Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Lucia Di Lammermoor in HD 2022

This was Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece’s third HD telecast by the Met. The previous two were of Mary Zimmerman’s benighted production. Donizetti set the scene in the 17th century as did Walter Scott who wrote The Bride of Lammermoor on which the libretto is loosely based. Zimmerman moved the story to the 19th century. Australian…


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Limmie Pulliam

Limmie Pulliam is an American tenor who is just emerging to operatic prominence. As you’ll hear from the excerpts below he is a dramatic tenor ideally suited for the big Verdi tenor roles. Later this month he is due to sing three performances of the master’s Otello in a concert version with the Cleveland Symphony…


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Predicting Violent Behavior II

The latest shooting in Buffalo has prompted cries for the government to do something to prevent further events like the one now in everyone’s mind. The problem is that there is no ready solution. Predicting violent behavior is almost impossible. There was a study, now more than 30 years old, that presented case histories of…


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On First Looking Into James’s Lady

This is not an imaging result or any sort of diagnostic report. Rather it’s an account of an American novel more than 140 years old – Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady. Having reached an age approaching that of an Old Testament prophet I realized that I had never read a word of one of…


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Turandot in HD 2022

Puccini’s farewell to opera returned for the third time as part of the Met’s HD series. Franco Zeffirelli’s brick for brick reconstruction of Imperial Peking will likely survive the heat death of the universe. The assembly of the Act 2 set takes longer than many of the operas in the Mets repertory. This go around…


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Marches

The third month? No. The region on the Adriatic coast of Italy? No. The kind with music and soldiers. Though the form is typically brisk and commonly associated with parades and halftime shows, it is pliable and is often connected with less than happy events. Here are a bunch of them, in no particular order…


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Long COVID

I don’t use the title’s words to describe a syndrome resulting from chronic infection with the coronavirus. I don’t have enough ready data to know if such a syndrome even exists. Rather, I refer to the long term consequences of the virus’s effects on society in its broadest definition. The remarkable truth is how little…


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Lucia Di Lammermoor Met 2022

The Met’s new production of Lucia Di Lammermoor staged by Simon Stone has been roughly handled by several critics. It received its second performance last night which was broadcast on the Met’s radio network. The show will be telecast on May 21. I decided to listen to it without the gouts of blood and high…


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Madama Butterfly – Met 2022

Last night the Met broadcast one of its current run of Puccini’s masterpiece – it was the 898th time the company has presented the opera. The current Butterfly is Italian soprano Eleonora Buratto. She was good in a part that demands great. Tepid applause after ‘Un bel di’ and none after Butterfly’s moment of triumph…


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Melody

The universe is not only stranger than you think, it’s stranger than you can imagine – Richard Feynman Well, a great melody is more mysterious than the universe. John Stuart Mill was said to worry that the number of great melodies was finite and that we would soon exhaust the supply. When I first heard…


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