Barbra Streisand and tenor Franco Corelli shared at least two things in common: both were magnificent singers and both suffered from bouts of debilitating stage fright. You would think that they would become comfortable on stage after a while, but they didn’t. Instead, the fear of forgetting what they were supposed to be singing grew and grew and grew. Singers aren’t the only people in the music business who have this problem. Next time you’re at a concert, keep in mind that the soloist up there on the stage may be quite comfortable or may be about to have a very public nervous breakdown. It’s classical music’s dark secret.
_ _ _
No one in music can touch opera singers when it comes to pushing the human voice to its limit, and in temperamental shenanigans. Don Culp hosts a blog that has some very interesting posts about screaming Mimis and other songbirds.
_ _ _
I was fortunate to be able to attend both a Boston Pops concert in Symphony Hall and a July 4th concert at Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. WCBR, which is affiliated with WGBH in Boston, offers some of the Boston Pops Concerts live while others can be heard from their archives. I particularly recommend the tribute that the Pops did to its longest reigning conductor Arthur Fiedler. You can also hear Boston Symphony concerts at the same site.
By the way, Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops current conductor, is the 20th conductor in its history, and he is in his 20th season as the maestro. He talks about music in an interesting series called “Keith’s Classical Corner.”
_ _ _
A brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan is about to launch a beer series inspired by Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Each of the planets in Holst’s seven movement masterpiece will receive its own brew. The offerings will include “Venus, The Bringer of Peace” – A Blonde Ale brewed with honey, apricot, vanilla and cardamom; and “Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age” – A Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine.