Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I'd willingly have a tooth pulled without a pain killer if, in return, I would never again have to hear a composer who has just received an opera commission1 say: "Of course, I don't really like opera."2
1. Opera commissions are rare, doled out in an unpredictable mix of real competition, insider politics, and caprice. Once made, a good opera commission can help feed a composer for up to two years composing and try-out time. And if the opera has legs, it pays grand rights. All-in-all, it ought to be enough to make you find
something attractive about opera.

2. I've really heard that sentence about not really liking opera from at least five new recipients of operatic commissions. Typically, the next sentence begins with some back-pedaling:
"So, I will make an anti-opera/non-opera/theatre piece/staged oratorio/live film score etc. instead."

3. And the next sentence will include the obligatory line about not liking vibrato (to which I respond "I like vibrato well enough, I just don't like singers who can't control it.)

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