Monday, June 23, 2008

Anniversary Greeting to Maestro James Levine!!

Yesterday afternoon, while watching the delayed (cubist) MET Opera broadcast (on functioning public television WETA, if generally dyfunctional public radio WETA-FM in the Nation's Capital) from last March of Richard Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde', I realized that by far the largest share of my live and broadcast MET Opera memories, since a very cold and windy late December 1976 when I moved to New York City, have been under the careful and musically loving baton of James Levine. [After watching the Wagner, I provided my own encore by dusting off my 1989 self-recorded cassette of Maestro Levine leading Samuel Ramey and Jessye Norman in Bela Bartok's 'Bluebeard's Castle' (unfortunately in English) and Arnold Schoenberg's 'Erwartung' (in German).]

Happy Anniversary to James Levine on your 65th birthday, and with deep appreciation for your role in providing an invisible national classical Music Conservatory!


Does anyone have any thoughts on the MET's 'Cubist' 'Tristan und Isolde' broadcast? I found it an exciting experiment. [If I were younger, I might compare the non-Cubist and Cubist video broadcasts of this fascinating -- generally successful -- MET opera production.]

Jessye Norman sings Franz Schubert's 'Winterreise' (as staged by Robert Wilson in Paris almost a generation ago); as does bass-baritone and German Classical Music Conservatory Professor Thomas Quasthoff earlier this year in Boston, accompanied by Maestro James Levine.

Can you believe that Washington, D.C. -- one of the self-proclaimed richest cities in the world -- still does not have a classical music and arts Conservatory?

Photo credits: (c) and (c) Michael J. Lutch and 2008. All rights reserved. With thanks.


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