08. February 2009 · Comments Off on Stay Tuned · Categories: Opera, Reviews

(No, I’m not talking about staying tuned in an A-440 way right now. Really. Although that’s a good idea too.)

The Merc has a teaser for the opera review. It sounds like Mr. Scheinin liked it, and I’m looking forward to reading the entire review. I’ll post the news when it appears at the Merc site.

Right now performing groups can use all the good news possible. And it appears this will be good news. So yay for that. 🙂

(Of course if I get panned I’ll be sorry I posted this, yes?)

Q: What didn’t you like about “Peter and the Wolf”?

Handler: The story is boring: A boy goes out for a walk and watches the cruelty of nature and then decides to participate in the cruelty of nature. In terms of this teaching young people about the orchestra — it doesn’t do its job. You hear the story and you hear beautiful music, but if you don’t already know anything about the French horn then you don’t really know anything more about it after (the performance).

Q: How is “The Composer Is Dead” different?

Handler: The composer is dead and his death is suspicious, and the authorities come in and question all the members of the orchestra so you learn about all the different instruments.

I read it here.

(Handler is the writer of the happy-go-lucky Lemony Snicket books.)

08. February 2009 · Comments Off on Curious · Categories: Read Online

It was almost as wild as Susan Sarandon reading that Brad Pitt was nominated for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Britten”; in her defense, Sarandon was obviously trying to rush to get the ceremony over with by 11 p.m.

Found here.

Many thanks to Alex Ross for alerting us to this hysterical goof.

… went very well. At least in my little mind. And ears. (Can’t say eyes, since I can’t see the stage. Boo hoo.)

I received a few compliments, which was nice. But of course I am silly about all of that. One friend was saying I was sounding particularly good, and I said I was actually enjoying myself. But then of course the negavoice (just created that. Nice, huh?) started sayiing, “Uh-oh. Now you’re in for it.”

I say I’m not superstitious. (Heck, I can’t even spell the word without looking it up.) But I always fear that once I say I feel like I’m doing well, or that I’m comfortable, or I’m having fun, heaven forbid, I start thinking I’ll be failing quite soon. I get that same negavoice™ when I say something negative about someone else. (I even fear that writing about the difference between composers and performers might bite me … and I honestly didn’t mean that blog entry to be at all hostile or accusatory, but I’m guessing it seems so …?)

So I might not be superstitious. But I probably am. Eh?

In any case, back to the opera: It went well. My solos were fun to play (!). (Here comes negavoice™ again. Ack!) Cosi solos (the few I have) are just the sort I really do enjoy playing. The audience seemed to enjoy what was going on on stage. So that was good too. And they gave a standing O, which isn’t something OSJ audiences do all that frequently.

The story of Cosi is, of course, an uncomfortable one. Men pretending to leave their women (in the original to go off to war), coming back in disguise and romancing them, but switching girlfriends. Awful in oh so many ways. Even while we laugh. I don’t always care for switching eras for operas, but I think this one works in the way the video below is done: it takes place in the hippie era. The men, who are pretty straight business looking sorts, come in disguise as hippies. The women gradually change from the a mod look to hippies. It’s clever. And it works for me. Who’da thunk it?

(Too bad the overture isn’t posted … but the rest of the opera is. Go here to see the selections in order and from the start.)