05. August 2010 · Comments Off on Do you look like Ramon Vargas? · Categories: Opera, Videos

Directly from the Contra Costa Times:

FELLAS, IF you think your darkly handsome good looks might put folks in mind of renowned Mexican tenor Ramon Vargas, San Francisco Opera may be looking for you.

Auditions for three guys willing to step in as his nonsinging, nonspeaking, nondancing doubles during upcoming rehearsals and performances of Massenet’s “Werther” are being held at a public casting call Monday at War Memorial Opera House. Only those 18 and older and of a height approximating 5 feet, 10 inches are encouraged to apply, and you have to have a LOT of free time on your hands between Aug. 10, when dress rehearsals start, and Oct. 1, when the final curtain falls on the production.

So exactly what will you be doing while you are up there not speaking and not singing? Something pretty artsy and interesting, as it turns out. Director Francisco Negrin’s brand new production — a shared one with Chicago Lyric Opera — calls for a heavily psychological interpretation of the title character, a melancholic poet wrestling with the burdensome pangs of impossible love. Negrin needs three Vargas doppelgängers who will be with him on stage, acting out in movement what Werther is thinking, singing or remembering about his life. Obviously, some experience with onstage movement will be helpful.

There is no financial remuneration, , but you do get to rub shoulders with the talent — Vargas and his British co-star, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote. Those
interested can leave their names and phone numbers at 415-551-6205 or e-mail supers@sfopera.com. Then show up at 7 p.m. Monday for the casting call in the ballet studio at the Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., in San Francisco.

“Werther,” to be conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, debuts Sept. 15 for a six-performance run.


05. August 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Oboe, Videos

… no, I’m not talking about a bass voice. I’m talking about string bass. Really.

Quick! Name as many pieces as you can think of written for double bass and oboe. Sorry, time’s up.” Bruce Hodges opened the Juilliard Journal On-Line review of the Vecchione/Erdahl Duo’s cd, It Takes Two… with this question. And even the most ardent classical music enthusiast would be pressed to name one work. The Vecchione/Erdahl Duo of oboist Carrie Vecchione and double bassist Rolf Erdahl answered with an entire cd of works for the two instruments. Two very different instruments played together with amazing results.


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

For now on, I shall only practice oboe on days I eat. 😀

Okay – not that I don’t like the oboe or anything, but the first oboe in the band always tunes with the tuner right in front of her. You can hear her adjusting the start of the note with her embouchure until it’s right. So she’s tuning us to the tuner – but not really herself (okay, maybe she’s good enough to consistently make that embouchure adjustment in that exact position for the rehearsal duration, but really?) Wouldn’t it be better if she got herself tuned up first, then sounded our notes without looking at the tuner? Even better, she tunes woodwinds to Bb and brass get an A. Is this standard tuning procedure?

I read it here.

05. August 2010 · Comments Off on Elixir Map · Categories: Opera

There’s a nice little article on a body map used in Elixir. Check it out. 🙂

05. August 2010 · Comments Off on For Your Listening Pleasure · Categories: Bassoon


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

John Williams has just finished a quartet for violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and is at work on an oboe concerto.