08. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I’m home from Elixir. The audience seemed quite receptive … lots of standing folks at the end. OSJ crowds don’t always stand, so this is a good sign. I thought it went very well. Una furtiva was great — both the tenor and our incredible bassoonist sounded wonderful.

So many operas are oboeific™ (meaning lots of solos), but this one isn’t such a big deal. Of course now that I’ve written I’ll probably find it difficult. That happens with me, wouldn’t ya know?

I think ticket sales are low, which is worrisome. I hope things pick up soon; opera is my first love and I would be extremely unhappy if something horrible happened to my favorite job. Miss Dalis is a wise businesswoman, though, so I am hopeful that things will be okay. Just difficult for now.

08. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera

I’m nearly off to opening night of Elixir. Meanwhile, I’m pondering a Klingon opera:

The Klingon opera Mr. Schönfeld is developing is called “ ’u’.” The apostrophes before and after the “u” are part of the title and are pronounced by Mr. Schönfeld like short coughs. The title, he said, stands for universe or universal.

Do they use Klingon instruments, I wonder?

I read about it here (Note: Link no longer working.). Of course I heard of Klingon opera during my Star Trek years, but since then I hadn’t really thought about it. Bad me, I guess.

08. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Opera, Ramble

We are home from the Met’s production of Dr. Atomic (along with a very filling lunch after). I enjoyed it quite a lot. I know it was panned by many. I thought it was very good. But what do I know? I’m just an oboe player! The cast included some of those we saw in San Francisco (Richard Paul Fink, Gerald Finley (!!), Thomas Glenn, and Eric Owens) … all of whom were just excellent. (I will confess I had to look them up to see if they were the same.) Additions were Sasha Cooke, Earle Patriarco, Roger Honeywell and Meredith Arwady.

I still prefer to be at a live performance, so I can decide what I want to look at, rather than being “told” what I have to look at, but I doubt I’ll ever get to a Met performance so this will do just fine!

We sat next to two women who attend San Francisco Opera, and have also been to the Met, Chicago (Lyric Opera, maybe?), and operas in Europe. They know Opera San José’s principal flutist as well. I got the distinct impression OSJ wasn’t good enough for them. Too bad. While we might not be at the level of SF or NY, I think we have something very special to offer. (One did comment on how she loves Merola.) Ah well. I try not to let my ego get too damaged.

08. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Man with the bassoon, nothing on his music
Acted like a mute, never said a word
Just as I thought he was going to fall asleep
He picked up his bassoon and gave us all…. the……. bird

Here are all the lyrics, in case you are interested (and even if you’re not):

SEASIDE BAND
Arthur Askey

Once, at the seaside, feeling very restless
I ran down tuppence and I rolled on the pier
Hadn’t gone far when the strains of music
Floated on the breeze and landed in my ear
I quickened up me steps for I love nice noises
Very soon arrived right opposite the band
Saw the conductor on a lemonade box
With his little baton stuck up in his right hand

One two three four, off went the cornet
Five six seven eight, the fiddles followed too
A man in the corner playing on the piccolo
Keeping time with the sole of his boot
Right behind him was a fellow with the trombone
Blowing like the devil with his cheeks out wide
Working so hard that both his little eyeballs
Left their sockets and stood outside

Hanging on a rostrum, a drummer, very lonely
Drums all round like bees in a swarm
Looking very cold with his nose quite scarlet
Banging on the cymbals to keep himself warm
Opposite to him was the man with the toupee
Spitting down a reed – what a nasty man!
Sitting next to him was a fellow with a French horn
Full of soul and bitter beer, tuppence on the can

Fellow with a cello, boom boom boom boom
Trying very hard to saw it in two
His pal with the double bass, cuddling it fondly
Looking like a camel with a dose of the flu
Man with a piccolo, fed up with the dancing
Sick and tired of hearing the same old toot
Thought he’d like a change so he put it down beside him
And then started messing with a full size flute

Man with the bassoon, nothing on his music
Acted like a mute, never said a word
Just as I thought he was going to fall asleep
He picked up his bassoon and gave us all the bird
Then a little man with walrus whiskers
How he got his breath, well I don’t know
Found he got his fungus stuffed up the mouthpiece
And wondered why he couldn’t play his little oboe

Man with the trombone lost his temper
Thought they could not hear him and said, ‘Here goes’
Took a long breath and threw all of his false teeth
Right on the bridge of the conductor’s nose
Then the conductor, getting very angry
Raised his other hand, with a rum-tum-tum
Caused such a draught that the man with the harp
Went clean through the air and fell through the drum

Bang bang bang went the man with the cymbals
Toodle-oodle-oo went the flute so gay
Fiddles and violas screaming like the wind
And the cornet broke his promise, trying to reach top A
What a pandemonium everybody different
Each with the other one, trying to compete
Strange to relate it must’ve been a fluke
But they all finished dead on the same down-beat

Oh, Rule Britannia, they kept the party clean
And I felt sorry when they played
God Save Our Queen

Edo de Waart, who has been chief conductor at the opera since last year, cited family and health reasons.

“My decision to leave, although difficult, was made because I wish to spend more time with my family, and summers afford that opportunity,” de Waart said in a statement released by the opera Friday.

De Waart, 67, lives in Middleton, Wis., with his wife and two young children.

“I have also found the Santa Fe altitude a more difficult adjustment, and that too was a factor,” he said.

I found it here.