Cher Public

Intelligent life

Happy 78th birthday actress and comedian Lily Tomlin

Born on this day in 1653 “one hit wonder” composer Johann Pachabel.

Born on this day in 1751 dramatist Emanuel Schikaneder.

Born on this day in 1854 composer (not pop singer) Engelbert Humperdinck.

Born on this day in 1878 conductor Tullio Serafin.

Born on this day in 1906 tenor Aksel Schiotz.

Born on this day in 1929 baritone Kostas Paskalis.

Happy 83rd birthday soprano Orianna Santunione.

Happy 82nd birthday conductor Seiji Ozawa.

Happy 78th birthday bass Roger Soyer.

Happy 76th birthday soprano Julia Varady.

  • southerndoc1

    Does anyone know why Serafin didn’t conduct at La Scala during the 50s, even while he was leading all their recordings with Callas?

    • Carlo

      Forgive my english…i m italian. Serafin did not conduct at La Scala during the 50s because he did not like Victor De Sabata, at that time Artistic Director (or similar). Serafin disliked De Sabata fascist political ideas/sympathies. Hugs from Italy

      • southerndoc1

        Thanks -- I figured it was something like that.

        I’m always surprised by that (glorious) photograph of Toscanini, de Sabata, and Callas in the stalls at La Scala. I would have thought that by that point the two maestri wouldn’t be speaking to each other because of political bad blood.

        • Carlo

          You wellcome! Ciao

  • Delmonaco

    Has anybody come across an oscar nominated documentary called ” In the shadow of the Stars (1991), all about the chorus at San Francisco Opera? It was mentioned to me recently in the context of great classical music documentaries, but I had never heard of it and seems to have never had a DVD release. It got me thinking about other documentaries about opera, and I wondered if anybody has recommendations of memorable ones that I could seek out…

    • Ramon Figueroa

      “Tosca’s Kiss,” about the residents of Casa Verdi is wonderful. That moment when Sara Scuderi listens to her recording of Vissi d”arte and says something like, “She was so beautiful,” is gorgeous and heartbreaking. Youtube has a lot of full length docs and previews that can help you. Just type “Classical music documentaries.”

      • Damianjb1

        Thanks for that -- very helpful. I’ll go and look now.

      • Carl Harris

        “Tosca’s Kiss” is an excellent suggestion. There are many highlights in addition to the one Ramon mentions. I especially like the scene in which Scuderi and a baritone ( sorry, don’t remember his name ) spontaneously break into the end of Act 2 of Tosca — complete with simulated knifing. The Scarpia, who is quite elderly, somehow manages to crumple to the ground. A real trooper.

    • Betsy_Ann_Bobolink

      There was one from Russia on mounting a production of La Forza del Destino. I showed it to a couple of classes back in the day. Sorry, the name of it escapes me. Probably something esoteric, like “The Bolshoi mounts La Forza del Destino.”

    • Leontiny
      • Delmonaco

        Thank you so much!

    • WindyCityOperaman

      I saw “In the Shadow of the Stars” when it was first released. It was an interesting documentary -- I recognized one of the choristers as someone I sang with here in the city. Yes, I don’t think it’s ever been put on DVD. I’d also like to have a DVD of Love’s Debris (Poussières d’amour/Abfallprodukte der Liebe) that featured interviews with Cerquetti, Modl, an appearance by Gorr, and performances by Gail Gilmore, Sergey Larin (unintentionally made to look gay) and Laurence Dale. Saw both at Chicago International Film Festival.

    • Gerald Loewen

      Dear Delmonaco: It appears to still be available to rent (as a disc) from Netflix, which I believe is how I saw it, and is also available at amazon:

      I really enjoyed and didn’t realize/remember until now that it won an Oscar! Hope you find it and enjoy it too.

  • Rudolf

    Katherine Jenkins and Johann Pachelbel ….. she cannot kill his music though try she might. She will be long forgotten whereas his music will continue to delight. From Wikipedia …


    I know it is not opera…But any make up artist who is here…HELP HER EYEBROWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!