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About dramma per musica

Name

Robert Kingston

Bio

Where to begin? My name is Bob Kingston. I’m a librarian, free-lance musicologist, pre-concert lecturer, and self-professed opera fanatic living in Portland, Oregon. My operatic tastes are pretty eclectic, though I’m not a huge fan of French grand opera (who is?) and Gluck’s appeal totally escapes me. Radical or updated stagings don’t bother me in the least, as long as they succeed in bringing out aspects of the drama that I hadn’t noticed before. I’d rather watch something that generates a strong reaction–negative or positive–than sit through yet another thunderously dull production of Carmen or Rigoletto. I love collecting historic vocal recordings, and I often use examples of these in my classes and presentations. So, don’t be surprised if I post a clip of some obscure Russian tenor or Italian baritone from time to time.

on such a night

With Portland Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro opening on Friday, I’ve been in constant Mozart mode for the past couple of weeks while I prep my pre-performance talks. During a recent YouTube scavenger hunt, I ran across these clips from “On Such a Night,” Anthony Asquith’s cinematic love letter to Glyndebourne and the 1955 Festival performance of Figaro with Sesto Bruscantini in the title role, Sena Jurinac as the Countess, Franco Calabrese as the Count, and Elena Rizzieri as Susanna. David Knight, who also appeared in Asquith’s 1954 drama, The Young Lovers, plays David Cornell, an American from Chicago attending the opera for the first time.

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