Cher Public

Weighed in the balances

On this day in 529 BC, King Cyrus the Great of Persia marched into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of exile and issuing the first Human Rights Declaration.

Born on this day in 1904 tenor Dinu Badescu

Born on this day in 1915 playwright Arthur Miller

Happy 90th birthday baritone Rolando Panerai

Happy 75th birthday tenor Reiner Goldberg

  • La marquise de Merteuil

    What’s human or inhuman is not for human decision.

  • Will

    Then who? Humans have to take proper care of humans; the consequences of that NOT happening are threatening us all these days everywhere. If you think some deity is going to materialize from the ether to set things right, think again.

    • La marquise de Merteuil

      Will, first of all it is a quote from Tennessee Williams’s “The Milk train doesn’t stop here anymore”. Made famous, or infamous, in “Boom”.

      Secondly, what is human and inhuman means rather different things to different people. Therefore one may argue it is not for one human to decide what is or isn’t moral for another human.

      • Will

        If it is a quote from a published work, I would have expected it to appear in quotation marks and be credited as to author and title. Indeed what is human or inhuman may vary according to cultural differences; and I never stated one human was to make the decision. It is a matter for individual peoples/cultures/nations to decide.

  • semira mide

    If you want to see Cyrus do it again, Ciro in Babylonia will be performed at next summer’s Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy.

  • Krunoslav

    Or one could listen to or watch Handel’s BELSHAZZAR

  • Krunoslav

    Rolando Panerai, debut 1947, must be the only male opera star active before 1950 still extant.

    BTW there was talk when Licia dies that she was the last singer from the Met’s Edward Johnson ( ya know) administration to go. I have confirmed that two are left: Patrice Munsel and Marilyn Cotlow. Trust those coloraturas!

    • Krunoslav

      Add on Franz Mazura, debut 1949!

      • Buster

        Theo Adam made his debut in 1949 too. At first I thought Waldemar Kmentt -- but he made his debut a year later. I still saw Kmentt -- in Capriccio.

  • tiger1

    And Franz Mazura is still performing! He was Oreste’s tutor at La Scala earlier this year -- and the Haushofmeister in Berlin a few days ago. He turned 90 in April. I do not know if Rolando Panerai still performs? He is turning 90 today!

  • Milady DeWinter

    I’ve always admired Panerai -- that gnarly, snarly baritone buzz, and of course, a wonderful partner to Callas in many of her commercial sets. And I guess he’s still doing Falstaff -- bravo Panerai. And Cotlow- a tiny-voiced but very sweet coloratura and Munsel, also the real deal, especially after she found her “second wind” at the Mett as a coloratura soubrette. Her Adele in Fledermaus has yet to be equalled, imo.

    • WindyCityOperaman

      • danpatter

        Thanks, Windy, that was quite charming. I love that old Met English translation. I really wish the old Columbia FLEDERMAUS in largely incomprehensible English with Welitsch, Pons, etc, were still around. It was the first one I ever heard and for sentimental reasons I’d buy it again.

  • Small correction -- Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon took place in 539, not 529. As for the interpretation of the Cyrus cylinder (pictured above, or so I think) as first charter of human rights, it is rejected as anachronistic, although of course useful for the purpose of historical propaganda, for instance. In fact, the Cylinder is a typical work of propaganda, celebrating the new king taking over the throne; to justify the conquest, it presents his predecessor Nabonidus as an evil king rejected by his subjects.As for human rights, after the victory of Cyrus at Opis (10.10.539) those who continued to resist the Persian army were massacred…Here is the English text of the Cylinder:

    • manou

      Hello Liana -- so nice to see you here again. Talk about learning something new on Parterre! Thank you for the erudite information.

    • Buster

      So this actually predates the Mapleson Cylinder? I hate to think how it sounds….