Lisa della Casa (Arabella) and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Mandryka) - Munich 1958
Those of my generation growing up and learning about opera were mesmerised by the Swiss soprano Lisa della Casa who died on Monday at the grand age of 93. It just days after my 20th birthday in 1961 that I first saw her, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, in her most celebrated role - Arabella. This was at the Munich Festival in the then home of the Bavarian State Opera, the Prinzregentetheater. And four years later this same pair appeared in these roles at the Royal Opera House. They were great days indeed for those of us discovering the joys of Strauss and Mozart.
Meanwhile in London December 2012 it is the season of Carol Services. My first was today - at St Paul's, Hammersmith, where my daughter's school had their event in which every single child in the school participated as either a singer, reader, or orchestral player. It is good to see music so strong in some schools..........
There will be a good service to attend somewhere on Sunday, and no doubt a couple more before the season is over. I will let you know!