A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Removing the Critic

A very interesting blog by Baltimore Sun Critic Tim Smith:

"Don Rosenberg, music critic at the Cleveland Plain Dealer for 16 years, was told yesterday by the paper's editor that he will no longer be covering the famed Cleveland Orchestra."

A lot of very well respected critics respond in the comments as do folks from the orchestra. I think at this point in time we're lucky to have fine arts/classical music critics. Criticizing the critic too much may lead to newspapers thinking they aren't worth the trouble. A critical critic is better than no critic at all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting Ready for TRAVIATA

The banner went up on our building today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fake Spam , complete with typos from Sec. Paulson

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Friday, September 19, 2008

Delta Cappella at Arts Memphis

Wednesday night, Delta Capella performed at an ArtsMemphis function at their headquarters. Coming from very different backgrounds to work beautifully together, DC could serve as a metaphor for how Memphis could function...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Midsummer Night's Dream, opera a cappella

Here's a redo of Egeus' speech from scene I of MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The baritone is Stephen Len White. I've left the other version on this blog in a previous post with me singing. You can hear that adding a real professional singer makes the track more compelling.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The classical music concert format

This is an interesting article in a recent New Yorker by Alex Ross about how the classical music and opera concert as it is now configured came to take shape. He mentions a book I'm very fond of--HIGHBROW/LOWBROW by Lawrence Levine. In the 19th century, entertainment evenings often were put together like variety shows. In a nod to that, our opening nights at Opera Memphis are starting to feature regular after concerts. Last season we experimented with this with aristocrunkers LORD T. AND ELOISE performing after TURANDOT. In a considerably more mellow vein, folk diva Judy Collins is performing after LA TRAVIATA's opening night on October 25th.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Musical tastes and personality profiles

I'm sure there's going to be some buzz about this article about musical tastes and personality profiles. It appears that classical music (and probably opera) overlaps with the personality of blues and heavy metal lovers.