… I’m on jury duty this week.

Fortunately I now have the Superior Court link up. When I open the computer I’ll see that and remember to check my status. I hope. I’m supposed to check again tomorrow morning. I have three students tomorrow, and three students on Tuesday. If I have to cancel them, it’s quite a loss of income. Wednesday I have an opera to attend, and I really don’t want to have to leave for that too late in the day. So I’m just hoping I won’t get called. I know it’s selfish, but there you go.

The two times I’ve made it into a jury box I was rejected anyway. They don’t seem to want me. Wouldn’t ya know? So what if I could just call and say, “You don’t want me so why bother calling me? You don’t like oboe playing music teachers!”

If I were called in the summer I really wouldn’t mind serving. So many students take off in the summer that I probably wouldn’t lose too much income. But now? It’s just not a good time for this.

23. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

So I’m done with Elixir. It really was great fun. Today went well, and I didn’t even hit the wall, as I sometimes do on Sunday afternoons. I will miss my opera pals. Ah, the opera pit! It’s one of my favorite places to be.

After the performance some family members met me at Il Fornaio, which is a very short walk from the hall. We enjoyed a lovely dinner … or at least I did! I hope everyone else did as well. The dinner was to celebrate my 52nd birthday, but really I just love enjoying my fabulous family and eating great food. Because I’m extremely self-centered I had them sing me Happy Birthday. Yeah, I really am THAT bad. Wouldn’t ya know? ;-)

They sang well. With harmony. 8-)

23. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links

Barry Bonds and guns? Sad, if you ask me.

You’d think he’d have gone in for selling something like … I dunno … oboe reeds?

23. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

… from the pattyo (“this one” refers to the pattyo, of course):

I had run my oboe blog through the Typealyzer earlier. Now I ran this one:

ESFP – The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead – they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation – qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

So at my oboe site I get this:

ISFP – The Artists

The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living.

Kinda interesting in a “doesn’t really matter but still…” way.

23. November 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

Bunny Carlson of Clinton Township writes: “During the past several weeks, we have heard radio commercials announcing the new production of ‘Madame Butterfly’ at the Detroit Opera House. They assure us that we will enjoy this ‘heart-rendering’ story, beautifully sung by talented singers. My dictionary defines ‘rendering’ as ‘a performance of a piece of music or drama.’ As for ‘render,’ among the other uses is ‘melt down (fat): The fat was being cut up and rendered for lard.’
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I think the word of choice in the commercial would be ‘heart-rending.’ Do I need a new dictionary, or does the Michigan Opera Theatre and its staff need one?”

Dear Bunny: Right you are: The term the opera company needs is “heart-rending.” “Render” has several meanings, including “provide,” “cause to be” and “represent artistically,” as well as the gross one you mention, having to do with fat. But none of them is particularly appropriate to do to a heart. To “rend” is to wrench or tear. “Heart-rending” is “heart-wrenching” — a perfect description of the sad but musically gorgeous story of “Madame Butterfly.”

I read it here.

23. November 2008 · 7 comments · Categories: BQOD

During intermission, I overheard someone behind me say, “Just think of how much rehearsal they had to go through to do this.”

I have no place to criticize how that person enjoys music, but this is just something that annoys me about classical music audiences: they give points for effort. These are audiences that prefer bad tenors to good tenors because you get to see the bad tenor really try. Is this an expression of love for the underdog? I don’t know, but forgiveness for bad singing is given so freely, based on how long it took to learn to sing badly. It’s the kind of thing that makes me think the audience isn’t really listening, and is just watching to see someone do something.

I read this at a blog I just found today.

23. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Today is the final performance of Opera San José’s Elixir of Love. It has received fabulous reviews and small audiences. This wasn’t a difficult run, for which I’m quite thankful. The difference between this and Eugene Onegin is, for me at least, huge. I never did completely relax on Onegin. I never completely stressed over Elixir. I’m fine with the latter!

Next up is a week of no playing work. I can certainly use the week off, although it’s not really “off” … I have a house to clean, and we will have Thanksgiving dinner here so I need to prepare for that. I’ll also be going to San Francisco Opera’s production of Elixir. I’m looking forward to that, although I wish it could have been on on a different date; we are going the night before Thanksgiving. Ack! No time to relax, it appears.

The following week is a Symphony Silicon Valley set. We’re playing Suppé’s overture to Pique Dame (no comment), Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (no oboes) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 (no sweat … I hope!).

And finally … drum roll … I move into the Center for Performing Arts barn to play Nutcracker. (They have two clips you can listen to at the ballet site. Hmmm. That isn’t us; the tempi are much faster than what we get to play.) Stay tuned for my silly poem and countdown time. ;-)