Monday, November 30, 2015

Bach and beyond

Yesterday I was up early to get to St John's by 8 for a run-through of the cantata. The whole thing went off very well, all involved seemed very pleased.

Today being the day for the cleaners to find I arranged to have lunch with young Jim. I went first to the City Library to return a book and then spent some time looking for calendars to send to Rosemary and Audrey. Jim suggested a little Korean place and it turned out to be a good choice.

Tonight we had a change with a bit of a storm and some rain.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Robbie's return

A busy week. Tuesday saw us sticking labels on envelopes prior to Wednesday's mailout, the last for the year. And as the last the On Air covers December and January; added to that we had four inserts.

We had a good turn-up, including two new guys, both quite enthusiastic, and the job was finished surprisingly by 2.30.

Yesterday Julie had three interviews plus a short review to record. This morning I shopped alone as P&B were going to ANAM for a morning concert (Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale). This afternoon I went back to the radio station as we were expecting Elena K-C in to record a Reflections program. It turns out that she's due to come next week, but it took a little while to find all this out.

Then this evening if was back to St John's to rehearse for Sunday's cantata. It went off well and it was great to see, and hear, Robert Macfarlane.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bach and beyond (ouch)

On Friday night we had our first rehearsal for the next Bach cantata at St John's Southgate. Not too difficult this one, and there are two chorales plus a movement where the tenors sing the chorale tune on their own.

On Sunday afternoon Margaret and I went (courtesy of Mariese S) to the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra concert - B&P were there with Robin and Elaine, plus lots of other familiar faces. It was an excellent program beautifully performed, finishing with Holst's St Paul's Suite.

This morning I was at the radio station early to prepare for printing renewals and labels. Brian, Robert H and Geoff H helped and we got the job finished by 2.30.

Let's hope tomorrow's envelope stuffing goes as smoothly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lunch and music

Another warm day today - after coffee at Quint I went over to see Margaret. She was at Loz's looking after Thomas and wasn't home by the time I got there so I say in the park, which was lovely.

We had a tasty lunch at Dench's and a good chat. She'll probably come with me to Sunday's MCO concert. This afternoon I did a quick bit of typesetting for Raymond from the Finale mailing list; he seemed very happy with it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Catch up

I forgot to mention that late week I had my first singing lesson for about 45 years. I took Sascha's recommendation and went to see LK. It was very interesting and she seems sure that she can keep me singing for a bit longer.

On Sunday we had our last Gloriana concert: the first half included works by Lassus and Gabrieli, while the second half was of 20th century works, finishing with Bax's extraordinary Mater ora filium. It went off very well.

This morning I met P&B at the MRC for the last of this year's Coffee Concerts. Stephen Emmerson and Brett and Paul Dean presented an excellent program with music of Schuman at its core.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

More editing

Not much exciting happening except for recording and editing: yesterday with Geoff H, today with Julie ... and tomorrow with Doug B.

I still haven't heard from AC or DP - it's well over a month since I first wrote. I might try again soon as I want to start planning next year's trip.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Warming up

It was warmer today - I managed to get a load of washing done and dried. Didn't do much else except for finishing off Geoff H's second Sibelius program.

Gloriana dress rehearsal tonight: it was fun having the sackbuts there, they certainly make a great noise. I'm glad we're doing the concert in the order we are as the modern works are much more taxing; doing the early music first helps me warm up my voice better. Though doing the Bax last (which makes perfect sense) means we do have to pace ourselves through the second half.

I fear young BO is doing too much at the moment, his voice is sounding a little tired - and he looks tired as well.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

City of Angels

Yesterday morning was the first of four with my new buddy, Andrew A. He's a very smart young man and we seem to have a lot of musical tastes in common. As it was his first day here just sat and watched - he's in Sydney next week so we'll continue in a fortnight.

This morning, after coffee at Quint, I made another trip to Bunnings and bought more pink plants, or more accurately plants with pink flowers.

Then this evening I met B&P at the Arts Centre for a performance of the Cy Coleman musical City of Angels. An interesting piece with a clever book by Larry Gelbart, of MASH fame, it intertwined the "real" life of a screenwriter working on a script for a film, with the "reel" life of his creations. An excellent production was performed by an equally excellent cast and band, though I felt the first half worked better than the second. Still, a very energetic and satisfying night at the theatre.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Deadly Sins

No shopping this morning as I had a doctor's appointment to get the results of my tests. Everything is fine and we decided that I'll go off the statins. I'll return in about six months to see how things are going. But with the recent weigh-loss I'm feeling pretty good; just have to keep the walking up. Some days I don't get to 10,000 steps.

Tonight I met P&B at The Deck at Southgate and we had quite a pleasant fixed-price 2 course meal: my starter was a very tasty pork terrine, and I followed it with tasty trout on a bed of beans and kale.

Then we made our way to Hamer Hall for the Victorian Opera presentation of The Seven Deadly Sins. This was a portmanteau piece: for the first half four local composers had been given Australian capital cities with corresponding sins, eg Melbourne was Greed, Sydney Lust, Canberra Pride, etc. The pieces were short and pithy, with very approachable music. Probably the strongest were Perth (Anger), Canberra and Sydney. Terrific performances from this year's graduates of the Master of Music (Opera Performance) course which, because of discontinued funding, has now ceased.

Then after interval we got Meow Meow starring in Die sieben Tods√ľnden by Brecht and Weill. A more opaque piece, it was given an excellent performance with a male quartet supporting the extraordinary Mlle Meow.

In all, a most enjoyable night.

Stormy weather and so-so food

This morning it was off to the radio station to record a couple of interviews for JH; these had to be packaged with music as well. Then there was a bit of problem solving with RH and RS upstairs in the edit studio. Unfortunately in the rush I forgot to rip a couple of extra tracks for the Sibelius program - might try to do that tomorrow.

Then this evening I went up to Smith Street for dinner with Brent - we tried a Vietnamese place is heard goods things about, and that B had been to before, but alas, it didn't quite make the grade. I ordered a glass of sparkling wine and got a glass of white wine and a glass of sparkling mineral water. Doh! The food was OK, but not as good as that at Quan 88 on our last visit.

Today Oaks Day was washed out with a big storm - the Bureau issued a warning that mentioned tornadoes, but it all passed over Abbotsford fairly smoothly.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Don't mention the horse race

Yesterday morning I went in early to the radio station to play duets with LP. Just as well, as Exploring Music want playing out. Long story short, the Auto playout was working but the file it was playing was silent. The mixdown had been done of an empty track instead of being set to Master. Not sure how that happened, but I fixed all the for for the rest of the week.

This morning I panelled for a couple of voice tests for prospective new trainees - well, I did the first while Catherine C watched, then she did the next one while I watched. She picked it up pretty quickly.

Then it was of to have lunch with Margaret - young Thomas was there being very cute. Lunch was at a local vegetarian place and was very tasty. Spent some time on Geoff H's program in the afternoon.

Monday, November 02, 2015


Yesterday was pretty quiet, and a bit damp. I went out in the morning to grab some extra shopping, and then later in the afternoon to the radio station to make sure a program got to air OK (it did).

Today was similarly without much excitement, apart from a rather nice breakfast at Mavis the Grocer. Rehearsal tonight was hard work; Ben was having trouble as well.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

A musical Saturday

Despite the less than pleasant weather my program this morning (which was programmed two months ago) was of music about Spring. I think it was quite a good mix, with a nice variety of forms. After a quick coffee with Doug, Loretto and some of the trainees I came home to await Adrian.

He came to run through some of his patter arias from Cenerentola, which starts next week. He had a few problems with the most complicated of them, but I think the number of run-throughs we did will help establish things for him.

Then tonight I went down to St Stephen's in Richmond for the Melbourne Metropolitan Sinfonietta concert. It was a very satisfying mix of pieces including quite a good arrangement of A night on bare mountain done by Brenton Broadstock. I caught up with Liane and will get in touch with her next week to arrange some lessons.