After opening weekend I’m usually a zombie. So today is going to be spent doing a whole lotta nothing until teaching this afternoon. I just need a break. (Sorry, DK. I know you never get these breaks. 🙁 Not fair, eh?)

We were pretty much totally panned by Richard Scheinin in the Merc. (Or am I reading it wrong, as my husband frequently suggests?) Jameson (our younger son) saw and heard the same cast and he agreed with some of what Sheinin said, but not a lot of it. Oh well. Can’t win ’em all. (Can’t win many …?)

This week we don’t have another performance until Thursday. I hope to get a good number of reeds working by then, since Onegin is a bit of a reed eater. But right now I think I’m going to catch up on all the blogs I’ve missed.


  1. Well, obviously, it was the missing oboe bit that caused the problem. I’m surprised he didn’t make a note of it…

    Oh stop, if you took that even remotely seriously…sheesh, even!

    It sounds like it was just one of those “nothing is quite going right for anybody” kinds of performances, and you got caught in it. I do believe that can happen – the mind is a strange and wonderful (but mostly strange, at least in my case) thing, after all, and has much more power (or sometimes less) than we give it credit for.

  2. Well, I’m not sure I buy into the very negative review, actually. I realize I can’t see it, and I can’t hear it as well as the audience, but I thought the voices sounded great. (I actually doubt the reviewer knew I missed anything, to be honest. I don’t worry about reviewers nearly as much as I worry about my colleagues! They are the ones who really hear!)

    My issue wasn’t one that would cause a bad review. So I was at least relieved about that. But really … I think it was a good performance, and the audience certainly sounded that way as I heard them talking when I was leaving. Trouble is, readers of the paper think that a reviewer is a god. So that’s a problem!

  3. To my shame, I have, in fact, biffed an entrance which made a difference – it was the first time I played Brigadoon, and as I was splitting it with two other players I was perhaps not being as careful as I should’ve (plus I was living in an apartment with little opportunity to practice). It was a single note, a whole note, I think, but it was the cue for the singer, who was kind of panicking, as I understand it, when I didn’t play it. Usually they make a note of such things in the part, so you know to pay special attention, but either it wasn’t marked or my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders or something. Don’t know if the audience noticed, though.

  4. Unfortunately, I read it as a total pan as well.

    I didn’t see the opening night cast, so I can’t comment on that part of the review. But the performance I saw was a good one, I thought. And I loved the set design, which was very flexible and allowed for much more seamless set changes than OSJ has ever done (in my experience). Sometimes it made the playing space significantly smaller but I never thought that it looked too crowded.

  5. Oh believe me, Tim, I’ve made some that mattered big time. It’s a most horrible feeling!

    Mike, I am happy to hear your thoughts on the opera, since I can’t see anything. (Insert a sigh and a grumble here; selfish me wants to SEE!) Thanks for the info!

  6. Well, who said life was fair? 😉 At least I’m having an interesting (though not slow) day at the day gig (oops, I guess slow enough to post this). And hey, I had the evening off! Besides, after all the ups and downs your equipment has put you through, you NEED a rest.

    I thought the singers were sublime. This is some of the best singing I’ve heard here in years, I think. Maybe ever. And I thought there was pretty good playing in the orchestra; we certainly didn’t have any major issues. So I’m a bit puzzled by the review. The stage action may be uninteresting, for all I know (somehow I can’t see anything from under the overhang of the pit), but then Onegin is a pretty uninteresting character as far as emotions go…how do you portray someone who’s basically unhappy, narcissistic and dying of ennui? Not a riveting sort of persona, IMHO.

    But the review made me wonder if the piece can have more dramatic tension than we’re playing it with (or have done in the past). ??? Don’t know, I guess I should listen to a recording.

  7. I wonder if the reviewer simply doesn’t like the opera!? I have truly enjoyed the singing, and everyone else in the pit I’ve heard talking says the same thing.

    Thanks for your understanding about the instrument/reed stress. I’m SO done with stressing. I just hope my instrument and reeds are done with stress too.

  8. Sorry you have been having so many instrument problems – I ended up taking my “backup” oboe to every performance of Les Mis (except that fateful first one!) *sigh* At least it’s not like lugging an extra tuba or something.

    And I’m sure you sounded great, your reviewer guy probably hates this opera, or perhaps all operas…

  9. I took two oboes to Les Mis as well. And I used BOTH at each performance, because the sewer solo was best with the one I don’t usually use, but the other is just more comfortable for me most of the time.

    In any case, I played well, aside from the “sounds of silence” moment. And even that wasn’t so bad that it ruined the performance. (Hindsight is always helpful! Now that I have some distance from the performance I’m much better about it.)