Odd Stagings #4 :
THE BEETHOVEN ODE-TO-JOY-A-THON CONCERT
In the weeks prior to the performance, an audience will be auditioned.
Anyone who can sing the first verse from memory will be admitted. The chorus master and conductor will pick a large number of capable sopranos, baritones, altos and tenors to sing the more difficult parts, hopefully as many as a hundred. Or several hundred. Or more.
But what we’re really looking for are strong singers who can stay in tune.
The conductor will stand in the center of the auditorium, and face the orchestra. The orchestra will be seated towards the back, the chorus will stand behind the orchestra. The amateur crowd of better singers will be seated or stand between the orchestra and the conductor. The rest of the audience will be seated behind the conductor as he conducts, but the conductor will turn from time to time to give the audience their cues and to egg them on to greater and greater heights.
On all four sides of the hall will be monitor screens showing the conductor, so that everyone can see to stay on cue and in tempo. From time to time the screens will show short cuts of the amateur singers belting it out.
Anything to keep the performing audience excited and energetic.
The "better amateurs" will be in four sections in front of the conductor. The sopranos will be in separate section from the altos, and so on. If necessary, the lead soprano will conduct the rest of the sopranos, and so on. If necessary, there will be a separate conductor for the audience, working in tandem with the lead conductor.
But anyone who can’t see the conductor up close should be looking at the monitors to keep in sync with the mob.
We want art, we want emotion, we want power, we want thrills, but most of all-
we want LOUD!!!!
If, at the end of the concert, a couple of dozen people have passed out from singing too hard….
….it will have been a raging success!
1. Several ambulances need to be stationed outside the hall, and the audience need be made aware to give medical personnel plenty of room to get in and out in case of emergencies.
2. Outside doors need to be left open during the performance, and, quite possibly, pure oxygen need be pumped into the auditorium when carbon dioxide levels get too high.
3. There probably needs to be two conductors. Maybe three.
4. In very large venues, such as stadiums, there needs to be a ring or track left open around the infield, so that people can march around if they want. Maybe a marching band can be part of the proceedings.
5. This would probably be best presented as only the fourth movement of the symphony, leaving out the first three movements altogether.
6. For an encore: do it all over again!