Monthly Archives: April 2017

La Bohème Program Notes

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra will present two concert performances of Puccini’s opera on May 5-6. The program notes I’ve written for the occasion are below. Puccini’s La Bohème is one of the very few operas that have transcended its genre. Virtually everyone loves it, even those who are indifferent to opera. First performed in 1896…


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Vittoria Tenors Identified

On January 2 of this year I posted 22 examples of 22 different tenors singing Vittoria! Vitoria!!  from the second act of Tosca. Their identities are below. Giuseppe Di Stefano Jonas Kaufmann Franco Corelli Luciano Pavarotti Amadeo Zambon Mario Del Monaco Beniamino Gigli Jussi Björling Renato Cioni Jose Carreras Placido Domingo Giacomo Aragall Giorgio Lamberti…


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Montaigne on Impotence

Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) is the father of the literary essay. His three books of essays, all but one of these essays are relatively short, cover just about anything you can think of. His influence on writers and thinkers who came after him is immense. These sophisticated and learned musings are ideal bedtime reading, because…


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Jussi Björling – Two Early Recordings

Below are two very early recordings by the great tenor. The first was made in 1929 when Björling was 18. The second was recorded three years later. The sound is unmistakably that of Björling. There is also the ineffable sweetness of youth. That Jussi was so good so early is amazing enough, even if tempered…


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Finale 15 – Rigoletto Act 2

Rigoletto is an opera the marks the beginning of a new style of composing for Verdi. It is a work filled with invention, but the end of Act 2 reprises the Verdi of Nabucco and Ernani. Just belt it out and sweep the audience away. Of course, no one sings the concluding duet between Rigoletto…


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