Listening to the breathtaking music Howard Shore created [for “Lord of the Rings”] is like seeing the movie time and time again. You just close your eyes, open your ears and the whole film unfolds before you. Howard’s work is incredibly visual, evocative and narrative.

-Paul Broucek, Executive Vice President of Music at New Line Cinema

(Go here to see why I’m putting up quote about this music.)

18. September 2005 · Comments Off on Another · Categories: imported, Ramble

Found another review.

Again, it’s favorable. Nice!

At this point the Detwiler’s should be pretty darn happy. They have received a good number of very positive reviews. Very cool! (I happen to think both of them are absolutely marvelous.)

18. September 2005 · Comments Off on And two more … · Categories: imported, Ramble

I think I’ve located more reviews for this opera than ever before.

Here is one from San Jose State University’s paper, The Spartan Daily. The last paragraph made me smile (and sort of cringe):

If you’re not already an opera fan, then two hours of singing might be much to handle, but the familiar story line is easy to follow. The actors do an excellent job on both their theatrical and vocal performances, but if you’re not a fan of opera than you might not enjoy everything the production has to offer.

Ah well. I’m assuming this is a student writer. (But I’m also assuming someone reads these things and helps edit. Perhaps I assume incorrectly?)

Then there’s Paul Hertelendy’s review which begins with this:

Last Saturday operaficionados had to decide between two opening nights: Either catch yet another go-round of the San Francisco Opera’s “The Italian in Algiers” (borrowed from the Santa Fe Opera), or catch San Jose’s new production of an arresting 20th-century opus. The San Jose company’s budget is not one-tenth of the SFO’s. And its opener offered not one-tenth the troy-weight of jewelry in view, either.

The choice proved to be a no-brainer.

One of the tautest evenings of sheer theater in the 22 seasons of Opera San Jose, surged from Robert Ward’s “The Crucible” (1961), which opened at the magnificently restored California Theater.

Reading that, I made the assumption he went to our opening night performance. But reading the entire article I came across this:

The voices Sept. 11 were loud, perhaps an instance of oversinging as a result of opening-show energy.

Oh. So the “no-brainer” was to go to San Francisco Opera’s performance on opening night and go to ours the next day? I don’t know if that’s what he did, but he reviewed Sunday afternoon’s performance rather than opening night. Am I totally stupid, or did other readers come to the same conclusion as I after reading the first paragraph? (I can be awfully slow, I know!) Go ahead … let me know if you think I’m stupid. I want the truth. I can (sniffle, sniffle) handle the truth.

Still, it was a very positive review. I enjoy those! And don’t think for a minute that I believe all reviewers should go to opening night, either. I just didn’t understand the opening paragraph.

(Hmmm. Perhaps I’m entering the danger zone here, eh? I don’t mean to be reviewing the reviewers. Honest and true!)

18. September 2005 · Comments Off on Yet Another Review · Categories: imported, Ramble

Included in The San Francisco Chronicle review:

Even for a first-time listener, “The Crucible” holds few real surprises. It is cloaked in agreeable, mildly spicy tonal harmonies and lyrical melodies that soar in just the direction you expect them to go.

I’m not sure this is true. I talked to a friend who attended last night’s performance. She didn’t enjoy the singing parts much at all, although she appreciated the orchestra music (she said it reminded her of Wagner). She missed the arias of older, traditional operas.

But she doesn’t care for Sondheim either. 🙂

She also said a lot of audience members left after the first half. That surprised her; she said even if something doesn’t totally appeal to her she’ll stick it out. (Hoorah for her!) So my guess is that the work is “too modern” for some folks. It was, after all, composed in 1961. That’s newer than me, which must mean it’s VERY new.

Me? I like the opera. I like it a lot. I think the staging is wonderful (I saw it at a piano tech). The lighting is great and costumes are just right. I think the majority of the singers do an excellent job. But I’m ready for it to be over. There isn’t one light moment in it and it starts to weigh the body down. (I’ve checked, I weigh more now.)