David M. Wagner Profile picture
Dante and Dostoevsky here; opera CDs there; Aquinas, Bibles, & con-law casebooks on shelf; conservative mags on floor - I must be here somewhere
Aug 15 4 tweets 1 min read
1/ TLM readings for Assumption are boss! Gen 3 - we know there in enmity betw the snake and “the woman” - a typological category that includes several OT women, including Judith, so 1st reading is from her book, where she is explicitly praised for her most famous accomplishment. 2/ Old ‘Olofernes - ‘e’s been ever so much better since ‘e ‘ad ‘is ‘ead off.
Jul 6 6 tweets 2 min read
What’s going on? fundyProts w nmore Biblical depth than Antietam Creed attacking Our Lady, then someone does a hostile (some wd say homophobic) thread on GKC, and now R. Brazen Witch is on about Dante.
For more about Dante and Courtly Love, read on. 2/ Dante took the Courtly Love tradition more or less as he found it; one of the rules of the CL road was that your “amor” cdn’t be your wife. But in part he broke with the conventions. CL usually involved sexual passion for the “amor,” and sometimes (less often) actual conquest.
May 31 6 tweets 2 min read
1/ So far it sounds good. Konieczny is excellent; Dmitri Belosselskiy as Daland is threatening to steal the show.

Soon we’ll hear from Elsa v d Heever as Senta. @MetOpera she’s done Elisabetta in MARIA STUARDA, Elettra in IDOMENEO, and now Senta, i.e. … 2/ she specializes in chicks who are a bit cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs.
Apr 23 4 tweets 1 min read
For a dark lord, Pizarro sure gets a jolly intro march. Beethoven’s FIDELIO on MetOperaChannel now, perf from 1976. Gwyneth Jones, Jess Thomas, Donald McIntyre; cond. John Mauceri. 2/ The horns effed up their exposed slow passage early in the overture, so they provided lovely support for Gwyneth in the Abscheulicher, and maybe the maestro didn’t demand their asses for dinner.
Apr 22 12 tweets 2 min read
1/ A 2002 FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN on rn. My old friend from Opera-L tenor Thomas Moser is singing the (kind, slightly silly) Emperor, and sounds good despite a bit of strain at the top of his brief Act I appearance. Thielemann conducting sensitively. 2/ In Deb Voigt still had the coloratura as well as dramatic passages of the Empress.
Apr 15 4 tweets 2 min read
1/ Ok what with changing laptops I’v gotten behind on @MetOpera bcasts. This afternoon it’s a live ROSENKAVALIER. I heard the season 1ère earlier. I predict it will be excellent and @GGboeck will steal the show. 2/ I heard 1st two acts of a 1978 OTELLO that I saw in the house. Tho I really wanted to see McCracken in the role, Vickers was excellent esp considering late date. Ricciarelli - took her for granted back then bc spoiled rotten. And Cornell Macneil as Iago!
Dec 28, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1/ A useful discovery. See, I took the wrong missal w me tonight: it’s chocolate Mass this evening, but I took the vanilla missal with me. .. 2/ (“Chocolate”=TLM=Classical Roman Rite; “vanilla”=Novus Ordo=Modern Rite. But I’ve explained this before.”)
Dec 14, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
1/ .@MetOpera still not up with its weekly SiriusXM schedule, but in a way that’s ok, it’s like being back in the days when you turned on the radio to “hear what was on” rather than to hear a specific program. 2/ Rn it’s CAV&PAG from ‘88. Dimitrova, Mauro, Fondary in CAV (Dimitrova, Zeff’s 1st Met Turandot, is killing it as Santuzza), followed by Giacomini (last Met perf), Soviero, Pons, & Schexnayder.
Nov 24, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
1/ I can’t find Letterman’s old “Top Ten Signs You Ate Too Much At Thanksgiving” (can you?) so I’ll just list the ones I remember, in no order. 2/ You were last seen with your lips wrapped around the delivery end of a truckload of yams.
Nov 10, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
1/ I now make it a point not to read anything about Vat II, bc it’s securely in the rearview. But I’m glad I made an exception for this. 2/ Btw, when working on the V2 chapter of my own book (see pinned tweet), I relied heavily on Fr. Bouyer’s memoirs.
Oct 18, 2022 5 tweets 5 min read
@NickForVA @SpanbergerVA07 @yestoyesli 1/
Good work @NickForVA for birddogging this. Coupla nerdy points. Technically it’s not criminalization, bc CPS is “civil” or administrative, not part of criminal justice system. Close q whether that’s good or bad for parents targeted by it….. @NickForVA @SpanbergerVA07 @yestoyesli 2/ CPS can’t jail or fine you, nor give you a crim record. OTOH they can take your children (tho they don’t always). Also w CPS you lack the rights you’d have in the crim system, such as Miranda warnings. ….
Oct 13, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
1/ It’s interesting to reflect on today’s managerial elite in light of the 1880s struggle betw machine politics and goo-goos (Good Govf types). As @troy_senik noted in his GCleveland bio, the most determined goo-goos, a GOP sect called Mugwumps, had an ideal of the perfect… 2/ merit-selected govt official and he looked just like - a Mugwump! I.e. a Bostonian who speaks only to the Lodges when the Lodges speak only to God. (My arrant stereotyping, not @troy_senik’s.)
Oct 13, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
A 1993 MEISTERSINGER on now: Levine w McIntyre, Araiza, @MattilaKarita, Rootering, & Hermann Prey came out of retirement to play Beckmesser. Will be repeated Sat @ 6pm. MetOperaChannel SiriusXM 355. 2/ The character Fritz Kothner, guild chairman (here sung by the late lamented basso-buffo John DelCarlo) shd be considered more important than he usually is. He doesn’t move the plot, but his one moment in the sun - Act I, when he reads out The Rules - is a gem bc
Oct 11, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
1/ I’d like to announce my new temporary baseball postseason rooting commitments. These kick in after @Mets are eliminated, which is usually in August and not October, but whatev.

@Phillies ftw! 2/ In regular season the Phillies are an enemy just bc they’re in our division. But half my family is from Philadelphia, I’ve often been there, I love cheesesteaks, and what’s more I joined the Pa Bar after an exam in a Philadelphia ‘burb.
Sep 5, 2022 21 tweets 3 min read
1/ SALOME any minute now. Will add tweets soon. 2/ Brenda Lewis stars: often sang this role at NY City Opera (as did Phyllis Curtin) but only twice @MetOpera.

Iokanaan (John the Baptist) is Walter Cassel, great American heldenbariton and og Horace Tabor in THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE.
Sep 4, 2022 11 tweets 3 min read
1/ BARBER OF SEVILLE now on MetOperaChannel SiriusXM 355, from 3/6/1954. The lovely production, designed by Eugene Berman, and ofc long since discarded, was new then. 2/ The cast is very similar to that of the classic recording that came out on RCA a couple of years later, except that Alberto Erede conducts instead of Erich Leinsdorf (and has a better Italian style despite EL’s greatness w Wagner), and as Don Basilio we have…
Sep 4, 2022 12 tweets 2 min read
1/ And so DON CARLO is on MetOperaChannel rn, a 2006 perf w Johan Botha, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Patty Racette, Olga Borodina, René Pape, Sam Ramey, & Andrew Gangestad. 2/ Yes 3 basses bc one is Philip II, a central character (Pape); one is the Grand Inquisitor, only man in Spain (acc to this fantasy rewrite of history) who can talk back to Philip, and someone sure af needs to (that’s Ramey); and 3rd is “the friar” who is actually…
Jul 16, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
@wheetfield @acatholiclife @DouayRheims1 An act of perfect contrition is always full substitute for confession - it’s just very, very rare. There are recognized situations in which an imperfect subs for a perfect, e.g. battlefield. @wheetfield @acatholiclife @DouayRheims1 1917 Code but same under 1983.
Jul 6, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Amazing story.
1. 1902, n Italy. Gorettis work on dairy farm. I think they make that hard “formaggio” we love to grate?
2. Alessandro Serenelli, not quite 18, comes on to 12yo Maria. She refuses, he goes into rage, stabs her 14 times.
3. Bc of his age, Alessandro gets LWOP, not DP.
4. At 1st he’s a difficult prisoner, but one day becomes angelic. Warden calls him in. “All right, Serenelli, what’s come over you?”
5. Alessandro’s story, and he stuck to it. is that Maria came to him in a dream and gave him 14 flowers, 1 for each stab wound.
Jul 4, 2022 9 tweets 2 min read
1/ Tonight at MetOperaChannel it’s Wagners TANNHÄUSER, 1954, in a prodn that was new that year. Dresden (earlier) Version. Starting Ramon Vinay. The soprano duties are allocated between Margaret Harshaw as Elisabeth and Astrid Varnay as Venus. … 2/ Yes that wd be no-kidding og Greco-Roman Venus. A mvl Ger legend that Wagner used but didn’t invent had it that with coming of Xty the old gods didn’t die, didn’t hide behind the credenza even, but simply fled - in Venus’s case, to Germany! …
Jul 2, 2022 9 tweets 2 min read
It’s Saturday Night Wagner on MetOperaChannel, and it’s DIE MEISTERSINGER, his only comedy.

Sachs: Thomas Stewart
Walther: Jean Cox
Eva: Arlene Saunders
Beckmesser: Gûnther Leib
Pogner: John Macurdy
Kothner: Ted Uppmann
David: Ken Riegel

Cond. Sixten Ehrling 2/ Wagner was going to call the adversarial character “Hans Lick,” a very obvious jab at the anti-Wagnerian Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick. Too obvious - so he changed it to Sixtus Beckmesser (brook-dagger?)