One note … one lousy note … can ruin your whole night.

Or maybe it only ruins mine. I don’t know. Could be that the audience didn’t go away saying “Good opera, but too bad about that one lousy oboe note.”

Then again, since it is all about the oboe, maybe they are all saying that.

I hate it when I am disappointed in a performance due to “merely” one note, but there you go. I make mistakes. Or the reed doesn’t respond. Or something just goes awry (the latter was the case in this instance). And there are no “take backs” or “do overs”.

That’s live music, folks.

I hate to admit, though, that I prefer live music to studio work. With studio work you have a whole lot of “do overs” … but the whole time I’m in the studio I worry that I’ll be the one who makes us all have to do another take. No one wants to be that person.

Anyway, I thought the opera went well. It’s difficult for me to tell, since I can’t hear the singers much, but it appears that the audience was pleased. I’ll be curious to talk to some who were there. (I’d write about my son’s thoughts after he heard and saw the final dress, but I don’t want to color any reader’s notions until after I’ve heard from any who went to the performance.)

So … one wrong note. (Yes, I like to dwell on things like this.)

Now I have to play it 7 more times, trying each time not to dwell on tonight. Sigh.

09. April 2005 · Comments Off on Being a Fan · Categories: imported, Ramble

I loved Terry Teachout’s blog which is actually more of Laura Lippmann’s blog (for April, in case you are reading this late in the game). They are talking about being a fan. For one thing, Lippmann write this:

So when I saw Stephen Sondheim a few months ago in a midtown restaurant, what did I do? Absolutely nothing. Oh, I looked. I agree with Nora Ephron’s definition of celebrity — someone you would stand up in a restaurant to see — but I was already standing. I looked and I beamed and I thought: Hey, I just saw Pacific Overtures! But it never occurred to me to try and approach him. Not because I was embarrassed to be a fan, but because I was content to be one, if that makes sense.

I agree.

I’ve worked with “folks” — they are, after all, still people, even if they are worshipped by those of us who are “just folks” — that are pretty darn famous. (I won’t name them here because then I’d feel as if I’m name dropping and I really don’t like name dropping at all!) I’m not famous. I never will be. That’s fine by me. I’m happy where I am. I’d be very bad at being famous. I know that for sure! And I’m also happy with where a famous person I admire is, because if I’m a fan it means I truly do admire the individual a lot and think he or she deserves the fame. So I admire the person. From a distance. (Sometimes only a distance of a few feet, but there you go.) The person brings me great joy in one way or another, or in a lot of ways in some cases. I’m happy enough with that. If I did say something to the person I’d have nothing special to offer him or her … nothing that hasn’t been heard before.

(Besides, I’d do what I always do after meeting someone: I’d rehash everything I said and find a way to berate myself for saying something stupid. I’m good at that.)

But yes I, like Ms. Lippmann, have sent an email or letter on very rare occasions. That seem harmless (I’m not stalker!) and maybe even means something to the person.

Anyway, enough of me! This was actually to encourage you to read Mr. Teachout’s blog! What he and Lippmann write is much better than what I am writing here. This isn’t my attempt to be humble; it’s opening night tonight, and both my brain and my stomach are in a bit of a bizarre place right now. How silly of me to get nervous about opera … but while most people think opera is primarily about the singers, I happen to know it’s all about the oboe! ;-)
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09. April 2005 · Comments Off on San Francisco Ballet Orchestra Concert! · Categories: Announcements, imported

From their site:

San Francisco Ballet, the first professional ballet company in America, was also one of the first dance companies to have its own, permanent body of musicians. Founded in October 1975, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra celebrates its 30th anniversary this season with a special community concert at the War Memorial Opera House, Sunday, April 24 at 2 pm.

Conducted by Music Director & Principal Conductor Andrew Mogrelia, the 30th Anniversary Celebration includes Stravinksky≠s Divertimento, The Fairy Kiss, R. Strauss≠ Oboe Concerto, and Schumann≠s Symphony No. 2.

Tickets are $10 each. Net proceeds will benefi t San Francisco Ballet≠s community outreach programs.

The oboe soloist for the Strauss is Liang Wang, principal oboist of the ballet. He has also recently been named associate principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony, a position he begins soon. I’ve heard wonderful things about his playing.

At $10 a ticket how can you miss something like this?

(Well, okay, I will have to miss it: I have opera. But PLEASE, students, go to this concert if you are able!)
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