31. August 2005 · Comments Off on Today … · Categories: imported, Ramble

is BLOGDAY 2005.

Doesn’t that change your life? It sure does mine. Or not. Anyway, I am supposed to recommend some other blogs. I provide plenty ‘o links to the right on my homepage, and I do hope you visit those sites on occasion. Some are much more interesting than mine. Some write so poetically I want to cry (because, try as I might, I have a difficult time writing poetically!). Some teach me new things nearly daily. Some are funny and some are thoughtful and many are both. And some of these bloggers have become long distance friends.

But that’s not exactly what BlogDay is supposed to be about. I guess I’m really supposed to find blogs that are from a different culture, point of view and attitude and recommend them here. Hmmm. Sorry to disappoint, but I am about to get ready for work, and I’m too lazy to look around at blogs right now.

Oh, and the reason for BlogDay to be on August 31? I guess if you look at 3108 (31st of August) in a certain way, it sort of looks like the word Blog. If you use your imagination. The guy who started it all is here and I’ll bet you a bunch that he’s getting a good number of hits today!

So go visit some of the blogs to the left now. Enjoy!

But do come back here too, okay? 🙂

31. August 2005 · Comments Off on Need Some Repair Work Done? · Categories: imported, Links

I am in the process of setting up a page of oboe repair folks. If any readers would like to add to this list, please, oh please, email me! At this point the list is rather small. (I’ll take corrections too. I’m good that way.)

31. August 2005 · Comments Off on The Crucible · Categories: imported, Ramble

If you are interested in the opera I’m playing, and even if you can’t afford to go to the opera itself, you could get a little “taste ‘o opera” on September 6. Here’s the info:

The Crucible by Robert Ward

Preview/Lecture (Free)
Tue Sep 6 – noon to 1pm, Wendel Education Center (1st floor) at the San José Museum of Art in downtown San José. Lecturer Larry Hancock will speak on the upcoming performance of Robert Ward’s The Crucible presented by Opera San José from September 10 through September 25 at the California Theatre. Principal artists from Opera San José’s production will sing arias. Co-sponsored by the San José Opera Guild, Opera San José, and the San José Museum of Art. Gerry Pighini (408-275-6199) or at this email address.

We had our first orchestra rehearsal yesterday, and will have another this evening. Singers then join us for the remaining rehearsals. Since this is a new opera for me I am especially frustrated about not being able to see or hear the singers. Will Opera San José ever deem us important enough to at least provide us with monitors? Nearly every musical theatre production I’ve done in San Francisco sets us up with monitors. In my little opinion hearing the singers is even more important for opera. Especially an opera such as this one.

Ah well. Opera is still my favorite gig! The Opera San José orchestra is my favorite orchestra. And the California Theatre is my favorite hall. There you go.

30. August 2005 · Comments Off on While I’m At It · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m not the only one who had someone attempt to scam her this week. We all know they happen every day (I don’t even bother to read those ones that say I’m going to be receiving a ton of money from some poor person who is dying). But here’s another scam for those of you selling instruments. The person who sent this one to the IDRS was selling his instrument on eBay. I would like to think that no one would fall for this, but I’ve already heard of one person who lost her money because of the scam. Read it and beware:

I saw your advert on the web and i am interested in your Rigoutat oboe
I am ready to pay $3200
I am based in uk but on a bussiness trip to west africa and i will be responsible for the shiping to my destination.
my mode of payment will be through money order,i will instruct my client in the usa to make out a money order of $5000 to you. which has an excess of $1800 , reason being that it is a refund payment, and the Customer issuing the check has the policy not to issue more than one check to a refund payment,which means that the check is going to carry the whole amount of what i am buying and also the shipping .the excess of $1800 will be for the shipping of the pet and my other goods in the usa.i want you to send the balance which is meant for the shipping to my shipper who i will instruct to contact you after i have received an e mail from you telling me you want to sell to me.
If my offer is okay kindly reply by giving me your full name and address to which payment will be made too and also photos so i can see what i really want to get,my email address is abby_lipss13@yahoo.com

So seller beware!

30. August 2005 · Comments Off on Opera! · Categories: imported, Ramble

I am going to work today. I am going back to opera. Do you know what this means? Do you?!

It means I’m back! When I’m not playing in a group I feel as if a part of me went missing. I can handle a couple of weeks off just fine, but longer than that and I start to feel a bit hollow, as if the “oboist, Patricia Emerson Mitchell” has left he building or something.

I’m not saying teaching isn’t work, but it’s a different sort. I love it. It’s challenging (and sometimes tiring as well). I love seeing my students improve. Heck, I love watching them grow up too! (I’ve had some since they began and while seeing them mature makes me feel old it’s also great fun to see them moving to adulthood.) But teaching is work that doesn’t involve playing and conversing with colleagues, and it doesn’t include performing, and, mostly, just basking in music.

Funny how I’ll moan and groan when I have a lot of performances and I’m working lots of hours, often on difficult music, but I also complain when I’m not working. Go figure.

30. August 2005 · Comments Off on How Stupid Do They Think We Are? · Categories: imported, Ramble

I received this email yesterday:


I will like to make an enquiry about your lesson and the cost per hour. Pls
let me know cos i have a son that will be coming on vacation at your state
and i will like him to enrol for the lesson pls get back to me asap.
Jim Willy.

I was guessing this was a scam. No mention of an oboe. A mention of “your state” but not naming it. And no questions about my qualifications or anything. But I went ahead and replied, asking some specific but simple questions and referring the sender to my website which lists what I charge and other important information.

Here’s the response:

Dear Patricia,
Thanks for the mail,I hope you will be able to give my son the best of knowlegde in the training cos we are far apart from each other, i based in London but he school in Canada but will be coming down to the state for a month vacation in the state so i will like to inform you that pending the time he will be in the state you will be taking him basis on 30 minutes for 3 days a week making 12 days for the month he will be staying for the vacation.Pls i want the best of knowlegde for him cos he is so dear to me and i really want him to be perfect in this lesson……Pls get back to me with the cost for whole 12 days and if there is any expenses that you will like to charge with it let me know so we can proceed on payment discussion cos i want this to be settle before his arrival.
Jim Willy

Uh-huh. Right. Not one answer to my questions.

So I wrote to the IDRS list and received a reply.

This is, indeed a scam. The person then sends a bogus check to me that is too large, and I’m supposed to send back the extra money.

Now I’m a very gullible person at times. FAR too gullible. But does the scammer really think I’d take a check that was too large, cash it, and, without waiting to make sure it was any good, send him some money? If he thinks that, he’s more stupid than I!

So if any of you readers receive this email as well, you might just ignore it. Or, heck, have fun with the guy. If you have enough time on your hands and don’t mind wasting it.

28. August 2005 · Comments Off on I Don’t Get It · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m very fond of Sondheim musicals, as many people know. But Sweeney Todd is coming back, and I’m not thrilled with the new show. From what I understand they aren’t hiring a pit orchestra. Instead, the singing actors on stage will also be playing instruments. Um. Hello? Patti Lupone on tuba? Difficult to imagine that she is good enough to pull this off. Michael Cervaris will be on guitar, and I have an easier time guessing that a person in musical theatre has played guitar in his lifetime. I guess while the beggar woman isn’t begging she’ll be playing clarinet (her bio says she does actually play the instrument, so as long as she’s a AFM union member – and the agreement was that all the stage actors will join the musicians’ union – I guess we can’t argue with that one). But will they play the instruments well enough that we picky players won’t start laughing (or cursing)? Of course what could be worse than the “fake orchestra” the non-equity tour of Cats had here in San Jose. That was unbearable and I couldn’t believe how much I had to pay for such a rotten performance. Or could it get even worse?! I guess I’d have to go to New York to find out.

Here is the entire cast/instrument breakdown:

Alexander Gemignani: Beadle – piano/trumpet
Diana DiMarzio: Beggar Woman – clarinet
Benjamin Magnuson: Anthony – cello
Lauren Molina: Johanna – cello/tin whistle
John Arbo: Jonas Fogg – double bass
Manoel Felciano: Tobias – violin/clarinet/piano
Donna Lynne Champlin: Pirelli – piano/accordian/flute
Mark Jacoby: Judge Turpin – trumpet/percussion/glockenspiel
Patti Lupone: Mrs. Lovett- percussion/glockenspiel/tuba
Michael Cerveris: Sweeney Todd – guitar/percussion

So have they cut the oboe/English horn book, along with bassoon, harp and others … or will there still be a few musicians-who-can’t-act in the pit?

Okay. Maybe they are all incredible instrumentalists and I have nothing to complain about. I suppose that could happen. But I wonder if they just don’t care about the quality of the music? Is this just another way to get people in the door? Is this another gimmick? A money saver? (For it does save a lot of money … hmmm … think they’ll lower ticket prices then?) Or is this “performance art”?

Next time a show comes here, though, I’m going to ask if I can act and sing on stage. (And will Equity let me join as easily as the AFM are allowing these “instrumentalists” to join?) Heck, I’m sure I could do it. It’s easy … like playing the tuba … right?

Full article on Sweeney Todd.


27. August 2005 · Comments Off on While I’m At It · Categories: Announcements, imported

I thought I’d include this tidbit about Maurice Chevalier, which I found on this page at IMDb:

In 1951, the U.S. State Department declared Chevalier “potentially dangerous” to the security of the United States because he had signed a petition against nuclear weapons called the Stockholm Appeal.

I like the guy even more now. (Does that make me “potentially dangerous” too?)

27. August 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

So, here’s what we all already know that refreshed me today: music is a gift, and no matter how “good” you are, you can use your playing to deal with life in a way you cannot do with anything else.

-Maryn Leister (Of flarp. Precise link here.)

Lovely and so true!

27. August 2005 · Comments Off on More On “Love Me Tonight” · Categories: imported, Ramble


I decided to make it lyrical, thoroughly stylised: a film in which the whole action of actors, as well as the movement of camera and cutting was rhythmic. Then I got Rodgers and Hart to write the music?. We finished the whole score before I began to work on the script. We did the whole thing to a metronome, because we couldn’t carry an orchestra round with us.
-Rouben Mamoulian (director)

I’m a great believer in conversational rhythm. I think in terms of rhythmic dialogue. It’s so easy, you can talk naturally. It’s like peas rolling off a knife. Take the great screen actors and actresses, Bette Davis, Eddie Robinson, Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy. They all talk in rhythm. And rhythm and movement are the life of the screen.
-Lorenz Hart (lyricist)

Princess: Then why do I lie awake in bed? And why does the blood rush to my head?

Doctor: At night?

Princess: Quite right. At night. And why does music make me so sad? And why do love songs drive me mad?

Doctor: At night?

Princess: Quite right.

-from Love Me Tonight

(I found this here.)