If you are in the Bay Area, are you tuned in to KQED? San Francisco Symphony is on. You might enjoy it!

Running commentary … but only for a while …
Bill Bennett sure plays with the oboe nearly straight down. I’m not sure I could play that way.
I wish they’d stick on some players longer.
Ah … “There’s a place for us” with that fabulous oboe countermelody. Gotta love it.
I’m a real sucker for West Side Story, to be honest.
C’mon … show the English horn!
(tiny oops … probably not noticeable to most anyone)
(I always hate yelling out “Mambo”.)
Man, they are a good “band”!

But am I going to be able to stay up for the whole thing? After getting home so late last night I’m just not sure. Sigh.

Ah, MTT is talking to the audience. I didn’t know that he’d be doing that, having not read any reviews of this performance. He’s educating the audience. Interesting. :-)

Well, I’ll listen more … but not more blogging. Dawn Upshaw, one of my faves, is coming on.

Opera rehearsal was “meh” (to quote some kids I know). My reed didn’t exactly misbehave, but it wasn’t the sort I’d want to play a performance on. Lots of silly music, though … it’s a comedy, after all.

Now I teach a student, so I can’t quite relax yet.

The nice thing about having an afternoon rehearsal is that I have my evening free. The bad thing is that I had to cancel two of three students, which I dislike doing, and I have to miss Friday’s opera rehearsal entirely because I can’t really cancel my UCSC students.

Still … an evening entirely off is a good thing! :-)

The author added he deliberately chose themes of sex, obsession and adultery because he believed they suited opera.

This talks about a new opera with the libretto by Ian McEwan.

Here’s another quote, from a different article:

The biggest problem with opera, for me, is the disjunction between the sublime quality of the music and the silliness, often, of the drama. When I was thinking about writing this libretto, I was clear that I wanted psychological realism. I also knew what I didn’t want: no supernatural elements, no fairy tales, no folk tales. No Magic Flute.

and, in the same article, there’s this:

Are maestros known as womanisers?

Not particularly, and there is a lot of dramatic convention in this piece. Especially with Charles humiliating, forgiving and seducing a woman, all in one afternoon! That’s beyond the bounds of realism.

Hmmm. I’m not so sure that’s “beyond the bounds of realism”.

Finally … because of course I like this:

It’s certainly extended my admiration for musicians. I like being around them and I like their expertise. At the first full rehearsal, they just sat down and played everything straight off. Together! I love the chaos of the rehearsal room, piled with cases and paper, discarded coats and scarves.

29. October 2008 · Comments Off on Sort of a Non-Announcement (So Far) · Categories: Announcements, Links

On Monday, the LA Opera is holding a press conference to announce what it says will be “the largest cultural event to come to Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics.” Elsewhere it’s referred to as “a major citywide cultural event,” and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is slated to be on hand for the announcement with representatives from the Opera and fifty Southern California cultural and educational institutions.

So what it is?

I read it here.

Today we begin rehearsals for Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Elixir of Love). I just hope my reeds decide to behave. Dan said that my reeds would be “wonder reeds” … I suggested that meant “I wonder what’s wrong with this one?”

But who knows.

Yesterday they certainly weren’t happy. Which means I’m not happy. No one wants an unhappy oboist.

I could blame weather, I suppose. Or maybe the quality of the cane. Or perhaps it’s that they don’t care for Donizetti. But of course we all know I’m just not a great reed maker. (grumble)

Maybe a nice hot latté will prepare me for the day and give the the energy to go back into the studio and pull out all those pesky reeds. It could happen.

I leave you (for now) with a couple of clips of “Una furtiva lagrima”. So what tempo would you choose?

Juan Diego Florez:

Rolando Villazon:

I’m just home from Idomeneo. I’m too tired to really write. I will only quickly say I was disappointed when it was announce that Alice Coote wouldn’t be singing, but I had not reason to be; I thought Daniela Mack did quite well!

But the opera … totally new to me … sure has some bizarre little bits in it. I’m going to have to listen to it some more.

And now I must rest this weary head. (Along with the rest of the body.)