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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.

rigoletto blues

“Ch’hai di nuovo, buffon?” Rigoletto–the first Verdi opera I ever heard–received its premiere 160 years ago today at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice. After looking around for suitable audio or video clips from the opera to post, I decided to go to my YouTube vault for this 1941 Panoram Soundies of the Delta Rhythm Boys singing the Act 3 quartet. I’ve heard this piece performed hundreds of time over the years, but as far as I’m concerned, these guys knock it outta the park!