Monthly Archives: February 2019

Depuis le Jour – Redux

Tweet I’ve done this before, but decided to have another go at it – NK Opera has a number of one hit wonders. French Composer Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956) is one of the few half hit wonders. He was a French proto-hippy whose worldview is perfectly expressed in his first opera Louise. The title character is…


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Dumber Than a Broom Handle

Tweet A state similar to the instrument in the title is often the condition of  prominent people who offer pronouncements about issues not related to their expertise.  Typically, these proclamations concern politics, economics, and/or science and technology. Athletes and actors are obviously entitled to their opinions. Because they are prominent, their opinions get disseminated and…


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The Queen of the Night’s Aria

Tweet Mozart’s musical comedy/opera, The Magic Flute, has a story that’s confused even by the loose standard of opera. No matter, it has a lot of good tunes and offers the opportunity for creative stagings. One of its characters, The Queen of the Night, seems to be an OK person at the opera’s start, but…


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Maria Carbone

Tweet Maria Carbone (1908-2002) was mentioned in my last post about Nicola Fusati. It turns out that she’s another singer with a medical connection. She studied medicine for 4 years before switching to vocal studies. I don’t know what university she attended when a medical student. Her training in singing was at the Conservatorio di…


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Nicola Fusati

Tweet Nicola Fusacchia (1876-1956) really deserves a spot on this site. After earning a medical degree from the University of Rome in 1901, he trained as a surgeon and became chief of surgery in Norcia Hospital in Perugia in 1904. Somehow he found time to study singing. He made his stage debut as Radames in…


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Systolic Blood Pressure Control and Dementia

Tweet Dementia increases with age. About 50% of the population 85 years or older will experience some degree of cognitive impairment. Obviously, this problem places an enormous burden on those charged with the care of these patients and an economic load on all of society.  There is no treatment currently available to retard cognitive decline…


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Michael Spyres High Notes and as a Bass

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zbnSdux7so

Tweet First a YouTube compilation of tenor Michael Spyres singing high notes – some of which can only be heard by dogs. Spyres has mastered mixing, without a noticeable break, all the registers that a tenor can use. His highest notes from operas written before tenors sang high Cs and above from the chest employ…


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Reiner Conducts Falstaff – Met 1949

Tweet Verdi’s final opera is both a departure from all he had done previously and yet the culmination of a half century career. Building on the musical language the had developed to perfection he wrote an opera that was unlike any that preceded it. Musicians loved it from the start. Richard Strauss thought it one…


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New (2019) Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines

Tweet The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new guidelines for the management of elevated blood cholesterol levels. These guidelines focus on LDL-cholesterol. They are summarized in the figure below which can be enlarged by clicking on it. They were published in a short article in the JAMA which is…


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Carmen in HD 2019

Tweet The Met presented Carmen for the 403rd time in its HD series. Overall the company has performed Bizet’s opera about a gypsy who smokes 1,897,346,104 times since its first staging by the New York ensemble during its initial season. Actually, the Met first did Carmen in Boston where after a run of 2,000 shows…


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