16. May 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Since the opera and symphony seasons are both over, I thought I’d look back on the year. There were good things, there were bad things. There were great highs and a few lows. So what do I think of when I review it all?

Let’s see … Opera San José was a joy, and yet I was rarely completely happy with my playing. Go figure! Am I ever completely happy with my playing? Well, rarely. And I prefer to be that way … I never want to get lazy or complacent Still, getting through Madama Butterfly without any tremendous humiliation was a good thing, don’t you think? The music, while exhausting, was beautiful. And now I have finally gotten to “see” it, thanks to Bob Shomler! (Yes, going to his site and viewing the pictues is my way of seeing the opera.)

Certainly playing with all my pit pals in Opera San José is always wonderful!

MadamaButterfly: Opera San José's Madama Butterfly . 2007.
Madama Butterfly, Opera San José
©Bob Shomler

Was Butterfly my fave? Hmmm. Hard to say. I know that Roméo et Juliette was not my favorite to play, although there are lovely bits in it. But how can I choose between Marriage of Figaro, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly? They all have their moments, you know?

Symphony Silicon Valley had it’s wonderful moments as well. I really enjoyed Mark West’s turn at the podium, and as it was the first time he’d worked with us I suppose I can put it up at the top.

MarkWest: Mark West conducting Symphony Silicon Valley.
Maestro Mark West
©Bob Shomler

If I would pick out what I was happiest with concerning my own playing (and, after all, this is my blog, right?), I will admit to thinking I did pretty well on On the Steppes of Central Asia, and I was very happy with the Dvorak Symphony No. 7 second movement low notes (woo hoo!). Playing Tombeau de Couperin was fun (although I never felt completely happy with my oboe work in the piece … but EH work was fine), and I thought Maestro Gregory Vajda was another welcome addition to our conductor roster. I also enjoyed having Maestro Boughton back on the podium.

But the biggest highlight for yours truly? Playing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. I really was happy with my playing. And wouldn’t you know it wasn’t part of the regular season and only one reviewer even came? (Heh. I say I don’t worry about reviews but I really lie a lot.) I played well, darn it all. So boo hoo for me.

Or not. I suppose it’s not the reviews that matter … um … right?

MokAtPiano: Gwendolyn Mok with George Cleve and Symphony Silicon Valley.
Gwendolyn Mok, George Cleve and Symphony Silicon Valley (you can see me in this one)
©Bob Shomler

Finally, getting to play Stravinksy’s Symphony in Three Movements was great. Can you imagine … I’ve been in a symphony since 1975 and this is the first time I’ve ever played that work. It was great to play!

Maybe I’ll ponder more and come up with other highlights. (I haven’t mentioned musical theatre because while I had fun I wouldn’t call those the most musical satisfying events of the year.) I do have more I could write, but I’ll leave it here for now.

Many, many thanks to Bob Shomler for allowing me to post these pictures here! Visit his site … he has a lot more there.
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