Monthly Archives: July 2014

Flamenco in Aspen

On July 22 Juan Siddi’s Flamenco Santa Fe presented seven dances and one vocal number at the Aspen District Theater. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has just assumed the management of Siddi’s troupe hence its appearance in the Colorado resort town. A protege of Maria Benitez, who was a fixture in Santa Fe for many years,…

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Carlo Bergonzi 1924-2014

The great tenor Carlo Bergonzi died today at age 90. Bergonzi’s voice was not the most glorious instrument of his time, but his style, phrasing, lyric line, and his vocal longevity made him one of the finest tenors of the mid 20th century. He was especially renowned for his singing of the big Verdi parts. I…

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Cenerentola Sextet

I just came across this video of the second act sextet from Rossini’s Cenerentola. It’s from a 1981 movie of the opera directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The singers are Francisco Araiza, Claudio Desderi, Paolo Montarsolo, Margherita Guglielmi, Laura Zannini, and Frederica von Stade. Claudio Abbado conducts. It’s a gem both musically and visually.

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Music and Mother Nature in Aspen

The July 20 performance in Aspen’s Benedict Music Tent began at 4 PM, so did the show produced by Mother Nature. Both ended at 6 PM. The music tent is so constructed that a heavy rain may all but obliterate the sound of a symphony orchestra; add thunder to the equation and music is hors…

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More About the High Cost of Medical Care

I recently wrote about the reasons for the extraordinary high cost of medical care in the US – Why is Medical Care So Expensive?. That post is a PowerPoint presentation of a talk I recently gave. The slide below lists the causes that I think are responsible for the extraordinary rise in medical costs over the…

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Ecco Il Mondo

‘Ecco il mondo’ is sung by Mefistofele in Act 2 Scene 2 of Boito’s opera. Last March I presented 11 recordings of basses singing the same character’s first act aria – ‘Son lo spirito che nega’. Below are 11 versions of ‘Ecco il mondo’. The words in Italian and an English translation are presented at…

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Princess Alix’s Knee

Princess Alexandra (Alix) of Denmark (1844-1925) was the wife of Edward the Prince of Wales (1841-1910) subsequently King Edward VII. In February 1867 she developed a severe and very painful arthritis of the right knee. Her illness is well described in Jane Ridley’s excellent biography of Edward, The Heir Apparent. As Edward was a promiscuous husband,…

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