Friday, April 24, 2009

Pol Plancon and the Cow

I had a dim memory that the bass, Pol Plancon, had been with the Met opera in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake--and sleeping by the river, had awakened when a cow nuzzled him. He then said to Emma Eames, the soprano, Emma, what is this terrible beast?

To find he source, I Googled the key words. And there was the source: me. (I had copied it from some book.)

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Always a danger showing a prepub copy to someone. David Mintz, of Tofutti fame, treated my prepub ms as advertising copy--and tried to re-write it. Yuck.

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Shocked and unhappy that an old enemy of mine seems to have had a successful career. Well, on the surface she did.

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Having friends, it seems, helps you live longer. But having friends may mean that you're an outgoing, warm, pleasant person--type B rather than type a. THAT may account for any longevity.

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"Milk," the film, wasn't as depressing as I had feared. but some sex scenes turned me off.

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I've given up watching In Therapy. For the shrink to have fallen for that shallow young woman was incredible--and disgusting.


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A 10-year-old documentary on black singers, Aida & Her Sisters, was mesmerizing. (Simon Estes has some voice!) How dispiriting, that many black singers despaired of ever succeeding in the classical music world. Miles Davis, who went to Juilliard, gave up on the classical world and went into jazz.

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I should finish the little book I've started writing, about investing. Nothing new will be in it, but the advice will be sound, the writing lively. But first I've got to write a piece about the anthrax killings, Wagner and anti-semitism, and prepare some music lectures.

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Music lectures: The Great Contraltos, Bass Notes, A Few Wonderful, All-But-Forgotten Singers (Bonci, Schoene, Hayes, Onegin, DeVries). Prokofiev.

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Why do contraltos have pleasant personalities? Too small a sample to really generalize, but perhaps...they weren't stars...they didn't face much competition....they were "outsiders." Certainly true of Louise Homer and Kathleen Ferrier and Marion Anderson.

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