This entire opera was a study in just how poorly something could be run and still somehow work. Dr. Jerome’s a wonderful singer, and I’m sure he’s had a wonderful career. But dear God in holy heaven, the man is incompetent. He almost never ran the music in rehearsal. He dragged endlessly, inefficiently through staging rehearsals till I wanted to scream. And I am Irish and German, so imagine how much patience is encoded into my genes to begin with.
In a more problematic sense, he let musical stuff slide. Singers were making up recitative lines and he wasn’t catching it. Rhythms were sloppy and he didn’t catch them. I had to correct some of them myself. And the biggest problem here is that he wasn’t the musical director. Dr. Beauregard was. Dr. Jerome was the stage director. So letting Dr. J. run the music in his sloppy way was not a good segue into Dr. B, the paragon of precision and accuracy. Not good bedfellows (obviously, because Dr. B and I are bedfellows. Duh).
Big rehearsals together were fascinating. Dr. Jerome acted like he was in charge sometimes…again, false; the Maestro is completely in charge in opera…and one night, it actually almost exploded.