Monthly Archives: May 2015

If You Are a Homicidal Maniac Press 1

Earlier today I called USAA. They’re my insurance company. I’ve been with them since before the big bang. Back then you could pick up the phone and a familiar voice would answer, “This is Phyllis at USAA.” And I would reply, “Hi, Phyllis, this is Neil. I got a new car; please change my coverage.” And…

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Lawrence Tibbett

Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) – born in Bakersfield, California – was the first in a succession of great American baritones who have been dominant performers at the Metropolitan Opera and throughout the world during much of the 20th century. He made his Met debut in 1923 as Lavitsky in Boris Godunov. For the next few years he…

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Shostakovich – Michelangelo Suite

Michelangelo (1475-1564), in addition to dominating renaissance art, wrote more than 300 sonnets and madrigals. Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) set 11 of the sonnets to music shortly before he died. The Michelangelo Suite was originally written for bass and piano (op 145). Shostakovich then orchestrated the songs (op 145a) making the piece even more powerful and…

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Carmen – PowerPoint Presentation

Below is a link that will download a PowerPoint presentation I gave before the recent performances of Carmen by the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. To use it download all the files and put them in the same folder. To hear the sound excerpts click on the sound icon on the slides that are associated with music….

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Emergency Room Visits Rise

Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen. A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight increases….

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Shostakovich: The Nose

Below is a complete performance of Shostakovich’s first opera The Nose. I have previously written about he opera – here. As I mentioned in that earlier post the opera needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. This 1979 staging has English subtitles. The 21 year old composer’s exuberance explodes off of the stage. The orchestral…

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