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About dramma per musica


Robert Kingston


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.

a man of genius

“In Mahler we have lost a man of genius, a man who brought important ideas to the artistic life of our times, a seething, driving force, a great agitator and a great educator, and a master of his art. How do those lines run in his beautiful poem, Urlicht? ‘I am from God and would go back to God.’ And in the symphony’s final chorus, the words thunder forth: ‘Rise again, you shall rise again from the dead!’. What Gustav Mahler achieved can never be lost.” Conclusion of Julius Korngold’s obituary article on Gustav Mahler, published in the Neue Freie Presse, 19 May, 1911