Monthly Archives: August 2020

Cessa di più Resistere

‘Cessa di più resistere’ is the tenor aria that closes Rossini’s Barber of Seville. There’s a few minutes of music that follows it, but the bravura piece is effectively the opera’s end. That is when it’s performed. It’s so difficult that that it was dropped from the opera shortly after it’s premiere in 1816. So…


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Iceland Through Icelandic Eyes

Iceland is both Europe’s most sparsely populated and farthest west country. Just south of the arctic circle, it has a relatively benign climate due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream. It’s a prosperous place that that has a market economy and generous social welfare programs. It is energy independent as it harvests the thermal…


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Richard Tauber

A reader recently asked why I had not written anything about Richard Tauber. I didn’t have a good answer and said I would; this is it. Tauber (1891-1948) was born in Linz, Austria to an unmarried actress. His father was an actor Richard Anton Tauber who eventually acknowledged him and took over his upbringing. Young…


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Witchcraft

They’re back. Truth is, they never left. It’s just their cover that’s been discarded. In the age of gender fluidity they belong to whatever personal pronoun is in vogue. Plagues are NH4NO3 to them – ie, both fertilizer and explosive. Oedipus sought to end a plague which was caused by a curse which was cast…


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Where is Edmund Burke?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke (in a letter addressed to Thomas Mercer). Most have heard Burke’s famous observation about how easy it is to allow evil to prosper. His elaboration on the subject is less well known. His 18th century prose style is all…


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The Verdi Soprano – Pace, Pace, Mio Dio!

Verdi wrote soprano parts for a variety of vocal types. The roles of Abigaille (Nabucco), Violetta (Traviata), and Leonora (Trovatore and Forza) have quite different requirements. The first asks for a spinto capable of both forceful declamation and great agility, but floated high notes and a velvet tone are not needed. Traviata seems as though…


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Richard Tucker Foundation Removes Late Tenor’s Son From Its Board

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation, the largest of its kind in the U.S. and the venue for young American singers to compete for the funding and publicity to pursue an operatic career, has come under media scrutiny for a lack of diversity among the winners of its top award.  As an apparent first response to…


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On Equality

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… This self evident truth is obviously not self evident. Thomas Jefferson undoubtedly knew such to be the case. He meant that we all should be equal before the law and that the laws should be designed without bias or special benefit not thought…


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