"Dazzling" - Financial Times****
A new opera by Alexander Raskatov based on Mikhail
Bulgakov’s short novel “The Heart of a Dog”
directed by Simon McBurney.
We designed, directed and operated the Dog who
changes into a man at the end of the first act.
BLOG IN AMSTERDAM...
in middle of rehearsals. This is Simon McBurney's first opera
and I think it is going really well. Some of Sasha Raskatov's
music is exquisite. It is his first full length opera too. At
first the music seemed a little crazy to me, which is fine because
the story is a little crazy, but now as I get to know it I like
it more and more. Finn and Josie and Robin and I are bonding with
our puppet and the Dog is starting to really live. It isn't easy
- the puppet will be on stage continuously for the first act and
we are trying to operate a kind of relay so that we can be always
upstage of it - this means we all have to swap places and come
on and off the puppet every time it turns. Nick and Sindy are
hacking away in the workshop making various versions of the dog
and today delivered a beautiful and very realistic cat puppet
which could steal the show!
We've completed "stage and piano" rehearsals.
Now we have a couple of days back in the studio to iron out a
few problems before the "stage and orchestra" rehearsals
begin on Saturday morning. The dog is working really well but
is very hard work. There are four of us working in relay so that
we get a rest every now and then. One of the innovations - a camera
in the nose of the dog - makes the head much heavier and we puppeteers
are all secretly hoping it won't work - although on the other
hand if it does work, it could be awesome - so we are conflicted.
The thing that will steal the show though are the cats which are
very simple and hilarious. On Friday we have the Sitzprobe. This
is the first time we will hear the singers with the full orchestra.
In fact, it is the first time anyone will hear the cast and orchestra
together - including the composer. The orchestra is made up of
seventy instruments including base guitars, saxophones, balalaikas
and some instruments the composer has invented. It is a very exciting
Just about to go and warm up for the final performance
of A Dog's Heart. The word of mouth on the show has begun to build.
On Sunday we were nearly full, even though it was a blazing hot
afternoon outside. And the audience is loving the show. There
is lots of laughter - which we are beginning to tune into on stage.
In fact it feels as if we are just getting to understand how the
show works and it is nearly over. Also just getting to know Amsterdam.
The last week we have had 4 barbecues, 3 boat trips round the
canals, watched England get knocked out of the world cup and Murray
go through to the quarters at Wimbledon. See you back in London
"Hallucinatory cocktail of silent
movie melodrama "
"Nothing less than absurdly
Peter van der Lint, Trouw