Elektra

Elektra

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Anxiety Dreams

Historically, I don't have a lot of nightmares or anxiety dreams, and the ones I have tend to be of the crumbling-teeth variety. The other day, though....

I woke up from a dream in which I had somehow been appointed to conduct the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West. And it was two weeks until the date, and nobody had provided me with the score.

I have basic conducting skills, it's true, but they are very basic and  they have deteriorated since grad school, when I was an assistant conductor of one of the choruses at Stony Brook and led sectional rehearsals of the Missa Solemnis. I led a rehearsal of a very tiny chorus doing comparatively uncomplicated music earlier this year, with no personal rehearsal of the pieces we worked on, and I could wing it fairly well. But there is no way I could conduct a John Adams opera without lengthy study. NO WAY, you hear me?

Realistically speaking, if Grant Gershon is not, for some reason, able to conduct, the most likely substitute is JCA himself. There can't be many people who know the score well enough to step in and conduct GGW.

10 comments:

Dr.B said...

While never having been in a band, I used to substitute for band teachers. So I had to learn to site read pieces while never taking my eyes off the kids. Not as hard as Adams, I admit.

Alex Ross said...

Hilarious! This reminds me of the dream I once had in which I was about to go on stage to play Brahms's Second Piano Concerto. I was telling people that it was going to be a disaster, that I couldn't possibly play the Brahms Second Piano Concerto, but they kept saying, "Oh no, Alex, you are wonderful, it will be great!" Fortunately, the dream ended just as I was walking out onstage.

Alex Ross said...

A more pleasant dream I had recently: I was at some sort of event that appeared to be my retirement party, and Esa-Pekka Salonen showed up with an unexpected gift, in the form of shards of wood from one of Mahler's composing huts. He assured me that the shards had been legally obtained — with the help of the Vienna Philharmonic, if I recall correctly. I was very honored.

Lisa Hirsch said...

That E-PS / Mahler dream is lovely! But oh, dear, Brahms 2nd. No.

Alex Ross said...

It was without question the most terrifying dream I've ever heard.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I have had dreams that were much scarier than conducting the GGW premiere, alas.

Michael Strickland said...

Well, it's a good thing you won't be conducting "Girls of the Golden West" because I have been running into people in my neighborhood who are part of the production, and they say the music is extremely difficult to perform. "Harder than the choruses in Klinghoffer?" I asked. "Oh, yes, much more difficult." i can't wait to see/hear it, actually.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Whoa.

Will you be at the dress tonight? Wait, of course you will.

Michael Strickland said...

Dear Lisa: No, I won't be at the dress. For one thing, nobody invited me, and for another, I'm just getting home close to 7:30 PM from work. I'm hoping to go to the world premiere next Tuesday, balcony standing room, for at least the first half and have press tickets in the orchestra for Saturday, December 2nd. And your latest post is correct. This is truly a big deal, no matter how it turns out. Hope to be writing a preview this weekend for Civic Center about the cast who were at an Opera Guild panel a couple of weeks ago. Gosh, what a talented, smart and gorgeous young crew.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Dr. B, I never got an email notification for your comment and just found and published it. Apologies!