12. January 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Videos

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera, Read Online

LA Opera is offering free Simon Boccanegra dress rehearsal tickets to people who want to go and tweet or do whatever it is they do online … and as tempting as that would be, I would find it terribly distracting to be doing anything with social media if I was really listening to an opera. Posting before, during intermissions, and after would work for me. But when I’m listening I prefer to keep my phone off.

I sound like a grumpy old lady, I know, but I fear we are losing the ability to focus on one thing and focus well. I sure know I am. When I “watch” TV, I have a the MacBook on my lap and I’m working on photos or looking things up. Sometimes a show will pass me by nearly completely before I realize it’s over and I don’t know what happened! Then again, I do justify watching TV by trying to do something a wee bit productive at the same time. Call me silly, but I feel guilty just watching the tube.

I am trying, though, to go back to focussing when I do other things.

When I first started walking I tried listening to music via the iPhone. What I found was that I got lost in the music and neglected to really see anything around me. So never mind listening when I’m walking. I want to see things! When I read a book music is off so I can pay attention to the words. And recently — gasp! — I decided to stop taking food photos because when I go out to dinner I really should just put the darn phone away. (We’ll see how I do on that, but now that I’ve publicly written this I’ll probably be a good girl and keep the phone in the purse). I need to do one thing at a time, for the most part.

Side Note: In music, though, it seems we are doing a ton of things at once … I suppose that’s the epitome of multi-tasking! Counting, listening, reading, fingering notes, watching, expressing, switching gears when something goes awry … the list goes on and on.

But back to LA Opera. Yeah, part of me is annoyed by the “tweet & listen” idea. But I wonder if I’d have applied if I lived closer and was able to get to the event. Hmmm. I’ll bet I’d cave and apply! I’m fickle that way.

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: For Your Listening Enjoyment

At least that’s what I was thinking. I’m sure it’s hard work, but everyone looks as if they are really having a good time! And the soloist does make it look like what she’s doing is pretty darn easy.

Vivaldi: Concerto for falutino in Ca Major
Anna Fusek, Falutino
Collegium 1704
Conducted by Andrea Marcon

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: FBQD

Geeky moment: I completely miss playing the Oboe… and Piano :(

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: NewToMyEars™, Videos

Mateo Flecha (1481-1553)
Nuria Rial, Soprano; Carlos Mena, Countertenor

Update
I found out more about this: the group os Orphenica Lyra, and the concert is “Musique a la cour de Charles V”.

You can hear the entire concert by starting out on this playlist page.

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online

You know … the one that used the symphony? Now you can read more about it!

When Joshua Phillips signed on this season as a French horn player in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he had no idea the job description included taking a snowball to the head.

“I was trying to do what I was told,” he explained.

The instructions were coming not from a sadistic conductor, but from Milwaukee export and funny film director David Zucker of “Airplane!” and “Naked Gun” fame. He agreed to direct a humorous new ad to promote winter tourism in Wisconsin. The spot will begin airing in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois this week.

The 30-second commercial opens with the orchestra peacefully playing “Winter Wonderland” on a stage covered in artificial snow. A caption says, “A winter evening in Wisconsin.” All is well until two stage hands, trying to sprinkle flakes on the performers, accidentally dump a whole box of snow on Ted Soluri, the principal bassoonist in real life but a French horn player in the ad.

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera

The Washington National Opera’s merger with the Kennedy Center is appearing to pay dividends. The company announced on Tuesday that it would present the complete Wagner “Ring” cycle that it had commissioned with the San Francisco Opera but suspended because of money problems. The Washington company, whose merger with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was announced a year ago, ended up presenting the final installment, “Götterdämmerung,” only in a concert performance in 2009 after individual productions of the first three operas in previous seasons. It had halted plans for a presentation of the complete cycle, which San Francisco staged last June.

Now, the Washington National Opera said it would present three cycles in 2016, although company officials added that it must still raise $10 million, a task made easier by having access to the Kennedy Center’s donor list.

I read that here, and have seen it in a multitude of other places online as well.

So tempted ….

… of course giving this blog entry that title now has planted an ear worm in this old noggin’. Anyone else have that happen? Maybe it’s just me, since it’s not a tune that’s heard any more. Hmm. Maybe I should share a YouTube video of it just to help plant a worm in your ear?!

When one works in a symphony, it really does feel like a family. Very much so. There is the good and the bad, of course — we sometimes can drive each other nuts! But when you make music together you feel a connection you might not have in other sorts of jobs.

And then there are the literal families on stage. At one point Dan worked for San Jose Symphony (RIP) as stage manager, and was sometimes hired to play trombone as well, so I know how it is to have a spouse there on stage with me. (When I was librarian and he was stage manager it was rather frustrating at times; we both had to explain to people that they had to go to the appropriate spouse with problems regarding the music or the stage issues rather than telling the other one.) I’m guessing audience members aren’t aware of some of the couples, as most of the women didn’t change their names when they married. (I did — I was young and very traditional when I married. I did reinsert the “Emerson” a few years later, though. Now I wish I’d legally done “Patricia Emerson Mitchell”, but I’m too darn lazy to go through the legal process of changing it.) Let’s see … I’m thinking we currently have four married couples who are members of the orchestra. I might be miscounting — I’m sure a reader or two could correct that if I’m wrong!

This week in Symphony Silicon Valley our principal violist, who is soloing in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, and guest conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein, are doing the “family affair” thing, and are the focus of attention in this Mercury New article.

It begins:

When violist Patricia Whaley and guest conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein walk onstage this weekend at the California Theatre, the sweetness of the moment won’t be evident to everyone in the crowded concert hall: “From the audience’s perspective, some might know we’re a couple, and some might not,” says Klein. “And our concert manners have to be the usual concert manners — we don’t walk out holding hands!”
Married since 1983, Klein and Whaley have been steady forces on the Bay Area’s classical music scene through the decades. Yet almost never do they get to perform together as they will this weekend, co-starring in two performances with Symphony Silicon Valley.

It’s great fun to be doing the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Patti (and Robin Mayforth on violin). It’s a wonderful Mozart work, and Patti & Robin sound super. You should come hear it!

Ticketmaster link.

Okay … listen to this at your own risk! It’s certainly not Mozart but, believe me, it can worm it’s way into your ear and drive you nuts! (I’m guessing my walk today is going to be “blessed” by this one.)

12. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: TQOD

happy after a successful oboe practice, now for flute and clarinet later:-)!