20. June 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’ve now done two weeks of Les Mis. We’ve done “only” fifteen shows so far, rather than the usual eight per week, since we began a bit later in the week that first week.

I have iTunes radio on right now. If I don’t put something on I have Les Mis tunes running through my head. I enjoy most of the music, but do I need a break when I am not doing the show. iTunes has a classical station that plays newer classical music so I’m enjoying hearing things I’ve rarely heard (Gorecki’s third is on right now – a work I’ve never played). Having show music running through one’s head can drive a person crazy.

The shows are going well. I’m still moved every time I hear Jean Valjean sing the prayer in the second act. Randal Keith, who plays that part, is absolutely incredible. I’ve been told, too, that he’s a great actor (I can’t see anything on stage). Sometimes I wish I could take a night off and see the show, but that would require hiring a replacement to audit two shows and then play, which would be a loss of income I can’t quite afford right now. Hmmm. Maybe I should fly to Toronto (they are headed there next) to see it. Oh wait, that would cost more than hiring a sub!

The audiences are on their feet after EVERY performance. Often folks who come down to the pit tell us that it’s the best performance of Les Mis they’ve ever seen and heard. If you get a chance to come see it you might get tickets now … this production will not be back. The next time it comes around you’ll probably be hearing a fake orchestra for the most part (called “virtual orchestra”) and I’m guessing the cast will be reduced as well.

Five more weeks to go. (Shoulda been eight, don’t you think?)

20. June 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Quotes

Any musician who says he is playing better either on tea, the needle, or when he is juiced, is a plain straight liar . . . You can miss the most important years of your life, the years of possible creation.

Charlie Parker (1903 – 1992) US singer, In “Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya,” by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, 1955.

20. June 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I knew a book was coming out about the classical music scene. I knew it would be full of sex and drugs (I don’t know about rock and roll, but there will be plenty of classical music). Yesterday I read a newspaper article about the book here. I found it troubling. Extremely so. (If you click on the link please know what you read you might find offensive.)

The headline reads “The truth of making sweet music”. So is this book telling the truth about all of us? I don’t think so! In fact, I know that it’s not.

I didn’t sleep my way into any orchestra. Not once. Because the author of this new book did, and, from what the article implies, knows other that have as well, does not make it true for all of us. I don’t know one person who slept his or her way into the orchestras of which I am a part. Yes, some have loose morals. Some have done unethical things. (All of this in my little opinion of course.) Yes, some have done drugs (although I can’t say I know anyone now who does that sort of thing), although I never did and I never saw anyone who did.

But is this so different than any other profession? There are people who sleep their way to the top everywhere. And there are others who don’t. There are drug addicts and alcoholics in every profession. That doesn’t mean that the profession has demanded this of them. This is a choice made by the individual rather than the profession.

I would guess, in fact, that the author of the book will find her new career as a writer will prove that music isn’t the only profession that offers up people with poor ethics and morals. She might sleep her way to the top of this new profession as well; this is her choice, not a job requirement.

So I’m bothered that the article is written as it is, and I’m hoping the book isn’t implying that we all get our jobs based on our sexual offerings. My understanding was that there was more in the book than sex; I had thought that it was also about the demise of the classical music business. I guess I’ll have to wait for some reviews.