Thursday, May 17, 2012

Musician humour

Musos are a funny bunch, with a specific humour. Many none musos might not know alternative names for famous classical pieces, such as:-

Smetana - The Bartered Bride, is often known as the Battered Bride. Yes, policital correctness has not got too far in our business just yet

Lehar - The Merry Widow, is affectionately know as the Weary Meadow

Schubert - Symphony no 9, the "Great C Major", is better known as the Great Sea Monster, due its length and challenging nature. I feel significantly older that the end of a performance of this piece than in the first bar

Opera North trial

I just heard I have a trial for no2 with Opera North. Yay! That will be over the summer, so many of those blank spots in the diary look like being filled.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goodbye Liverpool, hello Scotland

Last week was a lot of fun with the Royal Liverpool Phil. We did two programs, John Wilson conducting some British film music, must of which was from houshold names such as Vaughan Williams, Malcolm Arnold, Walton, Constant Lambert, Arthur Benjamin etc. Good fun, great music.
Then on sunday there was a wonderful romantic program (see below).

This week I am preparing for the Opera North no2 audition on 14/5 and then...

... up to Edinburgh with SCO (see below)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I am a sucker for good quotes. Heres a few of my favourites:-

"A man should try everything once, except incest and morris dancing" - Sir Arnold Bax

"I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland" - Woody Allen

"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them" - Richard Wagner

"After Rossini dies, who will there be to promote his music?” - Richard Wagner

"Wagner is a compoer who as beautiful moments but awful quarter hours" - Gioacchino Rossini

"One can't judge Wagner's opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend to hear it a second time" - Gioacchino Rossini

Spring has sprung, and life getting busier

The music scene in the UK is often quiet in January, but I think its been much worse this year. Many musos have been talking of empty diaries, worse than normal. A sign of the economic times I guess. I had only 2 paid calls in Jan, and another two in March, so plenty of time to practice for auditions!

I have started a trial period with the Royal Liverpool Phil. A pair of concerts with Carl Davis playing sporting themes in the Philharmonic Hall and Blackburn's St Georges was my introduction to the band. And a jolly friendly talented band they are too.

And then its back to to Liverpool to do two programs - a concert of British film music with John Wilson then the orchestra accompanies films with some great music, including Night on a Mare Mountain and Janacek's wonderful Cunning Little Vixen.

In May I have a week in Edinburgh doing Beethoven's 9th with Scottish Chamber Orchestra then a month of Walkure with Opera North. So I hope the fuel tanker drivers to not go on strike as I will need plenty of fuel between now and July. Now what was the famous Woody Allen quote......

Websites are funny things. The creator posts stuff up and doesnt really know if anyone is reading it, and if so who. I recently got some feedback that at least one person has logged on and read some of my ramblings. But this means I might need to be more careful what I write. The person will remain nameless, but I would just like to say that Ashley Frampton is a great bloke and amazing bass player!

Did you know? That in my time in the UK two orchestras has asked for a deposit to be paid before being granted an audition, which would be returned if the candidate showed up. I dont have a problem with this as I guess there are quite a few people who fail to show up at little or no notice and this must waste hours of time for the panel, and possibly deny others a chance to play instead. But I just pulled out of one audition that was to be held over two days, one of which I could not do, and I was asked for a cheque without a guarantee of a slot on the only day I could do! So on top of all the preparation work, travel, accomodation etc we put in free for auditions, it looks like we might now be charged a fee for the process.