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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Friday, April 28, 2006


The other night I was able to catch the final dress rehearsal for Houston Grand Opera's production of Claudio Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.

Details on HGO's production can be found here.

Video clips from the same dress rehearsal can be seen here.

The stellar cast included: Susan Graham as Poppea, William Burden as Emperor Nerone, the legendary Frederica von Stade as Ottavia, Raymond Aceto as Seneca with William Lacey conducting.

I had never seen this opera before and was quite impressed by the performance. I had forgotten just how much I love Monteverdi's music.

The singers were near perfect I thought. It was really a thrill to finally get to hear Frederica von Stade live for the first time. I had a great seat right up at the front only about 40 feet away from the stage so I could hear everything exceptionally well. Susan Graham was also excellent in her role as Poppea. Both Raymond Aceto and William Burden were very impressive in their roles as well.

I especially enjoyed listening to the orchestra which used a harpsichord as well as two enormous theorbos. I found out after the performance that the orchestra was actually improvising (within some general guidelines) in many instances during the opera.

For recordings of Poppea see here.


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