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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.
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tristan und isolde – live from bayreuth (1976)

After one of my Twitter friends mentioned the Bulgarian tenor Spas Wenkoff on Friday, I rummaged through my iTunes playlists to see if I had any recordings of this relatively obscure singer. The only thing that turned up was a live 1976 Bayreuth performance of Tristan und Isolde under the baton of Carlos Kleiber, with Catarina Ligendza as Isolde, Yvonne Minton as Brangäne, Karl Ridderbusch as Marke, and Donald McIntyre as Kurwenal. Rounding out the cast are Heribert Steinbach (Melot), Heinz Feldhoff (the Steersman), and Heinz Zednik (the Shepherd). Act One