Or “Just shoot me.”

The oboe I thought was fixed. You know the one, right? Well, it’s not. But I didn’t find out until … well … never mind.

It has to go to the doctor. Now. I hope it can go to the Napa Doctor. I’ll have to call Monday and see. And the other oboe, while not the one I wanted to play, was put to use very near the beginning of the first act. After a very unfortunate incident. But hey, I didn’t even know the soprano sang until the oboe malfunctioned. With silence. So how ’bout that?!

But you know an oboe is in very bad trouble when an oboe middle C doesn’t even come out. At all. Nada. And only when you finally get to notes using the bottom octave key does something sound. Which tells me it’s something at the very top of the top joint.

It worked fine all day at home. It worked fine in the pit while I warmed up. And it worked fine through part of the national anthem. Then I wondered, “Is it feeling funny again?” But I thought it was only nerves talking.

Rats. It wasn’t.

But that’s life. It wasn’t something that would cause me to be upset with myself. That happens when I play wrong notes, have wrong entrances, or do other stupid things. But when it’s completely out of my control, I just get frustrated and scared and then I just deal. Which I did.

I do think the temperature change and the breeze running through the pit has something to do with my problems, but I also think my oboe shouldn’t react in such a major way.

I am very, very tired. And I come home to an empty house so there’s not even someone here to commiserate with me. Which makes me sadder. And I really want to enjoy the opera. I love the music and I love the oboe part. This is the most frustrating time I’ve ever had.

Tomorrow morning I get the joy of working on reeds to fit what I will now call my “rescue oboe”, since the reeds I have are always built for the other, what I now will call “pesky oboe”.



  1. I still remember the trumpet solo in 7th or 8th grade which required me to go from second valve to open, and of the three valves on my crappy student trumpet that was the one that tended to stick (most likely through abuse at my hands, I must admit)…and then there was my discovery that collar size made a difference when we were doing the Holst with the trumpet solo in the…second? third? movement (I think it was his second suite in Eb, but I can’t rightly remember).

    I don’t know, I think it’s almost worse when it’s the instrument, or something else outside of your control (I’m not a control freak, I don’t think, but hard for me to say). Don’t you want to stand up and point at the instrument and say “It wasn’t me! It was this evile thing here!” (but of course we never show anything at all).

  2. Oh I sure did want to stand up. And scream.

    My colleagues assumed it was my reed. That really IS the first assumption. But I can just feel the instrument is somehow out of whack … but only on and off. I’m concerned that Mark Chudnow will find it behaving. It’s like that noise you get in a car, you know?

    In any case, right now I just want to go live in a cave. 🙁