Monthly Archives: March 2009

Opera in the Original Language

Tweet Last night the Met performed Dvořák’s opera Rusalka for the first time since 2004. The opera was performed in its original Czech. Most operas in the standard repertoire are in Italian, German, or French. Accordingly, most opera singers are reasonably comfortable in those languages. But how about Czech? This production has only one Czech…

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Americans Addicted to Food

Tweet The normally sober George Will seems to have lost his marbles over corn. His latest column makes the discovery that America has figured out how to make almost endless amounts of food at a very low price. Mr Will thinks that this is bad because cheap food allows people to eat too much of…

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Madama Butterfly in HD

Tweet Madama Butterfly was broadcast throughout much of the world today (March 7, 2009) in HD. Patricia Racette replaced the indisposed Christina Gallardo-Domâs in the title role. This replacement was of inestimable value to the performance as Racette’s impersonation is much better than that of Gallardo-Domâs who lacks the vocal means for Puccini’s daunting teenager….

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Everybody Dies

Tweet The current economic crisis has elicited numerous responses declaring that we’ve been through worse and that we’ll get through this. Warren Buffet’s version of this combined caution and succor is this: Amid this bad news, however, never forget that our country has faced far worse travails in the past. In the 20th Century alone,…

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Zimmerman Booed at the Met

Tweet Bellini’s La Sonnambula received its first performance tonight in Mary Zimmerman’s new staging. Much has been made of her decision to move the opera’s locale from a Swiss village to a New York rehearsal hall. Considering her assault on Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor it seemed foolish to bring her back for another shot at…

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The Perfect Il Trovatore

Tweet Verdi’s great opera currently on display at New York’s Metropolitan Opera rarely gets a good performance anywhere because of the extraordinary demands placed on its four protagonists. In 1952 RCA got the best cast ever assembled to record the opera. It’s as close to perfection as we’re ever likely to get. You can quibble…

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