Monthly Archives: February 2017

Ostracism and “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”

Tweet Ostracism was an interesting feature of the Athenian democracy, if you can call a city-state which granted the suffrage only to adult male land owners a democracy. About 30 to 50 thousand of about 300 thousand Athenians were eligible to vote. Unsurprisingly, democracy in Athens lasted little more than a century. Ostracism derives its name from…


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Nicolai Gedda 1925-2017

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDQOjaiaX1g

Tweet Nicolai Gedda died this month at age 91. The Swedish singer was one of the great tenors of the middle part of the last century. His best years overlapped the careers of an extraordinarily large number of great tenors. When he started singing professionally Jussi Björling, Richard Tucker, Mario Del Monaco, and Giuseppe Di Stefano…


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Finale 12 & 12A: Aida Acts 2 & 4

Tweet This article will cover two finales, those to the second and fourth acts of Verdi’s Aida. Verdi’s Egyptian opera dates to the time when Benjamin Britten said Verdi had discovered the secret of perfection. The finale to the second scene of act 2, the triumphal scene, is a god-like demonstration of how to handle large forces….


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O Soave Fanciulla

Tweet Puccini’s La Boheme is popular beyond comment. It has been performed 1295 times by the Met since the company’s first performance of the opera on tour in Los Angeles in 1900. Incidentally, Los Angeles was also the site of the work’s American premiere three years earlier.  Aida is far behind in the Met’s second…


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I Puritani at the Met/ Nicolai Gedda Dies

Tweet Last night the Met presented its first performance of its revival of Bellini’s I Puritani. This show was much anticipated mainly because of Javier Camarena’s first appearance in New York as Arturo, one of opera’s most challenging roles. I listened to the Sirius broadcast of the opera and thus can only comment on the…


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Finale 11 – Don Giovanni Act 1

Tweet Don Giovanni is one of opera’s greatest works, but it’s on the long side. So when the finale to act 1 finally arrives it’s always welcome, especially as it’s so good. Giovanni is supposedly a great seducer, but he fails at every amatory attempt, resorting to attempted rape at the conclusion of act 1….


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Tutto Verdi: Don Carlo

Tweet Parma’s Tutto Verdi presentation of Don Carlo was sent up the road to the Teatro Comunale di Modena. I suppose this was appropriate as this opera has more versions than a tenors has phobias. But one of them is called the Modena Version, which obviously was the one presented here. It’s the 5 act opera…


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