Monthly Archives: June 2019

Finale 21 – Lucrezia Borgia Prologue

Tweet Renaissance Italy’s infamous poisoner, at least in her operatic incarnation, was the subject of Gaetano Donizetti’s 24th opera (give or take a few, even the composer himself wasn’t sure how many operas he wrote). It’s a fine work that has received just one performance at the Met. That was in 1904 with Caruso in…


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Opera Ensembles

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi810zB3L04

Tweet For the purposes of this article an ensemble is music set for more than two singers; they must be soloists. Thus, choruses are not included here. An alternate to the videos below is provided below each video. These links will allow the viewer to see the video even if it goes dark on YouTube….


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Mad Scenes Not By Donizetti

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph56l7fFpw8

Tweet Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor is the poster girl for operatic lunacy. She’s been going mad for close to two centuries with no letup in sight. She should be an honorary member of the American Psychiatric Association; she’d fit right in. She’s probably got her own ICD 10 code. But opera has many other examples…


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World War 2 Photos

Tweet The photos below were found in a box after my mother died. They detail part of her brother Nat’s service in the US Army during World War 2.  I know nothing more than what was written on the back of some of these pictures. They were about 60 years old by the time I…


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MICHAEL SPYRES – Cessa di più resistere

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N6ZtBqAQZc

Tweet Cessa di più resistere is an aria for the tenor (Almaviva) in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. It occurs near the end of of the opera. For a very long time it was omitted – for two reasons. First it place the focus on the tenor at the expense of both the title character…


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From Tolerance to Equality – Book Review

Tweet Subtitled How Elites Brought America to Same-Sex Marriage, this book by Darel E Paul examines the phenomenon of same sex marriage, and a lot more. Paul is Professor of Political Science at Williams College – my alma mater and that of my two kids; accordingly I know a lot about its collective attitude. For…


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Lisette Oropesa

Tweet Lisette Oropesa (b 1983) is an American soprano who recently has been making news on the world’s opera stages. This year she was awarded both the Beverly Sills and Richard Tucker prizes. She’s on the cover of this month’s Opera News. Inside there is a six page spread devoted to her career. She’s been…


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Threnody for a Mortally Maimed Nest

Tweet Those with a tragic view of life are rarely disappointed. Life is full of atrocities both large and small; sometimes their scale is so tiny that they go unnoticed. If life is a veil of tears, the one that follows is less than a droplet – but it’s moving to a sympathetic observer. Several…


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Ewa Podleś – The Great Contralto

Tweet Ewa Podleś (b 1952 in Warsaw) is one of the greatest singers of the end of the old century and the first years of the new. Though appreciated by devotees of opera, she  has not received as much recognition as her great ability warrants. Part of the reason is the failure of the Met…


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