05. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links

… all unclothed. I’m gonna bet there isn’t an oboe player in the bunch. They are probably too busy with reeds. Besides, it’s kind of difficult to hide much with an oboe. But you can check out the calendar here, with even more pictures via Intermezzo. (Warning: I suppose some might be offended by the pictures. Don’t blame me!) I found the pictures somewhat unartistic. But what do I know?

What people do for money, eh?

You won’t catch me in a calendar like this. Even if they promised to do touch ups. Sorry. Not quite my “style”. (But is anyone over 50 in the calendar?)

05. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: English horn, Links

I just learned that Pedro Diáz, English hornist of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, has a website. With sound clips from Met performances. How ’bout that?

Jane Fonda, 70, will return to Broadway for the first time in 46 years in Tectonic Theatre Project’s production of Moises Kaufman’s “33 Variations.” The production, to be directed by Kaufman, also represents his Broadway debut as a playwright.

Fonda first appeared on the Broadway stage in the 1960 play “There Was a Little Girl,” for which she earned a Tony nomination. She also played Broadway in a 1963 revival of “Strange Interlude.”

Kaufman’s play, which tells the story of musicologist Katherine Brandt (Fonda) and her quest to discover why Ludwig von Beethoven became obsessed with a trivial waltz, was presented — without Fonda — at La Jolla Playhouse in April.

Read here.

So … dumb me (no surprise, eh?) … what “trivial waltz” was Beethoven obsessed with? I guess I’ll go google that. Or maybe it’s just fiction. Guess I’ll go find out.

[short time lapse]

Okay …

After attending a play one night, the prominent playwright-director Moisés Kaufman visited a Manhattan record store, looking for a CD to add to his extensive classical music collection.

Playwright-director Moisés Kaufman and Zach Grenier (as Beethoven, left) joked during a rehearsal.
The clerk suggested Beethoven’s “Diabelli Variations,” a masterwork Kaufman knew little about. So the clerk explained how Beethoven became obsessed with an insignificant little waltz by the music publisher Anton Diabelli. And after initially refusing to compose a variation, as Diabelli had requested, Beethoven changed his mind and composed what turned out to be one of the greatest sets of variations ever written.

“As soon as he told me the story, I was smitten,” recalls Kaufman, who purchased Alfred Brendel’s highly-regarded recording. “Why did Beethoven write the variations? That’s the question that gnawed at me. I knew I wanted to write a play.”

Okay. Got it.

05. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Opera, Videos, Watch

… no, I’m not referring to my oboe!

Beginning today you can watch The Cunning Little Vixen on medici.tv and it’s free! It’ll be there until December 31, 2008. Pretty darn nice. I’ve heard the opera, but I’ve never heard it.

Right now I’m watching Rolando Villazón talking about his first performance. It’s what automatically came on when I clicked on the link. I’m not sure if that’s what’ll happen when you go there. (I don’t know how the thing works!)

I love his “The dressing rooms of the world are not as big as I thought.” Hah! And he sings the beginning of cuanto e bella from Elixir.

… oh do watch this (I think this is maybe the direct link to a not-so-short video). Now he’s getting ready to go out on stage to sing Una fortuna. And now he’s sung it. (And looks to do an encore of it, although we don’t hear that.)