25. May 2005 · Comments Off on “That” Opera · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m listening to a broadcast of Lorin Maazel’s “1984”. (Online. BBC 3. Isn’t the internet cool? Just go here.) “1984” quickly became a greatly panned opera. The conductor turned composer, it has been said, put a good amount of his own money behind this performance. (Opera San Jose did that once, performing “Ode to Phaedra” because the composer paid for us to do so.)

I can’t say I’m thrilled with what I’m hearing, but I have a difficult time coming in on the middle of an opera. I would have preferred to see it as well, since there is the visual aspect of opera. But so far I would say it mainly sounds … messy. Messy and noisy. I’ve hit on an English horn solo now. Ho-hum.

Oh. Really ugly moment. Bad voice. “Why there’s no you …” in case that tells any of you where I am in the opera. (Am I dissing a great singer? Oh dear. I hope not! It’s probably just the poorly written part, similar to Star Wars poorly written dialogue which makes the actors look abominable. Yes?) “I’m so blue without you. So bluuuuuuuue.” Bad poetry too. “Tell me why, tell me why … there’s no yoouuuu.” Ah. Now we move to the blues. I get it. She’s blue so the trumpets play the blues. Got it.

I’d love to hear what the orchestra members thought of it. It doesn’t sound like anything I’d want to play, but sometimes these things can surprise us and be great fun to play, even while not a thrill to hear. Anyone know any of the orchestra members? Will any ‘fess up?

And the broadcast continues … so far I’m not blown away. And I think I’ll go read a good book instead.

“La la la. La la la. La la la.” (I really got into THOSE lyrics.)

Oooh. Messy wind playing. I wonder if the parts are near impossible.

Okay. Applause. Must be the end of Act I.

Definitely time to take a break!

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