Monthly Archives: July 2021

California Bans High End Computers

California is not only our most populous state, it’s also our goofiest. As a consequence of an energy bill passed in 2017, the state has banned the sale of high end gaming computers. Not to be outdone Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have issued the same ukase. “The state had recently published a paper looking into…


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If You Dance With the Devil You Can’t Change Partners

Devils are common in opera. It’s so much more fun to be evil onstage than to be tasked with depicting bland goodness. So here are a few operatic Satans or their equivalents, but not the usual suspects. Anton Rubinstein’s opera Demon is rarely preformed in the West, but still enjoys popularity in Russia. The titular…


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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

The title refers to aria, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, and sextet. I’ve picked examples of each that I feel should be at the top of any short list for the best yet composed. Readers can make their own list.  D’amor sull’ali rosee from Act 4 of Verdi’s Il Trovatore is the last bel canto soprano…


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The Case For Universal Lockdowns

The past year and a half has been distinguished for its lockdowns, mask mandates, the silencing of opinions that diverge from revealed wisdom, and generalized unfocused fear. There are some, perhaps many, who interpret these occurrences negatively. Being by disposition Panglossian, I see these events as harbingers of a future devoid of sorrow. First, deal…


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The Delta Variant and Herd Immunity

CNN’s medical contributor Dr Leana Wen said: “So now we have this delta variant that is much more contagious. Because it’s more contagious, it’s going to be even harder for us to reach herd immunity.” Dr Wen who seems very intelligent and well trained (in Emergency Medicine) must have been on autopilot when she made…


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Giuseppe Di Stefano – 100 Years

The third great tenor born in 1921 (July 24) was Giuseppe Di Stefano (1921-2008). Of all the tenors I heard in performance, Di Stefano had the most beautiful voice. He was also able to convey the emotional content of the music he sang with intensity and insight unmatched by any other tenor of his era….


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Liszt and Opera

Franz Liszt (1811-86) was best known as a composer, virtuoso pianist, teacher, and essayist. Among his works for solo piano are dozens of ‘transcriptions’, ‘paraphrases’, ‘fantasies’, or ‘reminiscences’ based on popular operas. These pieces are characterized by both their beauty and thematic insight. The only other composer who could match, or even surpass Liszt, at…


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