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November 7, 2012

Midweek Madness: A derailment at the opera

Last weekend, Lyric Opera Baltimore's season-opener was Puccini's "La Boheme." With that delicious music still in my head, I figured there just might be a way to work it into the next installment of Midweek Madness.

That's just what I have done, thanks to a clip from a night at the Zurich Opera House when an ever so light derailment occurred during the tenor aria "Che gelida manina."

Before I get to that, let me hasten to add that the Baltimore production did not make me think disaster; it was a perfectly respectable venture. There were a few slips at the performance I attended, but nothing close to the one you are about to hear.

Remember that many a tenor tackling "Boheme" asks to transpose the aria down to avoid the high C required, and that means the whole orchestra has to transpose with him. I have a funny feeling somebody forgot during this memorable performance in Zurich. Brace yourself:

Posted by Tim Smith at 5:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes, Drama Queens, Midweek Madness
        

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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 baltimoresun.com/artsmash. 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.
View the Artsmash blog
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