Oy Vey, Opera! Open Thread

Did you know that the great America tenor, Richard Tucker, was trained as a cantor? That nice Jewish boy sure can sing.

Here is a live version of Mr. Tucker singing the famous aria from Puccini’s Tosca, “E lucevan le stelle.” In it, he is reliving the greatest moment of his life – the moment when he first made love to Tosca. The aria is made even more poignant by the fact that he knows he is condemned to die in the morning. (Sob!)

I’m off to temple, but will be back with a more substantive post in the late afternoon. Enjoy or skip the aria, and tawk amongst yuhselves!


31 responses to “Oy Vey, Opera! Open Thread

  1. I put together the French excess with tho Politico media excesses in this naked Emperor themed collection

  2. Bumped up from last thread(my timing is bad as usual) What are the chances of the French Blog report(thanks SOD/DV) on BZero’s(Nero) travel arrangements going viral? Oh wait – the Bots will be so impressed – such “good taste”. Jeesh. Shades of Brazile (et id genus omne) comment in her replies to me last March – look at the money! Only an Obot could be so blind.

    Gary – I got a chuckle from your Freudian slip – brought a vision of our provincial couple trying to fist bump the Queen. Hope you are feeling better.

    Fredster – I admire your diplomacy.

    Mad – it is a glorious blue and gold morning here – may have two decent days of weather – wish I could hear your wonderful vid. Instead of staying in and pounding my head on the wall – I’m doing yard work today. Just the memory of opera is inspiring! Going to read EOF’s link first.

  3. garychapelhill

    thanks boo. We were at the in-laws last weekend and it ran through all of us. 24 hours of pure hell. Somehow Mawm was the only one to escape the bug. As for the meeting with the queen, I’m surprised they didn’t hit her up for a donation.

  4. This is huge news, scandalous!

    Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5.2 Million in Past Year :

    WASHINGTON — Top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers received about $5.2 million over the past year in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from major financial institutions.

    A financial disclosure form released by the White House Friday afternoon shows that Mr. Summers made frequent appearances before Wall Street firms including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. He also received significant income from Harvard University and from investments, the form shows.

    In total, Mr. Summers made a total of about 40 speaking appearances to financial sector firms and other places, with fees totaling about $2.77 million. Fees ranged from $10,000 for a Yale University speech to $135,000 for an appearance paid for by Goldman Sachs & Co.

    The disclosure — in a financial report that is required for federal office holders — comes as Mr. Summers is involved in shaping the Obama administration’s policy decisions on the financial meltdown as well as the broader recession. Among the many decisions the economic team has wrestled with has been whether to step up regulation of hedge funds, one of the most contentious subjects during a summit of world leaders this week. European nations pushed for tougher rules, while the Obama administration preferred a less stringent approach.

    Also one should never forget Obama being interviewed by Tom Brokaw (NBC) for Goldman Sachs at a private dinner :

    WASHINGTON–On May 3, 2007, Barack Obama attended an event at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan that was not on his public schedule and is only now surfacing–a private dinner for Goldman Sachs traders with a discussion on issues moderated for the Wall Street firm by NBC’s Tom Brokaw.

    Brokaw is the moderator of Tuesday’s second presidential debate between Obama and John McCain at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

    The dinner was not a fund-raiser for Obama, then in the early stages of his Democratic primary campaign launched February, 2007. Brokaw interviewed Obama for about 45 minutes on mostly international issues. Brokaw received an honorarium, donated to charity. The Obama campaign called the event a “moderated conversation” when I inquired on Monday.

    Brokaw’s appearance was arranged through Goldman Sachs–not the Obama campaign. It was the only session Brokaw did for Goldman. Brokaw’s honorarium was given to a charity.

    The employees of Goldman Sachs collectively would go on to become the top contributors to the Obama campaign.

    hmmmm….. As Scooter Libby wrote to Judith Miller, are the Aspens turning?:

    You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover—Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work—and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers. With admiration, Scooter Libby.

  5. Just catching up on the posts. Wow you all! Everyone here is on fire.

    I am so disappointed by the Obamas behavior overseas. When will we again have a President that doesn’t embarrass us? A long time ago I called Obama the Eddie Haskell of US Presidents, but I was dead wrong since Eddile Haskell was extremely polite and displayed good manners to Wally’s parents. Obama seems to be a President more in the style of what? Beavis and Buthead?

  6. Well, now we know why Summers was picked, don’t we, taggles?

    Guess The Krugster was not “uniquely qualified” in quite the same way.

  7. taggles,

    Discouraging indeed that Obama continues to surround himself people that act so deliberately and outrageously (and not in a good way). You know what they say, birds of a feather and all that….

    Will there ever be a resurrection of journalism?

  8. that is my biggest worry Fl! It is the lack of ‘journalism’ in this country that really and truly has enabled this.

    We (the American public) are defenseless without an inquiring, unbiased press.

  9. taggles,

    Totally agree! I feel like our press is the new “Pravda.”

  10. I am not sure about how big a deal it is for Obama to have bowed, but a total news black out over it is quite telling. Especially since they reported on the no bow from the Obama’s to the Queen.

    It is propaganda by omission.

  11. taggles,

    I always thought that since Obama is the leader of the USA, it is not appropriate for him to bow to anyone. The USA is not subservient to any country. Also note, that the Saudi King did not bow back to Obama. There is a difference between subjugation and ettiquette. Bowing to me demonstrates subjugation.

  12. Yes madamab, it appears Summers has the qualifications, and remember Obama picked him.

    Whose qualifications did Obama meet. I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone paying attention.

    He is GWB II. Same end, different means.

  13. He should never bow to anyone, the etiquette policing press was all over the QEII touch and bow, but not the Saudi King bow.

    The bow from the waist and bended knee was wrong and should have been reported. I am just not sure whether his bow meant something more or if it was plain total ignorance.

  14. Tinfoil Hat Time,

    I think he is just repeating the manners he saw when he was young. He is not muslim, but growing up in a muslim country (especially when he was young) must have influenced his behavior, just like our behavior is influenced by the culture we grew up in. At least that’s my take on it.

  15. BTW,

    Here’s some more “change” for you regarding getting around those pesky limits being placed on companies accepting bail out money:


  16. quite possible, FL…. The only thing I know for sure was that the king bow was totally blacked out by the American press.

    They should be asking the questions we want answers too and should be reporting all news, not just what they deem to be newsworthy because it helps them with a story.

  17. But if they do that, it might hurt Obama’s feelings, and you know he is keeping score.

  18. remember he’s the new and improved deciderer!

  19. Re: Boo above- I agree that the link re: the French hotel excess needs to be disseminated, assuming it is accurate. It is the kind of thing that will hit Americans in the gut as being so utterly presumptuous and elitist and wasteful, that it may be a step along the road to BO’s demise (metaphorically speaking). I have posted it elsewhere. I wish I could hear the aria! I love the emotional exuberance of opera- my father listened to the Met recordings on the weekend and I was a member of the Portland Opera Society in college.

  20. Lililam – I just saw your post of it at another site – great! While we voters never got BZero vetted during the campaign, we sure are getting confirmation daily of our gut level fears daily now. What a tangled web of financial hookum – the dots are being connected. Thank goodness for the experts we have on this – I have a thundering headache from venturing into some of these links. Europe should have roasted him while he’s there – it effects them greatly. It also explains the desperation on the media’s part – I don’t think they can spin enough webs to cover this huge pile of fraud here.

  21. garychapelhill

    I can’t find anything to verify the hotel rumor, but amidst the googling I did find this article. I suppose things aren’t as rosy as they seem:

    Black-clad protesters attacked police and set a customs station ablaze Saturday on a bridge linking France and Germany that served hours earlier as the backdrop for a show of unity by NATO leaders.

    Stacks of old tires were also set ablaze, unleashing thick plumes of black smoke that could be seen from across the river. Near the bonfire was a sign welcoming visitors to Strasbourg.

    First lady Michelle Obama and other spouses canceled a visit to a cancer hospital out of concern for security, the French president’s office said. Some 1,000 protesters were staked out near the hospital they were to visit.

    funny how we don’t seem to be seeing much of that in the news.

  22. Bella Napoli

    Wonderful rendition of a great aria, madamab. I understand when Tucker died he was looking forward to debuting as Eleazar in La Juive from French Jewish composer Halevy, but he never made it. He would have been stunning in it, since his Jewish roots were extremely important to him.
    Thanks for putting the clip up: I was not a happy camper today because I went to the local Mall just to have something to do and while waiting for Macy to open I struck a conversation with other ladies and they were all ga-ga over what great President America now has and how lucky we are to have him. I am afraid I lashed out, and I do not like myself right now; oh, well this too shall pass!

  23. Well, Gary, in that case, maybe the redecoration could be chalked up to security. Hopefully they will go to the French equivalent of St. Vincent De Paul for replacement furniture. Somehow, I doubt it.

  24. Sorry to hear that not everyone in Europe loves Obama. I was hoping that they loved him soooo much that he would d resign the Presidency here and move to Europe to become the first President of “Europe”!

  25. garychapelhill

    liliam, I wouldn’t be surprised if just nobody is reporting about it. It seems to me that we’re being kept in the dark about quite a few things.

  26. Let’s face it, the patriarchy/plutocracy is scared. They are desperate to protect the status quo that Bush gave them, which was so very profitable to them for so long.

    Too many people are getting reality checks now. Our system of democracy is totally dysfunctional if we can vote for someone who seemed (to so many) to be the polar opposite of Bush, only to see him continue down the same disastrous path once in office.

    That is why the propaganda and information management is getting more and more desperate and transparent. They are in danger of losing control to *gasp* the people. That must never happen.

  27. A couple of things:

    Gary-you had “da bug”? I found out a med not to take for that. I was having a spell of tummy problems. The doc will not write lomotil for some reason. He called in some stuff called Levsin. On the side of the bottle it said “May cause drowsiness”. **That** was an understatement! I was basically wiped out for a day-just sorta woozy and acting punch-drunk. I’ll stick to Immodium from now on.

    Boo: What’d I do this time? 🙄

    And for anyone: I saw a pic of “the bow” somewhere where it had been photoshopped and one of the Saudi’s was grabbing Obie’s ass. I can’t find it anywhere now and I want that pic! If anyone has seen it please point me in the right direction. Thanks!

  28. Fredster- SOD had it last night, I believe. You can go through the latest comments on the Iraq thread and you’ll find it.

    New post up!

  29. madamab-thank ye!

  30. Three Wickets

    On that news media of ours..

    The MSM dropped the ball during the presidential election, more like punctured the ball, and almost every outlet I used to watch for news, I don’t trust anymore. Now with the banking and economic crisis, the same doubt is there for the financial MSM. Just as the general MSM proved they can move votes, the financial MSM can move markets, make no mistake. CNBC, like its parent NBC, seem well trained at cheerleading. Whereas cheerleading for votes may have brought us BO, cheerleading for false bullish sentiment in the financial markets may create just another near term bubble and deepen and lengthen the pain of true economic recovery. But no one is reining in CNBC. They can say whatever they want, and amazingly everyone from professional traders to retail investors listen. Because too often in financial markets, perception becomes reality. If you hope enough or pray enough that things are not actually broken, maybe it can come true. Like the Jehovah’s Witness parents who refuse living saving medical treatment for their child.

    So where is the balance to CNBC in the financial MSM, the reality check to their excess, the countervailing point of view. The WSJ, MarketWatch, Fox Business? Well they’re all owned by Rupert Murdoch, and they have too many self-interested wingnut sponsors and audiences on the conservative right. How bout the Financial Times or the Economist. Perhaps. But they are also read by opportunistic, steroid pumped investors and financial puppet masters in the UK, Eurozone and global markets including Asia and the oil rich Middle East who have been part of the problem not the solution. What about the financial blogs. Well yes, to a degree. But by definition, they are not really the MSM, are they. The best information and debate may be out there in the blogs, but they don’t have the size to move or block or correct markets. Not yet at least. The one major financial media outlet that appears to have the cajones to consistently challenge the financial behemoths and their allies in government is Bloomberg News, imo. Not perfect, but they try to keep some of the rascal feets to the fire. They have an active legal suit out there against the NY Federal Reserve filed under the Freedom of Information Act. The suit is asking for the release of financial data behind the allocation of the first round of TARP bailout funds to the banks. Something the government to date has been unwilling to do. And now there is also the looming debate on mark-to-market. The Financial Accounting and Standards Board, FASB, has just decided to loosen the rules on reality market based pricing of bank assets, good or bad. Aren’t we just postponing the inevitable, getting good at lying to ourselves. It’s called denial, and it will end up in another breakdown. FASB reports to the SEC, and we know what a great job the SEC did with banking oversight. Abuse of mark-to-market rules was at the heart of the Enron accounting scandal. Why does Congress have such a short memory.

    Until the regulators get their act together, we need cops not fans in the financial media. Bloomberg comes closest in my mind. If we see others who are asking the hard questions, we should bring them to light and support them wherever we can. Objective analysis is rare these days. Bloomberg News did not endorse Hillary, but in the end they did not endorse McCain or Obama either.




  31. Aahhhh, opera. I saw a fantastic CAV/PAG last week with a very sick Jose Cura. Even sick he kicks most other tenors’ asses.

    In the early 1970s the Met experimented with video-taping Met productions, but were not happy with how they turned out and they’ve never been seen. Among the titles they video-recorded were “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” with Domingo and Sutherland (it came out too dark) and a “Pagliacci” with Tucker. I’ve seen this “Pagliacci” and it looks fine. I hope one day they’ll release it commercially.