04. February 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

With all the traffic (lots!) I’ve gotten due to folks searching for the ad with the oboe playing football player and landing here I’ve finally had a visit from Wyoming! Woo hoo Wyoming!

Now Delaware is the only holdout in the United States.

I suppose this means that not only are there no oboists in Delaware, but they don’t even care about Super Bowl commercials.

Ya think?

Delaware must be a sad, sad place. ;-)

04. February 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I don’t know about other musicians, but I have this problem: the first rehearsal is usually the easiest! Even with operas I’ve played before. I’m not sure why, but as I go along, things get more and more difficult. Maybe it’s because I know what I’m in for, but I’ve played a lot of operas and this happens even with something I’ve done in the past. Maybe it’s just because I lose a bit of the first rehearsal energy. Maybe it’s because I’m remembering just how hard some licks are. Or maybe I’m just crazy.

Does anyone else have this problem? Not the crazy part—I know I just have this special “crazy issue” going on—but what about the getting more difficult thing …?)

By the time I get to opening night the opera is often at about its most difficult. Then things gradually get easier again. By the end I am often sailing along rather comfortably. Until right before the last performance, that is. Then the, “This is your last show. I sure hope you don’t blow it but you probably will. Oh you are going to be so embarrassed! Who do you think you are? Why are you even in this business?” voice starts screaming away. Go figure.

Tonight was okay, but I fear my oboe has a slight leak somewhere because it just feels uncomfortable.

Then again, as things get more difficult, I imagine more and more problems with the instrument and reeds.

Is this a great way to go insane or what?

04. February 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Other People's Words

Q: With all the struggling, why do you keep singing?

A: Because I love it. That you sing beautiful music is a wonderful thing. That you tell a story and move an audience – that’s an amazing feeling. But I do it because I love it, and there’s nothing else I would do in my life that would make me feel that way.

Listen, I grew up around Flint, Mich., and this isn’t a knock at the people there, because they’re great people. But a lot of my friends’ parents worked for General Motors, and every day they put this little part on the assembly line as it went past them. There wasn’t any hope that the next day it was ever going to change. And I think that deep down that horrified me. And my parents encouraged me to do other things, like music.

Scott is singing the lead in Rigoletto. You can read the entire inverview here.

04. February 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

Opera star Anna Netrebko is pregnant. She’s due in autumn.

Okay, okay, if this oboe player was allowed children I guess an opera star can have them too. I’ll let this one go.

But the big question is: how soon does an opera singer get back to work? Because Ms. Netrebko is supposed to sing La Traviata in June/July of 2009 (Yikes! I’m typing 2009 … can you believe it?). And I have tickets.

My guess is singers can go back to work as easily as oboe players, right? With our first I was back at rehearsals and performances in only three weeks. Yeah, I think it was too soon, but it was work and it’s not like I had the income to allow me to stay home. In this case we are talking Opera Star, with a capital O and S. An Opera Star probably has enough money to decide just how long to stay away. But of course she would also have the money to hire help. So I’m counting on seeing and hearing the woman. I hope she gets that message.

Always obey the oboe player. It’s a hard and fast rule. ;-)

As an aside — it is very windy here, and so cold my hands are numb. Gotta go get my wrist warmers! (Thanks again, Janet!)

04. February 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Other People's Words, Ramble

The piece was great from the opening, with the only really disagreeable moments being the solo English Horn and Oboe passages (drawn out waaaaay too much, as if the double reeds had scandalous photos of the director and were using them as bargaining chips).

I found the quote here, a new blog to me.

Scrolling down, I also found this:

Last week I got to go to Die Walkure at the Met. The Met kills me. Every inch of the place is gilded or onate. The musicians are paid as much as musicians in top orchestras, but they play a smaller variety of music much more frequently. So they look bored half the time. The clientele couldn’t be older and stuffier, but I guess that’s what comes from having your attraction be opera and having your tickets start in triple digits. Most of them could’ve been friends with Maria Callas growing up…that’s how old they are.

Heh.

04. February 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Quotes

Unfortunately, we have fooled ourselves into thinking that the artist is meant to be a god, and is meant to deliver exactly what you hear in a recording. Many artists are crushed by that. We’re human. And, if I can do my bit to bring a little more humanity onto the classical stage, less perfection and more soul, more joy, well that’s good. When did we lose the joy of playing classical music? It’s almost like we have to suffer. Enough with depression!

-Gabriela Montero

(I was unfamiliar with this name until now.)