Monthly Archives: April 2008

Daughter of the Regiment in HD – April 26, 2008

I know I said I’d used up my life’s allotment of performances of Donizetti’s bonbon, but Dessay and Florez at the Met was too tempting to pass up. Laurent Pelly’s production moves the opera’s time to that of World War I. But when you set this opera is irrelevant. It succeeds or fails with its…

Read the full entry

Mental Health Problems After War Service

Nearly 20% of Veterans who served in Iraq are said to have to have post traumatic stress or major depression according to a study by the Rand Corporation. Everyone seems to be racing ahead of everyone else to embrace these finding lest they be thought negligent or insensitive. A word of caution, though the full…

Read the full entry

Hypertension in the Very Old

Virtually all physicians treat their hypertensive patients who are 80 years old or more. The evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment in very old patients has up till now been lacking. The New England Journal of Medicine has published a paper, Treatment of Hypertension in Patients 80 Years of Age or Older, that shows…

Read the full entry

La Boheme in HD – April 5, 2008

How many times can one watch La Boheme without being bored? Apparently it is impossible to be bored by any halfway competent performance of Puccini’s masterpiece. Saturday’s HD performance of Zeffirelli’s venerable staging from the Met was better than the minimum level necessary to ward off ennui. It’s been performed so many times at the…

Read the full entry

Why Giuseppe Di Stefano Was Unique

Giuseppe Di Stefano (1921-2008) occupies a special place on the list of the greatest tenors of the last century. I will try to show why with a few examples of his singing recorded when he was at his best. You will often hear singers and critics admit to admiring the “young” Di Stefano. When you do…

Read the full entry