I sadly report the passing of one of the greats, Cesare Siepi, at age 87. His 50s interpretation of Don Giovanni, thankfully captured on film, remains my favorite performance of that work. Here's a few YouTube clips, two of the Don, a third from Verdi:
...Six years ago, I was invited to visit a new summer opera school in Castiglione della Pescaia, an adorable little seaside town on a part of the Tuscan coast mercifully unfrequented by British tourists.”
I recently heard that Jean-Christophe Spinosi was one of three conductors who had applied for a position as a new conductor of the Orchestra of Brittany (? - I had to use google translate, in which the region Bretagne is translated with Great Britain....), but that there was some controversy and a petition had asked him to withdraw his application, which he did. It seems the founder of the Orchestra supported Spinosi, but I read an article where representatives from the orchestra got a word in and they were pretty harsh. I'm kind of worried that the controversy; this and the fact that he was also forced to leave the conducting engagement at La Scala not long ago, will do harm to his reputation. From what I've seen of him he seems to have such passion for what he does and such contagious energy and enthusiasm. I can't imagine why so many people would dislike him, professionally or personally.