Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Stroke Risk After COVID-19 Vaccination Among Older Adults

Stroke Risk After COVID-19 Bivalent Vaccination Among US Older Adults is a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It examined the risk of stroke in a time period immediately after administration of either brand of a COVID-19 bivalent vaccine compared with a later time period among adults aged 65 years…


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Benjamin Bernheim – Boulevard des Italiens

Boulevard des Italiens is the title of French tenor Benjamin Bernheim’s second CD. Released in 2022 it offers 16 selections. The recital presents arias and one duet written by Italian composers to French texts or subsequently adapted to French texts for performances in France. Bernheim was born in Paris and grew up in Geneva. Before…


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Pace, Pace, Mio Dio!

The Metropolitan Opera’s new staging of Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino has caused much comment about the performance of one of the composer’s great soprano roles by a singer (Lise Davidsen) best known for her performances of the heroic German roles. Many reviewers felt that her performance was an outstanding effort. Others, including me, thought…


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La Forza Del Destino in HD

Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino returned to the Met this season after an absence of 18 years. It was staged in a new production supervised by the Polish director Mariusz Trelinski. He moved both the time and places from the middle of the 18th century in Spain and Italy to sometime in the second half…


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A Crook in Crook’s Clothing

The title above eventually is apropos of any politician or legislator given a sufficient interval. But it doesn’t stop there. It spreads like the pox to anyone with even a whiff of authority. There’s a gene on chromosome 17, SKNK23a, that’s expressed in early childhood in all humans and amplified by experience that manifests the…


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Met’s New Forza a Dud

Last night the Met Opera presented its new production of Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino. Broadcast on its Sirius XM channel it will be telecast in HD on March 9. Staged as a vehicle for star soprano Lise Davidsen, the performance reached no higher than that encountered at a good provincial German or Italian theater….


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The Metropolitan Opera Announces its 2024–25 Season

The Met season opens September 23 with the Met premiere of Grounded by Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori, starring Emily D’Angelo as an Air Force drone pilot and conducted by Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. It features six new productions, including additional Met premieres of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick, and John Adams’s Antony…


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Auto-da-fé : Two

An Auto-da-fé (Act of faith) was a ritual act of penance carried out in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico during the 15th to the 19th centuries. Imposed on apostates and heretics by the Inquisition (a religious body) its punishments including being burned alive were executed by the state. Two operas have an Auto-da-fé as part of…


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A Shortage of Physician-Scientists

Most people have no idea what a physician-scientist is or the job description for such a person. Many think that by definition medicine is a science and therefore an MD must be a scientist. Physicians get training in the rudiments of science during the first two years of medical school and may get a bit…


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Essential Services

A financial writer recently mused over the complexities of Jerome Powell’s job as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He focused on the problem of interest rates. Lower them too rapidly and inflation may recur or worsen. Keep them high for too long and consumers will be priced out of the loan market and even worse…


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