So if anyone is interested in the last two performances of Così, you can get discounted tickets via Artsopolis. Nothing like saving money, you know? So try this. (I hope the link works; I’ve subscribed and I don’t know if that’s a requirement to get to the page.)

As readers know, you won’t find our production on YouTube, but here’s a video just for fun (and for the beauty of it):


A 13-year-old schoolboy stabbed his music teacher with a kitchen knife, leaving the blade stuck in the teacher’s back as he made his escape.

The pair had just finished a private violin lesson at a middle school near Venice when the pupil allegedly turned on the teacher, stabbing him once in the back.

Fabio Paggioro, 36, had reportedly told the boy, ”See how you manage to do well when you put the effort in”.

I read it here.

Most orchestras and opera companies have pretty strict rules about how recordings and videos are handled. Trouble is, most of these things were set up long before things like YouTube existed. Earlier this month I had posted a few Opera San Jose videos, happily seeing and hearing some singers I enjoy. Shortly after, though, I realized that not only was what I was sharing illegal, but I could get the person who posted them in trouble, so I quickly removed them.

Well, they’ve been removed from YouTube now. And I’m sorry to see them go, even while knowing that had to be removed or opera would be hit with quite a bill.

Believe it or not, I can’t get recordings of my own solos in SSV either. It’s just against contract rules. We do record our performances, and some get posted at the site, but we aren’t allowed to received even snippets of our own playing.

I think that’s sad.

I think that times have changed. I think that contracts should be rewritten. I think that singers should be allotted a certain number of minutes of video to post. I don’t believe it would harm us if they were given that. I think I should be allowed to have at least a small portion of my own playing so that I can submit it to UCSC when I’m up for my review. No one is going to make any sort of money on these things. The opera clips would give OSJ a bit of free publicity actually, and the recordings of my own playing only help me keep my job.

I wonder if any readers out there have clauses in their contracts that allow for this now. Times, they are a’changin’. Just like our white tie and tails, we don’t seem to be able to change with this sort of thing either.

Could it be we actually want to nail the classical music coffin shut? I did, after all, just read this:

The days of classical music seem to have died long ago. Besides the occasional exceptional film soundtrack (i.e. The Fountain, Lord of the Rings), the glory days of men like Beethoven and Mozart have followed the dinosaurs into extinction. People were correct to say that we’ll never see anyone with the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci, but the same can be said of Mozart and Beethoven.

When I have to practice I always manage to find things I simply must do before I start. Vacuuming is a typical thing. Cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, too. Then I tend to go through all of my reeds to pull out the dead ones and see if any misbehaving reeds have opted for a change of heart. Eventually I get to the practicing thing … well, sometimes anyway.

Thanks to Miss Mussel I just ran across this video. It’s rather long … not quite youtube video short & sometimes sweet length (it was done in 1979, after all, when attention spans were a wee bit longer):

Once I do finally get started, practicing is just fine. But it’s the beforehand time that’s a real pain.

My eyes have had it. I desperately need new computer/music glasses. Argh! I can look at a computer for about 15 minutes and then my eyes go all buggy.

When I bought my new distance glasses last year — and yes the prescription had changed, just as it always does (grumble grumble sigh) — the doctor said my reading glasses could be changed as well, but that I could get away without doing so. And of course that’s what I chose, since I have horrible vision and glasses are quite expensive for me.

Of course many readers may suggest that this vision issue is a GOOD thing; perhaps I’ll get a life. Step away from the computer. Walk outside, even. Maybe I’ll make a reed. Or scour the house. I could practice, too.

But … well … I want to use the computer when I want to use the computer!

I suppose the solution would be to make an appointment, get a new prescription, and pay megabucks for new glasses.

It’s that megabucks part that is bothersome.

Meanwhile I guess I’ll pace my computer use. I’m not good at pacing.

18. February 2009 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

What I have missed in San Francisco, quite profoundly, is the chance, through repetition, to delve ever deeper into works. If you do, say, a Tristan or a Peter Grimes, you do it for six or seven shows, then it will disappear from the repertoire for up to nine years, just when you’ve got to the point where you want to do it again next season.

-Donald Runnicles

I read it here.

18. February 2009 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

When I was 10, I read an article about how classical music makes ones IQ go up. Being a snobbish little boy I threw myself into my parent’s Mozart collection which amounted to about 10CDs. All the while, I constantly chanted this mantra to myself: “this will make me smarter, this will make me smarter” add infinitum. Like a musical moron I would vigorously nod my head up and down with the rhythm of the symphony or when the music became grand and exciting I’d wave my hands around frantically as if I were conducting an invisible symphony. Can you imagine what I must’ve looked like? In fact, I would look into the mirror sometimes and practice my I-am-deeply-in-musical-thought look and try to seem very profound, I mostly ended up looking constipated. Thank God something good came of this egoism! As I became more and more familiar with the pieces, I found that I actually enjoyed listening to them for their own sake. I didn’t really even know why yet, I just liked listening.