Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Court Rules Wagner’s Music Dangerous to Health

Tweet I written about the medical danger to health associated with Parsifal, now a British court has added Die Walküre to the list of hazardous Wagner operas. Violist Christopher Goldscheider convinced the court that playing in a cramped orchestra pit during a 2012 rehearsal of the opera subjected him to a noise level which resulted in…


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My Smart TV Has a Stupid DVR

Tweet The march of technology is like a drunken sailor on his way to the next bar. He more or less knows where it is, but his pickled neurons send him on an erratic path. Thus we get driverless cars that run over a pedestrian in the dark because the car forgot to turn its…


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Quando le sere al placido

Tweet One of opera’s most moving and beautiful tenor arias occurs near the end of the second act of Verdi’s Luisa Miller. The aria is a test for any tenor as it requires a powerful spinto for its explosive introduction followed by an aria which is sensitive, lyrical, and has a classical beauty. The words…


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Luisa Miller in HD

Tweet Verdi’s 14th opera was brought back to the Met after an absence of 12 years. Elijah Moshinsky’s production with sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto is set in 19th century England rather than 17th century Tyrol. This change made little difference to opera’s effect, though the time and place specified by Verdi makes a…


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A Troublesome Inheritance – Book Review

Tweet Subtitled Genes, Race and Human History, Nicholas Wade’s book has managed to get itself denounced by 144 geneticists in a letter to the New York Times Book Review. How has Wade managed this feat? He has a long and distinguished career as a science writer which includes a stint as Science Editor for the…


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How to Gum a Steak

Tweet Why would you want to gum a steak? Well, because London’s murder rate now exceeds New York’s. London’s gun laws are tougher than Chuck Norris, so would be murders have resorted to knives. There seems to be no limit to human ingenuity when homicide is the issue. London’s mayor, Shadiq Khan, has responded as…


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Tutto Verdi: Aida

Tweet When Verdi composed Aida he was well past the point where he had discovered, as Benjamin Britten remarked, the secret of perfection. If this opera does not plumb the emotional and psychological depths of its immediate predecessor, Don Carlo, it is a work of both grandeur and intimacy that comes from an operatic world…


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Così Fan Tutte in HD 2018

Tweet When I heard that the Met was going to do a new production of Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte set in Coney Island during the 1950s I was relieved that they were not going to place the last of the Da Ponte operas in a Turkish brothel. Then I wondered why the Met needed a new…


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Investing for the Long Run

Tweet If you’ve been following the stock market for the last couple of months you’ve likely been afflicted with repeated vasovagal attacks. This is as close to either medicine or opera as I’m going to get in this piece. When the markets submerge the advice emitted by both casual and professional observers is always the…


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Quotations of the Day

Tweet There’s nothing as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in. Will Rogers One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine. Sir William Osler


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