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My Year of Opera: On This Planet

Based on a recommendation, I watched Nordentoft’s one-man opera On This Planet. I wasn’t familiar with Nordentoft’s work before and I hadn’t heard of this but hey, it was only an hour long, so why not? I’ve watched longer things for worse reasons… All in all, I enjoyed it, but found it a little stiff. […]

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My Year of Opera: Company (again)

The Friday following PBS’s performance of Moby Dick they showed Company. While Company was my second entry in my “year of opera” project, this was a different cast and staging. Neil Patrick Harris was Bobby and other more recognizable stars like Jon Cryer, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, and Patti LuPone. I still really enjoy the […]

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I don’t perform anymore. Tendonitis took my piano playing ability about 20 years ago (21 years this month, actually) and I was never really that devoted to trumpet playing to keep my chops up. Where I do get a chance to perform, though, is through teaching. My teaching is performance. I’m acting. There is a […]

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My Year of Opera: Moby Dick

I live-tweeted watching Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick when it was broadcast on Great Performances this past Friday night (performed by the San Francisco Opera). All in all, it was a great production. Well sung, well staged, well plotted, with great video elements that enhanced the staging considerably. A very impressive adaptation of the story and […]

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Under the Influence: Brent Miller

I’ve been kicking around a blog series where I talk about my influences. Not in a “I studied with this really famous person” kind of way or a “I really like this composer’s music” kind of way but in a way that acknowledges some of the people who were truly the most influential on my […]

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October is over and so is my Faust Month Showdown! I was interested in seeing how different composers treated the same dramatic material and Faust is a story that got a LOT of composers writing operas. I wasn’t able to access all the ones I would have liked but I certainly hit the big ones. […]

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Counterpoint in Composering: Fourth Species

Fourth species. The most problematic species, for me at least, and my least favorite. Using the Salzer/Schachter book made it significantly easier though: they break species TWICE with regularity. The certainly clears up things a bit, let me tell you. I did these six exercises rather quickly so there are probably strict things that I […]

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My Year of Opera: Faust Month SHOWDOWN!

Okay, I’m watching Faust-based operas this month (October, Halloween, the Devil, all of that stuff). In true sensationalism form, I’ve decided to turn it into a FAUST SHOWDOWN!! THE CHAMPION: Gounod’s FAUST! THE CHALLENGER: Berlioz’s La Damnation du Faust! Both are French, both are Faust, both written by composers who have rather small outputs in […]

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My Year of Opera: Eugene Onegin

Saturday I went to the Met HD broadcast for Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. I knew nothing about the opera going in and never really thought about Tchaikovsky’s opera output. I knew he did Queen of Spades but that was about it. When I started being exposed to opera during my undergrad, one thing that I didn’t […]

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Counterpoint in Composering – Third Species

Six times through Third Species. I find it interesting how hard it is for me to NOT repeat a note in my 1:1 writing no matter where that 1:1 voice is. 4:1:CF (4:1 soprano, 1:1 middle, CF bass) Assessment: I really used the “hit the downbeats and fill in from there” approach. Don’t know that it […]

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