I've got two big, whopping news items this week. Item the first: more than ONE MILLION signatures have been collected and turned in to the GAB (Government Accountability Board) to trigger an election to recall Gov. Scott Walker. That's more than 1,000,000 for Walker alone, nearly twice as many as we needed! More than 800,000 were collected to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and there were enough to trigger recall elections for 4 Republican state senators as well.
This is a significant first step to undoing at least some of the wrongs that have been committed against the people of Wisconsin in the past year. This is huge. And though we have reason to celebrate, this is where it gets [more] complicated. We need strong candidates to defeat these Repubs in the months ahead, and they are raking in the monies from here, there and everywhere (Walker has raised millions of dollars already, half from out of state) and starting now they will be blitzing the media with negative ads. This is why we're fighting the good fight, though.
I've been preoccupied this week with another project, though; all week I've been in rehearsals for an opera premiere happening this weekend. The show is Wired For Love, by the fabulous Jerry Hui, and I'm honored to be participating. I'm playing piano in the orchestra, and it is anything but a glamorous gig, though, let me tell you. The orchestra pit is pretty small to begin with, and the upright piano I'm playing doesn't fit on the platform, so I'm a couple feet lower down and farther away from the conductor than everyone else. There isn't a proper light for the piano, so the set guy rigged up a couple of small spotlights on a 2x4 piece of wood. This works okay for illuminating my music, but the lights put out a LOT of heat, and they glare so badly that every time I look up at the conductor, I see spots. So...I can't see or hear particularly well, given my location and the poor light, and on top of that, I'm placed about six feet away from a giant, ancient furnace that sounds like its own percussion section whenever it kicks on. In fact, a couple of times during last night's rehearsal, I thought the actual percussionist was screwing up, but it turned out to be the heat coming on. Good thing we have another run-through tonight so I can get used to all that.
In all seriousness, I don't mean to complain. Believe it or not, I'm having a ball. Jerry writes really good music, the show is very funny, and all the musicians involved are very good. Like I said, it's an honor. Playing new music really is one of my favorite things to do. (In case anyone local here wants to see the show, it's Friday Jan 20 and Saturday Jan 21 at Music Hall on the UW campus, 8:00pm. I recommend it!)