02. July 2010 · Comments Off on Wagner, Secretly (?) Tweeted · Categories: Opera, Read Online

No, I’m not saying that Herr Wagner tweeted. I’m saying someone tweeted all of Die Walküre at San Francisco Opera. I can’t say I’m thrilled. I’m very distracted by the screen of a phone. Believe me, they are obvious to many of us. I also doubt very much someone listens as carefully if he or she is trying to use their electronic device to tweet, 140 characters at a time. Not to mention we are asked to turn the darn things off. But some people can’t seem to stay away from their smart phones, even for 4 1/2 hours.

Yes, I was the annoying guy sitting amid a sea of evening wear in a T-shirt and sneakers, holding an iPhone as low as I could and trying to not to get kicked out by the ushers for violating the house “no electronic devices” policy.

You might think that Twitter and opera (not the browser) don’t work together. On the one hand, you’ve got epically long, rich visual and auditory feasts for the senses that require significant education to appreciate. On the other, you’ve got a text-only medium that restricts you to 140 characters, is free to use, and currently reaches more than 30 million people, who use it to broadcast such prosaic items as what they’re wearing, whether its raining or if Ronaldhino has just scored a goal.

Yes, I was the annoying guy sitting amid a sea of evening wear in a T-shirt and sneakers, holding an iPhone as low as I could and trying to not to get kicked out by the ushers for violating the house “no electronic devices” policy.

You might think that Twitter and opera (not the browser) don’t work together. On the one hand, you’ve got epically long, rich visual and auditory feasts for the senses that require significant education to appreciate. On the other, you’ve got a text-only medium that restricts you to 140 characters, is free to use, and currently reaches more than 30 million people, who use it to broadcast such prosaic items as what they’re wearing, whether its raining or if Ronaldhino has just scored a goal.

RTWT

I think what irks me the most, though, is that the darn guy got free tickets to the opera. I love San Francisco Opera. Love love love it. I blog about it. A lot. I sing their praises. I’m never offered anything. I am, I suspect, not even on their radar. How sad does that make me? Very very sad.

And if I did get tickets? I’d not live tweet while I was there … well, unless the requested that I do so and put me in a spot that wouldn’t cause any issues. Say … backstage or in the pit or maybe in my own private box. That would work.

02. July 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

Hit a few successful notes on the oboe this evening. Double reeds are not as easy.

02. July 2010 · Comments Off on Oh Those Silly Cows! · Categories: News, Theatre

I guess cows are fickle. Or maybe they are multi-faceted and not only love opera singers and classical music, but are also into theatre.

They tasked their local Changeling Theatre Company to entertain the animals with quirky renditions of works by the 16th century playwright.

In fact parts of the humorous “The Merry Wives of Windsor play,” about a man’s seduction of two women, led to a significant increase in milk yields.

“We selected scenes from the play we felt to be lyrical and relaxing,” said the artistic director, Rob Forknall. “It started off as a rather a bizarre experiment after I was talking to a farmer about whether Shakespeare would have the same effect on cows as classical music.”

To their surprise, their theory indeed rang true and it was a win-win for all involved.

“Since then we’ve done several rehearsals with the cows,” said Forknall. “It saves us having to book rehearsal space and the farmer’s very pleased to get more milk.”

RTWT

Of course this is good in so many ways. Not only can classical musicians get gigs with the cows, but we could do something like, say, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Mendelssohn incidental music. Or perhaps The Tempest with Sibelius or Sullivan.

Ahhhh … sweet music!

02. July 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Picked up my oboe for the first time since March 1. My face is gonna hurt tomorrow. Oops. Sounds surprisingly okay.

02. July 2010 · Comments Off on Mahler Can Do That! · Categories: Other People's Words

I know Dan can relate to this (“TH is Thomas Hampson):

Q: Is it true that you first discovered Mahler’s music on a car stereo?

TH: Yes. I was young – probably 19 or 20 – I discovered Mahler while listening to a cassette recording of his First Symphony that I had checked out from the local public library in Spokane, WA. It was Seiji Ozawa conducting. I was on the road between Spokane and Idaho, where I was shuttling back and forth to teach at a community college. I listened to all sorts of things in the car, and was driving my little Toyota Celica down the freeway. As the symphony pulled me in I was slowing down more and more to pay attention. I wasn’t inebriated, of course, and there was no bad weather to slow me down, but there I was driving 30 miles an hour on a freeway. At that point I pulled over at a rest stop to avoid causing an accident, and wound up being an hour late. From that point on I started talking to other musicians non-stop about Mahler. I started to listen to his symphonies, and quit listening in the car!

RTWT

02. July 2010 · Comments Off on Hmmm. Okay then. · Categories: Read Online

Sting is front and center at the Hollywood Bowl, belting out the familiar melody of “Roxanne,” The Police’s 1978 ode to a prostitute. All of a sudden, a cello solo fills the air. Within a few elegant notes, the image of a common street hooker is upgraded to that of a high-priced call girl.

So a hooker is upgraded by a cello? Who knew?

I read it here.