Category Archives: Featured

Opera Interludes

My subject is the instrumental music that occurs during a scene or between two. Excluded are overtures, preludes, and ballet music. Sometimes the distinction between an interlude or intermezzo and a prelude can be precious, but if the music below is called an interlude, an intermezzo, or in one case a meditation I accepted it…


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Church Scenes

I recently wrote about the last few minutes of the first act of Tosca, which is set in a church – Sant’Andrea della Valle. There are other operas which have scenes in a church or houses of worship, five are presented below. Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German composer who tried to follow the style of…


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Haydn Piano Trios

No great composer wrote as much music as did Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). The quality of his music as as great as its amount. So vast is his output that it’s hard to count them. He is famed as the father of both the string quartet and the symphony. He wrote 68 of the former and…


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The Lack of Effect of Influenza Vaccination on the Elderly

The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published online a study of the effectiveness of influenza vaccination on the likelihood of subjects 65 and older being hospitalized or dying. The study’s objective was: “To determine the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in reducing hospitalizations and mortality among elderly persons by using an observational research design that…


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Drinking Songs

Opera and alcohol are frequently paired. Accordingly, here are some drinking songs. I’m using the term loosely. Most would fit under this appellation, but some do not and not all the selections are from operas. They are presented in no particular order. If randomness works for quantum mechanics, it’s OK here. First is likely the…


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Mad Scenes Not By Donizetti

Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor is the poster girl for operatic lunacy. She’s been going mad for close to two centuries with no letup in sight. She should be an honorary member of the American Psychiatric Association; she’d fit right in. She’s probably got her own ICD 10 code. But opera has many other examples of…


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World War 2 Photos

The photos below were found in a box after my mother died. They detail part of her brother Nat’s service in the US Army during World War 2.  I know nothing more than what was written on the back of some of these pictures. They were about 60 years old by the time I saw…


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Operatic Laughter

There’s a lot to laugh about in opera, some of it intentional. My subject is not situations that are funny, rather it’s situations in which the characters laugh. Here are a few; doubtless, you can think of others. I’ll start with Adele’s Laughing Song from the younger Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Adele, the Eisenstein’s maid, has…


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On Persistence

This article is the 1000th published here since the site went live in December of 2007. I don’t keep track of this sort of thing, but the computer does and I couldn’t help noticing that the previous one had number 999 attached to it. So, big deal! All this proves is that if you’re persistent…


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New (2019) Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new guidelines for the management of elevated blood cholesterol levels. These guidelines focus on LDL-cholesterol. They are summarized in the figure below which can be enlarged by clicking on it. They were published in a short article in the JAMA which is appended…


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