Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Free Mozart!

The headline says it all - Mozart's entire musical works now free on Net.

Also, in a follow-up to the previous post about Alagna, he has now mounted his own production of Aida. Details here. He's also threatening to sue La Scala if they don't take him back? How do those two things jive? He's also blaming "low blood sugar" for his behavior? Riiiiight.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In the news

Alagna storms off the stage of La Scala!

Not only stormed off stage, but stormed off stage in the middle of a duet, leaving his poor partner, Violeta Urmana, stuck on stage without him. His understudy rushed on, a few minutes later, wearing jeans, and with no time to warm up carried on with the show. Of such things are careers made.

Ah, opera.

Concerts, concerts, everywhere

I'm happy to report that the Boston Cecilia concerts this weekend went extremely well - the choir sang beautifully, and there were no major management mishaps. (The volunteer service we used sent the ushers to the wrong place on Saturday, so we had no Saturday ushers, but so it goes.)

Although one audience member said to me on the way out, "You know, there was a lot of modern music on that concert. Not everybody likes that. I think it should be more 50-50 with the old and the new. And you know, not everyone in your audience speaks Latin. (Well, yes, that's why we included a full translation of all texts in the program.) You should have more English tunes." And I want it on record that I, being the extraordinarily tactful Operations Manager that I am, refrained from rolling my eyes and saying, "Whatever, lady." I think I just sort of hemmed and hummed in a thoughtful and non-committal way at her.

Luckily, most of the audience was happy to hear a carefully thought out and exquisitely rendered program of Messaien, Britten, Poulenc, Tavener, and Bach. Have I mentioned how relieved and proud and lucky I feel to have landed a job with such an extremely good chorus? This weekend strengthened my inital resolve to sit in on some rehearsals and figure out how they put that wonderful sound together.

And THEN, tonight, the day after this three-day weekend run of Cecilia concerts, was the Winchester High School first ever Winter Choral Concert! It was an hour of all-singing, and it went extremely well, and I am quite proud and relieved! My kids all did great, and on several occasions they surprised me with how well they sounded - sometimes things really blossom in performance! When I walked off stage after the last song I conducted, I completely understood how people end up staying teaching in a high school for twenty or thirty years. I'm also excited to pick out new repertoire for the spring.

For weeks, my goal has simply been to get past these four days. Now that they're over, I'm not really sure what to do with myself. Perhaps clean my apartment. Or correct all those theory packets that are waiting for me. Or buy Christmas presents.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Boston Cecilia concert - ushers needed!

I'm happy to report that my laryngitis healed in time for me to sing the Cappella Clausura concerts, and they went very well! We also had a recording session just last night of the concert music, which was interesting, because things felt much better in my voice when it was healed and healthy last night from when it was barely over laryngitis several weeks ago! Interestingly the thing I really lost when I had laryngitis was my low range. Who would have guessed? If nothing else, getting laryngitis was very educational. Among other things, I'm now more enthusiastic about using hand sanitizer, in an effort to prevent a repeat occurence.

I also have another concert announcement! Half of my 9-5 job time is spent being the Operations Manager for The Boston Cecilia, a really excellent choir in Brookline. We have three concerts coming up this week, on Dec. 8 at 8 pm, Dec. 9 at 8 pm, and Dec. 10 at 3 pm. The Friday concert is downtown at Church of the Advent (in the Back Bay) and the Saturday and Sunday concerts are at All Saints Parish in Brookline. More information can be found here.

As Operations Manager, I'm in charge of finding ushers. We're all set for Friday and Saturday (although if you really want to come, we could always use one more) but I need several more ushers for Sunday. You show up at 1:45, hand out programs, and then you get to listen to the concert for free! It's going to be a really splendid concert, with Poulenc and Messiaen and Tavener and Britten (oh, my!) Please let me know if you'd be interested in ushering. Also feel free to point musically-minded friends towards this post, especially if they're free on Sunday!