The past few weeks have been quite interesting for me musically. I spent last week performing in the pit (on the modern bassoon) for a new opera called “Lady of the Night” and, on top of my studies, managed to get out to Montreal for a lesson.
The lady of the Night was an interesting experience to say the least. The opera included fifty students of one particular singing teacher in the area, who sung at the beginning of the performance, and, with the introduction of every new singer, I began to see (or rather, hear) the style of singing which she was teaching to her students. The music was particularly difficult to play and put together for the pit orchestra, but we pulled through by opening night. The orchestra was full of great people and I hope to play with them again soon!
My trip to Montreal was a real breath of fresh air. After playing the modern bassoon for two weeks almost exclusively, it was great to get back into it. Leaving gloomy, overcast Ottawa on Tuesday morning was nice and after the two hour trip on an empty bus, getting off in sunny Montreal was wonderful. I arrived at Mathieu’s house to meet the fabulous Michel Bettez and his brand new Guntram Wolf/Grenser Classical Bassoon. Mathieu had his de Koningh Grenser out too and I had a field day trying instruments and bocals. My Milhouse bassoon was made around the same time that Grenser made the instruments Wolf and de Koningh copied, but my instrument is clearly a copy of an earlier baroque instrument with some extra keys. The sounds of the Grensers are very different, and much more suited to the music of Mozart, Danzi, Jacobi and so on.
Next week I will be performing Elgar’s Romance Op.62(?) and the Mozart Concerto at two concerts, so I have my work cut out for me!
Until Next Time!