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March 13, 2009

A musical farewell to Baltimore Opera

This won't make anyone feel better about the depressing word of Baltimore Opera's demise, but the final duet from Verdi's Aida seems like just the thing to hear right now -- to remind us of the company's past (Aida was the first work staged by the company in 1950) and to remind us that the beauty and majesty of opera will endure.The artists in this recording are Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli. I figured this was an occasion that called for a lot of vocal star power.)

And thanks to Brendan Cooke, a valiant and valued member of the Baltimore Opera, for suggesting that I post some music in response to the news.

Aida (highlights): Qual gemito!...Morir, sì pura e bella!...O terra, addio - Birgit Nilsson/Franco Corelli/Grace Bumbry/Mario Sereni/Coro del Teatro dellOpera, Roma/Orchestra del Teatro dellOpera, Roma/Zubin Mehta

Posted by Tim Smith at 4:22 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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