Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vocal Teacher of Opera and Broadway songs

I am an operatic bass singer and vocal teacher of opera and broadway songs. I am currently teaching in students homes in Manhattan, and New Jersey. For lessons please email, or call 609-577-6773. For more information check out my website I am a graduate of the Peabody Insitute of Johns Hopkins University, and have a lot of performance experience.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The treatment of animals

      My philosophy on life is simple.  Treat others the way I want to be treated.  That includes animals that are not human.  I am not talking about lions and tigers and bears oh my!  Although, they should be treated well by trained professionals.  I am talking about domestic pets.  I saw four stray cats by a dumpster earlier.  Four of them.  Why?  Unless they all ran away, then WTF?  Being very moved by this apparent lack of responsibility, I called several shelters and left messages.  I figured that I must do something just so I can sleep at night.  I am all about giving people the benefit of the doubt, but if the cats were indeed abandoned.  John Lennon says it best "how do you sleep at night?" I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pets. First and foremost they deserve to live more then some humans do. They do not deserve to be abandoned, period, finito la storia. I can say they deserve to live and speak no further. All people have to do is drop the animals at a no kill shelter. I asked my cat if that is all people have to do, and she meowed in response. Even she knows. Actually I told her to say meow and she meowed back. But still, drop the animal at a shelter. Pets are vitally important to people's well being. They give people something to live for because they have to take care of something. This brings them out of themselves. Anyway, I hope these cats get rescued and find homes. I'm glad I was able to save one. I'd save them all if I could. If these cats ran away, then I hope they get them back. If they left them, shame on them.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (A big loss)

Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau, was born in 1925, and died today May 18, 2012 at the age of 86. Fischer-Dieskau was the most famous lieder singer of all time, and generally one of the most famous classical singers of all time. Although he did formally study voice, he was able to make his debut at age 22 for an indisposed singer in "The Brahms Requiem". Therefore, he had a very natural gift. All good singers do, but some have to work harder for their technique than others. I am writing this as a tribute more than to share facts about Fisher-Dieskau's life, which can be found virtually anywhere. The voice was one that I did not take to right away. I was 17, and lacked the knowledge to understand his art when I first heard him. My dad actually mentioned Dieskau to me, because he had Dieskau's performance as Il Conte Almaviva in "Le Nozze di Figaro" conducted by Karl Bohm on vinyl. However, my first listening to the voice was Dieskau's 1972 recording of "Die Schone Mullerin" by Franz Schubert. I knew nothing about art song, and I thought that Dieskau sounded too much like a tenor versus a baritone on first listening. What I failed to realize at the time was that Fisher-Dieskau's baritone was a lyric baritone. Now I love that Schubert recording, and many other recordings by Fischer- Dieskau. No matter what he performed he made music out of it. He had a wide vocal range from a low E to a high A which he kept until the end of his long career. Literally everything I listen to with Dieskau performing meant something to him. His lieder singing, especially Schumann and Schubert songs set the standard for lieder singing. I never was fortunate enough to see Dieskau live, but I heard he was mesmerizing. No matter what he sang whether the voice was appropriate for it or not, he made it interesting. For example he recorded the role of Germont in "La Traviata" under Lorin Maazel. The role of Germont is Italian, and often taken on by a Verdi baritone. Personally, I am not thunder struck by his voice in the aria "Di Provenza", but his singing of it is so lyrical and musical, that I cannot help but acknowledge that. He even took roles such as Gunther in the Ring Cycle and made them interesting because he was a musician above all else. He was a very smart singer too, and knew when his time was up. He kept singing well until his late sixties, then devoted his time to teaching and conducting. Losing this great artist is a big loss without a doubt, even though he lived to an old age. I can think of few artists who were more important than Fisher-Dieskau for the arts. He recorded and performed so many lieds by composers such as Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, and many others. He also premiered many works such as King Lear in Albert Reinmann's opera "King Lear", which is a very difficult piece. He also premiered the baritone solo in "The War Requiem" by Benjamin Britten, "The Six Monologue's of Everyman" by Frank Martin, the role of Prospero in Martin's opera "The Tempest", and many others. He performed in countless operas by Strauss, Mozart, and Wagner especially. His repertoire knew no bounds. It is awe inspiring that he was able to perform the variety of works that he did. He will be greatly missed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recital May 13th

Stay tuned for information on the pieces, composers and poets. Dear friends and colleagues, please join us for a recital on May 13th at Christ Episcopal Church in New Brunswick, NJ.  The recital features works by Purcell, Nicolai, Schubert, Poulenc and Ives.  The artists are Nicholas Hay, bass and Susan Hoffman, piano. May 13, 2012 Christ Episcopal Church 5 Paterson St. New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Suggested donation is 15 dollars Please see for more information.