I saw my first Salome tonight at San Francisco Opera.

The scheduled soprano didn’t sing. Someone had told me there was a rumor she was out — he had heard just a few minutes earlier — and, sure enough, Nadja Michael had had to cancel just that day. Or at least that’s what it sounded like when David Gockley announced it. But I could have heard incorrectly. I certainly heard her replacement’s name incorrectly. I thought he said, “Molly Dill”, but that must be wrong. He said the new singer was working on the opera in Phoenix, so I looked put all that information together and I come up with Molly Fillmore. I hope that’s correct, but maybe a reader can correct me if I’m mistaken. In any case, I sure can’t imagine coming in with no rehearsal to sing that opera!

I thought she did quite a good job. She doesn’t have the strongest of voices, but she sounded lovely and her high notes were there (I had read criticism of the other Salome’s high notes). My favorite of the night, though, was Greer Grimsely. What a voice!

I got a quick look at the Heckelphone when Dan and I came down to the pit before we headed to our dress circle seats. I could hear it a bit during the opera, but I wish I could sit IN the pit to really give it a good listen. Oboe solos and English horn solos were great!

The audience laughed at odd, uncomfortable or creepy times. I realize it is laughable if one thinks rationally, but since when do you think rationally when listening to opera? I wish people didn’t laugh out loud … I find it distracting.

Weirdest part of the night? No, not watching Salome cradle Jokanaan’s head in her arms and kiss him. That was just creepy. Not the Dance of the Seven Veils (were there seven? I wasn’t sure.) either, which I confess didn’t do much for me visually. Kind of boring, really. It was seeing a VERY young girl — I’m guessing maybe eight years old — at this opera. She appeared to be with her grandmother. Would you think to bring a child to Salome? Seems like a poor decision to me.

30. October 2009 · Comments Off on Well Yeah, It’s Fast · Categories: Videos

Maybe I should tell all my students this piece is their final at the end of the quarter.

Just for fun.

30. October 2009 · Comments Off on They aren’t always French! · Categories: Read Online

“It’s utterly magical,” says the former stage actor. “And John’s music is so complex and wonderful. You really see the workings of all the instruments — the French oboe, the violin, the horn.”

-Anthony Daniels

Hmmm. Do you think he meant French horn? English horn? I mean … “French oboe”?! Oboes aren’t exclusively made in France. Maybe Anthony Daniels is a Loree purist or something?

I read it here.

30. October 2009 · Comments Off on You KNOW It Had To Happen This Way! · Categories: Ramble

… because it’s just some sort of rule or something.

If you read this blog you know about my my very special wonderful can’t do without ‘em music glasses and how they somehow disappeared.

Well … drum roll … THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND!

The flutist of the UCSC faculty woodwind quintet, in fact, is the one who located them. How ’bout that? We have rehearsal on campus Monday night, so I’ll get them there. I miss them horribly, and wish I could have them sooner, but I am not sure I’m ready to drive all the way over there and back for them. I’m just sort of dealing, putting my music very low, squinting a lot, and missing notes here and there. Oh well! One good thing about missing glasses, if I dare try to look on the positive side, is that I really have to rely on my memory, and I’m realizing just how well I do know the works. Good news, yes?

So this was a $280 “oops”, but probably worth it; at least now if I lose one pair I’ll have a backup pair. If I had lost these glasses the day OF a concert I’d have really been in serious trouble!

Oh … and you wonder where the glasses were? She wrote:

How strange that your glasses showed up as I was picking up all my
stuff on the right of the desk. There they were—just on the floor
next to the right back leg of desk ( might have fallen off of the

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Greer! 🙂

30. October 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

At our concerts, we play only the best music ever written for orchestra.

I wonder who has the final say on “the best music ever written for orchestra”. Musicians don’t always agree on this!

I can relate to their common bond, though.