I’m home from opera.

I must say I really love the music in Eugene Onegin. The plot? Well, Mr. O. is one selfish guy who whines at the end. Kind of like “She doesn’t love me. I’m bored. Life is no fun. Rats.” Well, sort of like that. I feel no sympathy. Nor should I. But I guess his pathetic life makes for lovely music.

And of course after the long opera I’m mighty tired. But of course I’m also a bit wired. So there you go.

I felt good about tonight. I probably shouldn’t even ask other musicians about their opinions; I don’t want to hear anything negative. I just wanna sit here and enjoy thinking I played well. So there you go (#2).

Now it’s, “Do I dare eat anything at all or will that keep me up all night?” And the answer is going to be, “Eat, doggone it. The opera was three hours long and you deserve something.” So there you go (#3).

If I’m still awake at 2:00 AM I’ll blog about it here so you know. I’m extremely nice that way.

And here I go … time to grab that tasty bowl of cereal.

Two Eugene Onegin reviews:

San Mateo Daily Journal
Metro

11. September 2008 · Comments Off on Um … In Front Of Everyone? · Categories: Links, Ramble

On the orchestra platform, a young percussionist in a Mask of Zorro T-shirt adjusts his cymbals. An oboist sits bolt straight in her chair brushing her teeth. A bass-violinist warms up by plucking the opening notes of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Down on the Corner.” Another musician slumps into a bleacher seat and cracks his biology textbook to Chapter Five.

So … where does she spit? ;-) I do brush my teeth before I play if I’ve eaten and didn’t come from home, but I don’t do it in front of everyone. Seems a tad messy to me.

The article begins:

In Waite Park, Minn. — a quarry town on the outskirts of St. Cloud with a population just shy of 7,000 — something extraordinary is happening this week. More than 3,000 people have tickets for that sold-out something. One million dollars has been spent to make it happen. Its architect is Merce Cunningham, the 89-year-old man — wheelchair-bound and with a wild nest of white hair — who sat yesterday at dusk at the bottom of a Waite Park granite quarry, 150 feet below the Earth’s surface, watching and waiting.

Yes. Dance. Music. In a quarry.

I’ve done one concert in my life in a quarry. By the time I left I was covered in dust. The white dust didn’t look very good on my all black clothing. I felt as if I had been breathing it too. At that point I vowed I’d never again play in a quarry, and I haven’t. But maybe the one in Minnesota gets a good cleaning before the performers arrive. (But is it possible to clean a quarry? I have my doubts!)

You can read the whole article here.

A performer with the famed American Alvin Ailey dance troupe on Tuesday said he was twice forced to perform steps for Israeli airport security officers to prove his identity before he was permitted to enter the country.

I’ve been told that at least one oboe player has had to play oboe for airport security. (Of course I can’t verify it; I wasn’t there.) If this ever happens to me I just pray for a good reed! (And perhaps I should tell them they have to pay to hear me play!)

But really … he had to dance?! Pretty amazing!

I read it here.

11. September 2008 · Comments Off on Hilary Hahn · Categories: Links, Other People's Words

People often talk about classical music losing relevance amidst today’s chaotic and technology driven world. What are your thoughts about the state of classical music today and where it’s going?

Hilary Hahn: I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. What I see is people finding a new freedom in their exploration of all genres of music. Through the Internet and technology, anyone can now seek out any artist, composer or undefined niche of music they find interesting. All on their own, without even having to stand up or go anywhere.

Read here.

(And I just really like the word “hooey”! :-)

But can they make me want to come back? I am, surely, exactly the sort of person they are trying to tempt. I spend much of my time listening to music and attending gigs. I will happily spend vast sums on festivals. Yet classical music has always seemed a cold and distant land, set far away across a sea of elitism. I have had little desire to visit it and I have always bridled at the notion that classical is considered a higher art form than rock’n’roll. Sod your arias, I thought, I’ll stick with Little Richard singing: “A-wop-bop-a-loo-wop-a-wop-bam-boom!”

Then the writer goes to the opera to see if they can prove her wrong. Can someone with that attitude enjoy it? I wonder. She had decided opera goers were snobs. I know when I’ve decided something I can find anything and everything to prove my point. I think anyone can do that.

In any case, it’s a silly little read (to me … but then I’m a cold and distant elitist who doesn’t really enjoy Little Richard all that much.

(For a response other than mine go here. … and yes, I did notice she didn’t know her Rossini Figaro from her Mozart Figaro. But I figure that’s an easy mistake to have if you haven’t a clue about opera.)

In Other News — but opera related — we have our third performance of Eugene Onegin tonight. So if you want to see if you still hate opera, you could always put on your evening gown (or nearly anything else) and come. If you do, do come down to the pit and wave. :-)

11. September 2008 · Comments Off on Bryn Terfel · Categories: Links, Opera, Other People's Words

In the movie of your life, who plays you?

It would have to be a Vinnie Jones who’s put on weight, or Gérard Depardieu. I’m mistaken for Depardieu in Paris, and for Meatloaf in New York.

Funny. (Short interview.)

But retiring soon? That’s not funny. :-(

Update
I guess he’s not really retiring … not completely, anyway.