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Performing-Arts and Music-related

By Ralph Schatzki

- baritone / teacher / lawyer / author -

for La CoffeeMelodie Suite

List of Articles - In alphabetical order
  • Advertising Yourself
  • Site Build It!
    If you want an audience the responsibility for finding it is squarely on you. Until you reach a certain level of notoriety you shouldn't expect your excellence alone to draw people. There are, for example, great shower singers in the world, but no one knows of them: and that's all they'll ever do.
    Read more

  • American Idol and Artistry
  • That's quite a title, isn't it? I'll nip your protests in the bud and tell you that I now find the two virtually incompatible. The fact that Adam Lambert made it all the way to the finals of season 8 of American Idol might make one feel good about our society's perception of artistry; but I submit it is, rather, a clear indication that most of the public remains truly ignorant of what art really is.
    Read more

  • Artists Everywhere
  • Fame is a funny thing in that it often doesn't come to those with the most talent. This is not to say that those who have it don't deserve it; no, with very few exceptions it is something that has been earned, cultivated and developed. Although I suppose each of us can think of people whom we feel are undeserving of their accolades, the vast majority of household names are just that for a reason.
    Read more

  • Attention!
  • As a performer of live music, where do you focus your attention while in the midst of a performance? This, to me, is an interesting consideration since you have to juggle the demands of your craft- your technique, if you will- with the need to connect with your audience.
    Read more

  • Audience please!!!!
  • E-Goods Make Money
    We just attended an opera performance in a major city -not like New York or Chicago, but a good-sized regional hub - with a thriving arts community. There was a scaled-down orchestra of 20-25 musicians, as well as a cast of about a half dozen, most of whom were from New York. The organization that put on this production is a well-known group, having produced several shows over just the past few years.
    Read more

  • Club?
  • Besides golfing or cavemen, what do you think of when you hear the word club? Do you think of a cliquish group of elitists, turning their noses up and their gazes down toward everyone else who doesn't belong? Or do you think of Groucho Marx's famous quote in which he said he would never belong to a club that would have him as a member?
    Read more

  • Different Reality
  • Awhile back I began writing a story in which a young teenage boy prefers living on-line instead of going out into the "real world" of trees, streets and people. It was prompted by my concern that the proliferation of services available over the Internet would eventually lead to a world in which many of us would no longer ever have to leave their houses: we could go to school, shop and work from our computers.
    Read more

  • Duty
  • Imagine a person suddenly collapsing in a public place. A doctor, perfectly capable of helping, simply walks by. Or, a man, out hiking pinned under a small boulder, and a championship weightlifter in his group does nothing to assist.
    Read more

  • Getting Started
  • Site Build It!
    Sometimes, the easiest thing for a musician to do is to make music. After all, it's really a labor of love. On the other hand, one of the very hardest things to do in music is to find - and take advantage of - those opportunities to perform. As in any endeavor one must start at the lowest rung and work up, but unfortunately the competition in the arts is so great that it's often hard just to get in at the bottom.
    Read more

  • In-Home Performance-A Reality Show
  • We live in an age of superstars. Television, the Internet, the media, Hollywood: these can elevate someone, seemingly overnight, to the loftiest of pinnacles. For many, their honors and accolades are well-deserved, and it's comforting to think that they would have succeeded regardless. For many others, however, one is left to wonder whether they would have attained any sort of fame at all were it not for....
    Read more

  • Moving Forward
  • We find ourselves in a new age: an age of instant media, an age of quick gratification, an age of economic turmoil. One must react so much more quickly to change than he had in the past. The old ways of doing things, so well-suited to the times in which they were developed, no longer serve the functions for which they were intended. Email, social networking websites, instant messaging: these are the tip of the iceberg.
    Read more

  • Music Seen not Heard
  • As time goes by, we have- for better and for worse- become more and more a visually-oriented society. Fifty, sixty, seventy years ago, radio was the prime form of entertainment in the home, only to be usurped by television and its additional visual component in stunningly rapid fashion.
    Read more

  • Music's Place
  • Infopublishing
    There are only a few things - food and shelter, for example - that we need in order to survive. On the other hand, there are a myriad of things (a yacht, for example) we don't need at all but want out of simple desire, vanity, insecurity, hedonism, or some other human impulse.
    Read more

  • Opera as Sushi
  • Opera. Just the word itself conjures up images of overweight people in horned helmets, singing at the top of their lungs in a language no one understands. To top it off, people dress up in their finest clothing to attend, pay exorbitant prices for non-refundable tickets and look down their noses at everyone else!
    Read more

  • Putting on live performance at home
  • The experience of attending a live musical or theatrical event is something not equaled by anything. Movies are enjoyable, and recorded performances on CDs and DVDs are things that many of us cannot consider living without; but a live performance has an energy that is palpable.
    Read more

  • A Singer's Plea
  • As time goes by, we have- for better and for worse- become more and more a visually-oriented society. Fifty, sixty, seventy years ago, radio was the prime form of entertainment in the home, only to be usurped by television and its additional visual component in stunningly rapid fashion.
    Read more

  • Singers in 2009
  • Site Build It!
    It's 2009, and we have our first African-American president. We're in a recession, if not a depression, and an unprecedented stimulus bill has been approved by Congress. And opera companies- an important portion of this country's artistic community- are failing.
    Read more

  • Singers Unite!
  • I've posted before about how singers have to take the initiative in creating performance opportunities for themselves and their audiences. Not only is it good business practice, but it is such a unique privilege to be able to bring great music into peoples' lives. There's nothing quite like a live performance to enrich the soul.
    Read more

  • Substance over Style
  • Well, today I'm trying to get some music back in my head. As I become more mature (a euphemism for saying I'm getting older), I find this to be a slightly more difficult task than it was for my younger self. My memory's not as rock solid as it once was- some would say I'm delusional, and that my memory was never too solid to start with...
    Read more

  • The Gallery
  • Many people like to go to art galleries, and they do so for various and personal reasons. Some like to analyze paintings, some the relationship a work of art has to history. Others enjoy the interplay they find between color and light, while still others simply like to feel the aura that emanates from the canvasses hanging on the walls around them.
    Read more

  • The Value of 'Live'
  • Site Build It!
    Nowadays, at the push of a button you can have hundreds of television channels from which to choose, or you can go to a movie theater at which ten or twenty different movies are all playing at once. Television was not always such a ubiquitous presence, however, and there are still some who can remember when live radio broadcasts were the cutting edge in entertainment and movie theaters had but a single screen. Of course, prior to that, the only way to see a show was to view it "Live"..
    Read more

  • The Value of Musicians
  • Music is one of the most important parts of our lives. Who has never sung, whether in the car or in the shower? Who has never tapped his fingers or feet along to the a rhythm of a song he heard on the radio? Tunes are stuck in our heads for hours sometimes despite our best efforts, and we hear music everywhere: from elevators to commercials to people humming on the street.
    Read more

  • Where do we go from here?
  • So, the economy is in a recession, and arts funding is being cut or even eliminated. Opera companies and symphonies are filing for bankruptcy, and the public loses more and more of its cultural treasures every day.
    Read more

  • With Apologies to Jane Austen
  • Sense and Sensibility is one of the many best books I've read in my life. If you've never had the opportunity to read Jane Austen I cannot recommend her too highly.
    Read more

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