I've been a bit delayed in sending this post because a death in the family, but I have two people I would like to publicly thank for wonderful services rendered, not just to me in particular, but to the entire Opera-L community.
Every week, Mike Richter posts new and fascinating information and sound clips on his web page (which, as everyone probably knows, is at http://mrichter.simplenet.com). Recently Mike has featured pages on light lyric tenors singing Schubert, the spectacular contralto, Carol Brice, cadenzi to La Donna e Mobile, excerpts from recent live performances around the world (the SF Ring, Madame Sans-Gene, the Scala Forza), the achievement of the late Maria Stader and the differering quality of audio remasterings. Not to mention the CD Roms whose production he has overseen, including the complete Callas Master Classes at Juilliard, complete opera recordings (primarily under the aegis of La Scala) from the early days of recording, live performances from the opera houses of both San Francisco and Paris, and forthcoming issues of the complete operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss. After sampling these delights, which probably would be unavailable to most of us without Mike's dedication and generosity, our lives and our ears will never be the same!
Bob Rideout, another lister whose postings consistently delight both by their erudition and their sly humor, has given us thorough career retrospectives of some of the most important singers of this century, including Boris Christoff, Celestina Boninsegna, Giulietta Simionato, Magda Olivero and Apollo Granforte. I know I am not alone in saying that his passionate devotion to these singers has spurred me on to further investigate their work, and to share his delight in their contributions to the art form we all love so much, and to which all of us, in some way or another, have dedicated our lives.
I have, in the year and a half I have been a (mostly lurking) member of Opera-L, shared occasional and cordial correspondence with these two men, mostly concerning the above-mentioned contributions. As some of you may know (primarily thanks to these two men, perhaps) I am a singer striving to find a place in the highly competitive business of opera. I sent copies of a CD I recently produced to both of these men, never expecting the generosity of the response they afforded me: Mike featured selections from that CD on his webpage, and Bob wrote a generous and heartfelt appreciation of my singing which he posted to the entire list. Partially because of their kind words and actions, my career is already taking a turn for the better.
So to them, I express my deepest gratitude: both for their support of my fledgling career and for their weekly contributions which help make Opera-L such a rewarding, provocative and exciting place to visit.
And to all of you who took the time to listen to the selections of my singing which Mike posted, to read the kind words which Bob penned (typed... input??) and to visit my website, I thank you all as well, from the bottom of my countertenor-heart.