Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Montserrat Caballé 1933-2018

Tweet The great Catalan soprano died Oct 6. She came to international fame when she substituted for Marilyn Horne in a performance Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall. Though her voice was basically lyric in character, she was able by virtue of a secure vocal technique to sing  bel canto roles, the big Verdi parts,…


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In Questa Reggia

Tweet I recently posted an article about Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, that had nothing to say about its title character. The work achieved the renown it currently enjoys (#17 on operabase’s list of most frequently performed operas) largely due to the work of Birgit Nilsson. Before Nilsson first performed the role at the Met in…


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Aida in HD 2018

Tweet Aida was performed today by the Met for the 1166th time. This broadcast was HD telecast number three for Verdi’s Egyptian extravaganza. The hook for this run of the perennial was Anna Netrebko in the title role. There’s nothing new anyone can say about this opera so let’s get right to the show. Netrebko…


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Finale 19 – Turandot Act 1

Tweet Italian opera as is currently practiced began with Rossini and ended with Puccini. All the Italian operas in the standard repertory were written between 1813 and 1924 – a little more than a century, a blink in the history of art. The last of these operas is Turandot. A magnificent achievement left incomplete at…


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Met Opens Season with Samson and Delilah

Tweet The Met opened its current season with Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. The performance was streamed throughout the world and will doubtless last until the heat death of the universe. It will be telecast on Oct 20 as the second of the 10 operas that will make up the company’s HD series for this season….


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Prophylactic Aspirin in Healthy Elderly Adults

Tweet Three studies, published online on Sept 16, 2018 by the New England Journal of Medicine, examine the effect  of prophylactic aspirin in healthy elderly patients. The subjects received 100 mg of aspirin daily or a placebo for five years. Trial participants were community-dwelling men and women from Australia and the United States who were 70 years…


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Colorado Springs Philharmonic Opens Season

Tweet The CSP opened its 2018-19 season this evening (Sept 15) under the direction of its music director Josep Caballé-Domenech. The Pikes Peak Center was full of an enthusiastic audience that had two out of three pieces to be enthusiastic about. The first was Rossini’s overture to L’Italiana in Algeri. The Philharmonic’s Catalan maestro lead…


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Highlights from the DSM V

Tweet Rare and Unusual Psychiatric Syndromes: A Primer and Culture-Specific Psychiatric Syndromes: A Review are articles from Medscape Internal Medicine which is an online compendium of useful information dedicated to practitioners of the specialty. You can read both articles by clicking the above links. The syndromes these articles describe are taken from from the Diagnostic…


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Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani- Quando al Mio

Tweet “Here is the great tenor-baritone duet (Quando al mio) from Act 3 [of I Vespri Siciliani]. Verdi never wrote a better duet. In this piece Monforte [baritone] reveals to Arrigo [tenor] that he is his son. Arrigo is torn three ways. First he fears he will lose Elena [his fiance] because he promised her he…


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Zinka Milanov – A Reminscence

Tweet The article below was written by Raymond Beegle who served as an accompanist for Zinka Milanov (1906-89) during the years after she retired from performing and devoted herself to teaching. He was also her friend. His moving appreciation of the great soprano was originally published in the Spring 1990 issue of Opera Quarterly to mark her (then)…


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