Edgaras Montvidas on being Belmonte – part two

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Coming together in time for opening night

We’re now at the end of the final stretch of rehearsals for David McVicar’s new production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which opens tomorrow, 13 June.

The set has moved from the practice room to the stage, and we’ve just done our first, and final, public dress rehearsal.

It’s quite something to feel everything coming together. The past few weeks have been crucial, building the production layer upon layer – costumes, lights, orchestra…

Finding the golden medium

Having the orchestra with us for the past few weeks has breathed life into the production, especially with Robin Ticciati at the helm.

Ticciati is a fantastic leader and conductor, pulling together all the different aspects of the production with the orchestra, soloists and chorus to find a golden medium.

We’ve now had six weeks to get to know each other, which allows us to be more spontaneous and play to our strengths.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Honing the costumes

I performed in Onegin here last year, but each production feels different because of the set, costumes, wigs, etc.

It’s something that’s always important to consider when we move our rehearsals to the main stage, and Vicki Mortimer, our set and costume designer, has been sitting in on rehearsals to see what needs to be adapted and improved.

We do all sorts of running around and climbing in this production so our costumes have to be prepared for ultimate flexibility!

Photo: Ed Fraser

Still keeping healthy

In my last blogpost I talked about having to stay fit for the role of Belmonte because it’s such a physical role, but keeping healthy in the lead-up to opening night is even more crucial.

The main objective is not to get ill, and as a precautionary measure I’m avoiding most of the good things in life. Having said that, I did throw a big party to celebrate my 40th birthday last weekend…

In the final weeks, to conserve our energy, we only have one session a day at Glyndebourne. The cast of Die Entführung have become like a little family. I’ve been so very fortunate to have some amazing people around me and to link up again with David McVicar and Sally Matthews.

Performing for an audience

Yesterday evening the dress rehearsal was finally here – it was full of colleagues from the music industry and there was a really positive buzz afterwards.

It’s fantastic finally having an audience and feeling their reaction. During rehearsals you get used to certain scenes receiving a predictable reaction from colleagues, but when an audience arrives, the response can be quite different to expectations.

Of course Sally’s aria as Konstanze in Act II is a complete show-stopper, but there were other moments when the audience reacted strongly – sometimes laughing when we were weren’t expecting. As Die Entführung is a singspiel, there’s always the worry the audience will be concentrating on the surtitles and miss those split-second moments of humour or drama on the stage, but that didn’t seem to be the case at all.

Photo: Sam Stephenson

The set is spellbindingly beautiful – an Ottoman palace garden to rival Glyndebourne! The stage is now truly set for a memorable opening night tomorrow. All we need now is some Sussex sunshine to make this Glyndebourne opening a feast for all the senses!

Edgaras Montvidas

This is the second in a series of five blogposts by Edgaras Montvidas about his experience of the life of a production at Glyndebourne. The next blogpost will be published later this month. For more details about Die Entführung aus dem Serail and the other productions at Festival 2015 visit the season overview page.