Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Special: Summer Schedule Survey

Well, Gentle Readers, on the academic and opera-house calendars, summer is here.  As a budding academic, I'm thrilled: three months to focus on my work!  (Don't laugh. At least, don't tell me you're laughing. Thanks.)  As an opera-goer, I am in mourning; my grad school stipend doesn't really stretch to travel for summer festivals. Although, if there is something absolutely amazing that you think I mustn't miss, to which public transit will take me to from NYC, do let me know. I'll count my pennies.  So, Gentle Readers, I seek your advice. What should this blog do with itself over the summer months? I do, of course, have the Met's free concerts and the Mostly Mozart festival and a handful of other things on the calendar.  Operamission has a number of summer events, as well.  But I want more, and this is where you come in. Tell me what I should do, see, listen to, and read!  If the NYPL has an opera DVD or book, it can be mine (and I've already ordered a brace of memoirs from Amazon's German site... stay tuned!)  As for events in the city, I will spread my budget as far as it can go... and, schedule permitting, review anything for the price of a comp ticket (ahem.)  Don't be shy, Gentle Readers: tell me what you'd like to see here, and do feel free to expand on this in the comments section.

What should this blog feature this summer?


  1. I voted for DVD reviews but I have to recommend, sight unseen, the Boston Early Music festival's production of Steffani's "Niobe" with Philippe Jaroussky. It looks like it's going to be awesome! Also it's in the Berkshires as well as Boston, so not far.

  2. Easier to get to Boston than to Great Barrington by public trans, plus you get all the other BEMF stuff and the Fringe and the Petting Zoo, uh, Trade Show.

  3. I, like Zerbi ( and it seems others) voted for the DVD but really consideration of all of the above would be good and and recommendations of novels and memoirs would be especially welcome.

    As for the European Festivals it seems that your chosen field of study requires (for its effective pursuit) numerous trips to Carolingian monasteries and perusal of libraries associated with such. An occasional diversion (or 6 or 7) to Salzburg, Bayreuth or Aix would be helpful for to keep the budding academic in a suitable frame of mind. Funds for such a worthy endeavor might come form some of the malefactors of great wealth on Wall Street who could expiate their many sins by facilitating such a worthy project.

  4. Ah, but I have something for you, Gentle Blogger:

  5. @Zerbinetta @Stray Looks very tempting! Unfortunately I'm going to be away much of the week of BEMF (poor planning, clearly!) but will see what I can do about getting back to catch some of the fun.

    @marcillac Great to know, thanks. As for this monastery-library-opera itinerary and its funding, I like the way you think!

    @DTO What a nice present; thank you!


  7. I would vote for All of the Above, but the system won't let me... I see the vox blogguli says DVDs, but you can't go wrong with either activity from that list. I, for one, am dying to hear about Christa Ludwig's memoir, which I know you recently purchased.

    But if I may add... the "Live events" by the small and medium companies that perform any kind of vocal program: I'd love to learn more about the diverse musical "eco-system" in NYC, not only about the top of the food chain (The Met and people who get booked at the Carnegie Hall). See if you can get on their media lists... Sometimes the big media won't pay reviewing attention to the smaller or more recently formed groups, and blogger reviews save the day in this regard. Small & med size orgs may welcome you with open arms (and comp tickets), so covering them won't break the bank. Also, BAM? Are they 'outreaching' alternative media in any way?

    But yes, please don't wait for the beach to, um, wade into La Ludwig's book.

  8. @stray Thanks for the link! Depending on how my summer budget and reading schedules shape up, I might see what I could do about an R. Strauss road trip.

    @DTO An oversight by me the survey designer, clearly! I think you've created a useful term in vox blogguli. I know there is a lot out there in the "eco-system"... and I know there must be a lot I don't know about! There is of course a bit of a vicious publicity circle for under-the-radar groups. Any tips on how to find people to whom I might say "Hi, I'm broke, but I can tell people about your concert!"? In good news: I went to see Mitridate at the aptly named Little Opera Theatre of New York tonight.

    I have already discovered a photograph of Christa Ludwig as Orlofsky in white tie, top hat, and tails. And monocle. The Beloved Flatmate heard my spontaneous exclamation from the next room.

  9. This is how I do it: If I'm interested in reviewing something, I find on their website who they put as the media contact (or press, or pr, or communications, or whatever the heck they call them. Publicists, as well. If there's nobody but an, then send it there, it will be forwarded if they're sober). Then send them a very simple email in neutral-to-friendly-but-not-eager tone, along the lines: Am interested in reviewing Performance X for my opera blog. Do you have any comp tickets left for the alternative media on date Y? (or: Would you be able to offer review comps? Or, what is your policy on comping alternative media? and variations) Also, please add me to your mailing list and (if it's a different one) to your media list or press release list.

    Many people will wait for your first review or first couple of reviews to put you permanently on there media invites list (and when you're there, you get invites automatically, whenever they perform something). Others will get you there the moment you email them. And of course, there will always be people who either have absolutely no media nimbleness or are plain grumpy or overworked or have to do all their publicity themselves, who will never add you to their media list, or won't have even have a list to add you to.

    Also, the obvious one: if, say, they are performing four times, they'd prefer having you on day one or two, definitely not the final day. But most people are flexible and welcome even late publicity.

  10. My spelling is atrocious, but you get the peectshure.

  11. @DTO Thanks so much for the detailed info and advice. This whole process of Announcing Oneself to the World is one I'll have to perfect, but it doesn't seem to come naturally!


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