02. August 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Bassoon

Read what Mr. Farkas has to say at the Seattle Opera blog. (Gee, I wonder if Opera San José would consider a blog?!)

He talks about more than Tristan & Isolde:

The English horn solo from Wagner’s Siegfried is one that quickly comes to mind, because we played it last summer, and it is perhaps unique in that it is one solo that you want to make sound as BAD as possible. That’s because it portrays Siegfried’s unsuccessful efforts to play a small pipe which he fashions out of a piece of cane he finds in the forest.

Hmmm. I think I could sound bad. Really. Easily.

02. August 2010 · Comments Off on Yo-Yo Ma · Categories: Links, Quotes, Videos

While all this adulation might get the better of someone else, Mr. Ma is—to use the common parlance—too grounded for ego flights. “I just don’t think that way,” he said. “People will ask, ‘Are you famous?’ And I always answer, ‘My mother thinks so.'” Besides, even exceptionally talented artists need to practice and grow. “I may be playing the same pieces, but the way I’m thinking about them is different. In my 40s, I was exploring what else is going on in the neighborhood. In my 50s, I’m more interested in how young people think. Plus I’m trying to play the cello as well as I can. Between the measurable and the immeasurable things, that’s where I live.”
-Yo-Yo Ma

I read it here. I think the link will be up for a short time.

I can only speak for myself and my few encounters with Mr. Ma, but he was a delight every time he played with us, and I found him to be genuine and kind.

02. August 2010 · Comments Off on Merola Update · Categories: Merola, Opera

Just received from those in the know:

“Patty, Sunday is nearly sold out, but we still have great seats available for Thursday, Friday and Saturday! If you don’t have your tickets yet, it’s not too late!”

So get those tickets if you want ’em! 🙂

02. August 2010 · Comments Off on Mitch Miller, 1911-2010 · Categories: Losses

He certain lived a long life!

Mitch Miller conducted San Jose Symphony a few times. We oboists hid our oboes as he walked by, as we’d been told he’d grab one and, using one of our own reeds, start playing it if we weren’t careful.

Washington Post
Los Angeles Times

02. August 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

i was born to play the oboe.

Okay now this situation has been really getting my last nerve, and I would like some advice from an experienced oboist… or someone of that sort.
So I have been playing Oboe for about a month now, and I can not get the dang thing to stay in tune.
My electronic tuner goes from sharp to flat, from flat to sharp, it is just ridiculous. If I attempt to play a phrase the tuner will just wave back and forth. It is frustrating me because eventually I really hope to develop a nice, natural vibrato. but that’s kind of impossible without being in tune.

I am teaching myself to play oboe. This is because my high school band teacher isn’t an oboist, and private lessons really aren’t optional because for one thing we don’t have enough money for that, and another reason is that there simply aren’t any teachers for that in the small town I’m living in. I currently play trumpet, but I wanted to switch instruments because trumpet just isn’t appealing to me anymore >< I’m using a Student Model Selmer Oboe, and Jones Medium-Soft reeds. Please, any advice could help.

The question was found here. The player is using a Selmer. Sigh.

This Thursday through Sunday you can hear some mighty fine voices. Truly. This is my fourth year playing with Merola, and I must say I’m really blown away this year by the quality.

Someone complained that the prices were too high, which I find rather ridiculous. You have an orchestra. You have a staged opera. And you are hearing some wonderful singers, some of whom will, I’m sure, go on to sing on the big stages where the prices will be far too high. But they’ll be (and are) worth it!

L’Elisir d’Amore

by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Felice Romani
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Thursday – Saturday, August 5, 6 and 7, 8:00 PM
Sunday, August 8, 2:00 PM
Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center
$60 | $40 | $25 Students

Thursday, August 5 and Saturday, August 7 at 8:00 PM
Adina: Nadine Sierra
Nemorino: Daniel Montenegro
Belcore: Benjamin Covey
Giannetta: Hye Jung Lee
Dulcamara: Thomas Florio

Friday, August 6 at 8:00 PM and Sunday, August 8, 2:00 PM
Adina: Valentina Fleer
Nemorino: Alexander Lewis
Belcore: Ao Li
Giannetta: Abigail Santos Villalobos
Dulcamara: Sidney Outlaw

We saw a production (see below) of this with the Big Guys up in San Francisco a while back. Believe me, the tickets cost more. (Of course at this point it doesn’t matter, since “my” Elixir is sold out!)

02. August 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

finally. my own oboe. nobody knows how excited I am about. absolutely nobody :))

I absolutely adore flute and piccolo, but I feel an odd inclination to take up oboe. I don’t know why as I hate the sound of oboes before they reach like grade VII Are there any people out there who play both, does oboe completely ruin flute tone and embouchure and vice versa? And do you get the fingerings mixed up between instruments? Also I can’t afford lessons for oboe so I would be self-taught which I know isn’t good at all and I will probably get into all sorts of bad habits. Also I don’t really know if it’s worth it as oboes are so expensive I could get a new flute or picc for that money, I dunno it’s probably just a faze I’ll get over it but it’s an interesting topic anyway.