From the category archives:

Music miscellanea

After the premiere of my first opera, LA PALOMA Y EL RUISEÑOR, Opera Director Peter Kazaras suggested I follow in the tradition of composers of yore and make an orchestral suite from the opera. I did just that and wrote it and dedicated it to ORQUESTA SINALOA DE LAS ARTES (OSSLA) and the Director, Gordon […]

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Biography of Ángela Peralta

September 27, 2014

Ángela Peralta (6 July 1845, Mexico City – 30 August 1883, Mazatlán) (baptised María de los Ángeles Manuela Tranquilina Cirila Efrena Peralta Castera) was an operatic soprano of international fame and a leading figure in the operatic life of 19th century Mexico. Called the “Mexican Nightingale” in Europe, she had already sung to acclaim in […]

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Here is a video advertisement for Cultura/Mazatlán’s season: El Festival Cultural Mazatlán 2014. Our opera is part of this festival and will premiere 14, 15 November 2014 at the Teatro Ángela Peralta in Mazatlán

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In a Facebook conversation, some of my nerd composer friends posted a picture of a mysterious [to me] stringed instrument. Another identified it as a zither, an instrument of which I had no knowledge and wonder how many do. As I searched for information about this odd instrument I stumbled onto another: the contra-guitar. Whoa! […]

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Sometimes I’m a bit slow. Two great musicians have been pushed in front of me lately and I don’t know why I never knew them before. Silly me. Peter Kazaras has encouraged me to investigate Bellini in terms of the way he handles dialog vs. arias. On the way I fell in love with a […]

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Being a smart musician

May 18, 2012

There is something to be said for a well-trained musician who shows up on time, shuts up, and performs their part perfectly. But when life gets challenging, working with a smart musician can make all the difference. One such “smart” musician saved my ass several times over the past week, and everyone involved in the […]

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The intelligence of dogs

March 19, 2012

This video of a golden retriever getting a B+ in solfege and pitch matching, along with many experiences with our dogs have caused me to completely re-evaluate my opinion about dog intelligence. This dog is doing what music teachers teach their students to do at the very beginning of their musical training. If you can’t […]

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Shucking CDs

January 28, 2012

I don’t know whether it’s the right verb, but “shucking” seems like the right word. I shucked corn for my mom as a boy, and as an adult, so the notion of taking the good part out of something and throwing away the undesirable part is called “shucking.” In our new home, I considered having […]

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Piano as Art

December 31, 2011

Check out a very new way of looking at pianos: Piano as Art. © 2011 Penny Putnam and Shauna Holiman BenisonStudios.com

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Mitchell Morris and I were researching the history of the famous Spanish-Mexican song by a Cuban-influenced, Spanish-born composer Sebastián Iradier Salaverri (Salaberri) (20 January 1809 – 6 December 1865), “La Paloma”. In our opera, the song looms over us as it was a song Angela Peralta sang her entire career. Here is one of the […]

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