28. August 2008 · Comments Off on Rehearsal #2 · Categories: Links, Opera, Ramble

… and with singers, too!

It was our first sitzprobe. It was my second cracked oboe reed in two days.

Yeah, really.

Yesterday one of the reeds I had designated as “this just might be good” (TJMBG™) cracked. (Oh, I already wrote about that, didn’t I?) So today … another TJMBG™ did the “gclk” thing on me. Figures.

I’d work on reeds now, but it’s too darn hot. And reed making would probably just be futile.

I want a tiger oboe. I do. I’ll happily say that. Or write it. Whatever.

I have started students as young as eight. The problem, in my little often erroneous, opinion, isn’t the complicated keywork, but the spread of the fingers and the embouchure we have to form. Hands need to be a bit larger than a six year old’s, and muscles a bit more formed. I could be wrong … I’m quite willing to admit that. But in any case, read the following and tell me you don’t want a tiger oboe too!

Did you ever think of playing oboe when you were a child? Probably not; in fact, it’s pretty much impossible for a child to play a standard oboe, with its complicated mechanics and steep lung requirements. My sister is an oboist in Kristiansand symfoniorkester, and on a crusade to recruit new oboists – because orchestras of the world struggle to find them. Marion’s found tiger oboes, oboes specially designed so children as young as six can play them, and she’s just starting up the first ever kids’ oboe class at the Kristiansand kulturskole. Being a performer and story-teller at heart, Marion has decided the black and yellow striped kids’ oboes are clearly relatives of tigers – and so she’s written a story about how the oboe got its stripes, and has even struck a deal with the zoo where the young oboists get to play music for the tigers and visit the zoo regularly.

I read it here.

I did google tiger oboe and came up with the link above, but nothing more. I guess I can’t buy one. 🙁

28. August 2008 · Comments Off on Wainright’s Opera Pulled · Categories: Links, Opera, Ramble

The Met and Wainright sound as if they parted amicably. The reason given for not doing it there is that he wanted it in French and they didn’t. And he wanted to have it presented earlier than they.

You can read about it here.

I will confess I’m skeptical about the opera, but willing to give it a go. I should probably be a Wainright fan, but I’m not; there’s something about his voice that just makes me think “whiney”. Of course how he sings has nothing to do how a pop singer writes an opera.

And yes, you’d think I’d like whiney, since I play oboe and I whine. Go figure.

Gelb is quoted, “Presenting a new opera that is not in English at the Met, when it could be in English, is an immediate impediment to its potential success with audiences.”

Honestly? I really wonder about that one. Opera folk are quite used to other languages, and with supertitles these days, it’s not really any big deal. Is it?

28. August 2008 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

Blessed be the oboist who tunes a little low out of sympathy with the other wind players.

Hmmm. How about just giving an in tune A? Seems reasonable to me. 😉

28. August 2008 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

This opera is my favourite opera. I’m being totally serious. I love this opera. The more I hear it, the more I love it. Part of it is that it’s a contemporary approach to opera which is different from the classics. The more I see older operas, the more I like this one.

-David Cronenberg, talking about the new opera The Fly