Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do musicians have professional ethics?

If there's a Hippocratic Oath for musicians, I haven't been asked to recite it by my peers. Perhaps it only comes into play when I actually become a "doctor". We'll see.

Regardless of whether or not we musicians have professional ethics, I as an individual do. Which is why I can't discuss what I was preparing for lately. At least, I can't talk about it yet: there's a statute of limitations on this "secret" that runs out the moment I receive news of a successful or unsuccessful conclusion. It's the waiting that's difficult.

So, in lieu of THAT entry, I'll write just a short bit talking about my trip to the opera today. Today's opera at the Opera Theater of St. Louis was John Corigliano's opera called "Ghosts of Versailles". Originally premiered in 1991, this is the revised revised version, adapted by the composer specifically for small houses and orchestras.

It was a fantastic performance. It's not a standard opera, by any means. At one point, the audience was watching the opera "Ghosts of Versailles", whose characters are watching an opera composed by Beaumarchais, whose characters are watching a musical performance by a Turkish entertainer. That's a lot of levels of meta-opera to cut through.

It made sense, though, and told a good story. The simplistic scenery was also put to excellent use, and had a slight connection (in projections of video footage) with the OTSL's production of "Nixon in China" from a few years back. I really enjoyed the allusions to Rossini and Mozart, as well as the "ghostly" parts of the score utilizing more modern compositional devices.

One of the more impressive opera experiences I've had the privilege of attending in my life.

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