Monthly Archives: January 2009

Nelson, Jeanette & MTT

…so anyhow, the great Trentini comes to town with his dramatic new opera Tsaaritza, hearts aflame in the time of the Tsars, and Nelson and Jeanette, who used to be lovers but who’ve been apart for lo these many years, have now been cast in the leading romantic roles. Comes the big I’ve-always-loved-you-but-now-we-must-part duet at […]


HAPPINESS: It hit me during Wednesday afternoon’s Magic Flute at the Music Center that I had become beset by a wave of unusual happiness. The reason was easily traced: this was, simply, the best performance I had ever heard of Mozart’s wonderfully wise and daffy music – or, let’s say at least, the best performance […]


COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES: Not with a whimper but a bang, the new musical year has begun gloriously. Sunday’s crowd at Disney greeted Esa-Pekka Salonen’s onstage arrival as a Second Coming (which, in fact, it nearly was, considering his two months away). Mozart’s C-minor Wind Serenade had been scheduled to open the concert and I regretted its […]

BETTY FREEMAN (1922-2009)

BETTY: She insisted on facing death alone: no tests, no chemo, no drawn-out bedside ceremonies. Friends had lunched with her on Christmas, and made plans for future get-togethers, and then Betty Freeman retired to a hospice somewhere and died, on Saturday, of pancreatic cancer, at 86, with just a few family members attending. Never mind […]


DIGRESSION: Finally, after an unreasonably long delay, Easy Living has turned up on DVD, buried in a massive Universal Studios “cinema classics” re-release series but shining brightly. Truly dedicated  movie buffs and professors of film history hold this film in special regard; it is one of a small company of accidentally perfect masterpieces. It is […]