02. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera · Tags: ,

Okay … I said I’d share one that uses a favorite singer of mine. Here she is, singing Idamante. (In our production one cast will feature a tenor singing the role and the other will feature a mezzo.)

Magdalena Kozena sings Idamante´s aria “Non ho colpa” from Idomeneo by W.A. Mozart during Salzburger Festspiele 2006.
Idamante: Magdalena Kozena
Illia: Ekaterina Siurina
Conduct.: Roger Norrington

I just love Kozena’s voice! (I can’t say I love this production, what little I’ve seen, but maybe it would grow on me. Dunno.)

Now back to opera … second sitzprobe at 1:00!

… Don Sanchez pronounces the name differently than I. I haven’t a clue who is correct … but maybe that doesn’t matter?!

01. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera · Tags: ,

While I shared a few “view from the pit” photos, I don’t feel comfortable sharing ones I’ve taken these past two nights from the balcony, since this is a new production. I figure I had better save them until after opening weekend. For now you’ll just have to take my word for it; it looks great! I hope you’ll consider attending. The singers are sounding wonderful, too!

Having now experienced only a part of two piano tech rehearsals I can tell you I’m extremely grateful that I’m in the pit! They amount of time the singers spend on stage working things out is amazing. I could never stand that long in any case, due to my back, but what boredom! It’s a kind of “hurry up and wait” thing, it seems. I left at almost 10:00 PM tonight and they had a long way to go! I’m impressed by their stamina.

Note about the opera: It’s interesting that the overture, the first act and the second act all end quietly. Unusual, really.

Okay … here’s another overture for you, this time conducting by Kent Nagano, and following that is the start of act one. (Sound isn’t quite in sync here.)

And wait, there’s more!

Hmmm. Interesting. That doesn’t look like ancient Greece to me!

Tomorrow I’ll post one of my favorite singers in the role of Idamante. Stay tuned!

01. September 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera · Tags: ,

… and we are on to orchestra rehearsal Number 4! Ciao for now … but here … listen to the overture:

We have now had three of the four orchestra-only rehearsals for Idomeneo. Even without the cast, I’m enjoying it tremendously. Notice I didn’t say “without singers”? That’s because the chorus master, Andrew Whitfield, has been singing during each rehearsal! Can you imagine? He’s covering all the parts, so we have a good idea of what is going on. It’s quite helpful, and I’m very grateful, but I simply can’t even imagine how his voice feels at this point!

San Francisco Classical Voice has a good article on the opera here. You can also visit this site to read about the production.

The majority of the orchestra can’t see anything of the stage, but I snapped a few quick photos before yesterday and today’s rehearsals. In addition I’m planning on attending a piano tech rehearsal so I can see and hear it all. For me — not sure it matters to my colleagues — it really helps to know what’s going on on stage. I just feel more connected to the production then. When we were in the tiny Montgomery we all recognized and even knew the singers. These days many of us haven’t a clue, and I’m guessing most of the singers don’t have a clue who we are or what we play. (But, truth be told, the singers at Montgomery didn’t either sometimes. I remember a tenor saying to me, “And I am sure you are a mother of one of the children!” when we went to a cast party. Truth was, our daughter Kelsey was singing in that production of Magic Flute, but I also was playing principal oboe! He clearly hadn’t a clue I was in the orchestra.) I just love to feel as if we are all one big family. Or something. Call me silly!

I have yet to hear all the singers, of course, but I’m loving this opera. I had listened to it several times (one was on my flight to New York, and it was a great way to spend a flight!) and the choruses are just incredible; when I hear them the word “glorious” comes to mind.

Here are just a couple of photos, although you can see things aren’t completely set yet:

And now a fun game for you … guess who is the oboe player and who plays flute?!

And guess the which photo is from the flute section and which is from the oboe section.

26. August 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Opera · Tags: ,

We begin orchestra rehearsals for Idomeneo this Sunday evening and the singers join us a few days later. My brain hasn’t quite left New York (or PucciniLand™ yet, having done an act of Bohème with operamission) but it’s definitely time to switch gears and make the move to Mozart.

I’d been keeping an eye out for the cast listings; usually Opera San José has those up when they announce the upcoming season, but it appears they were changing things up a bit this year and made us wait. They’ve also updated the look of the site — I like the cleaner look! Finally, though, I see the cast listings (and much more) up. If you go to the actual page you’ll see links to bios. I’m not going to do all that right now, but here’s the scoop:


Conductor: George Cleve
Assistant Conductor: Anthony Quartuccio*
Stage Director: Brad Dalton
Choreographer: Dennis Nahat
Chorus Master: Andrew Whitfield
Set Designer: Steven C. Kemp
Costume Designer: Johann Stegmeir
Lighting Designer: Christopher Ostrom
Wig & Makeup Designer: Jeanna Parham

CAST**
(The first name listed sings 9/10, 9/13, 9/18, 9/22, and the second 9/11, 9/17, 9/23, 9/25)
Ilia: Rebecca Davis/Sandra Bengochea
Elettra: Christina Major/Jasmina Halimic
Idamante: Aaron Blake/Betany Coffland
Idomeneo: Christopher Bengochea/Alexander Boyer
Arbace: Nova Safo
High Priest: Mathew Edwardsen
The Voice: Silas Elash
Opera San José Orchestra, Chorus, Dancers and Supers

*Mr. Quartuccio conducts Sept. 18 and 23 performances.
**Casting subject to change without notice


So off to reeds I should go, but picking myself up off this comfy rocking chair isn’t easy; I don’t feel I’ve come close to adjusting back to this time zone, and my brain … well … I think I left what little brain I had in New York City!