Monthly Archives: May 2014

La Fanciulla Del West from the Met 1992

Defunct Met video Added June 15, 2014 – So this YouTube video is also gone. Instead, listen to this performance from  1954. It’s in the public domain and thus will be around for a while. It features Eleanor Steber (Minnie), Gian Giacomo Guefi (Jack Rance), Mario Del Monaco (Dick Johnson), and Dimitri Mitropoulos (conductor). It…


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Mammography Screening in Switzerland

The May 22, 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has a perspective piece that is even more instructive than its authors and the journal’s editors realized: ‘Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board’. It describes the process that the Swiss used to evaluate the scientific foundation for the…


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Gianni Schicchi

The third of Puccini’s three one act operas Gianni Schicchi was immediately recognized as a masterpiece unlike its two sibling which took longer to have their genius acknowledged. The only comparable opera is Verdi’s Falstaff.  Schicchi moves like quicksilver through the 50+ minutes it takes to perform. The only pause is for ‘O mio babbino caro’…


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Tutto Verdi: Rigoletto

 With its 2008 production of Rigoletto Parma’s Tutto Verdi series reaches the first of Verdi’s mature masterpieces. Rigoletto is performed so often and is therefore so familiar to opera goers that its utter originality is obscured by its ubiquity. The title role is the supreme test for an “Italian” baritone. I can add little to…


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La Cenerentola in HD

Rossini is life. He reinvented Italian opera when he was 20. And every Italian composer who followed him is in his debt.  Today’s HD telecast of Rossini’s version of Cinderella showed why. Cenerentola (Rossini calls her Angelina) has been done 38 times by the Met, all in Cesare Lievi’s 1997 production. His semi-surreal sets and Maurizio Balò’s…


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La Fanciulla Del West – Vienna 2013

Below is a YouTube video of a complete performance of Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West performed on October 5, 2013 at the Vienna State Opera. As these videos have a way of disappearing because of copyright issues I’ve also added two sound files of the tenor arias from the opera sung by Jonas Kaufmann from…


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The Bell That Didn’t Ring or the Kindness of Strangers

If you live in the lunar landscape of Lubbock you give up something for the easy living of the South Plains. One such sacrifice is Jewish delicatessen. That’s why the internet was invented. While nova has made to the local super markets, smoked whitefish, baked salmon, corned beef, and the like are as rare as…


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