The week that wasn't
There were two concerts scheduled this week and, as luck would have it, I ended up off both nights.
Having Wednesday night off was not by choice. The Weill and Schrecker program called for a very small orchestra. As I have mentioned before, any concert with 'Gala', 'Special', 'Festive', or other superlative attached immediately goes to the top of my wish list for days off. All of the speechifying, bowing, hugging, and whatnot gives me the willies, so Saturday had a big 'X' through it in my calendar. I suffered a brief pang of regret, looking at the program order and noticing the concert ended with 'Ravel', fearing I might miss out on another extraordinary overtime bonanza until it became apparent 'Ravel' referred to Daphnis and not Bolero. Also, Conlon has much better clock management skills than Eschenbach.
You did indeed miss out on an overtime bonanza, Michael. The Ravinia Powers That Be seem to have reacted to the whipping they took in the press when the gala last year (maybe the year before?) was only 45 minutes long, after which the peasants on the lawn were driven off. Also, they wanted a pops program, because that is what they like to hear. Welz Kaufman clearly believes that Patti Lupone singing Sondheim is the pinnacle of all human achievement. Mozart, Bach, Einstein, Ghandi--all these were mere way stations on the way to this peak. So of course Lupone/Sondheim had to be on the program. But the Ravinia Brain Trust also has taken a beating for marginalizing a certain major orchestra. So we needed a fair amount of legit music too. Which is why we ended up with two programs in one--hallucinatory juxtapositions such as Wagner's "Tannhauser" Overture serving as a lead-in to an Edith Piaf medley (I'm not making that up). In all it was over two hours with no intermission; three units of overtime, not to mention overtime on two rehearsals. Too bad all the money goes straight to my therapist.
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