Monthly Archives: July 2017

Finale 16 – Don Giovanni Act 2

Mozart’s seminal opera connects to audiences on many levels. To some, like GB Shaw, it is the acme of western art. The finale of the opera is one of the lyric stage’s most compelling creations. The opera’s last number is an epilogue. It was omitted in the opera’s Vienna premiere and from all of the…


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Random Thoughts on Addiction, the Stock Market, and Gerbils on a Wheel

Having changed the definition of sex, gender, marriage, pronouns, speech, health, victory, defeat, money, bullying, poverty, success, dress, fake news, children, and height, I thought a few ruminations on smoking, addiction, and whatever free association could bring to mind might fill a few paragraphs. On Friday July 28 the FDA announced a comprehensive regulatory plan…


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Don’t Look Back

The most poorly managed institution in modern western society is the hospital. I say this after half a century of steady exposure to hospitals of all sorts. I was a student, resident, fellow, staff member, section chief, department chair, chief of staff, and even a patient. Inertia at all levels was unconquerable. Newton’s first law…


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The 10 Best Mezzo-Sopranos of the 20th Century

It was really hard to pick 10 mezzos. There were so many great singers of this range in the 20th century that I’m sure that if I picked just 10 a week from now, the list would be different. So this ranking not only reflects personal taste and opinion, but it also is conditional. Feel…


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Antonina Nezhdanova

Antonina Nezhdanova (1873-1950) was a Ukrainian soprano who made her career in the last years of Imperial Russia and then continued after the 1917 revolution as a singer and teacher in the Soviet Union. She was the greatest Russian soprano of her era. She had a high lyric voice which negotiated all the obstacles of…


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The Charlie Gard Case

By now almost everyone has heard of the the Charlie Gard case. The issue at its core is much simpler than any of the accounts that I have read of the plight of this child and his family. Medically the case is straightforward. The child suffers from a rare metabolic defect that has destroyed all…


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Adolf von Henselt

Adolf von Henselt (1814-89) was a German composer and virtuoso pianist. A native of Schwabach in Munich, he went to Vienna to study under Hummel. He soon became a noted piano soloist. He was famous for his cantabile and legato playing. Even Liszt admired his playing. He also composed. Most of his compositions were for…


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