Thursday, February 21, 2008


"Welcome, opera lovers in the United States and Canada....!"

I had to start that way, because that's the way Milton Cross, and later Peter Allen, used to begin the Saturday afternoon broadcasts. Those words came right after "TEXaco presents -- the-uh-uh Metropolitan Opera!" Of course that was back when Texaco did present the Metropolitan Opera (you haven't bought gas from Texaco or Chevron since they stopped, have you?). And it was back when we had distinguished, knowledgeable, and manly announcers, instead of -- well let's not start a bitchslapfest down that alley on our very first day, shall we?

Anyway I've just been listening to Act II of SIEGFRIED in the Barenboim set. While B's prelude to Act I didn't have his trademark solemnity, his prelude to Act II did.

Other things going on in my life right now (besides federal preemption of state common-law tort actions, but that's for the other blog) is that I'm majorly ramping up my knowledge of the Janacek operas. Since Mackerras recorded the major ones with Elisabeth Soderstrom, and since Soderstrom had one of the great voices of all time, and since she was also a great friend of my mother's ("Aunt Bibeth" was what I called her), this is a pleasant undertaking. Aunt Bibeth said Emilia Marty/Elina Makropoulos was her favorite role, and I don't doubt it.

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