Monthly Archives: December 2009

Terrorism and Healthcare Reform

Tweet The recent attempt to blow up a US airplane as it was about to land in Detroit may not seem to have much connection to healthcare reform, but on reflection the relationship is proximate and interesting.  The would be underwear bomber was known to the federal bureaucrats charged with protecting us from what is…


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Massachusetts Health Care Reform – What Does it Mean?

Tweet Massachusetts Health Care Reform — Near-Universal Coverage at What Cost? That’s the title of an article in the November 19th, 2009 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.The authors of the piece, Joel S Weissman, PhD. and JudyAnn Bigby, MD, work for the the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. You…


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Merry Christmas

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Hoffmann’s Epilogue

Tweet As promised, here are five different versions of the conclusion of Offenbach’s Les Contes D’Hoffmann. They are presented in chronological order. The first is taken from the 1948 recording of the opera under Andre Cluytens. Hoffmann Epilogue – Cluytens Jobin. This is a French production and my favorite. The Hoffmann was the French-Canadian tenor…


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Rachele Gilmore Makes Remarkable Met Debut

Tweet In the grand tradition of a star is born and the show must go on young American soprano Rachele Gilmore made an unscheduled debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera tonight as Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes Hoffman. She was given only three hour’s notice that Kathleen Kim was ill and that she was up….


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Tales of Hoffmann in HD

Tweet Bart Sher’s new production of Offenbach’s masterpiece was broadcast today (December 19, 2009)  in HD. Sher’s mounting of Rossini’s Barber a couple seasons back was very successful. This time around wasn’t as fortunate. His problem was that everything was almost invisible. His scenes were dark, darker, and darkest. When you could see what was…


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Aureliano Pertile

Tweet Aureliano Pertile was born in 1885 in Montagnana near Padua. Interestingly, Giovanni Martinelli was born in the same town in the same year. Pertile’s career was mainly based at La Scala where he had the reputation as Toscanini’s favorite tenor, though the great maestro did not ask him to sing at the prima of…


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The Law and Lewis Carroll

Tweet Originally published in 1986, this piece describes a legal climate that has not changed in the intervening 23 years. It also appears on the Commentary page The advent of medical malpractice litigation as a growth industry has spawned many reactions. Physicians, not unexpectedly, respond with outrage. They adduce that most of the increase in…


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Predicting Violent Behavior

Tweet The killing of four Seattle police officers by a man with a long history of violent behavior again raises the issue of releasing people from jail or other institutions who have been incarcerated because of violent crimes. The putative killer in the Washington murders, Maurice Clemmons, was shot and killed by a policeman today….


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