23. October 2008 · Comments Off on Huh? · Categories: Ramble

Alex Trebek doesn’t know what a theremin is. Geesh.

And I thought he knew everything.

“Crescendo doesn’t mean you should speed up those running 8th notes in the second movement, dear oboist.”

And no, I won’t tell you which recording I’m listening to, but certainly the player should have known better. And yet I’m hearing this in a several recordings. Hmmm. Maybe my part is missing an accelerando?

The composer has here attempted to present the characteristics of the various instruments. Now they seem to interrupt one another and now they sound alone. The theme for these variations is the tune of one of Carl Nielsen’s spiritual songs, which is here made the basis of a number of variations, now gay and grotesque, now elegiac and solemn, ending with the theme itself, simply and gently expressed.

-Carl Nielsen

The Merc has an article about the arts in our area, quoting two of my employers, Irene Dalis and Andrew Bales. I am thankful that both employers are more careful than a past employer I had. I suspect we’ll survive, but that caution is the necessary thing right now.

The Merc also has an article about the two Elixirs that are taking place simultaneously. Hmmm. Perhaps some folks who normally drive all the way to San Francisco will give Opera San José a try.

I can dream, can’t I? And I will dream. And not worry. About this, in any case. I prefer to keep my worrying in the oboe reed camp. It’s such a predictable way to worry.


With turmoil in the financial markets hitting its usual roster of deep-pocket donors, the Pasadena Symphony can’t afford to stage its November concert and has cancelled the performance, co-Executive Director Tom O’Connor said Monday.
“We can’t make enough money at the box office to cover costs and we rely on the generosity of donors,” O’Connor said, adding that ticket prices were reduced this year to expand the audience base. “We feel (donors) all deserve a break while they put together what their priorities can be in terms of support.”

Sad. I read it here.


The financially troubled New York City Opera furloughed employees for two days last week because it feared it would run out of money to pay them, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The staff, except for finance officials, was told in meetings on Oct. 15 to take the days off. They returned to work this week after the company tapped “board members, private donors and other sources” for money, said the spokesman, Pascal Nadon.

Read here.

Sad. Yet again.


Reacting to economic pressures and fallen ticket sales, Michigan Opera Theatre on Wednesday canceled its scheduled spring production of Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci” and announced staff layoffs and other budget cuts.

David DiChiera, MOT’s founding general director, said it was the first time in the company’s 38-year history that it had canceled an entire production. He said dropping “Pagliacci” would save $400,000 to $500,000.

“There’s been a real weakening of ticket sales,” DiChiera said, “and there was no way we could just continue through the year without taking action. We would have found ourselves with a very serious deficit.

I suppose this is going to become rather common. Sigh. I read this last one here.

23. October 2008 · Comments Off on Phone Solicitation · Categories: Ramble

Just now, as we’re having dinner, the phone rings. It’s a telesales person for the orchestra, trying to push further tickets. I asked him whether my wife gave them express permission to be called. His answer was “not necessarily”.

I’m going to guess that those who do the calling don’t care, but I agree with this. Getting phone solicitation from a performing group after buying tickets to something is terribly annoying.

Fortunately, the last time San Francisco Opera called me for another contribution I told them that I would donate once a year but no more. The woman I spoke with said she’d note that on her card and I’ve not received a call since. Nice.

I’m all for contributing to things I like to support. I just don’t want to be hounded. I wish all charitable groups had a box we could check that would allow us to choose to be notified only by email (no paper!), and another to ask that we only be contacted once per year. That would be nicer still.