I've devoted much of my energies lately towards our opera: Mozart's Figaro.
I've never conducted a work that lasted 2.5 hours and it has been quite a mammoth task to just get the score ready to conduct.
For every cut in the vocal/piano score, a cut had to be made first in the conductor's score and then in each orchestral part. Finding and making the cut in the CS is harder than it sounds. For one thing, nothing matches up because the CS is in German/Italian, not English.
I've been surprised at the amount of concentration that had to be devoted to the task: any mistake will cause a major problem during the sitzprobe and dress rehearsal.
Lately, the task has been marking dynamics and cues within the conductor's score. The task isn't yet complete, but will be soon.
And last night I began listening, closely listening, to the opera. My, what a glorious work it is. I'm getting excited about the performance, even as I get nervous that preparation time will soon end.
Doing the work of music is quite difficult at times, especially in the middle of everything else. But the payoff--the joy of doing what we do--is transcendent.
But . . . isn't this a choir blog?
Yep . . . but the work . . . and the payoff . . . is the same.