Sunday, November 13, 2005

Orff Blog

Carmina Burana
The tiny wife made her debut at the San Francisco Symphony this week, as part of the Symphony Chorus, singing in that grand and gaudy warhorse, CARMINA BURANA. 250+ people singing full-throttle! Oo-wee.

I had comps for Friday night, but they got lost for some reason, and the show was sold out, so I couldn’t get in. (I did overhear a homeless guy in a wheelchair, however, complaining to a coffee shop owner: “My bones are sticking out of my feet, and you’re griping about a little fucking blood on the floor?”)

Luckily, the child bride actually works for the Symphony, so I managed to obtain one of the final tickets to the sold-out run last night. It was most excellent. The guest conductor, David Robertson (now head of the St. Louis Symphony), whipped through that sucker. He had a great talent for switching tones on a dime.

And the evening opened with LA NOCHE DE LOS MAYAS, a goofy and thrilling work by Mexican composer, Silvestre Revueltas. It was originally composed for a film of the same name back in the 1930’s, but did not become an orchestral work until 1960, when an admirer of Revueltas’ work arranged and edited the score to create a four-movement suite. Fifteen percussionists! Drum solos!

The director of the movie, LA NOCHE DE LAS MAYAS, Chano Urueta, later went on to make Mexican horror movies, including THE BLUE DEMON VS. THE INFERNAL BRAIN and THE BRAINIAC - which the Fearsome Spouse and I own. As an actor, he portrayed Don Jose, the village patriarch, in THE WILD BUNCH, as well as the one-armed bartender in BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. Thanks for asking!

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