You say you want a resolution

Instead of cobbling together one of those end-of-year highlights lists–I’ve never been big on them anyway, and besides, even if I was I’m too lazy right now to think about compiling such a beast–I thought I’d jot down for perpetuity (or until I click the “edit” link for the nth time) a few of my music-related goals and aspirations for ’09.

  1. Write more. Postings, reviews, whatever. Do. It.
  2. Catalog my CDs. I know this sounds like a pretty geeky project. It’s an issue, though, when I have to pull out huge tottering stacks of discs to find that one 1910 recording of so-and-so doing “Una voce poco fa.”
  3. Come to terms with Gluck. I’ve been fighting this for too long. What am I missing? He’s a huge figure in the history of opera–HUGE–so surely there’s got to be something more to his stage works than a string of accompanied recitatives.
  4. Promote my blog. I’m going to be kind of shameless about this, so if you’ve got a music or opera blog of your own, watch out.
  5. Catch an opera in a foreign country. Italy. France. England. Canada. Doesn’t really matter.
  6. Start practicing again. I can’t believe how out of shape my voice is. I could barely get through the second verse of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at Christmas without experiencing extreme vocal fatigue. It’s not like I’m going to be auditioning for anything in the near future, but it seems a shame to let all of that training go to waste in the shower.
  7. Reread Opera as Drama. Joseph Kerman’s opinionated little manifesto infuriates the hell out of me, but for some strange reason I keep coming back to it.
  8. Teach a survey of opera course. I put one together a few years back but nothing ever came of it. Interested? Drop me a line.
  9. Avoid Zauberflöte. I’ve come to realize that I really don’t care much for this work. Whatever charms it once held have long since disappeared.
  10. Advocate like crazy for the arts. I’m worried about the sorry state of the arts in this country. In my role as a music educator, I need to take a more active role in playing up the value of an arts education, and I need to make sure that the people who are in a position of political or financial power realize that the arts are a necessary and fundamental component of any thinking, feeling society.


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4 responses to “You say you want a resolution

  1. mbg530

    There’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of in not enjoying a particular composer’s works. However, just to keep things balanced, I saw my first Gluck opera in San Francisco in 2007. It was sandwiched between Don Giovanni and Der Rosenkavalier in a 3 nights in a row opera trip my wife and I made to S.F. that year. Though both D.G and D.R. were excellent, the hit for both of us was Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride. We absolutely loved the music and the seriousness of the story. We found it difficult not to get pulled into something so different and beautifully performed. I admit I was surprised but there you have it.

    • drammapermusica

      I can’t quite put my finger on why I’ve never connected with Gluck’s operas, but I hold out hope that at some point the light bulb will come on over my head and their mysteries will reveal themselves to me. Acknowledging that I have these issues with them is the first step toward a possible recovery.

  2. mbg530

    Okay, now that we’ve settled the Gluck issue, I wanted to touch on your points 8 and 9. Both my wife and I would be very interested in an opera class. We do attend some opera preview classes which are primarily aimed at preparing neophytes for an opera to be staged in the next 2-3 weeks but I’d love to go a bit deeper into both the history of opera as well as get a bit more technical (what makes an opera difficult to stage/perform? How is it certain operas are said to have broken new ground? How have composers influenced later works).

    Regarding Zauberflöte, I thought and still think Ingmar Bergman’s version is quite wonderful as was the Met’s 2006 verthat it’sion. On the other hand, when it’s performed too often perhaps it loses it charm. For me, Cosi Fan Tutte is the one that no longer gets to me as it once did.

  3. Richard Lippold

    love the musical pun in the title of this post…

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