Woman covering her ears. She has short, reddish brown hair, raised eyebrows, wearing a denim shirt, big necklace and a bracelet.

4 Things I’d Love to Not Hear in 2018

The Best and Worst Moments of 2017 have been decided. The Resolutions of 2018 have been made and, with few exceptions, will be broken in the coming days. We’ve all opened up to the first day of our “365 Adorable Pugs” daily desk calendars. Happy New Year, Reader!! You didn’t ask for it, but here are things I’d love to never hear this upcoming year. Admittedly, I write this post wearing my Grumpy Pants. But I’m also donning my Optimism Cardigan. So join me for another list. Because hey, anything to distract … Continue Reading

There are six rows in a lavender field in full bloom, and a girl with blonde hair and a black and white dress stands in the middle holding a straw hat in her right hand.

Emotion Beyond a Child

Last month, CBS’s 60 Minutes featured a segment on the brilliant wunderkind Alma Deutscher. A 12 year-old from Great Britain, she is a pianist, violinst, and a composer, all at an extremely high level. In fact, in just a couple weeks, Opera San José will be presenting her adaptation of “Cinderella”. (Every performance appears to be sold out.) If you haven’t seen it yet, watch this fascinating 13-1/2 minute interview between Deutscher and Scott Pelley. …I wish I could have embedded the video for you to watch here, but trust me, it’s worth … Continue Reading

Brünnhilde wearing the fabled helmet, breastplate, spiked bracelets, wolfskin, and white skirt, and red cape. Her arms are both extended to to the sides but bent at the elbows. Her right hand is extended and left hand his limp. There is a glow behind her.

Ring Cycle Mythology

Every year, All over the world, Opera companies produce and perform Richard Wagner’s monumental four-opera series The Ring Cycle. Even more companies will include one of the Ring operas on their season. It’s awesome. The music envelops you. The take-aways from the plot are as pertinent and relevant as ever. Lots of people who don’t think they’ll like it end up loving it. The Ring Cycle is based on Norse Mythology, the same stuff J.R.R. Tolkein drew from to write his epic Lord of the Rings. And the idea is similar. There … Continue Reading

A black labradoodle jumps over a white and green pole, like a track and field jump. On the left, you see a vertical, green beam it rests on. Green grass and a brick wall are underneath and behind the dog.

A Moment of Catharsis

Six weeks ago, I took an audition for a summer orchestra. I didn’t win. You know who else didn’t win? My “inner critic.” The source of that stigma I discussed two months ago. And damn, that felt good. I know not everyone who reads this blog makes music (directly) with his/her respiratory system. But it seems I sparked some interest in the subject of managing the Valsalva Maneuver, regardless of the instrument the reader plays. Or whether s/he is a performer at all. So I thought I’d follow up on what I … Continue Reading

The US Department of Labor Century of Service Honor Roll of American Labor Organizations in the lobby of the Francis Perkins Building. Marble wall with the seals of every pertinent labor union.

12 Months of Love and Labor

U.S. Dept. of Labor Century of Service Honor Roll of American Labor Organizations Top Row, 2nd from the Left: The American Federation of Musicians Happy Labor Day! On this day one year ago, I embarked on my “Labor of Love” Challenge. Every month from then until now, I attended two events. One, a cultural event where classical music wasn’t the only art-form involved. The other, a labor event that didn’t exclusively involve the musicians union, the American Federation of Musicians. The purpose and spirit of this challenge was Solidarity. Solidarity with those … Continue Reading

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