Monday, October 18, 2010

Night's Nimbus Floods

I cannot thank you all enough for your support.  It's very exciting for me to wake up every Monday and write this.  I have an immense passion for music as an art, among many other passions.  Thank you for letting me share my life with you!  This blog is only 16 months old, and I received a random email from Wikio that this blog is in the top 100 visited blogs on the Internet for Classical Music.  They gave me a little counter to put on my blog.  I believe that it will update every month, but I am not sure of that.  I'm also not sure of the legitimacy of the ranking, but I will be proud of whatever the number is on the right.  However, it does look a little odd to only have 4 followers, one being myself, all the while having somewhere over 2,000 readers every month. But, thank you all again for your support.  You help make my life so much fun!

Shortly after my last post, I received an invitation to be the Tenor Soloist for a production of Messiah by Handel at Centennial United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO.  It will start at 4:00pm on Sunday, December 12.  This will be very exciting because I will also be singing with a couple of other opera singers, Roberta Gumbel and Jennifer Powell, and a choir.  If you don't already know, Messiah is most famous for the Hallelujah Chorus.  As for the tenor solos, I have a couple of recordings on YouTube of myself singing several of the tenor arias:  Every Valley and Thou Shalt Break Them.  This invitation was a great surprise and I am very excited to sing.  It should be a lot of fun.

This also brings up a very important topic: Correct Speech.  When you advertise this to all your friends and family (which you should), please do not say "the Messiah".  This is not the title. "Messiah" is the title. The only exceptions to this are when referring to the German translation "Der Messias" or any other translation in a language using an article to notate gender.  If it feels awkward to say, "Dude, Messiah is so epic!" or "Messiah has crazy-awesome trumpet solos, but the librettist totally mistranslated Luther's Bible.  A posaune is a trombone, duh!" or "I can't wait for Messiah's rockin' Part the Third!", don't worry, you are not alone.  Many people feel naked and lost if they do not include the "the".  Instead of "the Messiah" say "Handel's Messiah".  Musicians cringe, stomachs churning with indigestion, like ferocious tsunamis of dejection, when people incessantly say the title of history's most important and most famous oratorio incorrectly.

Now, if this new lifestyle that I am asking you to immediately acquire is too obscene and highbrow, please prepare yourself for next year's wedding season, when I will surely expound upon the harmonic intricacies of Pachlbel's Canon.

Facetiousness aside, I am very excited for that and a production of the Monteverdi Vespers that will be held several days before Messiah.  If you would like to see a concert that I am in this semester, I would really encourage you to come to the Vespers.  It is the 400th anniversary of the piece, and I will be the featured soloist.  The music was written so long ago, that there are many ornaments and unusual things that I will be singing.  Many parts are virtuosic and it should be a fun evening with a choir of operatic singers and an orchestra of period instruments.  I will be ending each of these blog entries giving you a little information about a period instrument that was around in Monteverdi's time, so you can become accustomed to them.

I sang on a concert at Northwest Missouri State University with several other opera singers from the Conservatory all from Dale Morehouse's studio.  It was very fun to sing on a concert that I was not graded on!  All the songs were British songs except for the final set.  For the final set, we sang our favorites.  I picked to sing Lenski's aria from Eugene Onegin.  I had a fun time and I am excited for several more concerts coming up, including a choir concert on Tuesday, October 19.  Come hear the Conservatory Singers at UMKC if you are in the area.  We will be singing songs based on "the morning" and several liturgical Latin pieces.  My favorite set is based on civil war poetry by Walt Whitman.  The only accompaniment is acoustic guitar.  The texture is very modern, but still tonal - not random noise.  My favorite movement is Look Down, Fair Moon.  Click here to listen to a recording of it.  The poetry describes the battle field after a battle.  He is so captured by the vast fields of the dead, that he pleads for the moon's light to cleanse their sin of war.  The composer wrote this in a way that almost weeps the pain of the 

"Look down, fair moon, and bathe this scene;
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods, on faces ghastly, swollen, purple;
On the dead, on their backs, with their arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon."

by Walt Whitman

This Week's Ancient Instrument - The Serpent

Current Audition Info
Santa Fe Opera - applied 9/16
Chautauqua Opera (New York) - applied 10/5
Wolf Trap Opera (Washington D.C.) - applied 10/8 - denied 10/18
National Opera Association Competition (San Antonio) - applied 10/12
Crested Butte Opera (Colorado) - applied 10/12
Sugar Creek Symphony and Song (near Chicago) - applied 10/12
Shreveport Opera Competition - applied 10/12
Symphony in the Valley (Colorado) - applied 10/13
Ash Lawn Opera (near Washington D.C.) - applied 10/13

Upcoming concerts:
October 19, 2010 - Choir Concert - White Recital Hall - 7:30
October 29, 2010 - Missouri State NATS competition - Central Missouri University - TBA
October 30, 2010 - KSU Alumni Choir Concert - St. Thomas Moore Church - Manhattan, KS - 2pm
November 10, 2010 - Singing "Der Lindenbaum" on John Mueter Presentation - Grant Hall 122 - 3pm
November 18-21, 2010 - The Dialogues of the Carmelites by Poulenc - Chevalier de la Force (cover) - White Recital Hall
November 30, 2010 - Choir Concert - Atonement Lutheran Church
December 7, 2010 - Featured Soloist - Monteverdi Vespers (400th Anniversary Concert) - Visitation Catholic Church -  Kansas City, MO - 7:30pm
December 12, 2010 - Tenor Soloist - Messiah by Handel - Centennial United Methodist Church - Kansas City, MO - 4:00pm
March 17-20, 2011 - Don Giovanni by Mozart - Don Ottavio - White Recital Hall
April 23, 2011 - Gloria by Poulenc - White Recital Hall


  1. We love your blogs. I think I usually respond just by e-mail. Brent helped us put our picture on the facebook page. Maybe you can put that picture in our "followers" place. It is so good to get your updates without you having to say the same thing over and over again. By what you say would Messiah be the best concert for us to hear? Several of the others sound great also. I would like to come to several. Things are going fine here. We're looking forward to our vacation. I particularly need to get away and probably you can understand why. We'll try and connect your blog in Branson.

    Have a good week and keep excited about your life. love, grandma

    P.S. I don't understand the "select a profile". I'll try google but maybe you can explain what "profile" I use.

  2. Yeah, I can help you with that. Just select google for your profile - it is annoying how complicated they make these things sometimes.

    I am excited for you for your vacation! That will be a lot of fun. As far as concerts go, probably the best ones coming up are Messiah and Monteverdi Vespers. I have many more solos in the Vespers, and it is with an orchestra. Messiah will be fun as well, especially if you know any of the arias and choral movements. They both will be pretty long concerts, so bring some coffee!

    Also, I will be writing that article for you starting today, and I'll send it your way as soon as I get that done.

    love, Bryan

  3. Bryan ...
    I really enjoy reading all your blogs. This one allowed me to be better informed about musical instruments ... I had never heard of a Serpent and now I have heard one play "Happy Birthday". WOW !!

    Grandpa Pinkall

  4. Haha! Just wait, I have a whole bunch of weird instruments lined up for the next few weeks.


Featured Post

OLYMPIC CEREMONY DATABASE: Every Summer and Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games may be the largest art form in the modern world and certainly one of the rarest.  I provided all ...