Monthly Archives: March 2019

Die Walküre in HD 2019

Tweet Die Walküre is the best of Wagner’s four Ring operas. How do I know? Well, I can hear and the numbers also tell me so. Giuseppe Verdi was not only opera’s greatest composer, but also came up with the best system of evaluating the worth of an opera. “Look to the box office,” he…


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Llanto Por La Muerte De Ignacio Sánchez Mejías

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FA51SGduS4

Tweet Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) was the jewel of the Generation of ’27; a group of poets and other artists that included – in its broadest sense – Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dali, and the torero Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. It was the death of this literary bull fighter that inspired Garcia Lorca to write one of…


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Recording of the Week: You Mean the World to Me

Tweet Jonas Kaufmann’s recital disc was released in 2014. It’s devoted to music that dominated pre-Nazi Berlin and then for a while after Vienna. The advent of the Nazi’s killed the music and some of its creators as well. These are the songs and arias that Joseph Schmidt and Richard Tauber are strongly associated with….


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Alzheimer’s Disease as an Infectious Disease

Tweet In 2005 Barry Marshall and Robert Warren received the Nobel Prize in medicine for their discovery that about 75% of peptic ulcer disease was infectious – secondary to infection with H pylori, a bacterium. Earlier studies had shown that viruses could cause certain forms of cancer. Kaposi’s sarcoma was a prominent feature of the…


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Operatic Laughter

Tweet There’s a lot to laugh about in opera, some of it intentional. My subject is not situations that are funny, rather it’s situations in which the characters laugh. Here are a few; doubtless, you can think of others. I’ll start with Adele’s Laughing  Song from the younger Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Adele, the Eisenstein’s maid,…


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Russian Doll and American Divorce

Tweet The Russian Doll in the title refers to the Netflix show not to the Matryoshka doll familiar to Westerners. I’ll come back to the program in a bit. But first, imagine a country divided into two halves – say Lemmings and Ostriches. The Lemmings think the Ostriches are stupid, while the Ostriches believe the…


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On Persistence

Tweet This article is the 1000th published here since the site went live in December of 2007. I don’t keep track of this sort of thing, but the computer does and I couldn’t help noticing that the previous one had number 999 attached to it. So, big deal! All this proves is that if you’re…


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Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination, and Autism

Tweet The title of this post is the same as that of a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this month. I’ve added a comma before and in the interest of stylistic nicety.  Twenty years ago a fraudulent paper was published in the Lancet which purported to link the MMR vaccine with autism….


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Apollo Granforte

Tweet If you need more proof that good luck is the greatest gift a person can possess look no further than at the life and career of Apollo Granforte (1886-1975). Start at the beginning. When he was two days old he was left in a basket at the Ospedale Civile in Legnano – how it…


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La Fille du Régiment in HD 2019

Tweet Donizetti’s spaghetti stuffed eclair smeared with schmaltz reappeared on today’s Met in HD telecast. This production was previously telecast in 2008 with Natalie Dessay in the title role. I wrote this about her performance: Natalie Dessay was as bouncy as a spaldeen. She looked like a combination of Fanny Brice and Edith Piaf on steroids and…


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