From Alex Ross we know that Hildegard Behrens has died. I think my only live encounter with Frau Behrens was from a front row seat in Davies Symphony Hall when she sang Leonora in a concert version of Fidelio. Ben Heppner was the Florestan and Herbert Blomstedt conducted. Blomstedt's Beethoven was excellent. The entire performance was very moving.
Riccardo Muti will assume leadership of the Rome Opera at the end of 2010. Just what I needed--a new reason to go to Rome.
Anna Netrebko has performed an all Russian recital with Daniel Barenboim in Salzburg to a standing ovation. Europeans don't stand up for everyone the way we do. Anna's Russian work is unexcelled. However, when you call something "The Russian Album" it sort of sounds like you've covered the subject. A Russian recital recording would be wonderful. Maybe they'll do this one so the rest of us can hear it.
In other news Classic FM magazine asks us to believe that of the 100 Best Artists you might want to hear, 5 of them are countertenors. How likely is that?