I have confidence?

From the Post Dispatch review of Winter Opera St. Louis’s performance last weekend (of Massenet’s Werther):

In the pit, Scott Schoonover offered rather choppy conducting of the lush score, but the 22-piece orchestra did a good job, with some really lovely moments.

I’ll absolutely take credit for those “lovely moments” as concertmaster, though I really don’t see how the reviewer was able to notice “choppy” conducting when the orchestra didn’t reflect anything of the sort.  Either I’m just that good, or really, reviewers have very little idea of what they are talking about and need to fill a certain amount of room?  I do think I should have been mentioned by name for my “really lovely” solos though 😉

I’m trying to bring a certain amount of aggression and confidence into my teaching, playing, and life.  (I was testing it out in the previous paragraph!) My trainer is encouraging me to be more aggressive in my workouts, and I am trying to bring my workouts into my life.  I could probably use a bit more aggression, or at least a bit more confidence and assurance, in my life…I guess I’ll add that to the list of “tweaks” I am trying to make!  This whole adulthood thing just keeps getting more challenging.  Or I just need to remember, no one is really paying attention to me after all, so no need to worry what they think.  (But…are people reading my blog?  Then YOU are paying attention, right?).

Save the date:  February 28.  Quartet concert at St. Margaret of Scotland Church.  With members of the SLSO in addition to a couple of just awesome freelancers (including me).  Time TBA but afternoon (baby steps, I know!).

2 thoughts on “I have confidence?”

  1. Well, in the first place, the players’ names weren’t in the program. In the second place, I mentioned “lovely moments” by the orchestra, not “lovely solos” by the concertmaster.

    As a former professional opera singer with a lot of experience in following conductors of varying styles and skills, I found both Mr. Schoonover’s conducting and *some* of the playing to be choppy – but one has to do one’s best regardless of who’s waving the stick and in what manner. You did. I thought that was what I said, but whatever.

    Having worked on both sides of the proscenium, I know that things sometimes seem better (or worse) on the performer’s side than in the house. If you want to simply conclude that “really, reviewers have very little idea of what they are talking about,” that is certainly your prerogative.

    (Thanks, I guess, to the anonymous party who sent me your comments.)

    1. Sarah, I meant no disrespect specifically to you, I was generally speaking (and historically) of reviewers (and my position and other musicians throughout history towards reviewers), and am honestly quite excited that I have enough readers to have an anonymous party sending comments to you. I’m glad you were able to give the group some publicity, and I hope in the future that we continue to grow and improve, and perhaps have that reflected both in our performances and our reviews.

      That said, of course this is my blog, so I get to be a bit selfish and overreact to things–I haven’t had the privilege to perform much in this city, so I was excited to be part of something at all. I decided to interpret your review in a certain way to help me personally. You weren’t very specific about the orchestra at all, other than to say what I construed as two contrasting statements–ultimately the conductor’s job is to produce a certain product, and if the orchestra and soloists sounded good, then he did a good job, if they did not then he did not. I was not looking at that statement from a singer’s point of view, which evidently was my mistake.

      Thank you for your comments!

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