We have now had three of the four orchestra-only rehearsals for Idomeneo. Even without the cast, I’m enjoying it tremendously. Notice I didn’t say “without singers”? That’s because the chorus master, Andrew Whitfield, has been singing during each rehearsal! Can you imagine? He’s covering all the parts, so we have a good idea of what is going on. It’s quite helpful, and I’m very grateful, but I simply can’t even imagine how his voice feels at this point!

San Francisco Classical Voice has a good article on the opera here. You can also visit this site to read about the production.

The majority of the orchestra can’t see anything of the stage, but I snapped a few quick photos before yesterday and today’s rehearsals. In addition I’m planning on attending a piano tech rehearsal so I can see and hear it all. For me — not sure it matters to my colleagues — it really helps to know what’s going on on stage. I just feel more connected to the production then. When we were in the tiny Montgomery we all recognized and even knew the singers. These days many of us haven’t a clue, and I’m guessing most of the singers don’t have a clue who we are or what we play. (But, truth be told, the singers at Montgomery didn’t either sometimes. I remember a tenor saying to me, “And I am sure you are a mother of one of the children!” when we went to a cast party. Truth was, our daughter Kelsey was singing in that production of Magic Flute, but I also was playing principal oboe! He clearly hadn’t a clue I was in the orchestra.) I just love to feel as if we are all one big family. Or something. Call me silly!

I have yet to hear all the singers, of course, but I’m loving this opera. I had listened to it several times (one was on my flight to New York, and it was a great way to spend a flight!) and the choruses are just incredible; when I hear them the word “glorious” comes to mind.

Here are just a couple of photos, although you can see things aren’t completely set yet:

And now a fun game for you … guess who is the oboe player and who plays flute?!

And guess the which photo is from the flute section and which is from the oboe section.


  1. i think the black one is you patty??

  2. You bet, Celia! I might wear heals once in a while (once a year at the most!), but I don’t wear anything that shiny! 🙂 I’m really into comfort!

  3. Oh … and the bottom photo is my foot and the second oboist’s foot; she, too, wears comfortable flats. The flutists in our orchestra are just fancier than we are!

  4. Cool beans. I did a paper on the final quartet a few years ago. An interesting opera, not commonly performed.

  5. I was at the tech dress tonight, Cooper. I didn’t make it through the whole thing, as it was a lot of stopping and waiting, but what I saw and heard was pretty darn cool! I think I’ll go back tomorrow and see if I can get see of it … taking photos and all! (They started with Act 2 tonight and I really wanted to see what they do with the first act.)