Oz Monday

Perhaps earlier September Oz thinking was wishful, or just knowing a great mate would unexpectedly pay a visit.

But here’s a bit of Oz that all can enjoy, for a limited period.  Click on over quickly, while it’s still available online… or await the video.

ABC, in this example Possums, means Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

A word about the artist, Judy Napangardi Watson here, her community here, and where to directly benefit her and her community here.


Vogue’s Bowles on the vocal instrument: “…tremendously fragile…”

October’s issue of Vogue magazine has an interesting story on Editor-at-Large Hamish Bowles’ experiences preparing for an incognito audition for the American version of BBC’s The X Factor.

He didn’t  make the cut, but didn’t do too badly, either.

My favorite quote: “I soon realized that the voice is a tremendously fragile and fallible instrument.”

Best to know how to deal with it. 😉

Famous Critics

Everybody knows about George Bernard Shaw, etc., so yours truly will mention more recent critics.

Howard Taubman

Harold C. Schonberg

Henry Pleasants

Some critical comments became identified with the performer, as with Olin Downes and soprano Renata Tebaldi: “”It is a voice of range and colors of all sorts, and one that throbs with feeling,” he wrote.”

See Music Critics Association of North America for current critics.


Advertising: Hype or hypnotic suggestion?

Window sign  “Don’t let advertising dictate what beer you drink.”  What an interesting message.

In the dark ages of post-WW II, we were taught to ignore advertising.  Thus today’s hype is wasted on many.

Will the powers-that-be ever realize there are a lot of people doing that?

If they did, wouldn’t that eventually affect the economy?


Bernier: I knew Picasso, Matisse. . .

Interesting book review in this month’s Vogue magazine:

Some of My Lives:  A Scrapbook Memoir

by Rosamund Bernier, to be published Oct 2011

Upon further research, Ms. Bernier’s website has the full article available as a download.

Yours truly went to the local library to check out some of Ms. Bernier’s DVD’ed Met lectures.  Her vivid stories of meetings with Picasso and Matisse are fascinating.

If the book’s anything like those legendary lectures, it’ll be a huge hit.


Some Sunday afternoon listening

Well, Possums, it’s been a busy week here, with too much work-related reading & writing to encourage much of the same extracurricularly (i.e., blogging).  Now it’s cleaning day, and perhaps time to catch up a bit – only while taking a break from chores, of course!

Anne Midgette, across the web at The Washington Post, had an interesting thing or two to say about something at the Met this past week.  Yours truly does enjoy Ms. M., as she’ll write what she thinks, even if the Emperor/ess has no clothes. (Note: Punch line of reference is last sentence.)

Must admit yours truly thinks back yearningly for a return of critics who knew a thing or two about voices and music and composers, and were able to write instructive reviews for both budding and experienced performers.

Of course, y.t. also yearns for the days when classical performers actually made time to learn their craft, too.

The singing voice doesn’t mature until the body around it is at least 30 years old, and men’s voices take longer.

By that time most of today’s crop of singers (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) have allowed their immature voices to be over-exposed and under-trained, and they suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, their listeners suffer the consequences, too.

Why is the operatic voice generally thought to be high, shrill, and with a very wobbly vibrato?

Those are the singers y.t.’s writing about, Dear Ones.

Your ears and your heart and your mind aren’t nuts when they decree the sound is unpleasant.  They’re right!

If you’ve got 5 minutes, see what those ears, mind & heart think about one or both of these singers.

Go ahead – turn your sound up LOUD!
Guaranteed to have no wobbles on the high notes.

Female (highest notes are toward the end)


In Aussie Mode

G’Day, Mates!

Don’t know why we’re thinking Ozland today.  Haven’t had a TimTam in weeks.

Certainly not from watching From Script to Screen.  That’s about British writers of generally BBC telly programmes, coincidentally also huge hits on PBS across the pond. It provided food for thought, rather than tummy. (Must lay in more TimTams…)

Especially when we’ve tried to remember the last American-produced TV show not based on a British show that brings as much enjoyment.

Example:  Just beginning around these parts is the BBC series, New Tricks. Just renewed in the U.K. for 11th and 12th seasons, it’s only available very sporadically in the U.S. and not being shown sequentially locally. Thus the research.

Funny.  Suspenseful.  Well written & acted.

Still can’t figure out the Aussie connection . . .