13. April 2005 · Comments Off on SFCV · Categories: imported, Ramble

(Still at the computer; not at the club OR making reeds. Sigh.)

San Francisco Classical Voice has the Opera San Jose Flying Dutchman review up now. The reviewer has nothing good to say about us, so it seems. I had wondered if some would be annoyed that there were visual things going on during the overture. The SFCV writer certainly was. She writes:

“Stop! Before we go on, would someone please explain why you felt compelled to double the music with pictures? Do you not trust the audience to listen? Does orchestral music now require subtitles too?”

Well, I go back and forth on how I feel about the pictures. My initial reaction was similar to the reviewer’s. Oh, and in case you don’t know, operas use supertitles not subtitles. (“sup”=above, “sub”=below) Minor error, I know, but it’s always fun to review a review (although it means that I might get panned by the reviewer should she see this post). I think if I were bothered by the visual I’d just shut my eyes, rather than seethe through the entire overture. It’s a beautiful work — why let anger interfere?

Anyway, the review is a negative one. But it seems mostly angry about the staging and the projections displayed, and spends only a little time on the singers and no time at all (which is actually typical of an opera review) on the orchestra.

Somewhat off topic (but still about reviews) …
In another review at SFCV, for a Napa Valley Symphony concert, the writer tells us “While this was Miss Sieden?s second appearance in three days, she still sight-read from her score”. Hmmm. Does he not understand what we call sight-reading? I can’t imagine that a reviewer wouldn’t know that sight-reading is what we do when we are looking at something for the first time. The soloist was using her music for the performances (something I think is just fine, thank you very much) but I’m willing to bet a whole lotta bucks that she had practiced the music and wasn’t getting her first look-see at it at her “second appearance”. I would bet, in fact, that she wasn’t even sight-reading at her first rehearsal! We do like to come prepared to rehearsals … especially as soloists! I wonder if Mr. Keolker (the reviewer) is a musician. And now I’m going to be asking all my friends if they know what “sight-reading” means!

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