Monthly Archives: December 2010

Una Furtiva Lagrima – A Baker’s Dozen

Donizetti’s comic opera L’Elisir D’Amore is a great masterpiece, yet great as it is it has been overshadowed by it’s wildly popular tenor aria ‘Una furtiva lagrima’. There are more recordings of it than there is time to listen to them. I picked out 13 of them performed by tenors past and present which give…


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More on Obesity

I recently wrote about the obesity paradox. There are diseases in which patients who have a disease and are overweight live longer than patients with the same disease who are thinner –  hence the paradox. The December 2 New England Journal of Medicine examines Body-Mass Index and Mortality among 1.46 Million White Adults.The authors measured the relationship between BMI (weight in kg divided by the square of…


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Screening for Prostate Cancer – Again

USA Today which has a hard enough time just reporting the news is now dispensing medical advice: The news that Sen. Ron Wyden has been diagnosed with prostate cancer should be a reminder to men over 50 to be screened for the disease. They don’t seem to have looked to see what the scientific basis for that…


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Yonghoon Lee’s Met Radio Debut

The young Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee who made his debut at the Met last month to much acclaim in the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlo appeared for the first time on the Met’s Saturday afternoon broadcasts yesterday – again as Don Carlo. His voice was much more appropriate for the part than was the over matched Roberto Alagna who sang most of the…


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Alex Ross and His Useless Advocacy of Modernist Music

On Sunday November 28th , the Guardian published a piece by Alex Ross titled,  “Why Do We Hate Modern Classical Music?” First of all, the title of the article by Mr. Ross is misplaced — people don’t “hate” modern classical music, they are just indifferent to so much of it. It’s very frustrating to see him, like so many others before…


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Don Carlo in HD

Verdi’s flawed, but towering, masterpiece Don Carlo was presented in HD Saturday December 11. There is no definitive version of the opera. Verdi authorized so many different variations on his original that it’s up to each company to choose how they’ll mount the work. Five acts, four acts, French, Italian, a ballet, no ballet, a very long list…


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Clelia II in Trouble

I recently wrote a four part article about the Clelia II. It was an account of it’s trip to Greenland. It’s in the Antarctic now where it got into trouble earlier this year. Well, it did it again. Fortunately it escaped it’s newest predicament without serious harm to its passengers.


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Who Can Sing Fanciulla?

After listening to the broadcast from the Met of Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West last night, I asked myself who can sing the two principal roles in the opera? Certainly not the two who performed them yesterday. Deborah Voigt in the title role sounded like she was on leave from the old folks home, while…


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Don Pasquale in HD Redux

As I was out of the country when Don Pasquale was broadcast live I had to settle for the rerun on December 1. This opera is a gem. What would any opera lover give for a composer who could turn out the wealth of great tunes that fill this work? It was one of the…


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Income Tax Revenue 1995-2008

This is off topic, but I thought it might be interesting to anyone following the debate about income tax rates. The graph shows that income tax revenues rose about 50% following the full implementation of the Bush tax cuts in 2003. While associations do not prove cause and effect the data show that it is possible to lower taxes and have…


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