Monthly Archives: December 2020

Richard Crooks

Richard Crooks (1900-72) was an American tenor. Born in New Jersey he started his singing career as an oratorio specialist. He studied with baritone Leon Rothier and vocal coach Frank La Forge. In 1927 he went to Germany where he made his operatic debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca. In 1930 he made his American operatic…


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Megan Marie Hart

Megan Marie Hart (b 1983) is an American soprano based in Germany. [Thanks to a German reader (Franco) who alerted me to Ms Hart’s impressive voice] Born in Eugene Oregon, she studied with Mignon Dunn and then with Marilyn Horne. She won Horne’s Song Competition in 2010. She began her career more than a decade…


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Brief Medical Updates

Three recent medical reports. The first is from Science. A conference held by Biogen in February of this year was a superspreader event. Phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Boston highlights the impact of superspreading events reports the spread of SARS-CoV-2 following an international business conference in at the Marriott Long Wharf on Feb 26-27. By…


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Nonets and More

Writing for nine distinct voices in opera is rare. I can only think of two examples without a deep dive into opera arcana [If there are other examples, let me know]. First, Act 1 scene 2 of Verdi’s Falstaff. And if that’s not enough Verdi goes on to write for 10. This complex writing occurs…


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Lead Browser

Like much of humanity, I use Chrome as my internet browser. I started out using Netscape as did almost everybody in the 90s. Microsoft bullied Netscape out of existence by bundling its late to the game browser Internet Explorer with its operating systems which were included on OEMs. In a few years Netscape was fit…


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Mank – Review

Mank is a film is a film about the writer Herman Mankiewicz, specifically during the time (1940) he spent writing the script for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, though there are flashbacks to 1930 and other years in the 30s. David Fincher directed Gary Oldman in the title role. Mankiewicz (called Mank by everyone in the…


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Asymptomatic Subjects Do Not Transmit the Coronavirus

Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China is the title of a paper published in Nature Communications. First, a few caveats. The article is from China and its content was obviously scrutinized by a repressive regime before it was allowed publication in a western journal. Second, Nature Communications is…


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Confessions of an Inmate

For the past four years I have lived in a gated community. It’s a pleasant place with just one entrance. Spread over about 40 acres, it’s so spick and span that it looks like the village in The Prisoner. You have to be at least 55 years old to be incarcerated in residence here. Until…


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