Fanfare Contributor Bio
The seeds were sown when I was four or five years old. My parents had separated, and every few weeks my father would drive me up from Philadelphia to spend a weekend with him in his tiny apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All weekend long (or so it seemed to me) he would play his opera recordings, of which my only distinct memory is of the final measures of La bohème and the voice of Richard Tucker, as Rodolfo, wailing in plangent, broken tones the name of his adored and now-lost Mimì. That was a lot to take in for a child caught in the middle of a marital break-up, and its immediate result was to put me off opera completely for a decade. But eventually my parents remarried, my family grew, and music was all around me. In my own time, on my own terms, I began to immerse myself in classical music of all genres and styles, but especially opera, art song, and oratorios.
Music continues to play a central part in my life, even though it did not become my vocation. I teach literature at a small state college in Boston (one of my courses is on opera), but I also sing bass in a local chamber chorus noted for its diverse repertory (from Bach to newly commissioned works), attend concerts whenever I can (less frequently now that I have a full-time job and family than in the golden years of the 1980s), and, of course, listen to my CDs (even though I’ve long passed the point where I have time enough remaining to hear them all). A long time ago, back in the LP era, I reviewed records for a now-defunct magazine called The New Records. I am very excited to be doing it again over 30 years later.