Monthly Archives: March 2016

Recording of the Week: Lauritz Melchior Collection

Tweet Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973) was the great heldentenor of the first half of the 20th century. Toscanini called him Tristanissimo, which is also the name of his authorized biography. He sang over 500 performances at the Met where his career was mainly made, though he did sing extensively elsewhere. Born in Denmark, he became an…


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Cosmosapiens – Book Review

Tweet Cosmosapiens by John Hands Subtitled Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe, John Hands’ book attempts to explain the origin of the universe and our place in it; and he does so in less than 600 pages (about a quarter of a million words) including many tables and figures. Amazingly, except for a stumble…


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Michael Spyres Sings Bellini’s A tanto duol From Bianca e Fernando

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs5yvm3n__A

Tweet Michael Spyres is probably the best tenor now active never to have sung at the Met. This aria is in dog whistle country. In case the video disappears a link to it is below.   Spyres Bellini: Bianca e Fernando – A tanto duol


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Un Ballo in Maschera in Munich

Tweet The Bavarian State Opera is streaming its new production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Mashera from its website until March 27. By European standards this is a pretty tame staging. The time was moved to around 1930. The place was neither colonial Massachusetts nor Sweden, but some indeterminate place in Operaland. In general, the staging…


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More on Gender Inequality

Tweet The New York Times published an article, As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops. The title conveys its message. That women are paid less than men for the same work is true. But is it as the article strains to imply that it is due to a gender bias? Buried deep…


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End Stage Kidney Disease: Costs and Treatment

Tweet About 1 million people  in the US have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Treatment is divided roughly 70/30 between dialysis and kidney transplantation. The annual cost of the ESRD program, almost all of which is funded by Medicare, is more than $48 billion. It costs about $89,000 a year to care for a dialysis patient….


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The 10 Best Tenors of the 20th Century

Tweet I’ve listed the 10 tenors that I think were the best of those active in the 20th century. Obviously, this list is entirely subjective and reflects nothing more than my tastes and opinions. Readers are invited to submit their own lists in the comments section. I have tried to pick a selection for each…


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Continental Drift and Popular Science

Tweet We redefined marriage, gender, and lunch. Then we repealed evolution by making it illegal for a species to go extinct. The same people who deride fundamentalist extremists as being anti-science when they deny the validity of the theory of evolution equally deny it when they assume they are bigger than nature. Now we are well about to…


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