03. December 2008 · Comments Off on Fourth Day Of Advent · Categories: Christmas, Videos, Watch

Adam Lay Ybounden

The curtain fell Monday on one of the South Bay’s longest-running cultural institutions, as American Musical Theatre of San Jose announced it was ceasing operations and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

AMT officials say the decision was not prompted by the ongoing economic meltdown that affected many arts groups nationwide but, rather, by the collapse of the touring production of Disney’s “Tarzan” that the AMT was mounting with theaters in Atlanta and Dallas. Still, the company was running a deficit of more than $2 million, according to its latest tax statement, and had received a $1 million bailout from the city in 2006.

I read it here.

I worked for AMT probably once every two years. I was first call for any oboe/English horn books. (I don’t double on the other winds.) I loved it. In some ways it was like vacation for me, as so many of the shows were non-stressful. I loved playing musical theatre. In the 70’s I worked in the box office there (as it’s formerly named “San Jose Civic Light Opera”).

I will miss this. A lot.

03. December 2008 · Comments Off on La Bohème · Categories: Opera, Ramble, Videos, Watch

Dan and I really enjoyed La Bohème last night. At the end I didn’t cry, though. I’ve never actually seen the opera from the audience, so maybe it would never cause tears. I dunno. I was nearly brought to tears prior to the end; after Schaunard leaves the room, the orchestra plays this beautiful music before Mimì asks if they are alone (“Sono andati?”). In this production she gets up during that music, stands, and reaches for Rodolfo. It’s the barely standing, looking weak as can be, and then reaching out that did it. I’d never seen a production where Mimì forces herself to stand if only for a moment. But even when she doesn’t, that music before, leading to Rodolfo running to her … well … it gets me every time.

Here, enjoy various versions:

Mirella Freni as Mimì, Luciano Pavarotti as Rodolfo

Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì and Roberto Alagna as Rodolfo

Ilona Tokody as Mimì and Péter Kelen as Rodolfo

There are more online … but I’m sure that’s enough. For now.