Morning! AFTER the Hansel and Gretel performance - I was only subbing last night. I have several thoughts about this:
1. This was a hard opera! Not impossible, but lots of technical dodahs and part interweaving that I just didn't get. I did do pretty well on all that stuff though. It was the slow soft stuff that killed me.
2. Conductors should not stomp on the podium to get my attention (repeatedly, like throwing a tantrum) This is not only VERY audible to the audience (he's on a hollow wooden podium wearing dress shoes), but it is scary to me, and my fellow pit members. What we finally decided (after) was that I was behind his beat - but slightly (the flutist didn't feel it was a stomping offense!) AND I was totally watching him, if he had just moved the beat a bit I would have followed - it was really humiliating.
3. This conductor also "shushed" the orchestra CONSTANTLY. I guess it was much better than last week although I find that hard to believe. Every time it got quiet he would make this hissing sounds (LOUD hissing sounds) which were clearly heard in the audience (they told us). This guy is supposed to be a hot-shot conductor, and he seems to be good at the physical part, but he was very distracting during the playing. Also, I never got a cue during this very hard to follow score, the only time I noticed him interacting with a musician is when he cut off the bassoon (also a sub, she got lost) and when he stomped at me (see #2)
4. I am just not on the same level of playing as the pros. I practiced as much as I could in the short time I had - but it wasn't enough. *sigh*
Now I have to go to the dress rehearsal at big college (wind symphony). I have played all the pieces now - I don't think I'll be terrible, but I hope they don't regret hiring me. It is pretty fun playing with a good(ish) band again, would like to do it again!
Dmitri Hvorostovsky 1962-2017
23 hours ago