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Friday, February 20, 2009

Placido Domingo wins $1M Nilsson Prize for opera

Placido Domingo wins $1M Nilsson Prize for opera

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo on Friday won the first $1 million Birgit Nilsson Prize for his "unrivaled" contributions to the world of opera, the award foundation said.

The late Swedish soprano picked Domingo as the winner of the inaugural award — billed as the biggest prize in classical music — before her death in 2005. Prize officials said the name had been kept secret for nearly a decade.

Congrats Placido!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy

So what do YOU do when you are happy?

What is that one thing that you turn to when you have to express joy and can't do it any other way?

I sing.
Yep, those tired old Italian songbooks come out and I warble along, knowing that the time to pursue an opera career passed me by (some one remind me of why I listened to my parents) but the training? It never *quite* leaves you, and lo and behold, notes show up that you forget could round so smoothly through the upper palate.

I will never sound like this, but it sure doesn't hurt to listen to it: Cecilia Bartoli brings to the music, facial expressions be damned.

YouTube Symphony - vote NOW!!!

I just spent a really wonderful hour+ listening to and voting for finalists for the YouTube Symphony.
Yes, this is an operatic list, so there were LOTS of excerpts from the Magic Flute, and one from Lucia (no glass harmonica, alas)
OK, I'm on topic.

I will re-post this on my blog and on the CMB website as well - I thought it was a great idea from the start, and would love to see it really grow legs.

Here is my list, and the criteria I used:

For the most part, I did NOT even listen to anyone who posted a concert appearance - I considered that "cheating" in my criteria, since it was supposed to be an audition, so I wanted as close to the audition process as possible. I have left comments by some of the more memorable performers.

One other note: I didn't realize that this was geared towards conservatory students - I haven't read the rules (but will do so tout suite) but I thought this was open to the world, so it was a Leeeeetle distressing to see all of these youngins auditioning. I had hoped for a few more "going gray" types like myself, who maybe played in a local orchestra/pit band and wanted a shot. Must reread the rules.

A special mention and kudos to: DoMaggioreEccedente (for playing on that poor upright - get this man a Bosendorfer, stat!

If you want to vote:

Now if "someone" would let a certain company I know personally broadcast the concert live on the Internet - hint,hint! ;) Anyone have MTT's phone number?

In order, who I listened to, although the site randomizes the videos once you start voting, so you may have to use search to find these folks.

gargoylejenkins - thanks for choosing that Bach
prelude!Good Energy
cyberforte - who played the Prelude better, IMHO
behold888 - what was with the whole anonymity thing? This wasn't a blind audition!
PavelBirukov - who was the only person who looked like he was actually enjoying himself! (ok, except for the whole breathing thing)
Hornmaker - the only auditionee who looked like he was a regular joe and not a conservatory student
capdenap - the bells in the background were SURREAL - loved it! Was he channeling Stokowski?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I'm kicking you off my live stream

Today's post is directed to the IP addresses/domains that I have kicked off recently.
(read: today)

Spam bots? Gone.
I'm sure that you can find classical music sites in your own home countries of China, Turkey, Taiwan and so on...
Here's a link to get you started

Bandwidth leechers? Buh-bye

Oh, you know who you are. Sites, usually in Mandarin or Cyrillic, that contain an embedded media player that plays my site, leeching my bandwidth just so you can surround the page with piles of Google Ads.

CMB has a policy of allowing redistribution of content with written permission.
2 sites have written permission, and you aren't either of them.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's not butter, it's Mendelssohn

Wilhelm Furtwangler and his German manager, a man named Mendelssohn,
are walking in downtown Berlin. Furtwangler sees a record shop and
decides to go in and see how sales of his records are doing. His manager
goes with him.

He goes up to the young clerk and says, "Do you have Beethoven's 5th Symphony conducted by Furtwangler?

The clerk checks and says, "No, we have recordings by Bruno Walter and Toscanini, but
no Furtwangler."

So Furtwangler asks, "Well, do you have Beethoven's 7th symphony conducted by Furtwangler?"

The clerk checks again and says, "No, we have recordings with Knappertsbusch, Muck and Krauss,but no Furtwangler." This goes on for a while, with the 3rd, 4th and 6th symphonies, the Missa Solemnis, and Fidelio.

No Furtwangler.

Finally,Furtwangler says in exasperation, "Don't you have ANY Beethoven conducted
by Furtwangler?"

And the clerk, equally annoyed, says, "Who the hell is this Furtwangler anyway?

Furtwangler says indignantly, "I am Furtwangler!"

The clerk points to the manager and says, sarcastically "Oh, right, and
I suppose this is Beethoven."

Furtwangler says, "No, that's Mendelssohn."

Invest in an opera singer - the Marian Anderson I-bond

If you want the truth, I find the website sort of "spam-linky", meaning a site that exists to collect money by using Google ads and lots of spam subjects in order to, well make money.
But what they hey? It's still pretty entertaining, investing in an opera singer.
So if I buy stock in say, Cecilia Bartoli and she cancels a performance, does it get downgraded to an underperform?

Just askin'.

The Marian Anderson I-bond

Monday, February 2, 2009

and now...your moment of opera-l zen

I quote directly from a lister on opera-l, that lovable, albeit oftentimes maddening newsgroup of all things opera, which 80% of the time means "all Met, all the time":

"Only on this list could my post about opera here in London being
cancelled because of the snow metamorphose into yet another
discussion of Hitler. It's unbelievable."

Ed. Note: no, not really.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Connecticut Opera Cancels Season's Remaining Shows

Well, it is all over the Internet already so I'm not the first to break the news.
We are very sad to see that the Connecticut Opera has made the decision to cancel their season.

It is our hope that they will find a way to reverse this decision in the near future.