10. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I’m just home from Appomattox. I thought the opera was very good. It was moving. It was mesmerizing. It worked for me.

Yeah, there were maybe a couple of moments I might have changed. For instance … what was with the horses at the end? (Is this dead animal year at San Francisco Opera? Well, maybe dead animal and fire year, eh? Yes, there was fire in this production, just like last week’s opera of fire and dead animals.) Someone said it was about The Book of Revelations. But, well, I found the horses awfully distracting. I guess I find dead animals distracting, because that’s the way I was in Tannhäuser as well. Oh … but the live horse on Tannhäuser was distracting too. Maybe animals live or dead distract me. Call me silly.

Anyway, I don’t understand how any reviewer could call the opera boring. And I think I read that word written by one reviewer. I find a boring comment befuddling. Or baffling.

I loved “Tenting Tonight” (I do wonder if they changed the words to “camping tonight” in what I think of as the chorus, or if those are authentic — I’m guessing there might be several versions of the song.) The other “songs” were very moving as well … the “Marching Song of the First of Arkansas” was powerful, as was the ballad about Jimmy Lee Jackson.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for things that move me. Hmmm.

I wasn’t certain singers were always with the orchestra, but unless I see a score I couldn’t say “absolutely positutely”. (I probably shouldn’t say that anyway, since the second word isn’t a word. But I deem it a word, so there you go.)

And to DK and Janet … fabulous playing you two! I loved hearing you, and I was impressed. Okay. Impressed and humbled. Bravi tutti!

This just added … someone had written about laughing high school students implying that this showed that something wasn’t working on stage. I’ve got news for you; students laugh when they are uncomfortable. They laugh when they see certain sex scenes (I saw this when I used to accompany a class to San Jose Rep) because even though they think they are “sex savvy” they aren’t. Not really. They laugh when something is too intense (I witnessed this at Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet up in San Francisco a few year back). And they laugh when the hear the n-word because they don’t know what else to do. We shouldn’t use their laughter to judge the quality of something. Trust me.

Begin:

“War is always sorrowful
And this war the most sorrowful of all.
Never before has so much blood been drained
Ulysses says it never will again
This is the last time.”

End:

“And this is not the last time.
What has occurred must ever recur.
This will not be the last time.
This will not be the last time.”

We go to see Appomattox tonight. I’ve skimmed a few reviews, but not really taken them in. I did see a short bit of Scheinin’s on my news feed and it appears he couldn’t stand it. (But I’ll read the entire review only after I see the opera myself.) Hmmm. He didn’t like the last Silicon Valley Symphony concert either. Maybe this is just a bad time of year for him?

Okay … I’m sort of kidding. But I do wonder. Do we hear differently if we are in a bad mood? If our lives are falling apart, would we take things in in a more negative way? (No, I’m not saying this is the case with Mr. Scheinin—I’ve not had a word with him—I’m speaking generally.) I’m wondering how reviewers deal with the outside world, with real life, with even, say, an upset stomach or bad cold. Are they, as they are professionals, able to push real issues aside for the performance, just as we push our “issues” aside when we perform? I’m guessing so.

10. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements

Please, if you become a member here, leave me your name. Otherwise I assume you are a “spambot” and I remove you from the list.

Thanks! :-)

10. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements

(I am putting this at the top of the page at least once a week, in order to reach more double reed instructors. If you know of anyone who should be added, let them know about this service, please!)

I recently received a request to teach an oboist. Trouble was, the girl lived in Washington! So of course I have decided to begin a new project.

If you are a double reed instructor (yes, I’ll list bassoon instructors as well as oboe—be sure to specify!) please feel free to email me and I’ll start moving on this new project. I don’t know I want to give out addresses (a general location is a good idea) and if you honestly don’t care about making your street address available to the world I will go ahead and list it; it’s your risk, not mine! :-) If you don’t mind a phone number being listed I’ll provide that as well, and if you have any other information I might be able to include that too. (I give out my cell phone number at this site, as it doesn’t enable someone to get my actually street address.)

So send those emails, please! I’d like to provide this service asap.

Email me at pattyoboe [at] me [dot] com.

10. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Concert Announcements

Peter Cooper will be playing Barber this time. Yet another concert I wish I could attend. The Boulder Chamber Orchestra concerts are on November 16 (Boulder, CO) and 18 (Broomfield, CO), and will include Dances for Oboe and Strings by Bill Douglas.

Have a concert featuring oboe that you’d like me to announce? Just email me at pattyoboe [at] me [dot] com.

(Oh, and yes, it’s about 3:15 in the morning now.)