11 December 2014 at 6.01pm | Comment on this article
Director Katharina Thoma recently gave a unique glimpse into rehearsals with The Royal Opera Ladies Chorus and Principal Joseph Calleja for her new Royal Opera production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.
The German director's production sets the action in the time just before World War I, an era which saw widespread interest in spiritualism and mediums.
This clip sees her work with her cast on the psychological elements of their characters and offers a fascinating insight into the direction of crowd scenes, and the level of detailed acting demanded of professional singers.
'I would like to get a sense of the Chorus leaving their normal reality - to have them come out of the rigidity of their everyday life,' says Katharina
'The challenges of being a director are both intellectual and practical,' says Katharina. 'I have to find an idea that works for this piece and decide upon the message that I would like to give the audience, but on the other hand I have to deal with practical issues, for example limited space on stage - I have to decide how I'm going to place the singers so that it works.'
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Un ballo in maschera runs 18 December 2014–17 January 2015. Tickets are sold out, but there are 67 day tickets for each performance and returns may become available.