Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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July 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment · music, Technology

My dad was an opera singer. He’s retired now and transitioned into full-time teaching. One of the most well known and respected Baritones in Euorpe during the late 70’s and through the early 90’s, Armand McLane was much revered as a performer and as for his students, they included the likes of Peter Hoffman and Marcus Schaefer. In fact, my dad’s students regularly placed 1, 2 and 3 in the Bayreuth competitions in Austria.

The reason I mention this is that I grew up around classical music. My dad usually played the heavy and in Wagner Roles such as Alberich or Woton, Scarpa in Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio” and a lot of Mozart as well. All the traditional stuff not just German opera. When I was a kid I got used to seeing my dad “die” on stage. I have an affinity for it and it was one of life’s small ironies that my first wife’s father Les Dreyer was in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra (for 40 years) playing under the likes of James Levine.

You would think that with DVR and the internet, cell phones and the like that people wouldn’t have time for opera. It’s a “city or cosmopolitan” fancy and it just wouldn’t translate well outside of the big cities or online.

Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. Opera is adapting to bigger houses and not only showing in AMC Theaters around the country but we can see it, and other forms or Classical and Baroque music (see previous post re Giardino Armonico) on an IPTV station near you. I was personally invited and given the best seats in the house by Herve Boissiere to see them at Carnegie Hall. You can check it out at your local multiplex or go to which is building an international reputation by broadcasting over 200 classical music events and by connecting a community of aficionados from over 180 countries. With over 600 full length programs, the site has an average of 80, 000 single unique visitors each month. With names such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Anna Netrebko, Gustavo Dudamel and an archive of content including legends such as Maria Callas, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Samson François, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. There are documentaries and a lot more.

The point is that classical music is making an effort to change with the times. Look for lots more Ustream, Facebook and Twitter integration soon. I’ll hopefully have some input on that.

In the meantime, turn off your MTV and turn on All in Hi-Def. Click the image below.

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