13. February 2019 · Comments Off on OSJ 2019-2020 · Categories: Opera

Opera San José has announced next year’s season. Here are the operas and conductors:

Die Fledermaus, conducted by Michael Morgan (They say it’s his debut with us, but that’s incorrect: he did Barber of Seville. I think that was the November 2006 production.)

Hansel & Gretel, conducted by Joseph Marcheso

Il Trovatore, conducted by Joseph Marcheso

The Magic Flute, conducted by Donato Cabrera

10. February 2018 · Comments Off on Opening Tonight · Categories: Opera

The Flying Dutchman is a Wagner opera we can actually do here in Opera San José: many are just too large, too long, and won’t work for the younger singers we frequently have on stage. So Flying Dutchman it is! There are a number of oboe solos, and a LOT of playing for the principal oboe. My mouth is pretty weary by the end!

We open tonight at 8:00 at the California Theater.

07. February 2018 · Comments Off on Opera San José’s 2018-19 Season · Categories: Opera

The announcement is up at Broadway World, so I can now feel comfortable getting this information on this site (I’m not one to put information out until it’s been made public.)

Opera San José today announced the company’s 2018-19 season opening September 15, 2018 with Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, directed by Michael Shell, followed in November by Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, directed by Shawna Lucey. The company will then begin 2019 with Heggie and Scheer’s Moby-Dick on February 9, and concludes the season in April with Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, directed by Brad Dalton.

I’m a wee bit confused by the Pagliacci run: usually that’s paired with Cavalleria Rusticana (and is referred to as “CavPag”, although we once did it with La Voix Humaine and what a depressing run THAT was! Great music, but oh did we feel beat up emotionally.)

I see no mention of who is conducting what yet.

Someone pointed out today that I haven’t really written about Alma Deutscher and her opera Cinderella.

Let me start with this confession: when I heard we were doing an opera by a twelve year old prodigy I thought, “How hard can it be? This will probably make my December relaxed and easy. I’ll skip Nutcracker and do this little opera called Cinderella!”

Oh how wrong I was!

But back to one possible reason I’ve not written since we began.

Maybe I’ve not written a lot because I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around these past weeks (or a bit longer, if we include the Symphony Silicon Valley concert). Working with someone who is a mere twelve years old but writes music that hits my heart is difficult to fathom and I honestly don’t know HOW to write about it.

The music is frequently lovely. It is creative. It can make us laugh and it certainly causes me to want to cry (for good reasons, mind you). And then there are moments where what it does harmonically is quite surpising.

In the finale melodies from earlier moemnts come back and fit together. Magically.

And then there is Alma the instrumentalist. She plays violin. She plays piano. And in the finale she plays … wait for it! … organ.

This is an experience I won’t ever forget. It’s quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for this sixty-one year old. After all, it’s doubtful I’ll be playing too much longer. Then again, wouldn’t it be delightful to do this each December?! Or perhaps Alma will enjoy her experience enough with us she’ll write another work and we will premier it. I could live with that!

If you didn’t get to attend the opera you can see and hear it online through March 21, 2018. How about THAT?! Just go here.

Alma is, as I’ve mentioned an ancient twelve now. When she was eight she did this:

Side Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention working with that wonderful Jane Glover has been fabulous! She doesn’t settle for “close enough”. She is clear and let’s us know what she wants. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to play under her excellent direction.

I am home from our final rehearsal for the amazing Alma Deutscher‘s opera Cinderella. There are moments in this work that nearly bring me to tears (and would if I weren’t having to concentrate on work!). Conductor Jane Glover is wonderful to work with. The singers sound fantastic. I have a feeling this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime events (but I’d love for it to return, of course!).

AND … drum roll … this Opera San José production will be broadcast live vie Medici TV on December 22, beginning at 8:00 PM PST.

There are tricky moments in this music, and it keeps me on my toes, to be sure. I so want to be as close to perfect as possible for this young and fantastic composer (she’s twelve, for goodness sake!). Of course I always want to do my best, but this makes that even more of a desire!

If you wish to attend a performance there appear to be just a few tickets left for the added performances. Go here to check that out.

While the version we are doing is in English, this is Cinderella’s aria from a German version that was done a short time ago. (If I understand correctly our version is revised for a larger orchestra than this production used):

10. November 2017 · Comments Off on Tomorrow Night! · Categories: Opera

Opera San José‘s production of La Rondine opens tomorrow night. Have tickets?

11. September 2017 · Comments Off on Currently On My Calendar · Categories: Opera

To get tickets go here and click on the Così “Order Now” link.

18. August 2017 · Comments Off on Jumping In · Categories: Opera

Normally we don’t do this … if someone doesn’t come in on a solo, the solo is just missing. It would be rude, for instance, for me to play the principal oboist’s part without her permission and encouragement. (If she suddenly had a coughing fit or something I suppose she might ask me to play … but that’s never happened and I’m happy about that!) But in this case I read that the conductor yelled for someone to sing the soprano solo in Aida because the soloist was AWOL. A violinist stood and did the job.

And she did it well.

Brava, Jennifer Lindsay. I’m impressed!

09. August 2017 · Comments Off on KQED Segment · Categories: Opera

Very cool to hear this!

Strains of Puccini and Verdi Fill the Halls of Silicon Valley Tech Firms

16. July 2017 · 2 comments · Categories: Opera · Tags:

Dan and I had a great time at our local park, hearing three singers from Opera San José. Bravi tutti to Katharine Gunnink, Mason Gates and Colin Ramsey, and the wonderful pianist Veronika Agranov-Dafoe. Veronika’s daughter Miranda did the page turning … something I’ve vowed NEVER to do after having done it once. It’s too stressful! I’d rather play an oboe solo.

Here are a few photos. I wound up with a pole right in my way, but so it goes ….