A Music Director's Epic Tale: Les Miserables

Chapter 7 : Rehearsals

7.1 - Initial Scheduling

So you've got your all-star cast, and they're champing at the bit, wanting to dig into all this wonderful material. Since you are organized, you planned out all the music rehearsals well ahead of time, to ensure the right amount of learning and review.

This is much easier said than done. How do you know if your Valjean is going to be able to "get" his role in "Valjean's Soliloquoy" after one or two tries? How do you know if the ensemble isn't going to need extra time to form the right sound in "Look Down" or get the harmonies right at the end of "One Day More"? You really don't. You have to go by instinct. You can tell a lot from what the cast does during auditions and callbacks. You also have to probe into their history (do they have choral experience, for example?). Have they ever been involved in other stagings of "Les Mis"? Can they read music?

In our theater's case, we also get many "repeat performers", the kids that come back show after show. Their strengths and abilities are known to the staff so that helps everyone in planning who might need more or less time.

And then you just have to build in some flexible time to cover the unexpected. Getting the cast's conflicts ahead of time is a big plus also.