Monthly Archives: June 2015

Recording of the Week: Verismo – Diana Soviero

The best singing actress I ever saw was Diana Soviero (b 1946) and my list includes Maria Callas and Teresa Stratas. Born in Jersey City she received the second Richard Tucker Award in 1979. She had a distinguished career at the Met appearing 102 times with the company between 1980 and 1997. She also sang…

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Leoncavallo’s La Boheme

Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) is, of course, best known as the composer of Pagliacci. He had the bad luck to write a pretty good opera, La Boheme, ( first performed in 1897) at about the same time as Puccini’s opera of the same title which first appeared in 1896. If Puccini’s masterpiece hadn’t been written Leoncavallo’s opera…

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What Can You Do to Maintain Good Health?

The FDA just banned trans fat. The American Heart Association issued a statement that the move would prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year mirroring that made by the CDC. Where this number came from is a mystery. I suspect they made it up after a series of extrapolations from metabolic data to epidemiological conclusions based…

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Margaret Juntwait 1957-2015

Margaret Juntwait died June 3, 2015. She had been the host of the Met’s broadcasts since 2004. The company’s announcement is below. The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of our radio host Margaret Juntwait, who passed away this morning after a long battle with ovarian cancer. For millions of listeners around the world, Margaret was…

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Rosa Ponselle

Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981) was born Rosa Ponzillo in Meriden Connecticut to immigrant parents from southern Italy. Her vocal gifts were apparent at an early age and she started to sing professionally at 18. Her repertoire was mainly popular ballads. Shortly thereafter she began to sing on the vaudeville circuit with her older sister Carmela, who…

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Recording of the Week: Lucrezia Borgia

Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia was written in 1833. Today it hangs around the outskirts of the standard operatic repertory. According to it was performed 22 times worldwide during the season of 2013-14. At the Met it has managed only one performance in the company’s history. That was in 1904 with Enrico Caruso as Gennaro. I…

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