10. May 2010 · 4 comments · Categories: Opera, Videos

It’s true that Dan & I spent the Big Bucks to attend San Francisco Opera’s Ring Cycle, directed by Francesca Zambello next summer. And I really am looking forward to it. But I wish I could go to LA Opera’s Ring Cycle, staged by Achim Freyer, this summer. (Good thing there was no LA opera prize from operaplot. If there had been, I’d be pretty miffed at myself for not winning. Whew!)

How cool would it be to get to both, eh?

Here’s the YouTube video snippet of LA Opera’s Das Rheingold:

So far I am not finding an SF Opera video to put up. I’ll keep looking!

When a reed responds badly, you have to distort your embouchure, and you can fall into bad habits. On the other hand, you can be too fussy about reeds. You don’t find too many tremendous reeds. You could spend all of your lifetime on reeds.

I’ve never had the patience to do much [preparatory] work on the reed. If you have a good reed, you can wet it and play it and you know it’s good. If you have a bad reed, you wet it, you treat it, you baby it, you roast it, you fry it, and it will still be a bad reed. Somebody once told me. .. “Joe we found out if you dip your reed in olive oil and you put it in the oven at 350 degrees for forty minutes, the reed will last forever.” I looked at this guy and he had a straight face. The poor guy meant it. I don’t know, maybe he’s right and I’m wrong – I’ve never roasted my reeds.

-Joe Allard, 1910-1991 (professor of saxophone and clarinet; Juilliard School the New England Conservatory, The Manhattan School of Music)

The first paragraph above can certainly be applied to oboe reeds as well! The second is posted because a friend of mine said she’d heard that someone recommended soaking an oboe reed in olive oil. I had to check that out — it sounded pretty crazy, you know? — so I googled it. And that’s how I landed at the site with the quote above.

So … anyone else heard the “soak your reed in olive oil” thing? I’d probably then want to dip it in balsamic vinegar and chomp on it. 😉

10. May 2010 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Exactly as posted:


This is from a travel agent’s blog.

10. May 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Playing oboe is actually pretty awesome, but perhaps not what I had in mind. 🙂

10. May 2010 · 3 comments · Categories: News

Melissa Matson, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra principal violist, is also an off-stage seamstress. So in preparation for her solo with the RPO this week, Berlioz’ Harold in Italy, she was making two gowns to wear for the occasion.

It was a lovely personal touch — until she stepped on one of her sewing needles Wednesday evening, lodging it deep into her foot. The needle went so deep (about an inch in) that her doctors could not find it and said she would need emergency surgery. But she insisted on waiting until after her performance on Thursday night.

That’s right. Matson performed Thursday night with a needle painfully stuck in her left foot.


10. May 2010 · Comments Off on Can’t Beat This! · Categories: Fun, Videos

Beatboxers and a Choir combine … and here are the results … this was for a Vicks commercial. I love it!

Here’s the making of:

10. May 2010 · Comments Off on Bye Bye Rondine · Categories: Opera, Symphony

This was an opera I was really sorry to say goodbye to. It was not terribly stressful, it was beautiful, and it was new. It’s (almost!) always great fun to do something I’ve never done before. I’ll miss La Rondine.

I’ll also miss my pitpals™. I really love working with the Opera San José orchestra. It just brings me great joy. Of course the woodwinds are the ones I spend the most time with. Isabelle, Mary, Pam, Mark, Janet, Debbie and Carolyn … I’ll miss working in the pit with you!

Next up for Opera San José is the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition, on May 22. No orchestra on that one. I’m considering attending, but we’ll see.

Now I look forward to next season, and Anna Karenina (West Coast Premiere!), Tosca, The Barber of Seville and La bohème. Great music. Great company. Get your season tickets!

Next up for me: Symphony Silicon Valley and a bit ‘o Tchaikovsky.