13. January 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m just in the middle of enjoying the podcast about which Jillian had written to me and about which I then blogged.

Well … I’m not even to the oboist interview yet, really. But I just had to stop and post these quotes from the bassoonist who does these podcasts::

You can generally trust a bassoonist to pay his bills and be kind to animals.

… and about the oboe and oboists? Well … read on! …

You have to hold it carefully, sort of like taking a cat out of the bath.

They give the tuning A in an orchestra because nobody else wants to pick a fight with them.

They’re reported to be unreliable in their financial dealings, impatient with children, and generally don’t brake for small animals.

So does that make you wanna listen or what?!

I love making fun of myself as a neurotic and wacky oboist … and don’t mind when others do the same. It’s all part ‘o the game, if you ask me!


This time from oboist Charles “Chip” Hamann:

We’re known to be temperamental and difficult and a little wacked sometimes.

You’re always living under a certain amount of stress. It’s been called a high-wire act to play this instrument.

It’s the most magical instrument I know. There are things that the oboe can do that so closely resembles the human voice and I think that’s why I was drawn to it, because there’s a vocal quality that comes from these two pieces of cane vibrating together.

(The man is sick. Sick, I tell you. He says he loves to make reeds. AARGH! He also suggests that no one should play the instrument if they don’t love to make reeds. Double AARGH! Is it early retirement time for yours truly?)

I’m surprised to hear both the oboist and the bassoonist suggest that we oboists can’t easily move pitch around and that that inflexibility might be one of the reasons we tune the orchestra. I’ve not found that. I find that I can move pitch around … maybe too much. Hmmm. Gonna have to think on that.

I heard about our season over a month ago, but I didn’t want to jump the gun and put anything up until the powerful people had announced it. So now they have … and I suppose it’s safe to put it all up here!

Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti, September 8-23, 2007
Werther by Jules Massenet, November 17-December 2, 2007
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, February 9-24, 2008
The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart, April 19-May 4, 2008

I’ve played three of the four. Werther will be new to both me and the opera company. I always love doing something new! We’ve done the Donizetti twice, but it’s been quite some time since both of those runs—or so it seems—so I don’t remember much aside from the huge flute solo (how Isabelle will do that with barely being able to hear, and not being able to see the soprano at all, I haven’t a clue!). Verdi is always fun, and this time I won’t be playing a combined book which should be nice. And “Flute”? Well, it’s not my favorite Mozart, which I realize is nearly sacrilegious to say. But it’s still Mozart and I love playing him—I’m just not all that jazzed about that particular opera is all.

The next question is about conductors; we have our main conductor (David Rohrbaugh) who will conduct two of the four operas, but we bring in two others as well. I haven’t a clue which operas David will conduct (okay, I can guess … but you won’t find me doing that publicly) and which and, more importantly, who will be taking the helm for the other two. Guess I’ll have ot wait on this. Unless MikeR knows? (Mike, I’d link to you here, but I need your permission first. If you don’t want the link, I’ll certainly understand. … update … I have Mike’s permission, thus the link!)