Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Disciogliea

Tweet Puccini’s Tosca contains one of the most beautiful and famous tenor arias in opera – ‘E lucevan le stelle’ which takes place shortly after the start of the third and final act. The line given below (with a literal English translation) requires, for its full realization, an effect which is beyond the abilities of…


Read the full entry

Michael Spyres – Espoir

Tweet Michael Spyres’ just released CD is entitled Espoir  (Hope). A better title would be Michael Spyres Sings Gilbert Duprez. Duprez (1806-96) was the tenor who pioneered the high C from the chest. He is the forerunner of the modern tenore di forza. This recording features arias, and one duet, that were associated with the French…


Read the full entry

The 10 Best Tenors of the 20th century – Part 2

Tweet When I published my choices for the 10 best tenors of the 20th century I admitted that my picks were entirely subjective. Many readers had different thoughts as to who should be on such a list. I fully realized that if made up the list on another day that it would be different. So,…


Read the full entry

How Go Completely Crazy in 25 Easy Steps

Tweet The first thing to accept is that you don’t have to do anything crazy to go completely crazy – a series on rational small steps will get you there. A to B seems at least OK. The same with B to C, all the way to Z. Twenty five rational, or semi-rational, steps and…


Read the full entry

La damnation de Faust at the Proms

Tweet On August 8, this year John Eliot Gardiner directed the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust for the BBC Proms. The soloists were Ann Hallenberg, Michael Spyres, and bass Laurent Naouri. The great choral part was sung by The Monteverdi Choir and the National Youth Choir of Scotland….


Read the full entry

Alida Ferrarini

Tweet Alida Ferrarini (1946-2013) was a soprano who specialized in the lighter roles of the operatic repertory. Gilda, Adina, and Michaela were perfect fits for her voice. She also sang baroque and 18th century roles. She sang in San Francisco, but otherwise limited her performances to Europe. She may be best known for her singing…


Read the full entry

Bernardo De Muro

Tweet Last month’s Opera News contains a review of Rome’s new production of Giordano’s Andrea Chenier. Here’s its first sentence: “In the first half of the twentieth century, Andrea Chenier was one of the most frequently staged works at Rome Opera, with tenors of the caliber of De Muro, Gigli, Lauri-Volpi, and Pertile alternating in…


Read the full entry

Si Pel Ciel – Otello Act 2

Tweet Verdi’s penultimate opera is a masterpiece of dramatic cohesion and inspiration. Set to one of opera’s greatest librettos, it reflects all that its composer had learned from a life spent in the the theater. The duet, ‘Si pel ciel’, that ends the second act is as rousing as anything Verdi had written 40 years…


Read the full entry

Finale 16 – Don Giovanni Act 2

Tweet Mozart’s seminal opera connects to audiences on many levels. To some, like GB Shaw, it is the acme of western art. The finale of the opera is one of the lyric stage’s most compelling creations. The opera’s last number is an epilogue. It was omitted in the opera’s Vienna premiere and from all of…


Read the full entry

Random Thoughts on Addiction, the Stock Market, and Gerbils on a Wheel

Tweet Having changed the definition of sex, gender, marriage, pronouns, speech, health, victory, defeat, money, bullying, poverty, success, dress, fake news, children, and height, I thought a few ruminations on smoking, addiction, and whatever free association could bring to mind might fill a few paragraphs. On Friday July 28 the FDA announced a comprehensive regulatory…


Read the full entry