I would love to hear this group live and in person some day!

16. September 2013 · Comments Off on Another Stephen King Novel Goes to the Opera · Categories: Opera

An oft-adapted horror classic is getting another life: as an opera.

Minnesota Opera has obtained the rights to Stephen King’s “The Shining” and commissioned composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell to write it.


I wonder if Mr. King has ever written about opera, has ever attended one, or like opera at all.

Dan and I will be attending a performance of Dolores Claiborne at San Francisco Opera this season since we have season tickets. (This year, I must admit, is not all that thrilling in my opinion. I might have even skipped it, but then we’d be back to square one when it comes to seats and while ours aren’t all that comfortable (the Grand Tier seats have NO leg room and the people on either side of us rarely leave their chairs for intermission so we always have to ask them to stand so we can get out), we didn’t want to lose them and start again for next season.

I’m not a Stephen King fan, but we’ll see if an opera can make me appreciate him. (Yes, I’ve read a few of his books. Just not my cuppa.)

16. September 2013 · Comments Off on Rocker Loves Opera · Categories: Read Online

People who know me as a hard-core rocker who positively despises musicals might be surprised to find that I am a huge fan of opera. But they shouldn’t be. Consider what rock music has come to: Joe Perry jamming with Sanjaya on last year’s American Idol finale and Jimmy page “rockin’ out” with Leona Lewis at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It’s become a spectacle, but one without any edge. Gone are the days when Alice Cooper stunned audiences with the over-the-top theatrics of his “Welcome to My Nightmare” tour or when Kiss’ massive black platform boots and flash pods seemed fresh and dangerous. So you could spend a couple of hundred bucks to see the Stones and you’d know all the songs, probably enjoy most of them, and see one guy working his ass off while five other guys just stand there playing. They’d hit most of the notes, and maybe you’d get lucky and the sound in the sports stadium wouldn’t be too muddy. Or you could buy yourself a ticket for the opera and get state-of-the-art sound, a whole cast of singers working their butts off, a great orchestra, a world-class conductor and music that has stood the test of time. Not to mention everyone behind the scenes. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


16. September 2013 · Comments Off on Titanic Violin · Categories: Read Online

The violin played by the bandmaster of the Titanic as the liner sank beneath the waves is to go on display at a museum marking the tragedy in Northern Ireland, officials said Monday.

The instrument belonging to Wallace Hartley was found strapped to his body after he drowned with some 1,500 others on board the supposedly unsinkable ship in 1912.

It has an inscription on the back from the 34-year-old’s fiancee to mark their engagement.

For decades the rosewood violin was believed lost but it was found in the attic of a house in northwest England in 2006.

It will be displayed at the Titanic Belfast exhibition from Sept. 18 through Oct. 13 before it goes to auction in Wiltshire, southwest England on Oct. 19.

“We are honored and excited that Titanic Belfast has been chosen to display Wallace Hartley’s violin which he played on RMS Titanic,” said the museum’s chief executive Tim Husbands.

“This could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to see one of the world’s most famous and most valuable Titanic artifacts before it goes to auction.”

The band played the hymn “Nearer, My God, To Thee” to calm passengers while they climbed into lifeboats as the Titanic sank beneath the icy waves in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg.

Hartley and his seven fellow band members all died.


16. September 2013 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I Taught my NEW Oboe Friend How to play Bassoon today. She’s already amazing!

16. September 2013 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Practice can make perfect, but it must be thoughtful and deliberate. Yes, beginning the process can be painstaking, but the end results are well worth it. Just remember to keep your mind focused, analyze the score, collect and organize your thoughts, and the rest will follow. The road to Carnegie Hall will be smooth if you not only practice, practice, practice, but do so deliberately.

-Yoko Rosenbaum (14-year-old pianist)

RTWT over at San Francisco Classical Voice.

16. September 2013 · Comments Off on Supreme Opera · Categories: Read Online

He’s a tenor stuck in the 18th century. She’s a soprano who evolves over time.

They fight like cats and dogs at work, but somehow forge and maintain a beautiful friendship.

It’s “Scalia/Ginsburg,” the opera by award-winning composer Derrick Wang, who just graduated from the University of Maryland law school.

Justices Antonin Scalia, with his devotion to the Constitution’s original meaning, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, more willing to adapt the Constitution to changing times, are ideological opposites and longtime friends with a mutual love of opera.

The idea of setting their words to music came to Wang, 29, when he was studying constitutional law and reading Scalia’s often fiery and well-constructed dissents. Ginsburg’s responses had their own lyricism, he said.

And so he wrote an aria for the Scalia character in the 18th century style known as opera seria in which Scalia rages about justices who want the Constitution to mean whatever they think it should mean — just as he does in real life.

Scalia fumes: “The justices are blind. How can they spout this? The Constitution says absolutely nothing about this.”

The response from Ginsburg begins in a 19th century style, but becomes more modern along the way, Wang said.

“How many times must I tell you, dear Mister Justice Scalia: You’d spare us such pain if you’d just entertain this idea,” Ginsburg says. “You are searching in vain for a bright-line solution to a problem that isn’t so easy to solve. But the beautiful thing about our Constitution is that, like our society, it can evolve.”


16. September 2013 · Comments Off on Like The Onion? · Categories: Read Online

Meanwhile, the concert has also had a tremendous effect on Kashmiri separatists. The Hizbul-Mujahideen leadership, for instance, has been so impressed that they have decided to rename their organisation the Hizb-ul-Tchaikovsky.

“I love to crack nuts while listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite”, boasted a Hizb leader. We understand the Haydn supporters in the group defected to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has since been renamed the Lashkar-e-Haydn. Intelligence sources tell us that one unintended consequence has been an exodus of fighters who cannot pronounce the new names of their organisations.

The success of the concert has led to demands coming in from other troubled areas. Unreliable sources say the Bavarian State Orchestra has been requested to play in Muzaffarnagar and in households torn by saas-bahu tensions.