We had our second rehearsal for Rigoletto today, and it was our first with singers. This is an opera I prefer to rehearse with singers; it makes it so much easier to play! Besides, I just love voices.

My part isn’t killer hard, but it has its moments. There’s one section I should copy out for students, as it has tons of left E-flats and forked Fs, and it moves somewhat quickly. There’s an earlier spot that flies by and has trills to deal with that are just awkward. Verdi does have little surprises. As my neighbor to my left (not sure if you want to be named!) said, it just goes along easily and then all of the sudden … ka-bam! .. you’ve got a surprising little moment of difficulty.

The easiest solos for me are the most exposed of my solos (toward the end of the second act—I found a video of them here although the recording isn’t the best quality … lots of hiss. Oh … and here is another). So far they’ve been fun to play, even while I’m not satisfied with my reeds.

What I can hear of the singers is great. As usual, I hear far too little and this time it’s even more troubling as we have things that we really need to coordinate with them. Someday we’ll have a crash and burn moment and maybe we’ll finally get a couple of monitors in the pit.

I can dream ….

31. January 2008 · Comments Off on Fishy News · Categories: Announcements, Links

Read here:

Star tenor Juan Diego Florez has been forced to cancel all performances in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” because of a throat infection caused by a swallowed fishbone, the company said Thursday.

Chew on that for a while. (But be careful about how and what you swallow.)

31. January 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Anyone, anywhere, at any time can listen to the B minor Mass (BWV 232) upon one condition only – that they possess a machine. No qualification is required of any sort – faith, virtue, education, experience, age. Music is now free for all. If I say the loudspeaker is the principal enemy of music, I don’t mean that I am not grateful to it as a means of education or study, or as an evoker of memories. But it is not part of true musical experience. Regarded as such it is simply a substitute, and dangerous because deluding. Music demands more from a listener than simply the possession of a tape-machine or a transistor radio. It demands some preparation, some effort, a journey to a special place, saving up for a ticket, some homework on the programme perhaps, some clarification of the ears and sharpening of the instincts. It demands as much effort on the listener’s part as the other two corners of the triangle, this holy triangle of composer, performer and listener.

-Benjamin Britten

30. January 2008 · Comments Off on Alex Ross · Categories: Links, Videos, Watch

If you, like me, can’t stay up all that late if you aren’t working, you can catch Alex Ross on the Colbert Report by going here.

I’ll catch it later, as I’m off to Rigoletto.

History is history and music is music. I mean, they’re totally separate. I mean, history’s like 4th period and music is 6th period, and you only have it like three days a week.

-Stephen Colbert

30. January 2008 · Comments Off on Will I Care? · Categories: Links, Ramble

“One of the things I’m doing in Paris is being fitted for the prosthetics for my gradual transformation [into the fly creature]. And there are telepods and smoke and teleportation and videos of exploding baboons. There’s a lot going on,” he said, with a slight laugh.

I dunno. An opera of The Fly just doesn’t appeal to yours truly. It sounds, and I guess it’s suppose to sound, gross. I couldn’t watch the entire movie, and I don’t know if I’d want to see and hear the opera. Guess time’ll tell, eh? Domingo is bringing it to LA, so I suppose he sees and hears something in it. (Or was anything even completed when he took this on?)

Read about it here.

I did think it was funny when I read “One of the things they asked me in the audition is how quickly can I make changes once I’ve learned something,” he added.

Well, okay … so would someone who is auditioning for something respond with, “I don’t make changes quickly. In fact, I hate change.”? Seems to me that’s just a silly question.

But anyway, I promise to keep an open mind. Really. Maybe it’ll be the Best Opera Ever.

Denmark’s most distinguished chamber ensemble seeks an oboist. The ensemble features an exciting, wide-ranging repertoire of both traditional and contemporary chamber music.

(read here)

What would you recommend to a younger, or new classical music listener?

Alex Ross: First, go to a live concert. Recordings capture only a fraction of what makes classical music compelling—the social experience of listening with a crowd in real time, the physical and psychological effect of hearing natural sound reverberate in a room.

I was talking to a young student of mine today. She couldn’t remember going to a concert. She thought perhaps she had “when she was a lot younger”. (She’s young now!) I always love it when a young student talks about “when I was a lot younger.” Makes me smile.

But anyway … please, please, please … if you are studying an orchestral instrument, go to an orchestra concert. K? You just might enjoy it!

29. January 2008 · Comments Off on Dogs Dig Beethoven · Categories: Links

… as well as other composers. Read all about it.

The video headline is “Muzak tames the savage beast” … hmmm … something to howl about?

I can tell you I bark less and snooze more. And I listen to classical music. So it must be true.

Oh. But I’m no dog.


Now of course someone who wanted to argue the “other side” might say, “See? That’s why I find classical music boring! It puts me to sleep too!”


29. January 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

The French horn must be really hard to play, because it sure sounds like it.

-Wayne Bergeron, trumpet player

(found here)

28. January 2008 · Comments Off on Prospective University Students …? · Categories: Ramble

If any of you have applied to UCSC, or are applying to SCU and would like to connect with me, feel free to drop me a line. I’ve noticed some visitors from the university websites, so I thought I’d put a note up here to get your attention!

In case you’re online and want to chat a bit, my screen name is patioboe. (If you don’t want to chat, my name is still patioboe. I’m funny that way.)