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Subject: Re: An Opera-L Christmas
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 24 Dec 2017 11:00:36 -0700
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I think the tradition goes way back, way back, probably to the 20's, maybe
before.  I'll bet Caruso and Martinelli sang it there.  As far as I know,
and I'm getting up there, its been at least since the mid 60's - my
personal recollection.  Each Christmas Eve, we used to watch midnight mass
and my mother always waited to see who would sing her favorite carol and
hope someone would sing it in French.

Donald

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Natal und
Froliche Weinachten to all!

On Sat, Dec 23, 2017 at 5:42 PM, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> This is my tenth Christmas season as an Opera-list associate, and it
> appears to be the first during which no one has posted anything related to
> the vast amount of music associated with this holiday.  Many were caught up
> in a thread last October that explored the topic of Halloween Operas,
> regardless of the fact that there's no such thing,  Except for LA BOHEME,
> and that title by Massenet about a juggler, there is no opera I know of, at
> least not in the standard repertory, that is remotely related to Christmas.
>
> There is however, a distinctly opera related topic involving seasonal music
> which I have introduced several times since joining this forum, and has to
> do
> with The Metropolitan Opera and St..Patrick's Cathedral in New York.  It
> goes something like this:
>
> Does anyone know when the tradition of engaging a Met star to sing in the
> choir loft during Communion at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve began;
> who were the notable singers who have done so every year since; did they
> always offer "O Holy Night" or was it sometimes something else?  I have
> been advised that the answers to these few simple questions could be
> supplied only by someone who happened to be a Catholic, New York, Opera
> Fan, and that such a combination may be rarer than I think.
>
> In recent years, I recall hearing Judith Blegen, Michael Fabiano , and
> others, on camera in the loft, among members of the cathedral choir,
> but the last two soloists, a mezzo, then a tenor, were  apparently pretaped
> in a studio; they didn't have to show up on Christmas Eve at all; for
> shame!
>
> Happy Christmas everybody.
>
> dtmk.
>
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