Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Trio Balkan Strings

The Trio Balkan Strings is a father and his two sons team – all acoustic guitar players. They are based in Belgrade. The three players are Zoran Starcevic, Nikola Starcevic, and Zeljko Starcevic. They seem to be very active in central Europe. They are virtuosos of the highest proficiency. The video below is called Stampedo….


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Opera Doctors

Given the title of this site, I can’t explain why it took me so long to cover this subject. Below are 10 operas in which physicians appear. Their role in each opera ranges from important to miniscule. Dr Bartolo is in both Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. In the…


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Spontaneous Order

Everywhere we look we are surrounded by orderly systems that arose spontaneously and continue to operate in the same way. The universe, regardless of how it started, operates according to rules that no matter their complexity are knowable and fixed. The laws of physics are unchangeable; it’s our understanding of them that’s subject to alteration….


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Finale 30 – Luisa Miller Act 1

Luisa Miller was first performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples in 1849. It was Verdi’s 15th opera (if you count Jérusalem the rewrite of I Lombardi for Paris as a separate work). It didn’t reach the Met until 1929 when it had six performances extending into 1930. The cast was a grand one. It…


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Tenor Legends Celebrated Online in New La Scala Exhibition

The La Scala virtual exhibition described below in their announcement of the event is full of interesting material. It’s available with an English translation which has entertainment value of its own. It will only be available for a limited time. It’s a rewarding effort well worth the considerable time it takes to view and listen…


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The Greatest Musical Composition Ever – III

My exercise in hyperbolic analysis continues with Beethoven’s Missa solemnis (Op 123), specifically the Benedictus. Written between 1819-23, the mass was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1824. It’s part of the composer’s late period that produced a series of stupendous masterpieces such as the 9th Symphony, the Diabelli Variations. the Hammerklavier Sonata, and…


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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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