Sunday, November 19, 2006

Beethoven Parody


Kim Witman of the Wolf trap operaposted a link to two of the other clips that Dudley Moore does. However I think that those who read my blog will get more of a kick out of this particular parody, as more people who read my blog know about beethoven sonatas than Britten.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I spent an hour and a half in lesson today going over and over and over Frere!Voyez!...from Werter. I needed to quickly add an extra aria to my audition package and this is an easy piece for my voice, nothing to work through at all, just learn the notes figure out the character and go!

However my French sucks...This is augmented by the fact that I have a really hard time reading words off a page and singing them in the correct order. I may have a little dyslexia going on, but certainly not enough to bow out of any learning responsibilities.

Anyhow an hour and a half later on this little piece and I think I pronounce everything and I'm not swapping the que and the je (why do you happen in a row?)

I haven't done any research on this opera, but as far as I can tell this Sophie character is a complete ditz who just does not get that Werter is one depressed gent. Ah air headed roles.

For those of you in the area my non-university-affiliated choir is performing the London version of the Brahms Requiem on Saturday. It should be most excellent. For the curious the London version is performed with two pianos rather than an orchestra.

I have a feeling that a Donizetti post is in the near future.

Monday, November 13, 2006

it's morphin' time!

If you are ever truely missing the 90's The Power Rangers movie may be the thing for you.
man the hair the cloths, and of course the special effects.

I think my brain is melting out of my ears.

The only constructive thing that I did this weekend was sing at the Chicago Humanities festival in the Gleacher center down town. Otherwise I just talked to people and baked things. In all fairness though, I did write two papers last weekend.

on that note some thoughts on listening to various recordings of Rossini. I listened to alot of the rondo from la cenerentola. This is a piece I will never sing, unless I gain some rediculous low notes.

What I discovered from reviewing this series of performances is that despite the plethora of variations available to singers, they use them sparingly in this piece. This can be attributed to how incredibly difficult and spectacular this piece already is without the addition of further complications. Ultimately tasteful additions are more important and interesting than a large quantity of additions. When applying ornamentation one must also be considerate of the context of the piece as a whole. The less successful ornaments were so because they broke up the cohesion of the piece. The tempo and notes may be altered, but if it is done too frequently or too dramatically one loses sight of the feeling of the piece as a whole. As such, when one is presented with a piece with many opportunities for ornamentation as I denote at the beginning, one should choose only one or two places that make the most dramatic sense for the character that they are playing. Other wise the ear gets lost in a group of impressive sounds that do not appear to convey any meaning.

meaning is ultimatly the point of opera no? in fact of music. I think that often people lose sight of this when they study it meticulously. Yet how do we intrinsically describe music? in emotional terms, how did the piece make you feel, we also in our limitation describe things in visual terms or compare it to something else. Even in our visual comparisons we call upon items that convey the same emotional feeling or embience as the music. Technical terms can only describe one facet of music. The rest happens some where else, because where else would god be if not between the notes?

I think there is some universal goodness in music that must not be toyed with. It has such a manipulative force over individuals that it can encourage distinct behaviors. So I leave you with a question: Are you using music for Good or for Evil?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Il Trovatore

I had not seen this opera before. I enjoyed it.

Sondra Radvanovsky was amazing as Leonora. Wow did her voice ever just reach the corners of the civic opera house. She had a real smooth richness to her voice that many sopranos don't pull off. I find that successful sopranos have a real silvery quality to their voices...A ping perhaps?
she had sort of the opposite of this...Successfully no less!

In general the Lyric cast this opera well, as Nina said; good ensemble work, they all really blended quite well.

For me, I just ran through the Brahms Requium in it's entirety. I may have sung a little vigorously as I need to sing tomorrow. Sometimes you do this to yourself despite all better judgment and full acknowledgement that you are doing this and shouldn't.

This weekend I saw the silk road ensemble they were excellent. They even pulled off a multi-media piece really well, with a painter projecting what he was painting in time to the music. I had him sketch something for me. What made the concert was that everyone on that stage was having a great time. It really translates when this happens, the audience can tell.

sorry my writing is lame tonight...I wrote two papers this weekend so well thought out sentences and grammar are evading me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

and I cried laser tears

I happen to be friends with a skull researching, b-movie loving, amazingly nice guy who has regular bad movie nights at his apartment. You should check out what he has to say about Moscow.
Anyhow we saw yet another fantastically terrible movie at his place last night. Godzilla vs. Hederoth (Hederoth, is that right? Correct me if I'm wrong).
This fine piece of cinematic work really has only enough material for a standard TV show (read about 25 min) but was an hour and a half long. Not that the flashing match box car lights weren't thrilling, I'm just saying they could have tightened it up a little.
Anyhow the Japanese are polluting so much that a monster is created out of the pollution. He unlike all other living creatures is made of the stuff of diamonds...that's right, carbon...CRAZY! Anyhow Godzilla is no longer the evil doer of past movies but rather a super hero that saves Japan on a semi-regular basis. He has some pretty fantastic theme music that he dances to a lot, and the fights include a lot of smack talking (read cat cleaning like gestures) between the monsters and Godzilla generally getting his but kicked by a sulfuric acid spewing monster.
The real hero of this movie however was a little Japanese kid in short shorts. These were some seriously short shorts people, complete with suspenders. He's the one who really knows what's going on.
After a hippy party over looked by creepy grey men in the bushes Godzilla finally lays the smack down and what a smackdown it fact it is so good that the director of the movie decided that it need to happen twice instead of once....that's right he destroys the same monster twice.
Also this is the only movie I've ever seen where a monster get high off of an industrial smoke stack.

this is just some of the quality quality programming that I've had the privilege of watching over the past 3 or so years here. College is certainly edifying.