14. April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

I learned that one of the chorus members of Opera San José died in an accident today. Suddenly things that felt terribly important, or that took up a lot of my energy, are not so important after all.

Such sad, sad news. And of course it didn’t mean chorus members didn’t have to work tonight. I can’t imagine how they got through. But they did.

14. April 2008 · Comments Off on Pliable Is Nicer · Categories: Ramble

Pliable IS nicer than I, as he posted Stacy’s request from the LA Phil. (He does post it with some negative response though. So there’s that!)

I received the same email back on March 31. I looked at it and thought, “Why should I be publicizing this for them? What’s in it for me?”

Yeah. I’m selfish that way.

Not always, though. I’ve posted other concerts and deals. So I’m not sure what it was about that one that rubbed me the wrong way.

Of course now I’m feeling rather petty. So fine. If you want to try and win free tickets, give this a go:

LA Phil Presents – Philharmonia Orchestra – May 6 & 7, 8:00 PM at Walt Disney Concert Hall

For a chance to win tickets to the Philharmonia concert on May 7, visit:

I get nothing from this. Nada. Zilch. Except if one of you wins maybe you’ll let me know? That would be cool.

14. April 2008 · Comments Off on Branagh’s Flute · Categories: Ramble

I knew Branagh was doing a Magic Flute movie, but I hadn’t seen a trailer. Until now. Here is one. They are singing in English, and I suspect someone really redid the libretto. This is the French trailer. And this one is, according to what I read, the “highlitghts” … heh. Ah, typose! (Yes, that was deliberate. But I do have my fair share of typos.)

Fabulous tempi! I love it.

You can also watch the making of videos:

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3

    … and there are a lot more video available. Too many to list!

  • 14. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

    I don’t know Nabucco at all. But watching this I wonder what it’s all about.

    You gotta see it. Really. I don’t care how busy you are. You may be as busy as a bee. But you have to see it. Honest.

    You’ll bee glad you did.

    14. April 2008 · Comments Off on Driving for $$ · Categories: Ramble

    Jason Heath has an excellent post on the cost of driving to play gigs. Read it. Really.

    My work is primarily 7 to 10 minutes away. I’m thankful for that. My UCSC job is further (around 35 miles, one way), but it’s one day a week, for the most part, and I do love the job. I have, in the past, done work in San Francisco, and would say yes again if I was asked to play a show up there, but those are now so rare I don’t even check to see what is coming in. It’s not just the car expense. When I do them I go a bit nuts; the drive and the very late nights really make me crazy.

    So I love my jobs. I love being close.

    And I really love knowing that if I’ve forgotten anything I don’t have to panic!

    14. April 2008 · Comments Off on Must Have Been Visually Funny · Categories: Ramble

    Gernot Schmalfuss is the most charismatic conductor now working in Taipei. On Thursday, he limped onstage with his foot in a hefty plaster cast — ironic, as his name in German means “narrow foot.” He’d had an accident on his motorcycle, apparently. Musically it didn’t matter an iota, though, and he conducted the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra with humor, zeal and panache that were instantly infectious.

    He was obliged to operate sitting on a high steel-and-plastic office-type chair. It had a spring somewhere inside it, and as a result he rose and fell with increasing dynamism as his enthusiasm for the music mounted. This was rarely less than total, however, so that when the time came for Khachaturian’s ferocious Saber Dance, played as an encore, I more than half expected to see a gleeful Schmalfuss catapulted into the air, conducting the final bars from on high, meters above the orchestra.

    I do wonder why they couldn’t have found a “non-springy” chair.

    (Read here)