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Die Zauberflöte
DVD: Davis, Keenlyside, Röschmann.

100 Essential Recordings
February 2, 2004

"A week before the première of The Tempest, wunderkind composer Thomas Adès has not even finished the overture for his opera based on the Shakespeare play, still less begun to rehearse it with the orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

* * *

Simon Keenlyside, the baritone who is to sing Prospero, has been kicking up a storm over late changes to his part, and the orchestra has been told it won't see the overture until Friday's stage run-through, a day before the dress (or should that be distress?) rehearsal."
--from an Observer-UK article at
"A Miami Beach judge has sentenced a man to listen to an opera as punishment for playing loud rap music in his car," reports  Instead of paying a fine, the man spent two and a half hours in the judge's chambers listening to La Traviata.
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The new Harmonia Mundi recording of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro is set for release at on 12 March 2004.

René Jacobs (Conductor), Concerto Köln (Ensemble), Véronique Gens, Patrizia Ciofi,
Angelika Kirchschlager, Lorenzo Regazzo, Simon Keenlyside, Antonio Abete, Kobie van Rensburg
Buy Three Tenors at
Three Tenors
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"The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden dropped top U.S. soprano Deborah Voigt, a spokesman said on Monday [March 8, 2004], from a production [of Ariadne auf Naxos next June] that would have called for her to wear a little black dress," reports a Reuters article.
March 8, 2004

Last weekend I watched
Someone Like You on video cassette.  It is a pleasant move, but not an especially good one, about a young single woman in New York (Ashley Judd)  who books the guests for a talk show.  She falls for a co-worker (Greg Kinnear) who leaves her to go back to his former girlfriend, and because she had given notice to her landlord because she had thought she was going to move in with him, decides to become roommate of another co-worker (Hugh Jackman).  She also theorizes about men and women being analagous to bulls and cows, for reasons unclear to me, and writes magazine articles, under a pseudonyn, that attain a certain popularity.
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Hugh Jackman
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Prints for apartments

Venus in posters and prints

Exercise equipment
Former teacher Katherine Jenkins's debut album, Premiere, "is number one in the classical charts," reported BBC News on 12 April 2004.
“I believe that marriage should be recognized as a publicly acknowledged legal contract by the states as the formal union of two individuals who care deeply for each other and wish to share their lives with each other. The validity of such a union should not be determined based on sexual orientation any more than it is determined by race or religious preference. The proposal that such a union would be made illegal by a constitutional amendment goes against the freedom our Constitution protects and will not enable us to enter into the kind of dialogue which has produced so much positive societal change in the past.”--Renée Fleming, soprano superstar, to
The original cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's Bounce is scheduled for release May 4, 2004.
The DVD version of the staged Glyndebourne production (1996) of Handel's Theodora is scheduled for release in late June 2004 at and

Cast List

Dawn Upshaw
... Theodora
David Daniels ... Didymus
Frode Olsen ... Valens
Richard Croft ... Septimius
Lorraine Hunt ... Irene
April 27, 2004

A 2-CD set recorded by the late Serge Gainsbourg,
Aux armes et caetera, is among the top 100 music sellers at at the moment.  The discs do not include the famous "Je t'aime, . . . Moi non plus" with Jane Birkin, that was popular with adolescents circa 1969.
Audra McDonald "told Time Out New York that she will star in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Passion in March 2005 as part of Lincoln Center's acclaimed American Songbook series," reports
"Bellatrix is being released for sale on the internet only. And the music - a blend of traditional classical, folk influences and a propulsive beat - is being touted as a new genre: urban classical. The term and the sound are both the product of composer Rene Gruss, who has written, produced, funded, conducted and recorded the entire project alone."--from an article by Paul Cutts for Muso Magazine.
Muso Magazine online has a "guide to who's hot in classical music."
The DVD of a performance by the Ballet National de Marseille to the music of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, filmed in St. Mark's Square in Venice, is being released at on 3 May 2004.
May 1, 2004

Tom Lubbock writes in an article at about the book Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde by Roger Scruton:  "Scruton dwells on one specific artwork: Richard Wagner's music-drama of love and death, Tristan und Isolde. Of all Wagner's works, it 'has the greatest claim to occupy the psychic space traditionally reserved for religion.' It 'invites us, just as we are invited to the altar in the sacred ritual of a religious gathering'. It 'offers the final proof that man can become holy with no help from the gods.'"
A recording of a live 1981 Geneva performance of Gounod's Mireille with Valerie Masterson and Luis Lima conducted by Sylvain Cambreling is scheduled for release at on 17 May 2004.
Martina Arroyo was among those attending Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's annual patrons' gala in New York on May 7, 2004, reports
Anna Moffo was one of the honorees on May 10, 2004, at the American Cancer Society's annual Spring Gala in New York, reports
A recording by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra  conducted by John Storgårds of John Corigliano's Symphony no. 2 has been released at and is scheduled for release on May 25, 2004, at
May 18, 2004

Keely Smith begins a two-week stint at Feinstein's at the Regency in New York, reports Liz Smith in the New York Post.


Tony Randall passed away last night in New York, reports


Christian Thielemann is quitting as music director of Berlin's Deutsche Oper in a dispute with the city government over scarce funding, the opera said," reports Associated Press in the Miami Herald.


Rolando Villazon is fully booked until 2008, and his debut CD Italian Opera Arias "keeps selling like hotcakes," writes Tess Crebbin at
Odd Couple
Odd Couple
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May 19, 2004

According to the lastest TRIO TV/Star Magazine "FLOPS" poll, the new salsa film
Shall We Dance? with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere "was voted the summer movie most likely to flop--which may explain why studio execs have shelved the flick until the fall," reports the Boston Herald.
"The cost-cutting measures that Lyric Opera of Chicago imposed last season after a $1.1 million shortfall in 2002-03 apparently have worked.

"At its annual meeting Monday night in the Four Seasons Hotel, Lyric Board Chairman Allan B. Muchin and General Director William Mason reported a surplus of $700,000 for the season that ended Mar. 21."
--from an article by Wayne Delacoma at
May 24, 2004

According to the
Boston Globe, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan will make her recording debut with the song "The Best" on the forthcoming CD What's Love?  A Tribute to Tina Turner

The CD is scheduled for release at on June 15, 2004.


Harry Connick, Jr. recently bought a house in Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, reports the Boston Herald of May 24, 2004.