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.
“I cannot write in verse, for I am no poet. I cannot arrange the parts of speech with such art as to produce effects of light and shade, for I am no painter. Even by signs and gestures I cannot express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer. But I can do so by means of sounds, for I am a musician.”
Wolfgang Mozart, letter to his father (Mannheim, 8 November, 1777)