Today's post comes from Ryan MacPherson -- tenor extraordinaire and the persistent (and hilarious) Italian voice teacher, Alfred, in Die Fledermaus! He's taking us through his time in Norfolk from the plane to the stage.
When I was asked by Virginia Opera to do a guest post for their opera blog I was more than happy to join in the fun. I thought I’d share some pictures I’ve taken over the past few weeks as I discover Norfolk and do my part to put an opera together.
Ryan MacPherson and Emily Pulley as Alfred and Rosalinde. Photo by David A. Beloff
Ryan MacPherson ("Alfred") not going down without a fight in Act I of Die Fledermaus. Photo by David A. Beloff
Arrival was rainy and delayed. But my host and board member, Henry Garrity, took me out to dinner and welcomed me to Virginia.
I had the chance to wander around the Freemason District during the next few days and grabbed a few pictures. The battleship Wisconsin, pictured above, is just down the street from my new temporary home.
As I get to know my little corner of town, I found the great restaurants on Granby and find a few favorites.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Empire - little bar bistro. I’ve only had wonderful fresh food here and being within walking distance, I’m nearly a regular.
I also enjoy Cure on Botetourt St. Great coffee, great food, and some creative specials.
Walking around the Koi pond and pagoda (above left) are a nice distraction from the impending storm. And while some restaurants like this one shown above right have closed, the area is filled with activity and art. I can see how parts of this urban renewal plan have moved forward. There’s also the MacArthur Center Mall, located centrally downtown and filled with any shopping one might want. I’m happy in my new home away from home.
Maestro Gary Wedow consulting with our director Dorothy Danner the first night in the theatre. The Harrison Opera House is beautiful and a great size for our show! Here's a quick shot of Christopher Burchett and Philip Cutlip through our scrim.
As a strawberry blonde, it’s always an interesting challenge to throw on a brunette wig. Jim McGough makes it work! The work and care that Jim and his crew put into the wigs and makeup for an entire cast and chorus is an art in itself.
On left: The fly system used by our fantastic crew. Make sure to watch for the giant flying picture frame. The guys make it work like clockwork.
On right: This is my backstage “crashpad” where I land when Rosalinde continues to throw my character out the window. Don’t worry, I’m safe… and it’s soft.
No matter what, we always like to see our name on a dressing room. Proof that all the hard work will pay off. And here I am, Alfred the Italian lover. Transformed to a brunette, there shall be hijinks!!
A giant thank you to everyone doing so much behind the scenes at Virginia Opera. Come see us in Die Fledermaus and bring your friends! Our job is to make you laugh and have fun!