09. October 2012 · Comments Off on Opera San José & National Opera Week · Categories: Opera

(And a week here, by the way, is ten days. News to me, but there you go!)

Opera San José joins opera organizations nationwide to celebrate National Opera
Week (October 26 – November 4), coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization
for opera, with support of the National Endowment for the Arts.
As part of the week-long celebration, Opera San José will launch the company’s one-act touring opera,
Bill Goats Gruff on Thursday, November 1
at 4 pm at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in
downtown San José. John Davies’ Billy Goats Gruff tells the classic fairytale of the three billy goats with
a contemporary twist, as it tackles the issue of bullying and promotes the power of kindness and
tolerance. The engaging performance is set to recognizable melodies from some of opera’s most
beloved composers, including Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti.

Read the whole pdf

09. October 2012 · Comments Off on Giving Back · Categories: Read Online

One dreary fall day last year our oldest bounded into the house with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. Because such exuberance is rare, she had my attention. “So,” she exclaimed, “this super cool old dude came to school today, and well, I want to learn to play the oboe.” “What?” was all I could muster in response. Playing the oboe wasn’t exactly what I expected would float this pre-teen’s boat. Admittedly musically challenged, I immediately visualized her attempting to board a school bus sporting a music case bigger than she was. Fortunately, I had confused the oboe with a bassoon, and was significantly relieved to learn her sights were set on the smaller, sleeker instrument, with a much more manageable case. With that concern alleviated, we encouraged her to give it a go.

Before continuing, it’s important to note the moniker “old dude” was never intended with any disrespect. When you’re 12, anyone beyond the distant age of 40 fits that bill.

Shortly after our conversation, the oboe made its first trip home. We learned all about its unique double reed, and listened to practice that reminded us, rather wistfully, of the duck calls fashioned by the girls’ granddad back in Nebraska. The months passed and the dude kept showing up at SMS, volunteering his time and sharing his musical expertise. Soon the duckling noises were transformed into actual notes, far easier on the ear. Still, it wasn’t until late spring that we finally met the man so giving of his time and talent to the middle school. Rather rapidly, bits and pieces of the oboe puzzle started falling into place.


What a lovely story.

09. October 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

The thing I look forward to and dread the most is my oboe lesson every week. Not as painful today though.:)

(I see his name and I see his school and I wonder if he really wants this to be seen publicly. But of course I won’t tell you who he is!)

09. October 2012 · Comments Off on Talise Trevigne in San Francisco · Categories: Opera, Read Online

I admired her when she sang with Opera San José, and while I was sorry to see her leave, I knew it was because she was moving up very quickly.

To say that Talise Trevigne, the former cheerleader from Los Altos High School, is reaching the heights of the opera world is, well, an understatement. Starting Oct. 10, the soprano literally will fly as she sings, balanced on a wire 30 feet above the stage in San Francisco Opera’s production of “Moby-Dick.”
The acrobatics say something about where her career is headed: up.
“I pinch myself every morning,” says Trevigne, a former singer with Opera San Jose, whose career now takes her to some of the nation’s biggest stages. San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House is the most prestigious yet. And the aerial aria is one of athletic Trevigne’s main numbers in the role of Pip, the 14-year-old cabin boy, in the high-tech adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel of Captain Ahab and life on the whaling ship Pequod.