Since questions keep getting asked, i should really get around to posting a general update on the show The Dolls Of New Albion: A Steampunk Opera.
Over the course of 2012 the show will go through a series of 3 performance cycles. The first cycle is in mid April, set to coincide with the completion of the album.
During this first”cycle” the remainder of the album will be completed and as of this writing all the vocalists from the previous album, Lauren Osborn, Kayleigh McKnight, and Jason Broderick will continue to appear. I might have threatened some of their families but as far as anyone’s lawyers are concerned i’m not saying i actually did. A fourth vocalist will also be added.
The performance at the end of April is very much a workshop performance, truly and purposefully. There will be no staging, sets, costumes and lighting. There will be almost no theatrics at all, in fact. I mean, okay, we’ll have some mood lighting, but that mostly means we’ll turn down the lights a bit. Four singers will walk out, and with only the most basic of staging (think a Les Mis concert performance) sing through it.
The purpose of this is to focus SOLELY on music, story and character. The small, deliberate audience will be asked for extensive feedback. The purpose of this first staging is to worry about the meat of the show: the music, the story and the characters. Meat and meat only. Get the meat right and you can stage it a million ways til Sunday and you’ll still have solid show. Otherwise, you can make the most beautiful thing ever put on stage but it will be empty and will lose its luster quickly.
I had a debate the other day with someone about audience feedback. They objected to the idea of the audience writing the show, and felt a good artist should be following their vision and doing it themselves. This is an excellent point, but it misses a few things:
1. You, said artist, don’t have to incorporate a damned thing. You may ignore every suggestion and go about your day.
2. You MAY however, benefit from knowing that most people during feedback said they all got bored at about the same point in Act 3, or lost the plot in the same relative place, or were confused by this or that. Since you, said artist, will never, ever be able to see or hear the show as a true audience member, there are insights a real audience can have that you will never see without them.
3. Just maybe, something pointed out may lead to an idea or BE an idea that makes the piece better. I will do ANYTHING that makes the piece better, IF i actually believe it’s a better idea. Some things are just a matter of taste, but for this we can just revert to point 1. I will however, trash a song, an Act, something i’ve spent days, weeks on if i believe a better idea has presented itself.
Once this is done we have our meat tendorized and prepared and can begin building the bells, whistles and fireworks. Am i mixing metaphors? Prepare the sauce, the spice, the side dish, appetizer, dessert and wine selection… aw screw this: you can start doing everything else.
A summer performance will follow and then the fall/winter performance. The fall/winter performance will be the one where the show will go up as a full, completed (for the most part) entity. From there we take it to festivals to attract the kind of people who are looking for exciting new works to drop stinking piles of money on (Oh if only it were that uncomplicated. With the money comes a complicated tango, but if you want to attend the Ball, you gotta be willing to dance).
A lot can happen between here and there, including unforeseen beneficial opportunities (No, really. Just don’t count on it), but this way is a solid, proven show building way to go. The goal is not to pick a theater, throw some performances up and see what happens. (Ftr, i have done this latter method numerous times and it sucks as a gameplan. It’s a real bitch of a way to go. All you do is scrape and scrounge from run to run). The goal is a steady, deliberate march to world domination.
So there you go. I get a surprising (to me) amount of mail asking about the album and performances. So, to recap, album will be finished in April. The show will undergo 3 performance cycle over the year to get it ready for prime time so to speak.
I will make the album available end of April. If you have bought Act 1 or the Excerpts from 2-4, you will not have to purchase the entire finished album at full price. Don’t worry, i got you covered. I am insanely grateful for the support being shown at this early, early date. Insanely grateful. I will cut you slack on full album prices and give away tickets when the time comes and the show has actually been built. I have all your names, or screen names at least, so i can and have kept track of all this. And by kept track i don’t mean sit and at night slowly going one by one down all my “Cha-CHING! You Just Sold Another Thing On Bandcamp” email notifiers, softly petting the screen each time a new one appears whilst whispering immensely creepy eroticisms even professional perverts would feel all icky hearing. Not at all. And you have no evidence. I just mean i never delete them and have all the names therein.
I’m gonna… i’ll just go now. (pets screen)