15. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera, Videos

I was hoping they’d get something up!

That’s one crazed Elettra, eh?

It’s always good for me to hear these … things I think are “all oboe” are so clearly not. Go figure!

Should I be ashamed that I didn’t know Fromental Halévy until I heard the work below sometime in August?

TWO English horns?! How cool is that? So rare ….

15. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online

A bassoon may have an odd shape, but it’s a double reed woodwind instrument that’s a bear to play.

Okay, then. That sentence makes tons of sense.

15. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera, Other People's Words

(Please excuse the all caps, but that’s how it was posted and I’m too lazy to change it.):

I HAVE SEEN IDOMENEO THREE TIMES, FIRST WITH LUCIANO IN CHICAGO, THEN WITH LUCIANO IN SAN FRANCISCO, BUT THE MOST THRILLING OF THE THREE WAS TUESDAY NIGHT AT OPERA SAN JOSE. CHRISTOPHER BENGOCHEA BOTH SANG AND ACTED THIS DIFFICULT R0LE WITH BEAUTIFUL EXPRESSIVE SOUNDS THAT SHOWED HIM AS A MAJOR TENOR VOICE OF OUR TIME. HE WAS SUPPORTED BY AN OUTSTANDING CAST, REBECCA DAVIS AS ILIA, CHRISTINA MAJOR AS ELETTRA, NOVA SAFO AS ARBACE, AARON BLAKE AS IDAMANTE, AND MATHEW EDWARDSEN AS THE HIGH PRIEST. THE ENTIRE CAST WAS SO SPLENDID THAT THE BEAUTIFUL SETS, COSTUMES, CHORUS AND ORCHESTRA MADE THIS AN EVENING TO REMEMBER FOR OPERA LOVERS. I FLOATED HOME AND THE NEXT DAY BOUGHT TICKETS TO GO AGAIN. FOR THOSE OF US WHO LOVE OPERA, THIS IDOMENEO WAS PURE “OPERA MAGIC!”

Written by Eloise Bouye, here.

Nice! :-)

… but it’s a start, right?

Just a quick note before I have my first (!) meal of the day (yes, it’s nearly 1:00, but I don’t eat early or I get the shakes): the English horn feels like a small toy after playing the bass oboe

Somehow I think playing bass oboe before soloing on the English horn is going to be helpful; I practiced for about 20 minutes on the bass oboe, and then moved to Tango Barroco on English horn. The latter didn’t feel nearly as heavy as it does when I move the other direction, from oboe to English horn. Nice.

15. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: FBQD

Sooo the oboe and the fire alarm ringing outside do not sound good together.

15. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

… and a “what was I thinking?” moment.

I am looking at my calendar. Sometimes I look at it and get very sad, due to lack of work. Not so right now. Here’s what I have on the calendar for the next few months:

  • For the remainder of this week (through Sunday): 9 private students, 3 Idomeneo performances (principal oboe)
  • September 19-25: 13 private students, 5 Idomeneo performances, UCSC begins
  • September 26-October 2: 15 private students, UCSC oboe students, 6 Symphony Silicon Valley services (third oboe/bass oboe), Stanford oboe students (I’m filling in for a dear friend this quarter)
  • October 3-9: 14 private students, UCSC, Stanford, coaching woodwinds at UCSC
  • October 11-17: 17 private students, UCSC, Stanford, 3 services (one full rehearsal, two concerts) soloing with SJ Chamber Orchestra on Tango Barroco (English horn)
  • October 17-24: 15 private students, UCSC, Stanford, 6 Symphony Silicon Valley services (English horn: Stravinsky’s Petrushka)
  • October 24-30: 17 private students, UCSC, Stanford, UCSC Faculty Recital
  • October 31-November 6: 12 private students, UCSC, Stanford, 4 opera rehearsals (Pagliacci/La voix humane)

Do you notice what’s missing? No rehearsals have been scheduled for the faculty recital, and only one has been scheduled for the SJ Chamber Orchestra job! No reed making is scheduled either. Or personal practice time. Obviously those have to be fit in somewhere as well.

I don’t think I’ll even look at the rest of November yet, although I can tell you opera and symphony are both involved. Come December I believe I’ll have Nutcracker. The biggest issue above is making sure I can play all three instruments at the level necessary. It’s one thing to play principal oboe. It’s another to play bass oboe. And then solo English horn?

I’m hearing “What WERE you thinking?!” screaming loudly in my head right now. The only answer I come up with is “I wasn’t.”

But … yeah, have to insert this! … I’m working. I’m back to being busy (“better busy than bored”?!). And I need to remind myself of that, considering my summer of close to no work and very few students showing up. I suppose if it’s a feast or famine thing I should be glad to feast on all this work. I just don’t want to crash and burn.

Whine over ‘n out. I promise. (Especially when I know there are colleagues who have “real” jobs on top of all that I have … how dare I whine, eh?!)

And now I have to go practice! Hmm. Oboe? English horn? Bass oboe? Which to choose, which to choose …?

PS I am hoping for a vacation the minute Nutcracker is finished!

… this one at the blog Not For Fun Only, by blogger “Axel Feldheim”, whom I’ve met on several occasions. We chatted this time, during the first intermission, as you can read:

The San Jose audience was quiet, attentive & appreciative throughout, & they responded with a standing ovation. I attended thanks to the Opera Tattler, & it was a pleasant surprise when we ran across the effervescent Out West Arts during the 1st intermission. We also chatted with Oboeinsight, taking her break without leaving the pit & clearly enjoying this gig. Interestingly, the production is double cast, with Idamante sung by a tenor instead of a mezzo in alternate performances. The cordial Opera San José sells fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the rear lobby, & the smell is irresistible.

(It’s true, I usually take my breaks staying in the pit. I don’t want to be tempted by the food in the green room, and I find that the noise there tires me more than sitting in the pit or chatting with a few audience members. Or maybe I’m just lazy. You choose.)

RTWT

15. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Quotes

Music doesn’t soften the message, it deepens it. Great music, you are somewhat helpless in front of. It is disarming. You have to have your guard sentries stand down while the army invades. You go with it. It moves you. And it touches some idealistic core of your being where even the greatest cynic has not given up hope. That’s why we listen to music.

-Peter Sellars

I read it here.

Guy skateboarding down the street whilst playing an oboe — only in East Van.