Monthly Archives: March 2017

Michael Spyres – The Great American Tenor

Tweet I first wrote about Michael Spyres six years ago. I have since wondered why he has not been engaged by the Met. The perpetually becalmed company keeps recycling tenors who are well past their expiration dates. Spyres who has continued to improve since I became aware of him has achieved a vocal technique unique…


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William Tell: Act 4 Scene 1

Tweet After an hiatus of 85 years, last fall the Met brought back Rossini’s William Tell in its original French version. Previous performances of the opera by the company were done in German! and Italian. One of the main reasons for Tell’s infrequent stagings is its demanding tenor role, Arnold. This part was first sung…


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Finale 14 – Suor Angelica

Tweet Puccini’s three one act operas (Il Trittico) received their world premiere performances at the Met in 1918.When given together their order of performance is Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi. The middle opera has always been the least performed of the three. Puccini’s sister was a nun and he used a lot of…


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The 10 Best Sopranos of the 20th Century

Tweet This was a tough piece to write. With all the great sopranos of different vocal types active in the 20th century, picking just 10 is a daunting task. But I’m giving it a try regardless. I have excluded the high sopranos like Tetrazzini and Galli-Curci, but I still have a surplus of riches that…


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La Traviata in HD 2017

Tweet The Met brought back Willy Decker’s staging of Verdi’s masterpiece which was televised in the HD series in May of 2012. My gripes about this production are unchanged and can be read here. The opera’s entire premise is based on a 19th century view of the world, which is why moving it to the…


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Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

Tweet Sickle Cell Disease is a disorder of hemoglobin production secondary to an alteration in the hemoglobin gene on chromosome 11.  Specifically, there is a single amino acid substitution in “adult” β A -globin (Glu6Val) stemming from a single base substitution (A→T) in the first exon of the human β A -globin gene. The abnormal…


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