30. April 2005 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.

-Arthur Conan Doyle


28. April 2005 · Comments Off on Ah! Opera! · Categories: imported, News

In opera, embarrassment comes with the territory. Sooner or later, if you’re a fine and dignified singer, you will find yourself trapped onstage in a situation or a costume so stupid that the voice of God couldn’t save the scene. For René Pape, who has the body and bearing of a Hussar and who is probably the world’s best basso, the moment came in Act IV of the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of “Faust,” the scene in which the illegitimately pregnant Marguerite enters a church to repent and finds a taunting Mephistopheles.

That would be Pape, cloaked at first in a monk’s hood and cassock, which he sheds to reveal a hilariously muscled nude suit, armored in plastic pectorals and sporting gauzy wings, a prodigious codpiece and a 4-foot-long rat’s tail. He looked less like Satan than like a third-tier superhero’s nemesis. On the other hand, he was singing with Apollonian poise.

To read more go here.

28. April 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

Oboe is turning out to be a piece of cake.

-Eric Dannewitz (Found at a jazz sax message board. Go figure.)

27. April 2005 · Comments Off on Two Down · Categories: imported, Ramble

We had a double rehearsal day today for Symphony. I’m now totally exhausted. I didn’t play as well as I’d hoped. I need to spend more time with this music tomorrow before tomorrow night’s rehearsal. But I have to be careful, too, because I don’t want to tire my mouth (or reeds) out.

I know it’s good for me to sit principal when I’m able, but in some ways I wish I had chosen to “coast” for this one. In many ways, really. But I keep telling myself this is a growth experience. It’s a challenge that I need to take on when I am offered the position. It’s good for me to learn the principal repertoire after playing English horn for so many years. And on and on … I’m trying to convince myself that I made the right decision. Can you tell? But no matter what, I’ll be done in a few days. Two more rehearsals and two concerts to go!

No near blacking out experiences today. That’s good news!

No one really needed to know all this. Hmmm. I guess I’ll post it even so.

26. April 2005 · Comments Off on I’ve Now Seen Flying Dutchman! · Categories: imported, Ramble

Unfortunately I didn’t hear anything.

But go here to see some very nice pictures of the opera I just finished playing.

(Wouldn’t it be grand if management thought that the orchestra would be more connected to the productions if we had monitors for both sight & sound? Yes. It would.)

26. April 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

I played cards with [Richard] Strauss every day for ten years, and he was a pig!

-Hans Knappertsbusch, conductor (1888-1965)

25. April 2005 · Comments Off on It’s the Coffee, Stupid · Categories: imported, Ramble

So I had my Monday coffee at Santa Cruz’s Coffeetopia. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but Monday morning has become my bit ‘o down time after the drive over the hill and prior to heading up the (much smaller) hill to teach at UCSC. Today I added a toasted bagel and cream cheese to the mix since I didn’t allow myself time for breakfast at home.

After a nice relaxing time at the coffee shop I arrived on campus an hour early, so I could get a bit of practice in. Guess what?! I had the same near blackout experience that I had yesterday.

Light bulb moment: this old lady can’t handle caffeine all that well anymore.

So I have come to the (duh!) conclusion that it’s decaf for me from here on out. I can’t handle this blacking out thing. It’s not very fun. I used to drink coffee even at all hours of the night, and I’d still sleep soundly. Not so any more. But I didn’t realize that my not having coffee much any more would cause this sort of reaction when I did decide to have a cuppa joe.

Oh well. It’s not like I’m giving up chocolate!

25. April 2005 · Comments Off on And I think I was stressed? · Categories: imported, News

“It was a lot of things together, the emotion, the stress,” she said, adding that the crowd’s booing made things worse.

I’m so glad I’m not the woman in this article.

This is how it goes: the minute I have a bad story … I can find someone who has a worse one! Life is like that!

Of course oboists, NOT singers, are still the Center of the Universe. 😉

25. April 2005 · Comments Off on Perplexed Music · Categories: Announcements, imported

EXPERIENCE, like a pale musician, holds
A dulcimer of patience in his hand,
Whence harmonies, we cannot understand,
Of God; will in his worlds, the strain unfolds
In sad-perplexed minors: deathly colds
Fall on us while we hear, and countermand
Our sanguine heart back from the fancyland
With nightingales in visionary wolds.
We murmur ‘ Where is any certain tune
Or measured music in such notes as these ? ‘
But angels, leaning from the golden seat,
Are not so minded their fine ear hath won
The issue of completed cadences,
And, smiling down the stars, they whisper–


25. April 2005 · Comments Off on Concerned … · Categories: imported, Ramble

about my “blacking out experience”? Please don’t be! I’m healthy. Honest and true. I’m just healthy AND stupid sometimes! I forget to eat. Or I don’t eat well.

Yeah … I really do forget to eat. It’s not something I care much about sometimes. I have other things that call out to me. The computer. My vacuum. Laundry. The Giants. Practicing. Reeds.

So anyhoo, not to worry. I just neglected the eating well thing. My physical health is okey-dokey.

Mental health is another story. But now that you know I’m “Patty the Knife” you might be wise to not bring that issue up!