National Symphony Principal Bassist Robert Oppelt’s website is a really excellent and worthwhile read–if you haven’t checked it out, I heartily recommend it. Robert regularly updates it with advice, stories, interviews, and photos.
Robert recently posted a letter sent to him from Samir Basim, Principal Bassist of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. Here’s a shot from Robert’s website featuring the two of them on a stand together in a rehearsal:
I also still work in the symphony. We got two new players and they are doing well. The symphony is determined to stay working and also to try to keep the players in Iraq. (They are starting to leave the country.)
Regarding the life in Iraq – it is bad. There is no electricity or healthy water, with a lot of bombs, car bombs, militia, and kidnappings. Life gets much more expensive, etc…
Our government is a problem and I thank God everyday that I am still in one piece. But, we still have hope that it may get better and we must keep working to heal our wounds.
Read the rest of this letter at Robert Oppelt’s site, and check out the following links for more posts featuring Robert’s writing:
- Interview with Robert D’Imperio
- How Robert Oppelt plays the Mahler 1 bass solo
- Rostropovich story from Robert Oppelt’s site