Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss, c. 1915
I spent hours yesterday, as I will also do today, worshiping at the altar of an Ionarts favorite composer, Richard Strauss. Yesterday was the 143rd anniversary of his birthday (June 11, 1864, in Munich), and our favorite stations on Sirius satellite radio are engaged in broadcast marathons. Mostly it is Met Opera Radio for me, with a two-day marathon of live broadcasts of a few of Strauss's operas, with some tuning in to the parallel symphonic and chamber music marathon at SymphonyCast during the breaks. How fortunate that this comes after school is out!
The equipment that makes this all possible is a Sirius Stiletto 100 receiver, given to me recently by a very generous person. This little device can be docked in its speaker station in the house, or in the car, where you can use it to record up to 100 hours of programming, which is a considerable amount of opera. Then you can carry it around with you and listen to your recorded radio with headphones, like an MP3 player. For the first time today, I used the special headphones that also come with it, which allow you to walk around with the Stiletto while receiving the satellite signal through an antenna in the headset. The only complaint I have with Sirius is that the signal can be unreliable, and I have experienced problems with it in the house, in the car, and on foot with the headset antenna. I see the "Acquiring Signal" message too often, although it can usually be corrected by fiddling with the antenna.
Ionarts on the Operas of Richard Strauss:
Deborah Voigt with the National Symphony Orchestra | Santa Fe Opera
Opéra National de Paris | Tanglewood Festival | DVD
Der Rosenkavalier (1911)
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Die Frau ohne Schatten (1919)
Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels | Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse | DVD
Die ägyptische Helena (1928)
Renée Fleming, recording and live
Opéra national de Paris