Gheorghiu withdraws from start of new Met ‘Carmen’
NEW YORK — Soprano Angela Gheorghiu has pulled out of the first six performances of the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Bizet’s “Carmen,” which opens New Year’s Eve.
The Richard Eyre staging was designed around Gheorghiu, making an unusual foray into a role written for mezzo-sopranos, and her husband, tenor Roberto Alagna.
Gheorghiu withdrew for “personal reasons” from performances through Jan. 21, including the Jan. 16 matinee set for simulcast to theaters around the world, but will sing Carmen on April 28 and May 1, the Met said.
Yesterday I “tweeted” this: I have the words/title for a new trio: “I got two oboes and an English horn. Where it’s at. Where it’s at.” Someone please write the music. To which my friend Sara (hi Sara!) asked, “Patty, have you been listening to Beck?” (The answer was no. The words just came to me. I’m special that way.)
Today I ran across a Beck interview with Will Ferrell that included this:
B: Oh, Can you hold on one second? I have a technical…
W: Glitch? You have an old cassette recorder don’t you?
B: Yes. Radio Shack.
W: Did you have that phase as a kid? “Uh, let’s tape record ourselves.”
B: (laughs) I had an entire era of my childhood where I was obsessed with cassette tape recorders.
W: Yeah we did too. Because you have the microphone and then you do fake shows. You do funny voices. You’d also just log hours of strange conversation as a kid and just play it back. But I remember that was a common theme: “I know, let’s tape record ourselves.” “Great!” But what a simple joy! (laughing) It’s like what, exactly? Why was it so fun?
B: I know. And there are probably many, many kids that were doing the same thing. Whoever invented the cassette technology was not developing it for the purpose of 9 year-olds to create their own imaginary radio stations, which is what we did. Me and my friends were obsessed with the Muzak station. They don’t really have Muzak stations anymore and I was mourning the loss of that recently. I was remembering that when I was a kid they had these Muzak stations which were straight orchestral instrumental arrangements of pop hits of the day. There were no vocals, it was all instrumental. But they did have a DJ and we thought the DJ’s were great because they were really mellow. They were really, really sedated, really relaxed. And there would be Muzak covers of the most inappropriate songs too.
W: (Laughing) Like “Hot Child in the City”.
B: And “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” but it would be an oboe doing (both simultaneously make sound of oboe playing “Hit me with your best shot”) And then all the typical power ballads…
The only tones emanating from Nationals Park in the top of the first inning Sunday afternoon were the faded drones of an audience that had heard this composition too many times this season — game begins, visiting team assumes a lead, game ends in dreadful fashion. Arizona leadoff batter Trent Oeltjen looped a home run into the Washington bullpen in right field on the day’s third pitch, and the familiar chord sequence began.
But lately the Nationals have taken observers by surprise, operating in a rhythm foreign to those who have followed professional baseball in the District for the past four months. And they did so again Sunday, quickly erasing an early deficit and pounding the Diamondbacks late for a 9-2 win, the team’s eighth in a row.
… but you knew it was about baseball all along, didn’t you?
In the coda of the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, composer Johann Sebastian Bach repeats the same chord sequence over and over again, leading the listener to anticipate one resolution, only to provide a tone completely different.
Stay tuned … I’ll fill you in in a bit. Just ponder the paragraph for a bit though. Soak it in. Ponder. And check back here in an hour for the answer! (And if you cheat and look it up please don’t give it away, okay?)
Do I like Beethoven’s music? Nope. Miles Davis? Some of it. Works of Chaucer? Leaves me cold. Shakespeare? Some of it, but I don’t “get” a lot of it. Most pop acts? Yuck. Was Mozart a genius? Maybe. Quite a lot of people who know about classical music seem to think so, but I happen to avoid most classical music because I find much of it very dull.