Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

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Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  justin-from-barbados on Wed May 18, 2011 2:03 pm

Ok, I almost feel kinda stupid asking this, but here goes.......

Listening to all the recordings, and seeing the show live several times, I am still somewhat lost as to what exactly it is Piangi is doing wrong.

Maybe I'm just not musical or something because most of the time, Reyer gives him the line and he does it and to me it sounds exactly the same as what Reyer just told him yet every one reacts as though he just murdered the score.

Is it that he is supposed to be hitting the wrong note?

Is it that his timing of the notes are off?

Is it that he is saying Ten rather than Tan?

Just wondering...... confused

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  starryeyed on Wed May 18, 2011 2:07 pm

I've always wondered that too, and gone along with the thought that it is because he is saying "TENgle" rather than "TANgle" but I could be wrong. I've always just found it reminiscent of Hannibal when he is told to pronounce it "Rome" not "Roma."

However, Carlotta says to Reyer, "What does it matter what notes we sing?" which could point to it being he is singing the wrong note. Basically, I have no clue, and see arguments for both sides, I wonder if the libretto mentions anything on the matter?

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  TheFinnishPhantom on Wed May 18, 2011 3:21 pm

"Dose who-a dengala with-a Doon OONE!"

I've always felt that his timing is wrong, altough it can be that the "TAN"-note is one semitone lower that it should be.


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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  Cape Twirl of Doom on Wed May 18, 2011 3:28 pm

I don't know the musical terms so I can't explain it well, but I've always heard the difference in the two lines, and I've seen mention of it written before. Something about Don Juan Triumphant being written in whole-tone scale and Piangi not being familiar with that style of music. Reyer singing the line sounds like he is jumping up more notes than Piangi, who sings it more smoothly. The notes are different when Reyer says "who" and "tangle" while Piangi sounds like he sings both words the same.

Ah, here is something.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  Scorp on Wed May 18, 2011 3:53 pm

Cape Twirl of Doom wrote:I don't know the musical terms so I can't explain it well, but I've always heard the difference in the two lines, and I've seen mention of it written before. Something about Don Juan Triumphant being written in whole-tone scale and Piangi not being familiar with that style of music. Reyer singing the line sounds like he is jumping up more notes than Piangi, who sings it more smoothly. The notes are different when Reyer says "who" and "tangle" while Piangi sounds like he sings both words the same.

Ah, here is something.

Cape Twirl is spot on - Piangi is unable to get his head around the rather dissonant sounding whole-tone scale which is the basis for Don Juan, so much so, that, instead of singing the phrase in the whole-tone scale, he sings it in the traditional diatonic scale. You can see the differences musically in the score:



It's a clever bit of scoring by Lloyd Webber. I always thought that the music for Don Juan appropriately rendered the idea of Erik's music being music that 'burns' as it described in Leroux; music that is not suitable to be heard by those used to the standard conventions of the time.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  LadyCDaae on Thu May 19, 2011 2:47 am

Exactly. Whole-tone would have been considered unusual at the time--Debussy, who used it frequently, wouldn't come onto the scene until nearly a decade after PotO is set. The difference between the "wrong" and "right" versions of the phrase is only a half-step, which is why it can be difficult to hear--a small but significant difference that ends up highlighting Piangi's shortcomings as a musician.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu May 19, 2011 2:33 pm

Ok, I guess for someone into music they would get it, for me and most in the audience it goes right over my head.

In any event, personally I dont think that scene is nessessary. Listening to the Japan CDs the transition from notes2 into the graveyard works wuite well without that scene and it isn;t even really needed to change the set since the graveyard is set up during notes 2, they chould just drop the scrim and move off the desk and drapes.

It's kind of corney with the piano playing by itself and all that.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  Raphael on Fri May 20, 2011 5:02 am

Thanks for the explanation you guys; I'd always been a bit perplexed about the difference, too. Nice to finally learn the facts!

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  alaron4 on Fri May 20, 2011 5:35 am

justin-from-barbados wrote:In any event, personally I dont think that scene is nessessary.
Hal Prince agrees with you. According to the backstage Vegas tour, that scene was inserted to give time to get the graveyard scene ready.


Last edited by alaron4 on Fri May 20, 2011 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  operafantomet on Fri May 20, 2011 5:38 am

justin-from-barbados wrote:Ok, I guess for someone into music they would get it, for me and most in the audience it goes right over my head.

In any event, personally I dont think that scene is nessessary. Listening to the Japan CDs the transition from notes2 into the graveyard works wuite well without that scene and it isn;t even really needed to change the set since the graveyard is set up during notes 2, they chould just drop the scrim and move off the desk and drapes.

It's kind of corney with the piano playing by itself and all that.
I would rather have the show go straight from Twisted Every Way to the Graveyard scene as well. Musically and thematically it fits better, as Christine refuse to sing, then visits her father's grave and see how locked the situation is, THEN agrees to sing.

However, I would keep the rehearsal. I think it would blend better after the graveyard instead of before. Making a sort of transaction from the rehearsal to the actual opera, with a super quick costume change a la Auction-Hannibal, and with piano DJT turning into full-blown orchestra DJT, could be rather eerie. It would show them obeying the Phantom against their will, and the piano could serve an actual purpose (covering over the quick costume change).

As for the line Piangi sings, some actors emphasize it by changing the syllables of the word too: the incorrect "Those who tan-GLE" rather than "Those who-o TAN-gle-e".

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  Paula74 on Fri May 20, 2011 11:16 am

I definitely wouldn't mind if the rehearsal was after the graveyard...it fits better with Christine's decision to sing than having her run from the Manager's office saying she can't only to stroll willingly into the rehearsal moments later. Whereas, the events at the graveyard might be a sort of reality check that changes her mind about taking part in the Don Juan Triumphant trap for the Phantom.

Wouldn't want to see it cut because I generally like the scene...corny or note, I love the haunted piano and would *love* to have that as my ringtone. But the scene does serve to show that the Phantom's music is so different and strange that even these professional singers struggle with it. I like that idea.

Anyhow, I always figured I was the only person who didn't get exactly WHAT Piangi's difficulty was. I assumed everyone else did, but that I was missing the specific detail due to the fact that I'm just this side of being tone deaf and can't really tell one note from another. I still got the point, though...just not the subtlety of it.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  LadyCDaae on Fri May 20, 2011 1:38 pm

Wouldn't want to see it cut because I generally like the scene...corny or note, I love the haunted piano and would *love* to have that as my ringtone. But the scene does serve to show that the Phantom's music is so different and strange that even these professional singers struggle with it. I like that idea.

I have to admit I've always liked this scene as well--though my suspicions are confirmed that it basically exists just to cover the scene change. I think this scene and the one before it emphasize the growing tension and darkness of the story, serving as more ominous reflections of the first office scene and the "Hannibal" rehearsal. The scenes in the first act are light and filled with humor, but after the bodies and chandeliers start dropping everything becomes a lot more serious (though there's still some good laughs--Mme. Giry dressing down Carlotta is still one of my favorite bits in the show). There's a mad killer on the loose, and he's got everyone scared witless. I like seeing how the central drama of the main love triangle spills out and affects the other characters.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  justin-from-barbados on Fri May 20, 2011 6:52 pm

I've never thought of having it after the graveyard and I think it would work beautifully. Transitioning from rehearsal to full blown production.

But yes, I still dont see it really being there to set the stage since they set up all the graveyard scenery behind the manager's black door drop while that scene is going on, unless maybe in the original they don't have the room, but it is done like that on other productions.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  Scorp on Fri May 20, 2011 9:19 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:
Wouldn't want to see it cut because I generally like the scene...corny or note, I love the haunted piano and would *love* to have that as my ringtone. But the scene does serve to show that the Phantom's music is so different and strange that even these professional singers struggle with it. I like that idea.

I have to admit I've always liked this scene as well--though my suspicions are confirmed that it basically exists just to cover the scene change. I think this scene and the one before it emphasize the growing tension and darkness of the story, serving as more ominous reflections of the first office scene and the "Hannibal" rehearsal. The scenes in the first act are light and filled with humor, but after the bodies and chandeliers start dropping everything becomes a lot more serious (though there's still some good laughs--Mme. Giry dressing down Carlotta is still one of my favorite bits in the show). There's a mad killer on the loose, and he's got everyone scared witless. I like seeing how the central drama of the main love triangle spills out and affects the other characters.

~LCD

Ditto for all these reasons. And I love the magic piano. I wouldn't have included it if I had directed the movie version, but on stage I like it very much. The tone of the show seems to change quite a bit from this scene onwards, becoming darker and more threatening, and I like the superhuman aspect to the Phantom as well. For those not familiar with the Don Juan legend it also gives enough information to the audience for them to work out that it's about a philanderer, so they aren't completely lost as to what's going on during PONR. And I think the point about the Phantom's music just being too ahead of its time for the company of the Opéra to get their heads around is an important one to establish.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  alaron4 on Sat May 21, 2011 7:27 am

justin-from-barbados wrote:I've never thought of having it after the graveyard and I think it would work beautifully. Transitioning from rehearsal to full blown production.

But yes, I still dont see it really being there to set the stage since they set up all the graveyard scenery behind the manager's black door drop while that scene is going on, unless maybe in the original they don't have the room, but it is done like that on other productions.
My mistake, it's because of the Masquerade staircase.
http://broadwayworld.com/article/Interview_with_Las_Vegas_Phantom_Star_Anthony_Crivello_20070623

SB: Well besides scheduling, what kind of things did Hal Prince and Andrew Lloyd Webber do when the show came to Vegas to change it from the original version?

AC: When this show was done, it was a complete re-conceptualization because they had to fit what they called a 2.5 hour show into a 95 minute production. But if you look at the structure: when you eliminate the intermission, that's twenty minutes. In the Broadway theater, we had an insertion of the scene that was put in where the chorus, after the phantom hands them the opera of Don Juan Triumphant, is rehearsing the scene and they're saying, "Look at this, he's crazy, why do we have to do this, we're scared" and then they do the opera. That scene was inserted because the staircase from Masquerade had to be disassembled and hidden piece by piece because the parameters of most theaters; there is a much smaller backstage space. Here, we have the space. We can wheel out the staircase. And because we can wheel it out, we can do it right afterward. Boom! it cuts off ten minutes of time. That's one aspect of it. Another aspect of it is with this company, you've got a much bigger budget. Twenty-two years ago, you had a nine million dollar budget and now with this you've got a 38 million dollar budget. Here, you've got scenic aspects that are much more fulfilled; you've got pyrotechnics and stuntmen that have never been used before, going from a 6 foot high chandelier to a 2 stories tall chandelier – all of those aspects come into play and (because I've heard this repeated over and over) people say that from the get-go of the production you're put on the edge of your seat and then you remain there because it's so rapid fire and because it's all condensed. We're still keeping story line, we're still keeping the love story. Something must be going right because some woman at the end of my curtain call last night yelled out, "Marry me!" Something's going on… knock on wood.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  justin-from-barbados on Mon May 23, 2011 12:40 pm

I don't know, that account sounds a bit strange to me, I am sure it doesnt take the whole of Notes 2 to shift the staircase. In London it goes up on the back wall, not sure where it goes in NY.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  operafantomet on Mon May 23, 2011 12:48 pm

justin-from-barbados wrote:I don't know, that account sounds a bit strange to me, I am sure it doesnt take the whole of Notes 2 to shift the staircase. In London it goes up on the back wall, not sure where it goes in NY.
I agree, that sounds very slow. It went up the back wall in Copenhagen as well, and like London you could hear them working backstage during the "Backstage" scene with Raoul and Madame Giry, but nothing during "Notes II". Must be minor work going on for the rest of Notes/Twisted.

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Re: Don Juan Rehearsal...What's really the problem here?

Post  Phantomlove on Thu May 26, 2011 5:15 pm

I would not want to have the rehearsal moved and then go into the full production of Don Juan. The reason is that "Seal my fate" is one of my absolute favourite moments in the show and I really like that part exactly as it is.

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