16. July 2007 · Comments Off on A Concert, Double Reed Days, and Merola · Categories: Merola, Ramble

I just found this information at the IDRS site:

Saturday July 28, 2007
Joseph Robinson will be the featured soloist for Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto at the second annual Quartz Mountain Music Festival, July 26-28, 2007 in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma. The July 28 concert will take place at the Robert M. Kerr Performing Arts Center at 8:00 p.m. In addition to the Strauss, the concert will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5”” and the world-premiere of a new orchestral work by Oklahoma composer Jerry Neil Smith. For more information about the Quartz Mountain Music Festival, visit http://www.quartzmountainmusicfestival.org/.

Wish I could attend!

Oh, if you visit the music festival’s site, and visit the concert page be sure to read that second paragraph. Did you think, as I did, that Piazzolla had written a tango version of Appalachian Spring for a moment? It’s amazing what a comma can do (and what a missing one will do as well). 😉

Other dates that might interest reeders:
I’ve finally put up the Double Reed Days and Master Classes page. I don’t have much there. Yet. But do check it out on occasion.

I’ve been negligent … I’ve not mentioned much about the singers who were in Cenerentola. I’m not going to write an essay, but I do have to say they were wonderful! Strong voices. In tune voices. And some very nice acting as well. Paul La Rosa, as Dandini, was probably my fave, but that role is just too good so he was at an advantage. He has a great voice and just had the timing down perfectly for the comic stuff. Daniela Mack, as Cinderella, was wonderful. Hmmm … but if I mention them I should really mention Sam Handley (Magnifico), who sang so well and was hysterically funny, Daveda Karanas as Tisbe, the slightly nicer and nuttier of the step-sisters, along with her much nastier sister Ani Maldjian (what a wonderful bad girl she is) playing and singing Clorinda (who wouldn’t be nasty with a name like Clorinda?), Alek Shrader … with all those high notes, woo hoo! … as Ramiro, and Matthew Moore as Alidoro. Bravi Tutti! It was such a pleasure to hear them. And see them too!

It’s been three years since that’s happened; as many of you know when Opera San José moved into the California Theatre the orchestra lost all contact with the stage. So this was truly a delight!

I’m still yearning — and sometimes begging — for sound monitors in the pit. And I’m still told, “We can’t afford it.” Sigh. Cost over quality always troubles me.

One question about Cenerentola: Why does Cinderella not wonder about that prince? He falls in love with her. Love at first sight. Love while she is in “rags” (I thought the rags looked awfully un-rag-like), and then falls in love with her look-alike (which is, of course, really Cinderella herself). Does he not seem a bit … well … fickle? Granted, they are one and the same girl. Bug still …?

Side Note: I played Merola many years ago, when the were still doing an opera at Montalvo. I was hired to play principal, and we did Barber of Seville. (It included a favorite Opera San José baritone, Mel Ulrich, in the lead role. **See Side Note #2.) I had mentioned it to some friends, but couldn’t remember just when it was. Thanks to Bob Shomler’s pictures from the production I now know it was back in 1996. It’s fun to see those pictures and remember “back in the day”. If you go to this page you can see pictures of the last Cenerentola they did, with Joyce DiDonato playing Cinderella.

Side Note #2: I just read that Mel Ulrich has retired from singing. This comes as quite the surprise to me; he really was my all time favorite at Opera San José. At the same time, I say “Bravo!” as it sounds like he has very strong reasons that include his family and his priorities. I would love to know what he is up to now.

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