… too bad you are in some awful place like EUROPE and probably aren’t reading my blog.*

*I just realized some of you might not know I’m joking … I’m merely envious of my friend who was able to go to Europe. I really don’t think it’s an awful place!

17. December 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: FBQD

I have a concept for a new animated musical TV series. The star will be a tiny double-reeded instrument, about the size of a piccolo. She will travel from orchestra to orchestra, helping them with their problems, solving dilemmas, etc. I will give it this title… The Littlest Oboe

17. December 2011 · Comments Off on Researching · Categories: Opera

People who read this blog probably already know I’m rather obsessive compulsive. Thus, the daily “QODS” here (aside from Sundays) and, excluding the month of December, the daily scheduled things like ACappelaTuesday™ and WorldReeds™. It should come as no surprise, then, that I’m equally obsessive when it comes to work. If I’ve been hired to do a new opera you can bet I’ve googled the composer and the work. If I’m working with musicians who are new to me I google them as well. (Sorry, everyone, I am not a stalker … just insane in other ways!)

I don’t really understand going into something not knowing anything about a work. I like to know the background. I like to know the story and the music … to wrap my ears and brain around the “all of it” whenever possible. In this case I already knew the sweet story, but had never heard the opera. Thus, finding these YouTube videos was handy. I also borrowed a copy of the CD that Ensemble Parallele did, many thanks to Nicole Paiement. (I would have purchased it, but I couldn’t manage to find an available copy.) I listen to the CD while following my part so I know where the solos are, as they aren’t always marked. I just don’t like those kinds of surprises!

I realize some people like to go into things without any knowledge of the work. I’ve heard some say they don’t want to lose their own “voice” by hearing someone else. I don’t go for that. I’m still who I am, and I’ll still play the way I play. To each her own, yes?

I didn’t want to put anything up here before we began this opera, mostly so I didn’t drive you all crazy and partly because I was unsure about how I would deal with this new adventure and I’m wimpy that way. But now that it’s begun, and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, I’ll put up a few videos you can see and hear from another production. (No, I won’t be sending you on visits to other musician’s blogs … unless they ask me to put them up here, and since I doubt any of them read this silly blog ‘o mine I am guessing that won’t happen). These are from the composer’s YouTube page.

Music by David Conte
Libretto by Nicholas Giardini
Marnie Breckenridge; soprano
Andrew Garland; baritone
Trinity Lyric Opera; John Kendall Bailey, conductor

Opening scene: Jim and Della:

The mezzo-soprano, Lisa van der Ploeg, is singing the role in our production as well:

Della’s Aria:

Jim’s soliloquy:

Final scene:

But hey … if you are in the area just come to the opera! Honestly, the venue is fabulous, the music is lovely, and the singers sound beautiful.

17. December 2011 · Comments Off on Working In Paradise · Categories: Opera, Ramble

I’m playing the opera The Gift of the Magi, by David Conte, in Carmel Valley at Hidden Valley Music. It’s a delightful opera, and I’m having great fun. I love doing newer works, and this one is, for me, a very special work — lots of lovely orchestration and beautiful lines. Add to that the I love the story and I’m a happy girl.

I’m probably one of the oldest people in the “pit”, and definitely older than the singers as well. I still remember the days when I was one of the youngest musicians on stage or in the pit … it doesn’t even feel that long ago, wouldn’t you know? I’m impressed with the musicianship of these young players. Was I anywhere close to that good when I was their age? Hmm. I haven’t a clue! I wonder — and of course worry since I’m so neurotic this way — if they think I’m a hack. I guess my insecurities will never go away. Funny how that goes.

Today is a day off, so Dan, who is coming here for a visit, and I will be doing some fun things around here. I’m sure we’ll drive around, but truth be told I could park the car here on arrival and not drive at all until the end of the run.

I haven’t worked much on photos, so these are only a few samples of the location. I probably won’t work on anything until I get home, but time will tell.

My room is in this building … it’s a modest room, but who needs luxury?

And here’s what I see from my room:

This is the performance building:

It’s being said this will be an annual event. I think that’s a wonderful thing … a newer opera that fits the season is quite welcome! I’d love to see it done in my neck ‘o the woods, too.

17. December 2011 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD


17. December 2011 · Comments Off on Advent: Day 21 · Categories: Advent

Morten Lauridsen: O Nata Lux
University of Delaware Vocal Group

O nata lux de lumine,
Jesu redemptor saeculi,
dignare clemens supplicum
laudes preces que sumere.
Qui carne quondam contegi
dignatus es pro perditis.
Nos membra confer effici,
tui beati corporis.

O born light of light,
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
mercifully deem worthy and accept
the praises and prayers of your supplicants.
Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost ones,
grant us to be made members
of your holy body.

In case you’ve missed earlier Advent posts:
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20