I had really good intentions after my last post, I really did. Unfortunately, it has proven to be a very difficult time to resume writing. Every time I start to sit down and write, that mangy trumpet gets in my way. I have been juggling teaching and playing responsibilities over the last month, and have not found a way to sit down and actually write. I have thought about writing, even constructed articles and posts in my mind, but that doesn’t really count now does it?
What kind of playing have I been doing, you ask? Some very interesting things actually. I had two performances in the brand new, $462 million, Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. This stunning center features two concert halls, one is a symphony hall which will feature concerts from a wide variety of genres, and the other is for staged productions (opera, ballet, musicals,etc). The only performances I have played at the new center have been in the symphony hall, and I am quite happy to say that I have found the acoustics to be fantastic. Considering the price tag, that is a very good thing! In the end, I think the construction of this state-of-the-art performing arts complex will provide a much needed boost to the Miami music scene, but still, a $462 million pill is never easy to swallow.
Ironically, the two performances I have played in the new symphony hall (aside from the pop celebrity laden opening gala) have both been operatic. The first was a concert featuring the remarkable young tenor, Rolando Villazon, his performance was nothing short of breathtaking. The energy he brings to his music making and to his performance is highly contagious and it took root all around the hall, both on stage and off. His singing is a study in beauty and breath control. He never forces, but rather, glides along effortlessly at the peaks of phrases. He passes many obvious places to breathe and creates long, seamless, cascading phrases. When he does take a breath, it is so quick and open and natural, that it doesn’t seem possible that he got any air at all. But after singing a long phrase and hanging on a high C for what seems like an eternity, you know that he must have taken an enormous amount of air in a tiny amount of time. It is a great study in the effectiveness of an open and relaxed breathing technique coupled with extremely efficient tone production. Trumpet players would do well to imitate him in any way possible!
The other performance, a concert version of Verdi’s Il Trovatore was not as stunning as the Villazon concert, but then again, it never really had a chance of that. It did, however, give me a chance to play more in the new hall, and the more I play there, the more I like it. Miami is truly fortunate to have such a great hall. Now, if the city could only support a symphony… How much did that concert hall cost again?
There are more things than this that have been keeping me busy lately, but I will get to those in other posts. For now, I will simply be satisfied in getting something written and published!