For me, nothing quite compares to the thrill of adding the orchestra to the stage (or, in our case the box of a classroom) for the first time. Something about the new timbres and colors brings out all of the power and subtleties of the score and they fill the drama with true life. Our sitzprobe tonight for Nine at SFCM was pretty successful and I know my colleagues and I are all anticipating putting everything together on our full stage this week!
The score for Nine is by Maury Yeston, whose music I had the privilege to sing at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle in their concert version of Titanic: The Musical a few years ago. Nine was Yeston's first show, written while he was still in school, but I hear some similarities between the two shows, particularly after the penultimate songs in each. In Nine, Guido Contini seems to have "lost it all" by the end of the show, but is comforted by his nine-year-old self, who sings a song about "Getting Tall." In Titanic, there is a haunting reprise/chorus of a song extolling the virtues of the great ship that happens as the ship finishes sinking beneath the frigid Arctic waters. After both of these moments, Yeston has an extended interlude with music that is altogether magical and perfectly sums up the emotional journey that each show has taken the audience on.
When I realized that Nine had a similar instrumental piece to Titanic at this moment in the show, I was beyond excited to hear it played by our orchestra. Tonight was the night and I was not disappointed! I tried to take video, but of course my phone pooped out on me. Luckily, I get to stand just off stage while this music goes on and I will enjoy every moment of it. :D