Monthly Archives: November 2018

Michael Spyres in Philadelphia

Tweet New York’s Metropolitan Opera is suffering from a plague of inadequate tenors. Major productions have chugged along with tenors not up to the standard one would expect from the world’s most important opera house. The recent stagings of Samson et Dalila and Aida clearly demonstrate the Met’s tenorial difficulties. Yet the company does not…


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Ancient

Tweet Shakespeare had seven ages of man. I being a far lesser mortal have but five, all prosaic. From 0 to 20 you’re a kid. From 20 to 40 young; 40 to 60 middle aged; 60 to 80 old. After 80 you’re ancient. Almost everyone want to live to be ancient, but nobody wants to…


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Why is Beethoven Greater Than Reicha?

Tweet I recently attended a performance of one of Antonin Reicha’s wind quintets – there are 24 of them. The number of the one I heard was not given. It was a competent work devoid of genius. Reicha (1770-1836) was born the same year as Beethoven and went to the same high school. They became…


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Metropolitan Opera Premieres

Tweet My last post commented on the latest work to be premiered by the Metropolitan Opera. I mentioned that only the two by Giacomo Puccini had achieved lasting success. Below is a list of both the world and American premieres mounted by the company since its beginning in 1883. You can thus form your own…


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Marnie in HD

Tweet The Metropolitan Opera has been premiering new operas since 1907. This practice is an admirable attempt to vivify the art form.  Yet only two operas premiered at the Met have found a place in the standard repertory – both by Puccini. The first Met commissioned opera was La Fanciulla Del West in 1907. It’s…


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Benzodiazepines, the Elderly, and Good Clinical Judgement

Tweet There has been a steady campaign to convince primary care physicians to stop prescribing long term benzodiazepine treatment to elderly patients. The intense declaratory nature of these admonitions suggests an almost emotional commitment to these recommendations.  The argument against their use includes a loss of effect after as brief a period as 4 weeks,…


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ACE Inhibitors and Lung Cancer

Tweet A recent paper in the British Medical Journal reported that treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors was associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer. As scores of millions of patients take these drugs for the treatment of hypertension and related disorders, the study naturally attracted a lot of attention from the lay…


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