20. February 2006 · Comments Off on A New Name (to me) In Repair Work · Categories: imported, Recommendations

When I was coaching the chamber groups this past weekend an oboist mentioned a repairman who is very near the SJSU campus. This was news to me, and I’m so happy to be able to provide another local name to all those who are in the area. He comes highly recommended … and happens to be married to a fine clarinetist I’ve worked with too! I feel badly that I didn’t know about him earlier. (And sure could have used him in a few emergencies this past year.) Ah well.

Here’s his information (which you’ll also find on my private student page and repair contage page.


local: (408) 287-6779
552 N17th St.
San Jose, CA 95112
Email is rufusacosta (at) napbirt (dot) org

20. February 2006 · Comments Off on Off To Such A Good Start · Categories: imported, Ramble

Elsewhere on the site, “I drink like an Irish sailor,” the Internet user name of a Greenwich High School student, writes that he is an avid oboe player, but his true vice is hard liquor. He lists Jack Daniels as the person he’d most like to meet.

Things like this make me cringe, having known some musicians with major drinking problems. I’m not surprised, though. I know drinking is a big thing for a lot of high school students. I’m sure it makes the quoted student a much better oboist, too. Oh yes. (Sad article.)

And kids who think myspace is a safe place to tell all are idiots.

That sounds a bit harsh. Sometimes truth is harsh.

20. February 2006 · Comments Off on Sigh · Categories: imported, Ramble

I had posted my little Bohème poem on a board near the musicians’ room at the hall. Someone crossed out the word “hat” and wrote “muff” instead.

First of all, the translation I’ve always read for “cuffietta” is not muff, although I don’t speak Italian so what do I know? But more to the point … who the heck would consider changing a poem written by someone else? I was just ticked off. I know it’s silly, but there you go. I took the poem down; it was no longer the one I wrote. Sigh.

And, really, if I read the libretto correctly, I am correct about the word, although I suspect a literal translation is “bonnet”. (I had originally written “Mimi gets her bonnet back” but then I wrote this during the Luhrmann gig and “hat” was more fitting. I actually prefer “bonnet back” for the alliteration, but “pink hat back” works fine what with the repeated soft “a” and “k” sounds.) The muff is given to Mimi by Musetta in the final act, to warm her cold hands. Mimi gets her hat/bonnet (cuffietta) back, before getting the muff, from Rodolfo, who had kept it when they split up.

But why would someone feel he or she had the right to change a poem anyway? Where does that come from?

I’m sure a singer was the culprit. 😉

20. February 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Ramble

Berger points out that Puccini, despite his popularity, creates discomfort in this hyper-stylized, ironic age, because he deals in direct emotion, avoids ideology and moralism, and often favors characters “of no major consequence,” except insofar as they mirror the audience. Puccini confounds opera directors who have no interest in ordinary people; he almost affronts the cool professionalism of the average young opera singer.

-Alex Ross (from a wonderful New Yorker article)