Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A mission statement prepared by WQXR’s new programmers said, “There may indeed be times when the more radical and unfamiliar pieces work, but we will not favor them over the work that speaks directly to the needs of uplift, beauty and contemplation.”...The programmers also provided a sample list of “core composers” and the works that would most likely play on the radio versus the Internet. They stressed that the list was but a guideline.Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Wagner were there. So were Copland, Janacek, Gershwin, Satie, Sibelius and the ever-popular Vivaldi. Mahler was missing.Schubert symphonies were deemed radio-worthy but not the piano trios or songs, which were reserved for Q2. Radio received Ravel orchestra music but not solo piano works; Sibelius’s symphonies but not his tone poems; Janacek chamber works but not operas; Brahms symphonies but not choral works; Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos but not the late piano sonatas, songs or chamber works.Vivaldi had sweeping approval. Except for “shorter sacred works.”
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
- Svetla Vassileva previously appeared at S.F. Opera as Liu in Turandot during the 1998-99 season.
- Zvetelina Vassileva previously appeared at S.F Opera as Leonora during the 1994 run of Il Trovatore, as Gorislava during the 1995 run of Ruslan y Lyudmila, and as Drusilla in the 1998 Poppea.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty in 1978 to unlawful sex with the girl whom he had lured to the home of Jack Nicholson on the pretext of a photo shoot and plied with Quaaludes and Champagne. But when a plea bargain deal appeared to founder, raising the prospect of a prison term, he fled the United States just before his sentencing.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
In the 90s, the late Sir Georg Solti asked American soprano Renée Fleming if she would sing [Isolde] for a production he was planning. Fleming looked at the score, decided that her voice would never be the same, and refused.Renée Fleming? Honestly? A singer with a smallish voice*, no depth in her low register, and not much thrust on the top? Was he planning to do Tristan with an orchestra of 50, or what?
Reinharz dismissed suggestions that he is resigning under pressure arising from the museum controversy, saying he strongly considered stepping down in summer 2008 before signing a five-year contract extension. At 65, Reinharz said he felt the time had come to move on.Honestly! He was willing to stay until 2013 but he's leaving ASAP? And this has nothing to do with what's actually going on at the University??
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
| Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique|
Ives: Holidays Symphony
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
|Thu, Oct 15, 2009 10:00pm|
Thu, Oct 22, 2009 10:00pm
Thu, Oct 29, 2009 10:00pm
Friday, September 18, 2009
As usual AVE pairs its programs with charity and social action organizations; and this concert is no exception. With the country focused on health care, we will share our East Bay concerts with two nonprofits, both housed at Oakland’s new, magnificent cathedral: Christ the Light. The first of these, The Order of Malta’s Medical Clinic, offers free medical services for uninsured children and adults; the second is the Legal Justice Center which offers free access to justice through preventive education, community advocacy, and the operation of a free legal clinic. Materials about both of these groups will be available at the Friday and Saturday concerts.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Join Wagneropera.net's Bayreuth Festival competition and win Enrico Nawrath's book "Bayreuth Backstage". The book is loaded with great photographs from the mysterious life backstage.
Write an article - short or long - (in English) about one or several of your experiences from the Bayreuth Festival. It could be a travel letter, your favourite Bayreuth operatic experience, your worst Bayreuth operatic experience, a production you liked or disliked, a Wahnfried experience - you make the rules, as long as the article is related to the Bayreuth Festival.
Short or long? You decide. All entries will be published on Wagneropera.net.
Deadline is 31 November 2009.
The winner of the book "Bayreuth Backstage" will be drawn in December.
Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, September 07, 2009
- I started by looking at the Proms web site, where I couldn't find anything about the dates and times of the broadcasts, though I did find a press release about the broadcast. If you read the press release, you'll see that there are no dates or locations listed.
- I looked for a Contact Us page with press contact information, but never found it.
- I did find a Contact Us page with a form on it, which I filled out with my query. I identified myself as an Oakland-based music journalist and blogger.
- A member of the Proms press office responded on their next business day. This was fine; I sent my query long after London closing hours.
- However, she told me the Proms press office didn't know anything about the scheduling of the broadcast - BBC Worldwide handles such events, you see. Her email included a list of the U.S. and London offices for BBC Worldwide, with phone numbers and street addresses for each.
- In reply, I asked if there were email addresses for any of the offices.
- She was able to provide one email address.
- I phoned the Hollywood, CA office of BBC Worldwide. The person answering the phone didn't know what the Proms were. She transferred me to someone she thought might know. That person sounded like a deer in the headlights and suggested I try the NYC office.
- I phoned the NYC office, where the person I spoke to knew what the Proms were, but didn't know anything about U.S. broadcasts. She suggested I talk to someone else.
- I phoned the other person and left a phone message asking her to call me back. This was on Thursday, September 2. I haven't heard back yet, but that's okay; very possibly she stretched her three-day weekend to four days.
- Simultaneously, I phoned the Elmwood Theater in CA, where a very nice person in the business office suggested I send email, which the right person would respond to.
- I did this and got a timely response from the right person. She told me she knew of the Berkeley and Santa Rosa Rialto Theaters showings, plus one in Los Angeles. She knew who the U.S. distributor was and told me that name. She also knew that there are many Canadian venues, which I had discovered independently. (I can't recall exactly when I tried using Google, finding nothing useful about the United State, but turning up the Canadian list.)
- This morning I found email from my original contact at the Proms press office, confirming that there are only three U.S. venues this year. (The third is Mann Chinese Theater in Hollywood.) Evidently, there was interest from other theaters and chains, but scheduling issues....very likely the Last Night will be more widely broadcast in the states next year.
The interview is now up at SFCV. That URL might change tomorrow when this week's issue is published.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
- Wall Street Pursues Profit in Bundles of Life Insurance. This is about a plan to buy life insurance policies from the old and sick, then securitize them. Gosh, this worked out so well with mortgages!
- Surge in Homeless Children Strains School Districts. Homeless children. Nobody should be homeless in this country. And school districts should be getting all the money they need to educate our young, pay teachers decent salaries, and have physically safe, functional, and beautiful schools.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
- Magnificat Baroque's blog. If you live in the Bay Area and care about early music and early opera, you'll want to start attending Magnificat's programs. I loved director Warren Stewart's programming at Cal Bach, and he continues to put together fantastic programs at Magnificat. Their opening program this year is something, an early opera written by a woman and staged with puppets.
- Flutin' High, the blog of flutist Helen Bledsoe, with a hat-tip to Ken Woods for the link.
- Classical Iconoclast, a blog of deep, long, and intricate postings by Doundou Tchl, who blogs on a wide range of musical subjects.
- From the Orchestra Library, written by Karen Schnackenberg, the librarian of the Dallas Symphony. This is great stuff, especially if you are interested in the nuts and bolts of running an orchestra.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
- Free tickets to the final dress rehearsal for opening night are again available. This year, it's Tosca, starring Karita Mattila, Marcelo Alvarez, and Juha Uusitala. I've seen Mattila sing Puccini, and she was...interesting. She's a great singer, beyond doubt, but that cool Nordic tone doesn't sound any more right in Puccini than Birgit Nilsson's did. Uusitala was a decent Dutchman and an inaudible Pizarro in San Francisco (I missed his last appearance, as the High Priest of Dagon). Still, free! tickets! You can get them in person only at the Met box office, starting at noon on September 13. The dress rehearsal itself is on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 11 a.m.; doors open that day at 10:30.
- The new Tosca production, by Luc Bondy, can be seen on HD broadcast on Saturday, Oct. 10.
- There will be two additional open dress rehearsals later this year: for Tales of Hoffman on Monday, November 30 (with Joseph Calleja, Alan Held, and Anna Netrebko) and for Rossini's Armida on Friday, April 9 (a new Mary Zimmerman production with Renee Fleming).
- On October 24, the Met HD telecast of Aida will star Violetta Urmana, Dolora Zajick, and Johan Botha, conducted by Daniele Gatti. It's the long-running, turquoise and white, double-decker Sonja Frisell production, a real spectacle and lots of fun.