“All about Eve”

This is a little tidbit from one of my dearest friends, a person who has given me and millions of opera lovers GREAT nights to remember. Brava, Eve.

“And in the beginning….”

Never Forget Wed,August 16 2006

Eve Queler

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At my High School, The High School of Music and Art, forerunner of the present day LaGuardia High School,  the composers for whom we lived were Brahms and Wagner.  Our school songs had words set to the fourth movemebt of Brahms Symphony number 1 and our Graduation March was the Overture to Die Meistersinger.  As a member of the French Horn section of the senior orchestra I played it often.  In addition to Brahms and Wagner we also played and accepted Mozart and Haydn, but we scoffed at Italian opera as simplistic tunes accompanied by like harmonies.  I stood through as many of the Met’s Wagner operas as I could afford.
 
After school, I listened to my father’s Caruso records and to the Met Saturday broadcasts. I tried to build my library by purchasing the score for each Saturday’s broadcast.  I carefully marked my scores with what I assumed was “tradition”, when in fact many of the changes were only errors.   I remember breaking up with a boyfriend who tried to talk to me during the Carmen broadcast.  I did not even notice that he had left until the end of the opera.  Also after school I supported myself playing for voice lessons.  I fell in love with lieder, opera and anything else which could be sung.  I also volunteered in any opera workshop which would have me.  The voice could do so many expressive things which could not be done on the piano.  By time I was twenty I had abandoned all previous ideas of a solo career as a pianist to pursue my love of singing and to accompany singers.  Without much experience I was able to land a job as rehearsal pianist at the New York City Opera.  I met Placido Domingo while working there and I met Nicolai Gedda and Richard Tucker while playing for rehearsals of the Friends of French Opera.  I will always be grateful to these great tenors for their willingness to take a chance to sing with a new, unproven, and not very experienced conductor, and appear with me in Carnegie Hall.

In the early days of Opera Orchestra of New York, the operas we did were like a revelation.  Who knew William Tell, I Lombardi, Pearl Fishers, Parisina, Gemma di Vergy, L’Africana, Le Cid, La Favorita, I Masnadieri,  Khovansnchina.  During that period before the beginning of the critical edition movement  we only knew four of the 72 operas by Donizetti and maybe half of Verdi’s output, and only a few of Rossini.  There is always more to discover.
 
Eve Queler- Opera Orchestra of New York

~ by aprilemillo on June 25, 2007.

 
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