Hello, Dolly!

McKinney Theatre
Saddleback College
2014

Dolly works her charm on the locals as she searches for the fanciest restaurant in town

Background

Directed by Myrona Delaney and choreographed by Roger Castellano, this production of the Broadway classic Hello, Dolly! brought together faculty, students, and field professionals in a high-energy show that featured complex choreography, elegant orchestral swells, and a healthy serving of humor. In this musical, Dolly Levi shares her story of overcoming loss, diffusing bigotry, and building confidence through love for herself and others.

Sound Design Concept

Hello, Dolly! used a powerful musical score to carry the audience through the characters’ journeys of reaching their goals. Through analyzing the shape of the choreography, the intensity of the characters’ emotional interactions, and the engagement level of the audience, I developed a mixing language that communicated a broad range of emotion by using volume and density to support the arc of Jerry Herman’s expertly-crafted score. A capstone of this sound design was the creation of a fully annotated digital mixing script that simplified the technical elements of mixing and allowed me to concentrate on guiding the emotional arc of the production.

Mix Script

The Team

Director: Myrona Delaney
Choreographer: Roger Castellano
Sound Designer & Mixing: Brian Svoboda
Scenic Designer: Kent McFann
Lighting Designer: Tim Swiss
Costume Designer: Diane Lewis
Photography: Ken Kinder

Sound Samples

For the best listening experience, please use high quality headphones or speakers. Audio files are in uncompressed WAV format.

Before the Parade Passes By

by Brian Svoboda | Hello Dolly

After struggling to cope with the death of her late husband Ephram, Dolly summons up her courage and decides to move on with her life. This song transverses a range of emotion, including gentle introspection, courageousness, and celebration. The score supports these emotions with subtle and deliberate orchestration and compositional decisions. I insisted that the mix emulate these nuances. I also preserved space in the mix to correct for performance idiosyncrasies that might sway the mood of the song.

The Polka Contest

by Brian Svoboda | Hello Dolly

Thrilled to see their old friend Dolly at the Harmonia Gardens restaurant, the wait staff prepares a number of extravagant festivities, including a polka dance. In all the excitement, Cornelius and Horace accidentally drop and switch their wallets. I supported the chaos of this scene by slightly exaggerating the volume of the orchestra mix during the dance breaks, using built-in crescendos in the score to mask my moves. This exaggeration aligned nicely with the heightened choreography.

Put On Your Sunday Clothes

by Brian Svoboda | Hello Dolly

Feeling limited by his life and career, Barnaby persuades his colleague Cornelius to leave Yonkers to pursue a dream of wealth and romance “out there” in vibrant Manhattan. After they depart for their adventure, the chorus recapitulates the duo’s sentiments in a swell of song and dance. This is a delicate scene to mix; there is an urgent sense of adventure in the script, but the song is followed by a quiet book scene. I took care to carefully generate enough energy to keep the audience in anticipation without suggesting a “finale”.

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