A sax is basically an oboe with a single reed mouthpiece and behaves in the same way as an oboe

29. April 2010 · Comments Off on The All Of It · Categories: Opera, Videos

… or at least the “all of it” for me … this is the most I’ll see of Opera San José’s La Rondine. It’s great fun to get a glimpse of the opera. I see absolutely nothing from my seat in the pit. (Well, I see the orchestra, the conductor and the audience … there is that!)

29. April 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Hearing

Musicians have hearing problems caused by prolonged exposure to sound. This also applies to performers of classical music, who are exposed to high sound levels. Hearing problems also affect the musicians’ experience of their working environment. Stress and experiencing the working environment as noisy are associated with hearing problems. Although musicians are worried about their hearing, the use of hearing protectors is rare.

Read more here.

I have special musician’s earplugs. I hate them, but I have them. And I try to wear them when possible. But I’ll never ever like them. Really.

(I got mine from this company, and while I say I hate them, I just mean that it bugs me to have to wear them because I hear my tongue clacking against the reed. I DO appreciate them, and I should have gotten them years ago.)

I am especially concerned with middle and high school students’ ears. I wonder if any band directors out there have seen what a decibel meter reports to them when the band is playing full blast in the bandroom. I own a decibel meter, and I’d happily loan it out to parents, students and directors if they want to borrow it to see what they are subjecting their ears to. I think all middle and high school students should have a musicians’ earplugs.

Hearing loss isn’t repairable.

28. April 2010 · Comments Off on This Is The Kind Of Review I Love! · Categories: Opera, Reviews

A novice to the art form, Cynthia Corral, reviewed La Rondine. How fun to read about her experience!

Opera San Jose recently invited us to attend opening night of Puccini’s La Rondine, and as I have a few friends who are crazy about opera, I decided to give it a go. The result was that I loved La Rondine and cannot wait to attend more shows at Opera San Jose. I also think that everyone would love this show whether you think you would like opera or not. The problem in which I find myself now is that I realize I have no real knowledge of opera, so this review is going to be written from a strictly layperson’s point of view.

But perhaps this is a good thing. Because I went into this show with an open mind and came out a huge fan, and I am a little disappointed to realize I have missed a lot of opera productions over the years. But perhaps I can encourage some readers to give it a try with my novice’s take on the delightful show.

RTWT. Really.

28. April 2010 · Comments Off on Funny … Or Not? · Categories: Videos

Sometimes a band or orchestra director just wants to lose it. And so watching this part of me cheers and part of me thinks that it probably scared the heck out of these kids until the “ah-hah!” moment and I wonder if that’s okay. Hmmm. Sometimes I think I’m too serious. (Who … ME?!)

Please do watch until the end or you won’t get it:

28. April 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

seem to have destroyed my lips playing the Oboe today. lots of pain and i still have more to play!

28. April 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

I’ve always said a good song will survive almost anything, and some of these things were ripped off wholesale from classical music, anyway.


Read here.

I often feel like I can’t come up with a darn thing for the twitter operaplot contest, and yet I keep trying. Go figure! I guess I am competitive after all. Hmmm.

I had totally forgotten what I did last year, so I’m glad that they are up for me to see (and get embarrassed over). Some are so bad I can’t post them here. Some are moderately acceptable, so I’ll admit to them, although they just aren’t clever enough to win anything.

I’m sure you can guess the operas:

@pattyoboe – Smoking hot might win the guys, especially with her fiery eyes. But it’s bound to kill her too, ’tis true. No bull

@pattyoboe – opera haiku: sad sack hides daughter/cad tries to get her in sack/daughter dies in sack

@pattyoboe – They both may die a Shakespearean death, but this time they take their last breath together. Lucky kids.

@pattyoboe – I must marry who mom said/Why can’t you love me instead?/I’ll shoot myself with your husband’s gun/Kiss/Die/Opera done

… the weird thing is that I had forgotten about these and some new ones are awfully close to what I did last year. More embarrassment! Sigh.

So far I’ve submitted seven this year. I’ll post ’em all when the contest has ended (Friday). Or maybe I’ll post ’em all. I might decide they simply aren’t presentable enough. We’ll see!

Being Gidon Kremer

Please don’t try the following with oboes!

A Fistful of Dollars (hope Brandon enjoys this one):

And, finally, Ave Astor Piazzolla:

27. April 2010 · Comments Off on Another Review · Categories: Opera, Reviews

From The Opera Critic. (The review is by Michael J. Vaughn.)