I went to see Slessor the theatre
director. She has been looking at the story and making notes and doing
directorial stuff. We started discussing the opera. She tells me certain things can
not work. It can work if it's a film but can't work on stage. Every few
minutes she stops and says that's not going to work you will have to
change it. So I change the story a little. Then again. Then she's asking
questions too many questions. I realise I haven't got all the answers. I
have written a story but it's not enough.
Luckily Slessor is
very patient with me. I think of alternatives. We add extra characters
to make the story work, to make the story better. We need new songs. I
have to write more music. Help!
Slessor says "Don't worry Mike this is the easy part. It's going to get much harder before we're finished."
head is spinning. Slessor is very clever. She is much more intelligent
than I am. She is thinking so fast I can't keep up. She is asking
questions faster than I can think of answers. As soon as I find an
answer she jumps on me with another question which changes the answer
to the previous question. Slowly a story develops that is better than
my original. It's more complete and makes more sense. After three hours
all I want to do is go home. Slessor is still very excited and tells me
we must finish talking about the first part of the story so she has
something to work on after I leave. So I struggle for another half an
hour. I have to explain to Slessor exactly what people are thinking in
the opera, I have to explain why they are doing what they are doing. I
have to explain my idea of the story and how I think it works. I have to
have a background story that explains peoples feelings.
knew it would be this difficult? Slessor of course. Slessor knows how
difficult it is. She has done this many times before. It's her job. But I
wish she would slow down. She will never slow down. It's what she is
like. But if this Opera is going to work she will make it work. I have
more confidence in her than I have in myself right now.