07. February 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements, imported

***10:20 PM – Java ‘n Jazz

They are calling it “Razzle Dazzle” — the Lincoln High School vocal department is putting on their 12th annual Java ‘n Jazz shows this weekend.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10 through SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12
ALL SHOWS AT 8 PM – LINCOLN BLACK BOX THEATRE

Lincoln has a great music department, and I’m sure this will be a fun show! I encourage students to attend … for a great diversion and loads of fun!

You can get tickets by going here. If you do decide to go, please mention my son, Jameson Mitchell’s name so he can get credit!
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07. February 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I just read an article talking about musicians’ job satisfaction. It turns out that those higher paid, major orchestra musicians are less content than the lesser paid, regional orchestra players.

Hmm. That implies that the regional orchestra players might be happy. This is a problem, don’t you think? One thing we musicians do best is complain. ;-)

Anyway, the study was done quite some time ago, so who knows what the results would be now. But I thought these paragraphs were at least worth pondering:

Not so, according to Josephine S. Pichanick, a doctoral candidate in the organizational behavior program jointly administered by Harvard Business School and the department of psychology. For a study of job satisfaction among professional musicians, Pichanick collected questionnaires from 66 musicians in major and regional symphony orchestras and interviewed 22 players in depth. The major-orchestra musicians studied earn a mean income of $85,000 a year, as compared to $15,000 for regional players. “I predicted that, because major players were so much better compensated and because so much more prestige was involved, they’d be more satisfied overall,” Pichanick says.

Surprisingly, the results showed the opposite. Job satisfaction for players who win a seat in a major symphony orchestra was high early in their tenures, but fell steadily, gradually regressing to the mean. Regional players’ satisfaction began lower, but grew over time. Prestige and good pay, Pichanick found, do not necessarily equal job satisfaction.

Go figure.

Anyway, I know that I honestly do love what I do. I think I like my particular role in the music world because I get such variety. I play opera for a while. I move on to symphony. I get a musical now and then. I get to see a few “stars” sometimes. And I love to teach. I like having the age range of students that I have.

It is a wonderful job, if you ask me.

Okay … if you ask me today.

I reserve the right to whine any time I’d like, thank you very much!

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07. February 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

Take the Spanish airs and mine out of the score, and there remains nothing to Bizet’s credit but the sauce that masks the fish.

-Charles Gounod (1818-93) on the premiere of Carmen, 1875, quoted in W Dean, Bizet (1975)

and

This music is wicked, refined, fatalistic, and yet it retains a popular appeal.

-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), quoted in C Headington, The Bodley Head History of Music (1974)

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07. February 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

The Merc has a review of Carmen. I can’t really say if I agree or not … because not only can I not see a speck of the opera, I can’t hear it well either!

This is a problem. True, the reviewer was impressed when the Toreador’s offstage singing got slightly off and the Maestro, George Cleve, and the orchestra “caught” it and managed to make it work … but that was only because we are playing very softly at that point. One of these days there’s going to be a major crash because if I can’t hear the singers, certainly the musicians under the stage must not be able to hear. And if something gets totally off we may not understand what the Maestro is indicating when he or she is attempting to pull it together. This is, to me, frightening. We desperately need a monitor! Or even more than one monitor since we are at three different levels in the pit. The quality of the operas is going to suffer and it seems as if those in charge might finally come to that conclusion as well. At least I hope so.

I didn’t even realize that Adam Flowers was singing both Saturday and Sunday … I can’t hear the voice well enough to know that Etsel Skelton was out due to illness. This happened with Tosca as well (although that time it was Adam who was out and Etsel who was in).

Anyway, I still love the California Theatre. I still love Opera San José. I just wish we could hear things better and … if I had all my wishes granted I’d actually love a video monitor as well.

I can dream … right?!

Rambling over and out. Time to teach!
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