Monthly Archives: March 2014

March Birthdays

Tweet The photos below are, as usual, by Robert Cahen.


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Die Tote Stadt in Dallas

Tweet On March 26, 2014 The Dallas Opera presented the third of its five performance run of Erich Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt. First performed in 1920 when the Viennese composer was 23. The opera was simultaneously premiered in Hamburg and Cologne.  Korngold is most famous for his movie scores. He had first gone to…


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Il Tabarro

Tweet Here is a complete performance recorded more than a half century ago of Puccini’s realistic one act opera Il Tabarro. Robert Merrill heads a cast that could not be matched today. This opera and its two partners will soon be 100 years old. Originally dismissed as a Grand Guignol thriller with little substance. It has…


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Commentary on Leviticus 10:1-2

Tweet 1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered alien fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 And there came forth fire from before the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the…


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La Sonnambula Returns to the Met

Tweet When I was studying music at Williams College my professor Robert Barrow, the chairman of the department and a figure of magisterial austerity, said that whenever he went to the Met to hear Wagner he always demanded a seat behind a post. I can’t remember if the old Met really had a seat behind…


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Werther in HD – Greatness and Catastrophe

Tweet Massenet’s Werther was telecast today in theaters around the world. Let’s begin with the end. It was mute. Shortly after Charlotte entered Werther’s room in the final scene of Massenet’s opera the sound was lost. It wasn’t found until after the curtain fell. I’ve already heard from a viewer in San Francisco that the…


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Son Lo Spirito Che Nega

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPvj4V2OcUo

Tweet This aria, from the 1st act of Boito’s Mefistofele, captures the essence of Goethe’s Mephisto. Of course, the opera is one of many musical works based on Goethe’s monumental play. Mefistofele is the spirit that denies. The words to ‘Son lo spirito che nega’ are below in Italian and English. Every great bass (or…


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Recording of the Week: Mefistofele

Tweet Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) was a polymath without genius unlike Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) who was equally (or even more) versatile, but who had genius. As a composer Boito’s reputation rests solely on his opera Mefistofele. It was premiered at La Scala in 1868 under the direction of the composer; he had very little experience as a…


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Tribute to Donald Seldin

Tweet Click the link below to view a tribute to Donald Seldin the greatest academic physician since William Osler. It will give the reasons that support the statement I just made. http://swmedical.org/archives/1401  


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