from live performance. Concentration is always intense when singing, but there's a little extra adrenaline when there's an audience; it's like you're getting feedback from them, which you then spin out to them again. And you're singing for them, trying to make yourself more for their sake and for the sake of the music itself. "Serving the music," as The Donald says. It's hard to explain. (It's always hard for me to put my singing self into words. I think singing and writing take up similar space in my brain, and I can't give up either of them, because it would be like amputating.)
We still haven't heard the New Jesus, but we heard our baritone Pontius Pilate for the first time yesterday. He has one of those rich, dark voices that is best described as "virile." And I mean that in the best way. Nummy, nummy, nummy.
I'm up at the crack of dawn (not literally) to get warmed up a bit before my 8:30 am call. First run of the entire piece with everybody. First run in the actual performance hall. First time with no stopping.