10. April 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I would NEVER be late to anything to which he invited me. I would also not be early. Ask any of my friends. If I’m to meet someone at 7:45, I will be there at 7:45. If I am early I will wait around the corner (unless I know the person would actually relax if I show up early — I’m nice that way).

Too bad we live on opposite ends of the United States.

But I read his post and thought “I wanna go to something!”

Oh well. (how likely would it be that he’d want to add an old married oboist to his list anyway?!)
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10. April 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

… and yes, I got “the note” today. Whew. It still doesn’t feel perfect to me … something is awkward about what I’m doing and I have to figure out what that’s all about. But anyway, I can relax a bit. And no opera tomorrow. My hands are grateful.
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10. April 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

It’s not so bad being cursed if you have your own theme song

-Peter Economos

(My friend and colleague — and excellent oboist and English hornist — Pam Hakl supplied this quote. She was filling her son, Peter, in on The Flying Dutchman opera plot and music. This was his response, which I think is priceless. Thanks Pam and Peter!)
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10. April 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I will stop obsessing about myself for a moment here, and talk about the opera in general.

At most opening nights, the audience response is cautious. They haven’t yet read a review, so they don’t know if the performance is good or not. That’s right; many don’t trust what they think, or how they react to a performance and wait to be told if what they saw and heard was good.

But last night some of the audience was on their feet fairly quickly. This is pretty rare for the Opera San Jose crowd. At Symphony Silicon Valley we tend to get standing Os as long as we start and end together, but opera is less generous with the O-thing. (I prefer it that way; I often want to yell at an audience and say “Save that O for a worthy moment!”)

I always wonder what the audience is standing for, as it could be a variety of things. Of course standing for an excellent performance is a good thing. Other times I believe they stand not necessarily for the actual performance, but for what that performance represents. In our case it might be the “Good for you — you finally did some Wagner and this is a big step.” Or it could be for the composer. (I feel like standing after hearing certain works, Beethoven’s 9th, for instance, because the work is so incredible. Even a bad performance can manage to get to me.) I think some audiences even give “Walking Os” … in other words, they are standing, but mostly so they can hurry to their cars because they are tired after a long sit. But Flying Dutchman is a short opera compared to most. So I do wonder what caused the standing O last night. Maybe lots of Wagner lovers came? Or maybe it truly was an outstanding performance aside from some idiot of an oboe player who blooped a note. (Sigh.)

Which brings me to one other thing (and then I must get ready for our matinee): while this is the shortest opera of this year I believe, it feels like the longest. Go figure. There is so much playing that by the last page my hands feel as if they are about to rebel and say “No More!” When I get home I have to have a Tylenol PM moment. Poor achy hands.

Well, look at that … I turned this into something about me after all. Isn’t that a shocker?
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10. April 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Okay. It was one note. One ratty note. Probably even one very small bloop of a note that wasn’t as noticeable in reality as it is in my harassing memory!

And now I’m obsessing. I can turn a little thing into a big thing. I really can. And I can turn one note into the entire opera. Which I have now done. But I have to get back on the horse today. I’d rather stay home and watch the Giants play baseball. Especially if they win.

Which brings me back to music & baseball and the inequity of it all. Those guys make a whole lot more errors than I do. They make more money too.

Now is this fair, I ask you?

And yeah, I’ve always given the “life isn’t fair” lecture thing to my kids so I should just shut up, shouldn’t I?

But still … sigh ….

Ah well. I don’t think anyone died because of my one note. At least I haven’t read anything in the paper that states that. I don’t get arrested for a one lousy note crime. There was no firing squad at the hall last night. They won’t be there today. I’m safe. I’m somewhat sound.

I just want it to be tomorrow! :-)

Speaking of which … tomorrow is my UCSC day. I love UCSC day! I even like the drive over “the hill” to Santa Cruz. But there IS this one billboard that I come across each time I drive (I always wonder why anyone would put something so ugly up among the redwoods). Last time I drove I saw this: there’s some sort of large blue dolphin or whale or something “standing” upright, wearing a hat and saying “Pert-near given ‘em away.”

Need I say more? Stupid billboard.

(Some may wonder why I, as a professional and instructor of oboe would put some of what I write on this blog. After all, should I really be so honest as to say I get nervous, I make mistakes, and I beat myself up over them? Maybe not. But I think it actually might be helpful for some to read. Making music never becomes rote. It is always a challenge. And I’m not perfect, as I make very clear on this blog. That’s life in the music biz. And I still love it.)
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