Managing staff visibility in an opera full score

I am working on a full-length opera with a cast of 13 singers and an orchestra of - - 2 Perc. - 2 Synthsizers - Strings.

Since the singers come and go throughout and no-one sings for the first minute or so,

  1. I do not want the singers’ empty staves on the very first page, but I do want the whole orchestra shown,
  2. I do want to take advantage of “Hide empty staves” especially for the singers.

My solution, which I suspect (and hope) is not the best was to “Exclude” the singers from “Hide empty staves” and then to use “Manual Visibility” when it’s time for them to enter. Of course, this plays havoc with the automated justification and assigning of systems to frames and the deeper into it I get, the more of a mess it is.

Another thought was to include the singers in “Hide empty staves” from the outset but then to do the manual override for the very first page. But if I do that, doesn’t that just force me keep doing manual overrides ever after?

Or, should I have separated the opening orchestral section (some 20 measures) as its own flow with its own set of layout options hiding the voices? (I’m still working on figuring out the criteria for deciding when and how to use multiple flows in a project – this one will need it, as it is a 90-100 minute single act opera.)

My first thought on reading your post was to suggest using a separate flow for the opening section. There are easy solutions for hiding any trace that it’s a separate flow.

The problem might be that there could be a tie at the point where I would need to break the initial flow off. I don’t know if it is possible to create a tie that leads off the end of one flow and on to the other.

Certainly visually, using LV ties. Playback wouldn’t reflect that.

Thank you. I see how to do this graphically, but isn’t there going to be a brief gap in the playback between adjacent flows?

You can change that in Playback options.
Under Timing.

I can’t quite understand what you want, but don’t forget to RESET the Manual Visibility at a later point, which then returns you to whatever rules are set in Layout Options for Hiding.

There shouldn’t be any ‘havoc’ if you do this.

But if you DON’T want the singers on the first page, then just set Layout Options to Hide All Staves on All Systems. (And use Manual Visibility to restore any empty instruments you want).

Alternatively, Hide All Empty Staves except on the First System, and use Manual Visibility to Hide All the singers, and reset the visibility on the 2nd System, and you’ll be back to hiding empty staves but showing Singers with notes.

Thank you.

It wasn’t clear to me what the function of the “Reset” button was, but you’re saying that it only affects what will come after, leaving previous overrides intact.

(I’ve been working my way through the manual, and have to say that I find a lot of it quite opaque because of the jargon-favoring language it uses, and also because so much information on the same topic seems spread out throughout its 1600 pages. I keep the index open on my desktop at all times.)

Yes: Set one Break to Hide or Show manually, and then ‘Reset’ to whatever the Layout Options are at a later point with another.