Remembering Sir Roger Moore (1927-2017)

“We all have a resposibility in life to do what we can to help those less fortunate”….. Roger Moore.

The world lost not only a living legend of classic cinema and along with Sean Connery, an extraordinary James Bond, but the world also lost an extraordinary human being…..
Roger Moore was something more than 007 James Bond, or Simon Templar (The Saint) but he was also an UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he did a lot of beautiful work for UNICEF for the children around the world and he was also against animal cruelty and supported PETA.
“Live and let Die”, “The Man with the Golden Gun”, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, “Moonraker”, “For your Eyes Only”, “Octopussy” and a “View to Kill” are the films in which Roger Moore gave us many joys as 007 James Bond. (and in many films of the Roger Moore era, it had some of the best villains, Christopher Lee, Richard Kiel (unforgettable Jaws) and Louis Jordan, just to name a few.
James Bond, The Saint but most important…. a gentleman that did wonderful work for UNICEF and that cared for the less fortunate.
Thank you Roger Moore, for the many joys that you gave us with you wonderful movies, specially as James Bond and thank you more, for your beautiful humanitarian work that you did for humanity. Rest in peace Sir Roger Moore.   (1927-2017)

 

 

 

 

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Carlos Fuentes, Fifth Death Anniversary

Carlos Fuentes. Universal Mexican. (1928-2012)

On   May 15th, five years ago, Carlos Fuentes, Novelist, essayist and one of the greatest writers of Mexico, passed away at age 83.
In his obituary, the New York Times described him as “one of the most admired writers in the Spanish-speaking world” and also, (along with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo and Jorge Luis Borges) an important influence on the “Latin American Boom”, the explosion of Latin American literature in the 1960s and ’70s.
And also in the words of the New York times, Carlos Fuentes was called as “Mexico’s elegant public intellectual and grand man of letters, whose panoramic novels captured the complicated essence of Mexico’s history for readers around the world”.
Carlos Fuentes was often called as “universal Mexican” and also, the Guardian called Carlos Fuentes as “Mexico’s most celebrated novelist”.
He won many literary honors like the “Miguel de Cervantes Prize” (the highest of Spanish literature) and Carlos Fuentes was often a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature but unfortunately he never won.
He wrote many novels, short stories, plays and essays and he also wrote intellectual articles in journal newspapers, commenting not also about the political problems of Mexico and Latin America but also about the problems of the world.
Carlos Fuentes was indeed a man of culture, a true intellectual, he loved reading books and writing of course, it was also a pleasure to read his opinions about books, history, music and even movies.
The death of Carlos Fuentes in 2012 was a huge loss for Mexican Culture but luckily, his books are still in the list of the most readed books in many Mexican libraries and that makes the spirit of Carlos Fuentes more alive than ever, in the Mexican culture.

Some interesting trivia: Carlos Fuentes served as Mexico’s ambassador to France from 1975 to 1977.

He also taught at Cambridge, Brown, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Cornell.

Among his favorite authors were Balzac, Pablo Neruda, Miguel de Cervantes, William Faulkner and James Joyce

His favorite books were:
Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Cervantes.
The Odyssey by Homer
Macbeth by Shakespeare
La Comédie humaine by Balzac
The poetic works by Quevedo
Our mutual friend by Dickens,
Absalom, Absalom! by Faulkner
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
Antigone by Sophocles

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Eugene Onegin MET in HD

OH MY!!! OH MY!!!!!! My heart  in last Saturday, April 22 was in joy and happiness after the glorious HD of Eugene Onegin!!!!
I was in heaven!!!!!!!!!!
I still can’t believe what I saw last Saturday, April 22…. it was beyond of beautiful, of incredible and poetical! It was MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!
Last Saturday’s Live in HD of Eugene Onegin was was so special for me for many, many reasons, as many know, Stefan Kocan is one of my personal favorites, he is my favorite and also the greatest Bass of Opera of today and he shined like a true star in the sky with his beautiful performance as Gremin! Another reason that this HD is so special for me is because “Eugene Onegin” is one of my personal, all time, favorite Operas, it is an Opera which I always treasured, because of the poetical music and arias, quartets and Eugene Onegin makes me feel so thankful for loving Opera, Last Saturday’s HD of Eugene Onegin was a perfect example of what true beauty is and that separates it from the ugly things of the world.
What else can I say about the exquisite quartet of Madame Larina, Filippyevna, Olga and Tatyana at the beginning and also the glorious peasants chorus which makes me feel so happy and always wants me to dance and sing along with them? Also the quartets of Onegin, Tatyana, Olga and Lensky, Tatyana’s famous and beautiful “Letter aria” which is a moment that gives me lots of goosebumps? And Onegin’s answer, so cruel and yet with lots of beauty in the singing and in the music…. how can aria be cruel and musically beautiful at the same time? Only a genius like Tchaikovsky could do that!  
And the also glorious and famous Waltz in Tatyana’s name party which at the beginning is full of happiness and it ends tragically… the chorus singing with joy at the beginning of the Waltz and they end with concern, sadness and pain because of Lenky and Onegin’s confrontation in the party… a moment that is full of incomparable strong drama and the chorus, the music, and the entire singing from the cast made is so perfectly beautiful!
And Lenky’s haunting aria…. “Kuda, Kuda”, which is one of my all time personal favorite arias for a Tenor…. it is so haunting and it also breaks me . Kuda, Kuda is one of the most beautifully, dramatically arias ever full with beauty and tragedy. Lenky’s and Onegin’s duet before the duel also breaks me and I have no words to describe the beauty of this duet in this tragic moment.
And the glorious and powerful Act III… the magnificent and joyful Polonaise which is one my all time favorites….. the gorgeous music and dancing was a joy for me to watch! And as everyone here know… the big moment was coming…. Stefan Kocan’s extraordinary performance as Gremin and his famous “Gremin’s aria” touched many hearts around the world!
(In a personal note which I’ll give more details later below in this post… here in my zone, in the Auditorium Mateo Herrera, the audience applauded so load to Stefan’s magnificent performance! Anna Netrebko, Peter Mattei an Alexey Dolgov also received applauses but not as much as Stefan Kocan! )
And Onegin’s aria in which he determines to write to Tatyana and declare his “love for her” is also priceless! And of course, the powerful ending… the duet of Onegin and Tatyana, which makes it one of the greatest endings ever!
I loved many versions of Eugene Onegin… but last Saturday’s performance is one of the greatest ever!
Anna Netrebko as Tatyana… Anna once again gave us an extraordinary Tatyana and her Letter aria was absolutely glorious, beautiful and so moving! I liked her so much in the 2013 version and I liked her even more now today! BRAVA, BRAVISSIMA Anna Netrebko!!!!!  Peter Mattei, what else can I say about Peter’s excellent Onegin? Peter Mattei always gives us different and rich consistent performances and I admire his versatility…. from singig Rossini, Puccini, Wagner… to Tchaikovsky. It is always a pleasure to watch and listen the beautiful voice of the always great Peter Mattei! His singing and also acting, specially in the final part was excellent! BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO Peter Mattei!!!!
Alexey Dolgov, his Lensky was adorable and very moving… Lensky is one of my favorite roles for a Tenor and Alexey Dolgov did a mangnificent job portraying the tender and heartbreaking Lensky and his Kuda, Kuda was absolutely heartbreaking!!!
BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO, Alexey Dolgov!!!!!!!!!!!!
Larissa Diadkova and Elena Zaremba were also magnificent as Filippyevna and Madame Larina! BRAVI Larissa Diadkova and Elena Zaremba!!!!
Elena Maximova was also very good as Olga and I loved her singing so much! BRAVA, BRAVISSIMA Elena Maximova!!!  And finally, what else can I say about the extraordinary Stefan Kocan who was, again I say it… magnificent as Gremin! His Gremin broke me in tears completely and I was completely destroyed after his performance! My heart was jumping of joy watching Stefan’s terrific Gremin… it was 8 minutes of pure gold, that I wished that were longer…. The 7, 8 minutes of Stefan’s poetic singing of what true love is… “Lyubvi fse vozrastï pokornï” were the 8 most beautiful, golden moments ever!!!
I was completely destroyed and in tears of joy and happiness!
How can I express my happiness  after watching Stefan Kocan’s glorious performance!!!!  I couldn’t sleep that night after watching and listening to a singing and acting performance which is out of this world, Stefan Kocan as Prince Gremin. Stefan not only word, by word sang beautifully “Lyubvi fse vozrastï pokornï” but Stefan also acted the performance with beauty, dignity, elegance and wisdom  The way that looked and smiled and touched Tatyana while singing was the perfect definition of true beauty!
And I am not the only one, in my Auditorium in Leon, Mexico, many people in my audience were also impressed and applauded so load after Stefan’s glorious Gremin’s Aria! And I am very proud and happy to say that Stefan, here in Leon, Mexico (and by reading many other comments, in other parts of the world, was the one who received more applauses and BRAVO, over Anna, Peter and Alexey, which they were also great! And at the end of the performance… I listened to a group of ladies that expressed that “The Voice that they loved more was… the Husband of Tatyana” …..
Watching  Stefan s Gremin in the Live in HD of “Eugene Onegin” from the Met , was a true privilege for all of us…. Stefan Kocan as Gremin, gave us the lesson of what true love is.. and he made the difference of Onegin! We all are so fortunate to live in this era of Opera because Stefan Kocan is making this era, a new Golden Age of Opera!
BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO, Stefan Kocan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And Maestro Robin Ticciati was also a joy for me to watch! I loved his conducting and he is a new treasure for the Opera world, I loved his interview and his passion and enthusiasm and love for what he does! The only bad thing is that his interview was a few minutes before the glorious Act III! I noticed that he had to rush quickly!  
And what else can I say about the glorius Met Opera Orchestra and the Glorius Met Opera Chorus? And also the Glorious Chorus made a huge important role in the development of the Opera… BRAVI Met Opera Orchestra, BRAVI , Met Opera Chorus!!! And BRAVO, Maestro Ticciati!
And I loved the interviews of Renee Fleming with her colleagues from “Der Rosenkavalier”, Elina Garanca and Günther Groissböck so much, I loved what she said about… nice to see you again so soon! (my memory is not good but something like that said ) and I loved the documentary of the Chandeliers so much and I also loved what Peter Gelb said about Placido Domingo… that he is indestructible!
Thank you Met Opera, for doing Eugene Onegin again… a lyric Opera full of beauty and wisdom…. with four characters that gives us lessons of life in different ways… Onegin, Tatyana, Lensky and Gremin. We all can learn from this characters and the consequences that they have, specially in Onegin and Lensky.
Eugene Onegin is a treasure of history of Opera… and I am so happy that many loved the new HD, even thought that many complained about it, a few months ago about having another HD of this timeless masterpiece.
Thank you, Tchaikovksy for bringing music to the novel in verse of Eugene Onegin!
(Here an image of the great Slovak Bass Štefan Kocán as Gremin in Eugene Onegin )

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Idomeneo MET in HD

GLORIOUS!!!!! I can not think of another word than GLORIUS!!!  GLORIOUS Mozart!!!! GLORIOUS Idomeneo!!!! GLORIOUS Matthew Polenzani!!!!  Yesterday I couldn’t sleep because I was still in heaven after the glorious performance! The HD simulcast of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” was MAGNIFICENT and beyond of Glorious!!!!!  Oh my I don’t know how to start my unforgettable experience of Idomeneo!!! Matthew Polenzani became definitely “Idomeneo”! His singing was absolutely beautiful and deeply moving, Matthew made me cry with his absolutely gorgeous singing, Matthew Polenzani is definitely today, one of our greatest Tenors of our time and we are so fortunate to live in the opera era of Matthew Polenzani!
The overture, the glorious quartet, the chorus, Matthew’s performance, all… everything was so glorious!!!!  There are many different wonderful Operas related to the war of Troy and of course Idomeneo, is a true example of it. The thing that I love about the opera Idomeneo is the subject of “love”, the relationship between father and son… the love of Idomeneo for Idamante and the pain that he suffers due to his vow to Neptune to sacrifice the first man that he meets on land… and as we know… it is his own son Idamante (another good opera about this subject is Gluck’s “Iphigénie en Aulide”) and the love and link between family is something that I feel so strong personally and also, the love, between Idamante and Illia, in which their own fathers were enemies… it show us that love can be stronger than war, hate, ambition and power and that at the end, love saved the kingdom of Crete and its people. And thats what it makes Idomeneo a beautiful Opera, the glorious music and singing and magnificent performances were heartbreaking and I left the auditorium in tears of joy. My heart was in pure joy listening and watching Matthew Polenzani which is his greatest moment ever in his beautiful career. Matthew has gave us so many joys to our lives and hearts in so many wonderful performances, it seems like it was yesterday when we saw him for the first time ever at the MET in the short role of the master of ceremonies in The Queen of Spades and later as David in the 2004 version of Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. So many joys Matthew gaves us later, L’Elisir d’amore, Maria Stuarda, Don Pasquale, Cosi fan tutte, the Pearl Fishers, Roberto Devereux and now… Idomeneo in which Matthew is at the top of his beautiful career and Matthew Polenzani is making history now in the history of modern Opera. Matthew Polenzani performed “Idomeneo” with true dignity and only a giant can do that. Matthew was majestic, heartbreaking, poetic… MAGNIFICENT!!! His beautiful singing and performance was out of this world! In my Opinion, Matthew Polenzani’s name, along with many of my other favorite Opera artists of today will be remembered along with other legends of the Opera! We are living a new golden age of Opera!  Matthew, what he did today was beyond of incredible and beautiful, he made me cry and his performance as Idomeneo was absolutely heartbreaking, so moving and deeply touching, I felt his pain and his tortured soul in his beautiful singing and acting. Definitely, (and I hope that I am not exaggerating here) Matthew Polenzani is making himself a new legend of the Opera. BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO Matthew Polenzani!!!!!!!!!  Your Idomeneo is one of the GREATEST performances ever in the recent years of wonderful performances from the Met!!!! BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO again Matthew Polenzani!!!!!!! Alicie Coote was also very good as Idamante and I liked her performance very much! She performed the role of Idamante beautifully and perfectly and she also deserves a huge BRAVA, BRAVISSIMA Alice Coote!!!! Nadine Sierra, she was also absolutely wonderful as Ilia and her singing was absolutely exquisite and beautiful. Nadine Sierra is also making of herself a brilliant and wonderful career and the more I listen to Nadine the more fan I am of her!!! Her Ilia was absolutely moving and touching! BRAVA, BRAVISSIMA Nadine Sierra!!!!! And finally….. I got very, very impressed again with the amazing Elza van den Heever, her Elettra was absolutely amazing and out of this world, what a performance (and I still also remember the also wonderful Hildegard Behrens in this role in the 1982 version with Luciano Pavarotti!) and she was simply magnificent  BRAVA BRAVISSIMA Elza van de Heever!!!! I absolutely LOVED the extraordinary documentary of Maestro James Levine rehearsing with Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle in “Ariadne auf naxos”, that moment was magical for me and I absolutely loved it!!! I adore Jessye Norman, James Levine and Kathleen Battle and it was a huge pleasant surprise for me to watch this unforgettable documentary during the second intermission.  What else can I say about the glorious MET Opera Chorus, in which they performed a very special part in this beautiful Opera… the Chorus gave me lots of goosebumps and I also loved the interview with Donald Palumbo! BRAVI MET Opera Chorus!!!! And also a huge BRAVI to the always magnificent MET Opera Orchestra and a special BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO, to our always beloved and now living legend Maestro James Levine!!!  It is always a huge joy for me to watch Maestro James Levine conducting, because I feel his love and passion for this beautiful art and that he loves what he does and I will always be thankful for him, for giving us so many, many, many, many beautiful, historical performances at the MET. Yes, Maestro James Levine is now a living legend.  BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO Maestro James Levine!!! And I must say that Eric Owens deserves an extra double BRAVO…. first as a host, who was wonderful as always and also for his special singing as Neptune in the final moments. BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO Eric Owens!!!!! (It was so cute when at the end of the second intermission Eric Owens said, that his job as a Host was over because he had to get ready to sing Neptune’s part ) Yesterday‘s HD of Idomeneo was absolutely amazing and I must say, one of the greatest HDs ever!!!!! You don’t imagine how much I cried after this beautiful, performance! (And once again, I had to clean my face)  This HD performance was a true example of poetic beauty, dramatic singing and acting and that’s what it makes Opera, the art of all arts…. drama, poetry, tragedy, music and theatre, all arts together.  And I have to say that I am also a fan of the original production of 1982 with Luciano Pavarotti, Illeana Cotrubas, Frederica von Stade and Hildegard Behrens but yesterday’s performance  will be also remembered in the history of Opera and with this new performance of Idomeneo, with the same production, set and costumes by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle is a true example that we are living a new golden age of Opera. And what of our lives would be without the glory of Mozart? Mozart gave so much to the humanity and today, we experienced one of the many treasures that Mozart gave us from his incomparable talent and Mozart’s genius will never repeat again in history. Men like Mozart or da Vinci, will never repeat again in history of humanity. Long live Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!!!!!!! Mozart plus Matthew Polenzani…. yesterday, March 25, was a day… that I will never, ever forget.  I had the most amazing experience with the HD of Mozart’s Idomeneo and I will never forget it in years.  This incredible performance left me without breath! Thank you Mozart, thank you Maestro James Levine, Thank you, Matthew Polenzani!
Mozart, Maestro James Levine and Matthew Polenzani, are a treasure of humanity.

 

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Feliz Cumpleaños, Happy Birthday, Javier Camarena!

Today, March 26, is the Birthday of another of our most beloved and most respected Tenors our our time…. and along with the also glorious names of Polenzani, Florez, Brownlee and DiDonato, he is making this era, this age, a new golden age of Opera and Bel Canto.
As a Mexican myself, I want to wish a very Happy Birthday, Feliz Cumpleaños to my compatriot, in which I feel very proud of, the extraordinary Javier Camarena!
Along with three other extraordinary Mexican Tenors of different generations, Francisco Araiza, Ramon Vargas and Rolando Villazon (and hopefully now the also fantastic Arturo Chacon Cruz), Javier Camarena has become a new ambassador of Mexican voices and music to the world.
It looks like it was yesterday when Javier surprised the world with his incredible “bis” in “La Cenerentola”!
Thank you Javier Camarena for giving us so many joys with your beautiful, glorious voice in so many wonderful performances, and recently in Bellini’s “I Puritani”
Feliz Cumpleaños, Happy Birthday to the glorious Javier Camarena! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ludwig van Beethoven, death Anniversary

On this day, March 26th but in 1827, the world lost one of the greatest composers (Mozart and Beethoven are always at the top of the list of the most famous composers) of history of music, Ludwig van Beethoven.
What would be of this world, without his glorious 9 symphonies, his marvelous 5 Piano Concertos, his beautiful 32 Piano Sonatas, his exquisite 16 String Quartets, his extraordinary Missa Solemnis, his terrific Violin Sonatas, his wonderful Violin Concerto and his only opera (but whan an Opera!) Fidelio?
Known, along with Bach and Brahms as one of the “three Bs” in history of classical music, Beethoven changed the history of symphonies with two particular simphonies, first with his glorious Symphony No 3, known as “Eroica” in which marked a “before” and an “after” in history of Symphonies with the “Eroica” and later with his powerful “Symphony No 9. “Choral”in which Beethoven added “words” and gave “voices” (with Schiller’s poem “An die Freude”) to a symphony, which later inspired to many other composers like Mahler, Brahms and Bruckner.
And of course, I can not forget his “Choral Fantasy”, ” The Creatures of Prometheus”, the “Colorian overture”, “The Consecration of the House”, the “Leonore Overtures” the overtures and incidental music for “King Stephen”, “The Ruins of Athens” and “Egmont” and his also magnificent Oratorio “Christ on the Mount of Olives.
And his only opera, “Fidelio”, became a guiding light for the fight of human dignity and freedom and it was the greatest example of what Beethoven felt of humanity and his ideals of human dignity, equality and liberty for all mankind.
Beethoven was indeed, a fighter for human freedom and he expressed it so much in many of his brilliant works.
Beethoven, just like Bach and Mozart, gave so many treasures to humanity and I feel that we all are so fortunate to live in an era that we can listen to the glorious music of different composers that lived in different times, like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Verdi and Tchaikovsky.
Beethoven is a treasure for humanity and , just like Mozart and Bach, Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Homer, Virgil and Dante, Cervantes and Shakespeare, Schiller, Goethe, Dickens and Victor Hugo, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Dostoievsky, he was out of this world and all of us, the mortals, are fortunate to have and feel and listen to the glorious music of Ludwig van Beethoven.

 

 

 

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In loving memory of German Bass Kurt Moll (1938-2017)

My late tribute to the great German Bass Kurt Moll, who unfortunately, passed away on March 5 of this year at age 78.
On March 5 of 2017, the Opera world lost one of the greatest and most beautiful voices ever….
Extraordinary Bass, one of my favorites….. always magnificent, I will never forget when I saw Kurt Moll for the first time as Il Commendatore in the 1987 Salzburg production of Don Giovanni along with Samuel Ramey and Ferruccio Furlanetto and with Herbert von Karajan conducting, also later as Hunding in the Otto Schenk’s production of Die Walküre at the Met, and also his magnificent performances as King Marke in Tristan und Isolde, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and specially as Gurnemanz in Parsifal. Extraodinary Bass and we will never forget him and his rich beautiful voice. His performances will always live with us. Thank you, Kurt Moll, for your many, wonderful, beautiful performances. Rest in peace, Kurt Moll

 

Resultado de imagen para Kurt Moll
Resultado de imagen para Kurt Moll

 

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