… means that sometimes things happen and someone can’t finish an opera. One of our singers had to leave after the first act tonight. I could hear that the voice was struggling … normally this singer sounds wonderful, and there was a pained sound to the voice tonight. During intermission we were told the alternate singer (we have two casts) would go on for him. Singers have to be within a certain distance (or maybe it’s about the time to get to the hall) if they aren’t on for that night, so I’m guessing the replacement had been warned ahead of time and perhaps called during the first half, if the singer wasn’t already in the hall. The show must go on, after all.

I always feel for the one pulled. Illness can just make continuing impossible.

Of course I have plenty of ill reeds and I still have to play, wouldn’t you know? But I am being silly and I do realize that’s a very different thing to have a voice go out. One year I actually heard a soprano’s voice do this weird “click” thing and suddenly she couldn’t sing. She was in tears before she left, but what can ya do?

I hope the singer returns when this cast is next up. (I can’t keep track of who sings when so I’m not sure when they come back.) I guess we’ll know when we know. And you can quote me on that.

13. November 2008 · Comments Off on Confession Time · Categories: Grumble

After my last post I’ve had that jingle stuck in my head. Over and over it goes. Stupid, stupid me. 🙁

Okay … most of you may not know the Miller Beer jingle. The rest of you will now want to kill me because I’ve not blessed you with a very pesky ear worm.

Too bad!

And, really, it should be “If We Change the Time, You’ll Get the Beer” … but I wasn’t sure if you would catch the connection then. Do tell!

There’s a lot of talk about how classical music has to rethink the concert experience in order to find new, younger audiences. To be honest, most of the efforts to energise the concert hall with limp lighting effects or video screens are either buttock-clenchingly embarrassing or plain patronising. So could the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Night Shift get it right where so many others have failed?

Last Friday was the first chance I’ve had to catch up with this late-night early-music initiative. It’s been running for a couple of years, and the idea is simple: after a full-scale concert, the OAE players and their conductor for the evening perform an hour-long concert for a more relaxed clientele (who, mercifully at 10pm on a Friday night, were allowed to bring a drink into the auditorium). And it really was a much younger crowd, too: in the stalls of the Royal Festival Hall, most of the audience, based on my highly scientific glance round the hall in the crepuscular pre-concert gloom, were under 35. Not bad for a programme of Delibes and Tchaikovsky.

I read it here.

I do wonder … if the concert was earlier but still allowed the beer, would the young’uns still show up? Is it the time or the beer or does it require both?

I think you’d have to find a “special” hall to allow for beer and other drinks. I wonder how the place looks after the hour long concert. Do the attendees clean up after themselves?

But in any case, it’s an interesting thought. Of course my rather skeptical (or is this cynical?) mind thinks, “Right. Get ’em drunk and they’ll listen to anything.” But that’s just me, and you know how my brain works. Or doesn’t work. Or something.

13. November 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

… I don’t think these speakers would be good for a discerning listener.

But what a fun project for kids! 🙂

13. November 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: BQOD

I Don’t Understand Classical Music

As it turns out, this week, after a year of writing about over 1000 of the 6500 or so songs in my iTunes library, I have arrived at my first classical recording. I dig classical music, but I have less than a child’s understanding of it.

If you or somebody you know can explain it fairly well, now is the time to go to [URL deleted] and school me lest I pass on bad information to a generation of… to thousands of… uh…