Saturday, December 26, 2009
Sunday, January 3 at 8 p.m. – Verdi’s Il Trovatore
Nicola Luisotti makes his debut as San Francisco Opera’s music director with Verdi’s suspenseful tale of a corrupt count, a dashing warrior and a Gypsy who plots to avenge her mother's wrongful death. The illustrious cast features soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (Leonora), mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (Azucena), tenor Marco Berti (Manrico) and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Count di Luna), with bass Burak Bilgili (Ferrando) and mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum (Inez). Walter Sutcliffe, director. [Fall 2009; I was less thrilled with this than most people were, but S. Rad. is worth the price of admission.]
Sunday, February 7 at 8 p.m. – Puccini’s Il Trittico
A triptych that runs the gamut from heart-wrenching tragedy to sparkling comedy, audiences have the rare opportunity to enjoy Il Trittico in its entirety, the way its creator intended. Soprano Patricia Racette portrays the heroine in each of Il Trittico’s three one-act operas—Giorgetta (Il Tabarro), Sister Angelica (Suor Angelica) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi)—joined by baritone Paolo Gavanelli (Michele/Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi), tenor Brandon Jovanovich (Luigi/Il Tabarro) and contralto Ewa Podleś (The Princess/Suor Angelica). The cast also features mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook and bass Andrea Silvestrelli. San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers, conductor; James Robinson, director. [Fall 2009. Racette, Gavanelli, and Podleś were all spectacular, with great performances also from Andrea Silvestrelli, Meredith Arwady, Brandon Jovanovich, and David Lomeli.]
Sunday, March 7 at 8 p.m. – Listener’s Choice
Listeners vote on their favorite opera from the preceding year. The opera receiving the most votes will be rebroadcast on March 7. For more information, visit www.kdfc.com.
Sunday, April 4 at 8 p.m. – Verdi’s Requiem
KDFC broadcasts this special gala performance of Verdi’s choral masterwork celebrating former San Francisco Opera Music Director Donald Runnicles, who concluded his remarkable 17-year tenure at the close of the 2008-09 Season. Maestro Runnicles leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, with soprano Heidi Melton, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, tenor Stefano Secco and bass Andrea Silvestrelli. [Spring 2009. This started out as a train wreck, improved a lot!]
Sunday, May 2 at 8 p.m. – Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio
A Spanish nobleman sets out to rescue his beloved from the clutches of a tenacious Turk in this witty tale set to Mozart’s exuberant score. Soprano Mary Dunleavy (Constanze) and tenor Matthew Polenzani (Belmonte) head an exceptional cast featuring soprano Anna Christy (Blonde), bass Peter Rose (Osmin) and tenor Andrew Bidlack (Pedrillo). The performances feature the United States operatic debut of German conductor Cornelius Meister. Chas-Rader Sheiber, director. [Fall 2009; Fantastic conducting from Meister, great performances from Polenzani, Christy, Rose, and Bidlack. Dunleavy, why??]
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
While K. Murphy's new gig, director of music administration at NYCO, is, in fact, an important spot, H.G. Murphy's career isn't exactly huge. Tommasini cited her recent Met appearance as Sister Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, terming the character innocent and dreamy. Honestly, if you've seen Suor recently, can you tell the nuns apart?? Aside from Angelica, the monitor, and the Abbess, I mean?*
You can take a look at her career in the Met archive to get some perspective; there've been a lot more Barbarinas and Gianettas (Elisir) than Sophies and Nanettas. You can't make a case for her being what I'd call an important Met artist, though she has certainly been a consistent and valuable singer there for the last 20 years. If you're looking for career comparisons, bearing in mind that Grant Murphy is singing a lighter repertory, see Patricia Racette, who is a year or so older than Grant Murphy, but who graduated immediately from the Voice of the Falcon in Frau and the Priestess in Aida to leading roles.
Tommasini also runs off the rails when he says that Richard Bonynge and Joan Sutherland were a powerhouse team who "kept their married life private." Richard Bonynge's career got an immense boost from the fact that you could hardly hire Sutherland to sing without also hiring him to conduct. The one time I heard him, in a late 1990s Lucia at San Francisco, he struck me as an extremely competent, but not very interesting, conductor. I doubt he would be as prominent as he has been if he'd been married to, say, Mary Curtis-Verna.
So, while I enjoyed the Murphy family article a great deal - there are plenty of interesting insights into what it takes to have a musical career, let alone two musical careers in one family - I don't think Tommasini proved that they're a "power couple."
* I confess. Genovieffa has some real music; she gets the leading vocal part when they're discussing the beam of sunshine on the fountain. Still. It's one of those roles that nearly any lyric soprano can sing effectively. At San Francisco, Rebekah Camm sang the part. And did you ever judge a performance of Suor on the basis the singers other than the Angelica and Zia Principessa?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Seventh Avenue Presbyterian is a comfortable venue, intimate enough and spacious enough, and easy to get to by public transit. Parking in the neighborhood is not so much fun.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Seventh Avenue Performances (San Francisco) announces 2010 Season
For more information contact: J. Jeff Badger, Managing Director at the above EMail address or 415.664.2543 x3
Seventh Avenue Performances (www.SevenPerforms.org) is pleased to announce its 2010 season that once again presents a variety of performances at reasonable prices (general admission $20, student/senior $15) in San Francisco's Inner Sunset neighborhood; all performances are at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1329 Seventh Avenue in San Francisco. Our new season features opera, classical and world music, and we are pleased to once again be the San Francisco venue for our Artists-in-Residence, San Francisco Renaissance Voices (www.SFRV.org). The 2010 season includes:
Saturday, January 17, 7:30 pm – "Castles and Countrysides" - Season Opener with Brocelïande
We had such fun when Brocelïande made their Seventh Avenue debut on our 2009 Season that we decided to have them back to provide a celebratory start to 2010 with an inviting program of Celtic traditional and Early Music to welcome in the New Year! Included are Scottish songs by Robert Burns, Irish songs and dances, French traditional music, and songs of Tolkien. Featuring stellar vocal and instrumental harmonies, their entrancing sound is built on the interweaving of up to 3-part vocals with the lyrical music of the Celtic harp, octave mandolin, cello, 12-string guitar, recorders, whistle, and percussion. Brocelïande is Margaret Davis, Kristoph Klover, and Kris Yenney.
Saturday, February 6, 7:30 pm – The Music of Benjamin Britten
San Francisco Opera Chorus tenor Colby Roberts is joined by Kevin Rivard, horn; Dawn Harms, concertmaster and Maestro Matthias Kuntzsch, conductor and piano, to perform the music of Benjamin Britten featuring Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horns and Strings. The program will also include Britten's Les Illuminations, Sonnets of Michelangelo and Winter Words.
Saturday, March 6, 7:30 pm – Songs of War and Peace
Our Artists-in-Residence, San Francisco Renaissance Voices (Todd Jolly, Music Director), perform the first concert of their new season, "Music in Time of War," with music from the Renaissance and early Baroque featuring Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Missa pro Victoria (based on Janequin’s Le Guerre) as well as Dufay’s Lamentio Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, Gallus’ Les Heroes, Te Deums from the Franco-Flemish Renaissance, and troubador songs from the Crusades.
Saturday, April 17, 7:30 pm – Ya Elah Women’s Ensemble (Bon Singer, director)
Ya Elah sparkles with the influence of Bulgarian village songs, Sephardic and Middle Eastern melodies. The musicians have backgrounds in cantorial, folk, jazz, ethnic and classical styles. Composer, arranger, and singer with Kitka for 14 years, Artistic Director Bon Singer is recognized as one of the premier directors of Bulgarian choral music in the United States.
Saturday, May 15, 7:30 pm – The Armed Man
The Renaissance drinking song L’homme Arme’ (The Armed Man) has served as the basis for more masses than any other tune in history. This concert by San Francisco Renaissance Voices (Todd Jolly, Music Director) features both of Josquin des Prez’s versions his Missa L’homme armé sexti toni and his most famous version, Missa L'homme armé super voces musicales, a technical tour-de-force, containing numerous mensuration canons and contrapuntal display in which the L'homme armé tune is repeated for each movement on a consecutive step of the scale.
Saturday, June 26, 7:30 pm – Les Grâces Baroque Ensemble
Les Grâces performs the music of the 17th and 18th centuries with a focus on French music. The group features soprano Jennifer Paulino with Rebekah Ahrendt (viol), Annette Bauer (recorders) and Jonathan Rhodes Lee (harpsichord).
Saturday, July 31, 7:30 pm – The Armed Woman
San Francisco Renaissance Voices (Todd Jolly, Music Director) presents this concert dedicated to proving that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword and features music composed by women from the Medieval through Baroque periods. Featured is Isabella Leonarda’s (1620-1704) Magnificat, Opus 19 #10 with other music by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Maria Xaveria Peruchona (1652-1709), Sister Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (c1602-1678), Maddelena Casulana (1544-1590), the courtesan Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), the mysterious Antonia Bembo (1640-1720) and the child prodigy Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729).
Saturday, August 21, 7:30 pm – Of Heloise
Soprano Nancy Ogle (University of MN professor of Music, Surry Opera) and countertenor Justin Montigne (Chanticleer, Clerestory) offer the Bay Area its first listen to selections from an upcoming opera by Minnesota composer Jan Gilbert. Of Heloise recounts part of the epic love-lost story of Heloise and Abelard, whose letters, exchanged years after the end of their affair, bear testament to the passion they held for each other and to the deep intellectual and artistic bond they shared until death. Modern music on a medieval theme anchors this original and exciting program.
Saturday, September 18, 7:30 pm – Teslim
Teslim means both ‘commit’ and ‘surrender’ in Turkish and features two well known Bay Area musicians: violinist Kaila Flexer and Gari Hegedus on oud, Turkish saz, Greek lauoto and other (mostly plucked) stringed instruments. This potent duo performs Greek, Turkish and Sephardic music. In addition, both Flexer and Hegedus are composers whose original music is based on these fertile traditions
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Before you start protesting about the many, many problems, take a look at what Krugman has to say about it: he's not overjoyed, but if this doesn't pass, it'll be the 2020s before anything passes. Yep, we can continue to have 35 million people without health insurance (and thus without consistent and decent access to health care), or we can accept and build on the Rube Goldberg machine that is the current bill. So: Pass it!
(And we should think about some serious reform of the Senate. The U.S. Constitution does not require a supermajority to pass legislation, but between the ideological polarization of Congress, and especially the Senate, and rule changes over the last 40 years, there's a de facto requirement of 60 votes. Consider the history of California under our rule for a supermajority to pass budgets: do you want the whole country to look like my fine state?)
(And yes, I do think it stinks that, as usual, access to abortion is being further thrown under the train to pass this. What Ben Nelson got in addition to that is more federal money to expand Medicaid in Nebraska - that I like just fine.)
Friday, December 18, 2009
They are operating under significant budget constraints, with a season that will have a budget some $6 million under this past year's. That is something, considering that it includes three presentations of the Ring cycle in a new production. Jon Finck's email makes it clear that the opera will save some money by skipping the press conference.
The fact is, we already know about the Summer, 2011 season: it's three presentations of the Ring cycle. So all that needs to be announced is the remaining productions, for fall, 2010. In a good year, there would be seven operas, making a total of eleven for the season. But given the budgetary issues, I'm betting on six at the most and maybe even five. Opera Tattler has been following rumor, gossip, opera press releases, and singers' web sites carefully; see her San Francisco Opera future seasons page for the latest.
Why do we sing? – January 1, 2010 10pm, KALW, 91.7 FM
Do human beings have an innate ability to sing? When people say they can’t sing, should we believe them?
The inimitable Ella Fitzgerald – January 8, 2010 10pm KALW, 91.7 FM
America’s First Lady of Song changed the face of jazz vocals. VoiceBox explores the story behind the voice.
Hooray for Community Choruses, January 15, 2010 10pm KALW 91.7 FM
There are more than 500 choruses in the Bay Area and one in five Americans sings in a choir. Why are Americans so passionate about singing for pleasure? (I hope she's talking to Helene and Bill Whitson of the marvelous Choral Archive!)
Men with high voices, January 22, 2010 10pm KALW 91.7 FM
Once upon a time, countertenors wouldn’t go about publicizing the fact that they sang high. These days, male sopranos and altos are kings of the classical and pop worlds.
Mavens of Cabaret, January 29, 2010 10pm KALW, 91.7 FM
VoiceBox explores the vocal pyrotechnics of the smoothest cabaret artists from the Bay Area and beyond
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Trying to find a video (perhaps in a arts channel archive) of
something that came out perhaps 20 years ago: A performance by a
Canadian orchestra (perhaps the Montreal Symphony, don't know for sure
though) of Rhapsody in Blue that was done in an unusual way, with
performers moving on stage around a pianist--like
an enactment of the music. This is all the info I have to go
by...don't know the title of the piece (other than rhapsody in blue)
I have done some checking on Amazon and the web with no success. Can anyone identify the production in question?
OperaCast has links to the radio stream:
Here's the program:
XXI. Mini Fesztivál 2009 - IV/2.rész
1. Lendvay Kamilló: Six B. to B.,
a) Sietős léptek,
b) Harangjáték, c)Tétova induló,
af Hangyák háborúja (Kéry János),
2. Kurtág György: Szálkák Op. 6/d (Marczi Mariann),
3. Ligeti György
a) Fém - etüd No. 8. (Marczi Mariann),
b) A bűvészinas- etüd No. 10. (Lajkó István),
4. Bozay Attila: Bagatellek Op. 4. (Lajkó István),
5. Durkó Zsolt: A gömb története - részletek,
c) Landino-szext és Korál,
e) Bartókos dallam,
af Adoniszi sor,
g) Precipitando e ritartando,
h) Vae victis (Lendvai Dalma),
6. Vajda János: Változatok zongorára (Taraszova Krisztina),
7. Dubrovay László: Öt zongoradarab (Holics László)
(Fesztivál Színház, január 24.)
(IV/3.rész : december 30. szerda, 19.30)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
As for recordings, Christmas from a Golden Age, a Romophone record now reissued on Naxos (I think), the Leontyne Price Christmas album, and sundry medieval sets. That's it for me.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The county supes are naturally a little concerned about the last-minute nature of the loan. The authors of the Culture Monster blog posting, Mike Boehm and Garrett Therolf, note that L.A. Opera's most recent tax return, for the year ending June 30, 2008 (that's 18 months ago), showed serious signs of distress: the company's board of directors provided more than $19 million in interest-free loans, of which $5 million has been forgiven, and ticket sales of $18.2 million covered way less than 50% of the annual budget of $55.6 million.
Even if you wish his programming were less middle-of-the-road, it's almost impossible to imagine the fiscally-conservative Gockley letting San Francisco Opera get into this kind of difficulty. Thank goodness.
Update: Mark Swed discusses the future of the Ring cycle and the opera here, not saying much about how this mess happened.
Further Update: Brian at Out West Arts has interesting comments about the loan.
More Updates: Reportage by Boehm and Theolf here. Short article by Dan Wakin in the Times here. The head-banging line from the LA Times story:
The company had run short on cash, Rountree said, partly because "there was a failure to fully appreciate that they needed to put out $20 million of the $32 million for the 'Ring' Cycle two years in advance."
22 concerts at The Stone, NYC, December 16th through 29th, 2009.
Statement of curator David Garland:
"The emphasis of my programming at The Stone during the last weeks of 2009 is on musicians who subtly, insistingly, and creatively expand the potential of song. By investing songs with both heart and brain, and by tapping into the alchemy of the understandable and the mysterious, these daring songwriters prove that the ancient combination of words and music can still yield surprises, open new vistas, and permit and promote profound communication."
Tuesday, December 22 at 10pm
The M6: Meredith Monk Music Third Generation
Repertoire to include music by Meredith Monk from Book of Days, ATLAS, Volcano Songs, American Archeology, and Dolmen Music
THE STONE is located at the corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street
ADMISSION: $10 per set
students 13 to 19 admitted half price
children 12 and under free
There are no advance ticket sales. All admissions are at the door prior to each performance.
Here's the general schedule:
10pm nightly: Different versions of the iconic Reich composition, Music for 18 Musicians Noon & 8pm daily: Interviews with Reich from WNYC archives
Thursday: The Birth of a Style: Influences and Teachers
Friday: Counterpoint: From Vermont to Cello
Saturday: Reich in Full Voice: Vocal, Choral and Tape
Sunday: The Cave (Reich’s only opera)
Monday: Live Concerts from the WNYC Archives
Tuesday: Music for Percussion
Wednesday: Reich Remixed: The Next Generation
- Original and exciting new recordings of all of Reich’s recorded works, many with personal introductions by Reich himself
- Exclusive rare performances and interviews from the WNYC archives, including visits with John Schaefer on New Sounds and Soundcheck, long-format interviews with
Tim Page on Meet the Composer and with Leonard Lopate on The Leonard Lopate Show
- Do You Q2 blog, with celebrity tributes from contemporaries, collaborators and admirers from different fields, including: David Lang and Nico Muhly, composers; Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo; So Percussion’s Jason Treuting; and Bang On A Can Allstars & Steve Reich & Musicians’ Evan Ziporyn
- Reich (Remixed), a collection of Steve Reich material remixed by some of today’s most important DJs and remixers
- Exclusive, time-limited download of Reich’s Dance Patterns, courtesy Nonesuch Records http://nonesuch.edgeboss.net/
download/nonesuch/music/ 075597991321/a_fl_steve_reich_ daniel_variations_8_dance_ patterns_332481_256.mp3
Monday, December 07, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
They are brave. H/T to Scott Spiegelberg at Musical Perceptions for the link.
The case LaSalle tries to make is that Clooney is today's "American actor," which he never really defines, though he offers a bunch of examples. But he misses the most obvious comparison to Clooney, omitting from his list of past "American actors" Cary Grant.
If you've seen a few Grant films and a few Clooney films, the comparison couldn't be more apt. They're both charming, attractive, graceful in a loose-limbed way. You sometimes get the feeling they're playing themselves rather than whatever character they are nominally representing.
Really, by the end of the article, I was rolling my eyes and thinking, never send a guy, and especially a straight guy (which as far as I know is the case with LaSalle) to write this sort of article. He completely and totally missed the most obvious facts about George Clooney: the man is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, he is aging beautifully and not trying to hide his age (think Paul Newman, who was a stunner right through to his last film, versus the grotesque current appearance of Robert Redford), and he's always charming. Honestly, if George Clooney turned up on my doorstep...well, never mind.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Note: what he means is, he has to be able to perceive and understand the musical narrative. The composers he dismisses out of hand this week are Cage, Babbitt, Stockhausen, Glass, Reich, and Riley, a fascinating assortment of composers. He almost seems to be lumping Cage and Babbitt together, in fact!
Just noting that there's obviously a lot of Riley he hasn't heard.
Here's my personal definition of music: it's organized sound moving in time, typically organized by one or more of harmony (in the larger sense), rhythm, meter, timbre, form, or melody.
Just because you don't understand or like a particular style or composer doesn't mean it's not music.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Convince me that there's something about the opera or next summer's international cast - with an Italian tenor, a Canadian bass, and an American soprano - that makes it worth my shelling out even $10 for standing room to see this thing. I bow to no one in my love of Patricia Racette, but....couldn't they have hired her for Minnie instead?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, December 11th, 8pm
Settlement Music School—Germantown
6128 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia
Sunday, December 13th, 7pm
Settlement Music School--South Philadelphia
416 Queen Street (between Catharine and Christian)
Both concerts are free.
The Lost Child tells the story of Ana, a mysterious half-wild woman
who appears unexpectedly on the streets of Nuremburg. Drawn out of her isolation by the kind Dr. Nassar, Ana’s development is marked by a number of unsettling complications. Composer Kyle Bartlett plays amplified flute with live electronics; Benjamin Pierce serves in many roles as actor and Kristopher Rudzinski plays percussion.
Also on the program are three other Bartlett works. The decadent LushLife for electronic and recorded sounds emerges from the famous Coltrane/Hartman realization of the Strayhorn standard.
Mari-Liis Pakk (violin) and Jason Calloway (‘cello) will present Night Vision, a dramatic duet about transformation. They are joined by Kristin Ditlow (piano) for The Obligations of Memory, a searing yet simple meditation on overcoming isolation.
The Lost Child is made possible by the Independence Foundation as part of the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts program. This concert is also generously supported by Settlement Music School and the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composers Forum.
Kyle Bartlett, flute
Benjamin Pierce, actor
Kristopher Rudzinski, percussion
Mari-Liis Pakk, violin
Jason Calloway, ‘cello
Kristin Ditlow, piano
64th OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL, June 10–13, 2010
Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
George Benjamin, Music Director
Thursday, June 10, 8:00 pm
Members of the Ensemble Modern
George Benjamin, conductor (Schoenberg)
Hilary Summers, mezzo (Potter)
Saed Haddad: Le Contredésir
George Benjamin: Three Miniatures for violin
Steve Potter: Paradigms (excerpts) U.S.Premiere
Schoenberg: Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16 (chamber version), arranged by Greissle
Strauss: Emperor Waltzes, arranged by Schoenberg
Friday, June 11, 8:00 pm
Brad Lubman, conductor
Varèse: Density 21.5
Zappa: Selections from Greggery Peccary
Zappa: Selections from The Yellow Shark
Saturday, June 12, 11:00 am
Eric Huebner, piano
Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l’enfant Jèsus
Saturday, June 12, 8:00 pm
George Benjamin, conductor
Anu Komsi, soprano
Hilary Summers, contralto
Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat Suite
George Benjamin: Into the Little Hill West Coast Premiere
Sunday, June 13, 11:00 am
Indian raga ensemble, tba
Purcell: Fantazias for viols
Sunday, June 13, 5:30 pm
George Benjamin, conductor
Anu Komsi, soprano (Knussen)
Ueli Wiget, piano (Messiaen)
Dietmar Wiesner, flute (Boulez)
Pierre Boulez: Memoriale
George Benjamin: Viola, Viola
Oliver Knussen: Songs for Sue
Benjamin: At First Light
Ligeti: Chamber Concerto
Messiaen: Oiseaux exotiques
All concerts are held at Libbey Bowl.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
(Lest anyone misinterpret me, I'm glad the food stamp program exists because it keeps fewer people from going hungry, thankyouverymuch.)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I'm not going tonight and next Wednesday is effectively sold out, with only a few box seats and one seat somewhere else in the house available.
But Sunday's matinee has around 170 seats available, all $190 and up. That's over my limit for anything short of Bayreuth or the reincarnation of Conchita Supervia or, more appropriately for this work, Giovanni Martinelli.
It's a nice chunk of change at full price, more than $32,000. When does it make sense for an arts organization to decide to make them available to all comers at a steep discount, or on a rush basis for seniors, students, and military personnel? Is there a point where it makes sense to auction off the tickets? I would happily participate in an auction.
Is there an economist in the house?
Say what? That's a silly argument to make, the sort of thing where a composer should speak only for him or herself. If he has nothing more to say as a composer, fine and dandy, but it's his problem and doesn't address general issues of music at all.
It's also ridiculous to make a statement like "For more than half a century, we've seen incredible advances in sound technology but very little if any advance in the quality of music." What? How do you measure an "advance in the quality of music"? Does Branca know how to measure the advance in the quality of music from, say, Bach to Mozart? How about Brahms to Schoenberg? I would say there are always changes in style and technique, but quality? Are we supposed to believe there were changes in "quality" from Power to Dufay to Josquin?
Not to mention, brief article that mentions that some orchestras are in financial hot water but neglects the vibrant new concert music scene in, for example, New York City is in no way addressing the real state of new music.
FYI, my comments on Times blogs are under my own name about 95% of the time. The exceptions are extremely rare comments on high-tech business articles, where I am cautious for obvious reasons, and anything to do with my family, where I am cautious for different obvious reasons.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I tried out the station briefly, coming in someplace in the middle of a cello concerto I didn't recognize. That finished and the next piece was the last movement of one of the Saint-Saens piano concertos. That, I think is enough for me; not only do I have the gigantic EMI RVW and Britten boxes sitting here, I'd rather listen to Cesky Rohzlas.
But let's consider that business of asking five of my friends to give classical music a try. "Classical music" generally means concert music written between, say, 1100 and today. That's a lot of ground. A friend who can't bear Wagner might love Messiaen. A friend who can't bear Messiaen might love Bach. Just asking people to give it a try isn't enough; there's so much repertory and so much of it is good, and it's not all that predictable who will like what.
Not only that, if I'm asking friends to give a particular repertory a try, I buy them tickets to live performances. There's no substitute for being there, especially if you're taking someone to the opera or symphony. The impact of a voice or instrument or ensemble in the house is a big part of the experience.
So, no, I'm not asking five friends to give it a try by listening to Classical Music Broadcast.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
So imagine my surprise and pleasure when he resumed blogging on November 4. Welcome back, Mark! And how did the European premiere of Little Women go?
P. S. Of local interest: "I'm ahead of schedule for San Francisco." Woo hoo!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Yeah, you're right. I couldn't resist a good one-liner. Seriously, though - Brian at Out West Arts sees about a zillion performances a year, in the LA area and across the country, including whatever looks interesting to him at San Francisco Opera. He and I agreed about the SFO Salome; disagreed about the local Trittico. (Yes, I am about two months behind in blogging Trittico, which I saw three times, yes, three. It was that good.) His skepticism about Dudamel is a fine thing in light of both the hyype surrounding Dudamel and the riskiness of hiring him in the first place. And it makes me quite curious to finally hear Dudamel in a substantive program.
2009-10 Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network Schedule
12/12 Sat 12:30 Puccini: Il Trittico
Ranzani; Racette, Murphy, Blythe, Licitra, Pirgu, Lučić, Corbelli
12/19 Sat 1:00 Offenbach: Les Contes d’Hoffmann
Levine; Kim, Netrebko, Gubanova, Lindsey, Calleja, Held
12/26 Sat 1:00 Strauss: Elektra
Luisi; Bullock, Voigt, Palmer, Schmidt, Nikitin
1/2 Sat 1:00 Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
Davis; Persson, Kirchschlager, Plowright, Langridge, Croft
1/9 Sat 1:00 Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
De Waart; Fleming, Graham, Schäfer, Cutler, Allen, Sigmundsson
1/16 Sat 1:00 Bizet: Carmen
Nézet-Séguin; Frittoli, Garanča, Alagna, Kwiecien
1/23 Sat 1:00 Barber: Vanessa Archive Broadcast February 1, 1958
Mitropoulos; Steber, Elias, Resnik, Gedda, Tozzi
1/30 Sat 1:00 Verdi: Stiffelio
Domingo; Radvanovsky, Cura, Dobber, Ens
2/6 Sat 1:00 Verdi: Simon Boccanegra
Levine; Pieczonka, Giordani, Domingo, Morris
2/13 Sat 1:00 Donizetti: La Fille du Régiment
Armiliato; Damrau, Palmer, Te Kanawa, Flórez, Muraro
2/20 Sat 1:00 Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos
Petrenko; Stemme, Kurzak, Connolly, Ryan, Schmeckenbecher
2/27 Sat 1:00 Puccini: La Bohème
Armiliato; Netrebko, Cabell, Beczala, Finley, Cavalletti, Gradus, Plishka
3/6 Sat 1:00 TBA
3/13 Sat 1:00 Shostakovich: The Nose
Gergiev; Popov, Gietz, Szot
3/20 Sat 1:00 Janáček:: From the House of the Dead (performance from Fall 2009)
Salonen; Margita, Streit, Hoare, Mattei, White
3/27 Sat 1:00 Thomas: Hamlet
Langrée; Dessay, Larmore, Spence, Keenlyside, Morris
4/3 Sat 1:00 Verdi: Aida
Carignani; Papian, Zajick, Licitra, Guelfi, Colombara, Kocán
4/10 Sat 1:00 Mozart: Die Zauberflöte
Fischer; Kleiter, Shagimuratova, Polenzani, Gunn, Pittsinger, König
4/17 Sat 1:00 Verdi: La Traviata
Slatkin; Gheorghiu, Valenti, Hampson
4/24 Sat 1:00 Puccini: Tosca
Levine; Mattila, Kaufmann, Terfel, Del Carlo
5/1 Sat 1:00 Rossini: Armida
Frizza; Fleming, Brownlee, Ford, Zapata, Banks, van Rensburg
5/8 Sat 1:00 Berg: Lulu
Levine; Petersen, von Otter, Lehman, Schade, Pittsinger, Morris
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- DO make the subject line something meaningful. I almost trashed email once that had the subject line "YOU GO GIRL!!" because it looked like spam to me. I stopped to take a look and found that it contained important news. "ICE Founder and Flutist Claire Chase Wins Important Competition" would have gotten my attention real fast.
- DO put the most critical information (dates, times, works, performers, ticket prices, venue) someplace easy to locate. Right at the top is good; if you send out many press releases, put this information in the same place every time, whether at the top or bottom. Just make it easy to find.
- DO use blind carbon copy. That is, don't open-copy your mailing list. Many people, especially high-profile individuals, do not want their personal email addresses circulated by others.
- DON'T write a fake personal note as part of the email. You know what I mean: "Hey...I was just reading your blog and thought this might interest you." I can't stand those, and while I might be more sensitive than most to fakery, or email that looks fake, I assure you that being professionally impersonal is much, much better than anything with a whiff of the fake about it. "Dear Media Professional" is fine; no cover note at all is fine. Fake friendliness is out, because you don't know who will be rubbed the wrong way by it.
- DO paste the full text of the press release into the email or provide a link to a web page.
- Conversely, DO NOT attach Word or PDF documents. You don't know who has Acrobat Reader or the right Word version installed, and the current Word format is not backward compatible with older versions.
- DO include the full cast if there's an opera in your announcement or the singers' names if it's an orchestral work with vocal parts. I once received a Spoleto Festival USA announcement that mentions performances of Louise with only the soprano's name, and performances of Das Lied von der Erde without either of the singers' names. I am certain that the Festival had singers under contract for performances that were taking place six months after the mailing.
- DO consider writing informal, entertaining, or humorous press releases, but be extremely careful with your tone. Humor varies around the world, and be especially careful if you're addressing the press release to individuals in different countries.
- DO get the details right when the email is personalized. I once received email that included "I know you're in Germany, but your readership is probably international." The sentiment is a good one; the mistake was an honest one, but I stopped reading right there. I roll my eyes slightly, but I read on, when I get email with salutations to Linda or Laura. (I'm Lisa.)
- DO make sure the press release is relevant to the people you're emailing. I am happy to read press releases for events all over the world, but not everyone is. On the other hand, I rarely read pop music press releases. That is, know your audience.
- DO proofread what you're sending out. Make sure performer names, dates, times, locations, and ticket prices are correct and easy to find. Use that spelling checker. Have someone check your grammar if it's not your strong suit.
- DO use 10 or 12 point type. Twenty-odd years into the digital age, I feel like I shouldn't have to say this any more, but since I recently received a print document where the point size went down to 6 and maybe 4 point type.... That's unreadable without a magnifying glass.
- DO make it easy for people to find the information they want. This means, DON'T use an overly complicated or fussy layout, or more than 2 fonts in one document. This is a particular hazard if you're emailing HTML copied directly from your organization's web site. Again, 20 years into the digital age...just don't do anything that reduces readability or findability.
- DON'T even think about posting press releases in the comments section of a blog. I've seen this happen a few times, on my blog and others' blogs. I immediately delete such comments as spam. For one thing, they're almost always irrelevant to the blog entry where they've been posted. For another, it's rude and random behavior. For yet another, the press release will be seen ONLY by people subscribed to comments to that blog entry. Lastly, it pisses people off, which doesn't do your client any good. If you've managed to find my blog, look for the Email Me link and use that mailing address.
- DON'T make people click through to your web site to find information that you omitted from the press release.
- DO include contact information, and make it an email address. What if your media contact has a question or wants more information or is thinking of writing a story? Make it easy for the press release recipient to contact the right person at your organization.
To close with a couple of positives: whether you're a PR pro or an amateur like me (I've handled publicity for a couple of small organizations), you'll find tons of useful information at Amanda Ameer's blog, Life's a Pitch. And if you want to see a few examples of really good press releases, try those issued by San Francisco Opera or by publicist Louise Barder, who does a great job of providing the right information the right way at the right time.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
It might be interesting to look at which composers were alive fifty years ago who are still played today. Let's start with the biggest gun of all, Igor Stravinsky. Alive in 1959? Check. Still being played today? Boy howdy. Dmitri Shostakovich? Alive in 1959, played all over today, Shostakovich might be the most recent composer to enter what I'd call the standard repertory.
How about Benjamin Britten? Yep. Ralph Vaughan Williams? Ooops, died in '57. Aaron Copland? Still played today. Leonard Bernstein? Oh, yeah. Pierre Boulez? Yep, people are still playing him. He's one of the old guard of Modernism now. Elliott Carter? Still alive and still composing at nearly 101. I'm willing to bet that string quartets looking for depth and challenge will be playing Carter fifty years from now, too.
Can anyone come up with a nice list of composers who were played 50 years ago and are not played today? Mr. Soho, this seems up your alley.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- Chora Nova's Evening of Beethoven, featuring the Mass in C and "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage," First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley (not First Congo), 8 p.m., Saturday, November 21. $10-$20.
- California Bach Society, Advent in Dresden, Music for Vespers during Advent by Schein, Scheidt, Schütz, and Praetorius. December 4-6 in San Francisco (St. Mark's Lutheran, 8 p.m.), Palo Alto (All Saints' Episcopal, 8 p.m.), and Berkeley (St. Mark's Episcopal, 4 p.m.). $10-$25. You bet I will be at this one.
- Soli Deo Gloria, Songs of Nativity, featuring Respighi's Laud to the Nativity. Unfortunately opposite Cal Bach, because I'd love to hear the piece. Dec. 5, 5 p.m., First Lutheran in Palo Alto; Dec. 6, 3:30 p.m., Christ Episcopal, Alameda. $20-$25 at the door, discount with advance purchase (see web site).
- Sacred and Profane, Spain and the New World: A Holiday Concert. Dec. 4, 8 p.m., St. Mark's Episcopal, Berkeley; Dec. 6, 4 p.m., First Presbyterian, Alameda; Dec. 12, 8 p.m., St. Francis Lutheran, S.F. $15-18.
- San Francisco Choral Artists, Old Chestnuts, New Fire Dec. 5, 8 p.m., St. Mark's Episcopal, Palo Alto; Dec. 12, 8 p.m., St. Mark's Lutheran, S.F.; Dec. 13, 4 p.m. St. Paul's Episcopal, Oakland.
- International Orange Chorale, Dinner, as a Concert. (No food is involved, sadly. Don't go hungry.) Dec. 4, 5 p.m. Solarium Public Space, S.F.; Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., Most Holy Redeemer, S.F.
- Magnificat, Christmas Mass by Chiara Maria Cozzolani. Dec. 4, 8 p.m., St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park; Dec. 5, 8 p.m., St. Mark's Episcopal, Berkeley; Dec. 6. 4 p.m., St. Mark's Lutheran, S.F.
Whether you read the previews or not, you should go see this production if you can. It's Janacek; can't enough of him. The cast and conductor are something: Esa-Pekka Salonen, in his Met debut; Stefan Margita (the magnificent Loge of the in-progress Ring in SF), Kurt Streit, Peter Mattei, Willard White, and Peter Hoare.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The Times Prescriptions blog has excellent coverage of an anti-reform rally going on right now in D.C. I quote the following:
Ms. Garloch, who has a combination of Medicare and private coverage, said insurance should be sold across state lines to increase competition.This is typical of the grass-roots opposition to health-care reform. Ms. Garloch is a Medicare beneficiary (that's government-provided, single-payer health insurance); she apparently doesn't understand what is wrong with the current system; she hasn't read enough about the Cleveland Clinic to understand how that excellent institution works and achieves better results with lower costs than almost any other hospital in the country. I am sure she knows the slogans, and I wish she would read more and move past the slogans.
But Ms. Garloch, like many in the crowd who while visibly angry. could not articulate the main problems in the health care system or how they should be solved.
Some of the same people warning of too much government spending also complained that Medicare does not provide sufficient coverage.
Ms. Garloch dismissed suggestions that some hospitals, like the Cleveland Clinic in her home state, had figured out ways to provide higher-quality medical outcomes at lower cost, indicating that there might be ways to cut costs without sacrificing patient care.
Here's the basic information:
Thursday, November 12, 2009
7pm Reception, 8pm Concert
Valley Presbyterian Church
945 Portola Road, Portola Valley
Friday, November 13, 2009
7pm Panel Discussion, 8pm Concert, Reception to follow
Building 130, Fisher Loop, San Francisco
Thursday, November 12: $20 / $15 students & seniors
Friday, November 13: $25 / $20 students & seniors
Two-Concert Pass: $40 / $30 students & seniors
Order (800) 838-3006 or through Brown Paper Tickets.
Full details are here.
Monday, November 02, 2009
The dates for this extravaganza are November 12-15, at Stanford, in Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Campbell Recital Hall, and Tresidder Union. Some events are free. For full details, see the press release (a PDF) or SLA's web site. Please note that Simon Morrison's event has been canceled.
I'd like to go to some of these but I may have conflicts, alas.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The Republican Party leadership nominated state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava as the Republican candidate to replace McHugh; meanwhile, the state Conservative Party nominated Douglas Hoffman, who is far to right of the Republican candidate.
Hoffman's been getting support from out-of-state Republicans like Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, who both have aspirations to higher office. Scozzafava, you see, is an old-fashioned, northeast Republican: socially liberal (pro-abortion rights, pro-gay marriage), fiscally conservative, pro-business. That's just not acceptable to the "Republican base;" i.e. the farthest-right wing. Today, Scozzafava withdrew from the race, because she's losing support, not raising enough money, and she and Hoffman are in a dead draw.
Of all people. Newt Gingrich is troubled by this dynamic. Here's how he's quoted in today's Times:
“This makes life more complicated from the standpoint of this: If we get into a cycle where every time one side loses, they run a third-party candidate, we’ll make Pelosi speaker for life and guarantee Obama’s re-election.”I can see how that prospect might bother a few Republicans. Will they push themselves even further from the center, or split entirely? Read the whole story in today's Times.
Five years ago, in June, 2004, I attended a performance of Arabella at Covent Garden. I had seen the opera once before, with Janice Watson, Franz Grundhaber, and Tracy Dahl as the annoying Fiakermili. Donald Runnicles probably conducted; I cannot for the life of me remember who sang Zdenka or Matteo. I intensely disliked it despite some lovely music.
So why did I buy a ticket to the London performance? Get this cast and conductor: Mattila, Bonney, Hampson, Very, Damrau/Dohnanyi. They were near perfect, and I became a fan. I still remember the beautiful clarity and balance of the orchestra, the thrust of Mattila's voice, echoed on a smaller scale by Bonney's, Hampson's humanity, the rightness of the production and direction.
Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm a bel-canto skeptic. Sure, I'd be happy to take in a well-cast Norma or Lucia once in a while, and I'd run to get tickets to William Tell. But I've walked out on La Favorite and Elisir and avoid Rossini comedies like the plague.
That means that I missed the hotshot tenor Juan Diego Florez's first two appearances in San Francisco, which were in Barber of Seville and Cenerentola. So when the much-touted and well-traveled Laurent Pelly production of La Fille du Regiment came around, with Florez in the tenor lead and Damrau as Marie, I gulped and dragged myself to the balcony standing room area of the War Memorial Opera House, concerned about both the music and the 80-minute first act.
I'm going to have to eat my words about Donizetti: I liked the production a great deal and loved the music. You've probably heard "Pour mon ame,"* the famous tenor cavatina with the nine (9) high Cs, and while it's certainly the opera's biggest show-stopper, it's just one of the many beautiful, imaginative, and delightful arias and ensembles.
See, the focus of the publicity materials on the tenor's vocal gymnastics obscures a few things. The soprano lead is not only three times the length of the tenor role, it has a much wider emotional range, from the very extroverted and athletic to the wistful. And those ensembles! There are several excellent choral pieces and some great trios; the music is more harmonically adventurous than what I remember of the other Donizetti operas I've seen.
The singing was mostly terrific. I loved both Damrau and Florez. She has the range and flexibility for the role, and a lovely voice, bigger than I remembered from Arabella, though not as luscious as Ruth Ann Swenson's. She's an excellent singer and was as good in the slow music as the fast. Florez sounds much warmer and more human in the hall than on record, where he sounds brilliant to the point of hardness. The 9 high Cs? Yep, they were great, but for me the most impressive thing about the aria is that he is so charming and sings with such a good line. Not to mention, the Cs were easy and it sounded as though he had headroom and could have gone to a D or even higher.
The production, set in or around WWI, is a little on the manic side, especially for Marie, who has to haul around laundry and tubs of potatoes, jump all over the stage, sing while being carried off stage, etc., etc. I can't imagine Joan Sutherland putting herself through these particular paces, though Sills and possibly Swenson could have. Some of the schtick, esp. for the Duchess of Krackenthorp, is broad and a little dumb, but the role and the opera are like that. It's not exactly subtle, and of course the plot is about as thin and silly as opera plots get.** The rushing around didn't feel overdone. My colleague Jerry said he thought it was staged like a Broadway show. I think he's right, and I think it worked quite well. There IS dialog, of course.
Meredeith Arwady, heard here in Il Trittico as the Mother Superior and Zita, was back, as the Marquise of Berkenfeld. She sounds like a young Podles, though I find the width of her vibrato worrying. She's funny and has lots of presence. I remember her as an awkward and seemingly terrified Merola fellow who looked out of place on stage, so her current authoritative performances give me great pleasure. I can't explain the schtick very well, but at one point she sings about half a verse of "Mon coer s'ouvre a ta voix" and it was really good! Sheila Nadler, as the Duchess, must be in her mid-60s, and it sounds as though she can still sing, in the three lines of music she had.
Bruno Pratico, as Sulpice, is okay (in tune, funny) but sounds worn and vocally unattractive.
This production also benefits from really superb conducting by Andriy Yurkevych. He has a great feel for the ebb and flow of Italian music, and did NOT conducting everything at a firm moderato, which is one of my standard complaints about bel canto performances. He conducted as though he took the music seriously - good for him! Which reminds me that the conductor of Swenson's Lucia - which I think of as Swenson's Lucia with Vargas's Edgardo - was Richard Bonnyng, who was at best a competent bore.
So, do I blame Damrau, or not? Two operas I had every reason to think I'd hate, two great performances that made me a fan.
*If you've been under a rock for the last couple of years, here are Luciano Pavarotti in 1972 and Juan Diego Florez in the Pelly production, filmed at Covent Garden and available commercially. Florez sounds even better live, with a warmer sound that's bigger than you might think from the voice's lightness. And what I heard was better than Pav in '72. Really.
** A regiment of French soldiers inherits an infant and raises her collectively as their daughter. Some years later, she's in love with a young Swiss hayseed. The soldiers will only allow her to marry a member of the regiment, so he joins up, just as she discovers she is the neice - actually the daughter - of a Marquise. The Marquise thinks a young hayseed/soldier isn't exactly good enough for her either. This is a comic opera, so they wind up engaged instead of dead.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sacrificium focuses on the composer and teacher Nicola Porpora. In which Italian city was he based?
Go to the Bartoli puzzle page and post your answer in the Answer Nine field.
Read the previous clue at Nico's Twitter feed. Read the next clue (which is really the first clue) chez La Cieca, who has returned from exile.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
What distinguishes the American Idea from the superstitions, stifling traditions and the various forms of collectivism that have historically cursed humanity is its confidence in individual freedom. Without that freedom, opportunity is a mirage and “responsibility to your fellow man” is simply a slogan used to justify harnessing the populace to serve those in power.Another says, in part:
Yes, we have the freedoms of choice and speech, but we are an individualistic and self-sufficient people. We believe that people should take care of themselves and carry their own water.I'm sure these fellow citizens, who so value individualism and dislike collectivism, will turn down Social Security and Medicare at age 65, aren't you? After all, people should take care of themselves.
I’m not responsible for my fellow man. The fellow man should take care of himself, and so on.
I thought the staging was fine and the sets and lighting okay; not problematic but not outstanding. Nothing struck me as very decadent about the court, so it was hard to tell just what bothered Jokanaan so much except, well, that business with Herodes, her first husband, and her second husband. Perhaps it was the general lack of on-stage dementia, except, of course, Salome herself.
I did not like Garrett Sorenson's Narraboth; he sobbed like Gigli and that's just wrong in Strauss, even if you're the Italian Singer in Rosenkavalier. I did like Elizabeth DeShong's Page. Irina Mishura sounded slightly blowsy from where I was sitting and I wish she'd been more physically crazed. She seemed too polite, even when urging Salome on late in the opera. Ildiko Komlosi in last year's Met broadcast was plenty nuts, or maybe it was that there were plenty of close-ups of her with a drink in her hand and a soused look on her face.
I've never much cared for Greer Grimsley: all that wool in his voice! He's like a latter-day Leonard Warren. Oh, maybe not that bad.
Nadja Michael was very effective physically, and definitely looks and moves like a dancer. But she seems to have been hired for her physical rather than vocal abilities, and she had serious vocal drawbacks. Sometimes I couldn't hear her; sometimes she couldn't hit the notes; her phrasing didn't have much insight or variety. I liked the staging of the dance very much.
Kim Begley was the best of the singers and as far as I'm concerned more or less stole the show, or would have if he'd been dancing instead of watching the dance. Weirdly, he is a dead ring for Paolo Gavanelli, but they're definitely not the same person.
The big problem of the night, really, was Luisotti. I don't care, much, that he drowned everyone out once in a while. He was so languid I felt like there was never much musical momentum or tension, no sense of the structure of the piece or of how the music hurtles toward destruction. He needs another year or two with the score - and maybe all the German music should still be conducted by The Donald.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
- Saturday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m. Xenakis program at the Miller Theater, 116th & Broadway, NYC; after party at S I P, 998 Amsterdam at 110th.
- Sunday, Oct. 17, flutist (& ICE executive director) Claire Chase plays Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker St., NYC. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; music at 7:30 p.m. After party at Madame X, 94 W. Houston.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I went to the first program of Berkeley Symphony tonight, at the suggestion of my friend Mike, who thought it would be fun to check out Joana Carneiro, the new
No such luck. So we stood on line and the folks at will call handed him an envelope containing tickets. They did not scan the or do anything at all with the bar code printout. So, they're half-way to a good on-line ticketing service, in that they can generate a bar code for home printout, but it can't be read and used for admission at the concert venue, even though that would speed up admissions considerably.
As for the inside the house issues....almost everyone got seated on time, at the beginning of the program, though a few stragglers were admitted after the opening number, John Adams's The Chairman Dances. The real fiasco was after the intermission. The house lights came down while dozens of people were still being seated, and poor Joana Carneiro was sent out to the podium while most of those were still standing. WTF? No one is keeping an eye on whether the audience is still being seated? There is no reason the conductor should have to stand there for ninety seconds waiting for the audience to settle in and quiet down; it was an amazingly unprofessional and incompetent way to treat the audience, the orchestra, and the conductor.
Now he's moving his current blogging activities to the web site of TNY, and I find myself surprising shocked and sad about this. Honestly, it feels a bit like the death of a friend.
Businesses that move their location have been known to lose customers; web site redesigns typically lose readers. (I quit reading Salon after their last redesign, for example.) I'm not sure it's a good idea to blog from your employer's web site rather than from your own stand-alone, highly-regarded blog; sure, Alex might work at TNY forever, but given the state of print journalism....would TNY be able to survive as a web-only publication? What if the web site disappears?
And I find TNY's web site crowded, messy, and not very pleasant to read. (Well, at least you can enlarge the font size easily by clicking a larger A on most pages.) I'd suggest using RSS and your favorite feed reader.
I'm leaving The Rest is Noise on my blogroll; Alex says it may be updated with book news and samples from time to time. His new blog, Unquiet Thoughts, joins the blogroll today.
American Symphony Orchestra Replaces Tenor for Season-Opening Concert on Wednesday, October 14 Because of Visa Snafu
Richard Crawley Will Now Sing Title Role in Opera-in-Concert Performance of D’Indy’s Fervaal at Avery Fisher Hall
Dwayne Jones, a noted Australian singer who resides in London, was unable to resolve a visa and passport snafu and consequently could not get clearance to travel to the United States in time for rehearsals with the American Symphony Orchestra. As a result, the tenor Richard Crawley has been brought in by the ASO to sing the title role in the orchestra’s season-opening opera-in-concert performance of D’Indy’s Fervaal at Lincoln Center. The performance will take place at Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday, October 14 at 8 PM.
Jones becomes one of an increasing number of artists and performers who have been denied entry to the United States for reasons that are unclear.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
DO put the most critical information (dates, times, works, performers, venue) someplace easy to locate. Right at the top is good; if you send out many press releases, put this information in the same place every time, whether at the top or bottom. Just make it easy to find.To elaborate on this, put that information in the cover email. Don't make people download a PDF just to find out the date and location (i.e. the CITY) of the concert you're publicizing. And include the day of the week as well as the date.