Fanfare Contributor Bio
Resisting a powerful urge to manufacture my existence and aver that I was born in Bulgaria, say, and raised in Morocco, I simply note that I am a Hoosier, from that part of Indiana near Chicago known to Indiana University students as “The Region.” Sputnik transformed all of us into budding physicists, but no one told me that the interesting bits were five years down the line and I got bored, eventually landing in comparative literature, working mostly in French and theatre history, with studies in music as well. I was, and am, an appalling keyboard player, but I could sing, and I sang whatever was going. Emigration to Sweden led to studies in music history at the University of Stockholm, but I returned to the United States for my PhD in comparative literature at the University of Chicago, after which I moved back to Sweden for more music study, taking a year out, as well, to sing in an English cathedral choir. Since those heady days, I have mostly concentrated upon text/music relationships.
I have been an opera fan as long as I can remember and will willingly see almost any opera at least once. My approach to opera production, however, is resolutely from the point of view of it as drama rather than as a concert in funny clothes. I insist upon hearing and understanding the words, ideals no longer in fashion, alas. I have sung most of my life, mostly in choirs, and have performed in all the voice ranges available to males. In technical terms, I could once do almost anything vocally. One nagging consideration, however, gave me pause before thrusting myself upon an unsuspecting public: I am blessed with a voice that only loving parents could tolerate.
I have survived the Baroque revival in all its phases, electronic music, minimalism, and the Darmstadt summer course. I leave descriptions of my own music to others.