Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

The Sniffer – Season 3 Review

Tweet Spoilers ahead, proceed at your own peril. The third, and apparently, final season of the Ukrainian/Russian language TV show is somewhat different from the first two seasons.  There’s a lot less sniffing than on the first two seasons. The protagonist is caught in a complex scenario involving a shady obstetrician who turns out to…


Read the full entry

Tutto Verdi – Otello

Tweet Verdi’s penultimate opera is both a supreme masterpiece and the greatest killer of tenors in the Italian repertory. I’ve written enough about the merits of this opera on these pages to allow me to concentrate solely on the video disc that is part of Parma’s survey of all Verdi’s operas and on Latvian tenor…


Read the full entry

Finale 18 – Otello Act 3

Tweet The finale of Act 3 of Verdi’s Otello consists of the most elaborate concertato that Verdi ever wrote. The following comments borrow from Julian Budden’s analysis of this piece in the third volume of his definitive The Operas of Verdi. Verdi wrote great concertatos throughout his career. They are among the great achievements in opera….


Read the full entry

Tutto Verdi – The Requiem

Tweet Verdi’s towering Requiem Mass was written to mark the first anniversary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) who was one of Verdi’s two cultural heroes of 19th century Italian art; the other was Rossini. First performed in the church of San Marco, it was repeated a few days later at La Scala. Verdi…


Read the full entry

The Met’s House Tenors

Tweet The definition I’m using here is this: A Met house tenor is one who has sung at least 500 performances in leading tenor roles with the company. Thus, comprimario singers are not included. Using this rule there are only six tenors who qualify. They are listed below in the order of their birth followed…


Read the full entry

Materia Medica

Tweet Two new studies that reinforce old points. The first is from the JAMA (Effect of a Low-Intensity PSA-Based Screening Intervention on Prostate Cancer Mortality ): Question  What is the effect of an invitation to a single prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening on prostate cancer detection and median 10-year prostate cancer mortality? Findings  In this randomized clinical trial comparing men…


Read the full entry

Celeste Aida

Tweet Verdi’s first act aria from his Egyptian opera, ‘Celeste Aida’, is the last Italian tenor aria in the style so often used by the master and his predecessors – recitative followed by a formal aria. Verdi himself abandoned the format in his last two operas, Otello and Falstaff, which followed Aida. Puccini’s tenor arias…


Read the full entry

World Health Organization to Issue New Dietary Recommendations

Tweet The WHO has issued draft recommendations that advise less consumption of saturated fats and trans fats. “Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern because high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, told…


Read the full entry

Dr. Donald W. Seldin, ‘intellectual father’ of UT Southwestern, dies at 97

Tweet Dr Seldin died April 25, 2018 at the age of 97. I was one of thousands of physicians whose life and career was shaped by this great man. The article below is the tribute to him that was published by Southwestern Medical Center, the institution that he devoted his life to and which was…


Read the full entry

Ella Brennan – Commanding the Table

Tweet This is not a film review, rather it’s a recommendation that you see the movie the title of which is above. Netflix has it. The movie tells the story of Ella Brennan who has been the Doyenne of New Orleans restaurateurs for more than 60 years. She first made Brennan’s into a eating powerhouse….


Read the full entry