Ciao, Luciano

A larger-than-life man with an outsized voice that he always said was "a gift from above," Luciano Pavarotti is passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I think many were surprised he lived so long, given that malady. A very great artist is gone.There will a thousand blogs posting versions of Nessun Dorma and Ave Maria, and they're great and it will a joy to see them, but my favorite aria of his was Vesti La Giubba from I Pagliacci - I'm a sucker for it:Although … [Read more...]

Who sings prays twice

Some really splendid versions of a really splendid hymn, O Sacrum Convivium, recall the words of St. Augustine, above:Poor Clares:Now the men of a church choir (I think a few women are singing tenor):The hymn is an antiphon (in the Liturgy of the Hours - prayed by monastics and many other Christians - before the chanting of a psalm) for the Feast of Corpus Cristi, and translates:O Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the memory of his passion is recalled, the mind is filled … [Read more...]

There is an old joke…

It goes, "at the end of the world only two things will survive, cockroaches and Cher."I never really got the Cher part of the joke, and I have been blessed so far in my life to have been pretty much unacquainted with cockroaches...until now...My Elder Son is doing an additional year of college but due to a long, involved mix-up you don't really want to hear, his housing was cancelled, and this of course is information we could have used months ago, but no one knew the mishap had occured. … [Read more...]

Ombra mai fu – just lovely

Ah, I love this, one of my favorites from Bryn Terfel's Handel Arias CD, which is a swell recording, all around, and which I first wrote about here - and which is no longer allowed in my car when my husband is driving.Yes, yes, I know you purists (like my disapproving classical composer Elder Son) it's transposed into a lower key for the baritone, originally meant for a castrato. I say a carefree, "bite me, I like this; it sounds good."And this is an old favorite, too. … [Read more...]

Dog days of August – UPDATED

I've gotten a few emails from folks concerned that I've been laid up with another ailment. Sorry I've been so quiet or raised concern. I'm's just been very busy. (And of course really backed up on email, again).So, we left Buster at dorm on Friday night, came home Saturday. I gave myself Sat/Sun/Monday to cry, be depressed and eat chocolate (I can't seem to get enough...I feel too young to be at this "next" stage - the empty nester - of my life) and yesterday it was errand-running … [Read more...]

The Death of Scarpia

Tosca is one of my favorite operas, and the evil Baron (and Chief of Police) Scarpia (what a great name for a dark character) is one of the art-form's most mesmerizing bad boys. This 1998 Amsterdam production is a great one - sets and costumes are minimal, but musically there is some great singing going on. Catherine Malfitano is a robust but not spoiled Foria Tosca and Bryn Terfel, from his entrance in Act 1, wearing a trenchcoat and lusting after Tosca in a church full of Te Deum chanting … [Read more...]

To keep you amused, in case I disappear again

Ah, well...if you're reading this post, it means my phone/internets are out again and you're reading an emergency "just to keep you interested and amused" piece I've arranged to post automatically in just such a circumstance. Never let it be said I don't think of you guys!Heard about these possible terrorists? Me neither. It sucks when my computer is down. But then again, Ed Morrissey's computer hasn't been down and he's noting the missing headlines, too.One definition of "chutzpah", or … [Read more...]

Verdi In Memory of Aussiegirl

Pianogirl sent to me this very imaginative video and I loved it, both because it is so creative, and because it reminded me of our mutual friend Helen Schieber, aka Aussiegirl, who left us just about a year ago.Helen was an exceedingly bright woman and I never read anything by her - on her blog or in her comments on various forums - that did not make me feel enlarged and privileged. She had a gentle spirit (she did not have to "work" at having Good Will, as I must), a keen mind, a sense of … [Read more...]

Dave Gorman and Men of Goodwill

I am not Dave Gorman. But you know that.Until earlier this week, I had no idea who Dave Gorman was. I'm sure I knew there were Dave Gormans in the world, of course. Gorman is not an uncommon name (we even had a Bishop Gorman here in the states some years back) and Dave is even less uncommon name. I might even be able to look into my old yearbooks - or my husband's, or son's - and find a Gorman, David.I did not know, however, that there was specifically a brilliant British gent going by … [Read more...]

There is nothing new about the news…

Two and a half weeks later...not much has changed, except, hopefully, me.When I left on July 5 I did it declaring - to myself, at least - that I was hereby "detaching" myself from all associations with news and news by-products. Not only would I not be blogging, but I would not be reading other blogs or websites. As much as I could while traveling within the world, I would not be watching or reading news unless troubling circumstances truly warranted it.They never did. While my family and … [Read more...]