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Pauline Lerner

O.K. Members in Europe: The Sequel

May 24, 2006 at 5:36 AM

Okay, members in Europe...
Explain yourselves for *this* choice. So said Robert Niles in his blog on this website on May 22.

Here is a contrasting point of view.

The Shakespeare Prize is awarded annually for “outstanding contributions to European cultural heritage in English-speaking countries in Europe.” Now there’s a worthwhile competition. I’ll bet all the top contenders are good.

This year’s prize went to the Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel. Speaking of his ethnic heritage, Bryn has said, “…being born Welsh is not to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but music in your heart.” Born in 1965 to a Welsh farm family, Bryn learned to sing traditional Welsh songs and play the harp in early childhood. As a youth, he did the circuit of singing competitions in Wales. He later studied opera and made his operatic debut in 1990 as Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte. He has recorded operatic arias and performances and Schubert lieder, as well as popular show tunes. His most recent CD, “Simple Gifts,” contains sacred, spiritual, and meditative songs. I have listened to two of my favorites – the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria and Simple Gifts on the Deutsche Grammophon website, and he sings them beautifully. This CD is now at the top of my music shopping list.

PS. Check my website.

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