You have heard this before,but I must tell you that it is an example of some of the most exciting singing you'll ever hear!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT


DO NOT PEEK before you listen!! Here are the 15 Flower Songs from Carmen (61 min.)

If you guess them all, I will send you my entire Fischer-Dieskau collection:

  Roberto Alagna, Peter Anders, Fernand Ansseau, Vladimir Atlantov, Enrico Caruso, Franco Corelli, Raoul Jobin, Antonio Cortis, Libero de Luca, Mario del Monaco, Placido Domingo, Beniamino Gigli, Jussi Bjoerling, Giuseppe di Stefano, and Nicolai Gedda.

Direct download: Flower_Song-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm EDT

This is a staging of the Maria Stuarda Confrontation Scene as per the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford film, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane." I wrote Joyce di Donato to tell her that in the coming Met Stuardas I do not think she should follow this staging.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

   If my beloved Renata had ever had a fight with me, and used the kind of chest voice she uses on "Tre assi e un paio," I would have run screaming out the door. She scared us to of the many great "Tebaldi moments."

Category:general -- posted at: 2:17pm EDT


To all of you great opera lovers all over the globe, I wish you a most HAPPY NEW YEAR and many thanks for your undying support. You make my life so happy all year long!

From Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm EDT

Simone Boccanegra from Naples, 1986

 The very great Cesare Siepi at age 63 in a superb Simone Boccanegra that features Renato Bruson (still singing these days at 77), Ileana Cotrubas, Taro Ichihara, and Enrico Serra (Paolo.) The conducter is Gabor Otvos. (71 min.)

Direct download: Simone_Bruson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:07pm EDT

Carlo Bergonzi Recital,London 1992

The great tenor,who "teaches a vocal lesson" when he sings. This is a 68 year old man who is a legend. I heard him at 78, and he was just as wonderful. He is not in the best of health these days at 88, and I hope he feels better soon. We love him so much.

Direct download: Bergonzi_Lon.1992.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:54pm EDT

Renata Tebaldi in Boheme at Parma

Facing a tough audience at Parma in 1962, after there had been some altercations, Tebaldi sang a great Mimi, and saved the day. Others in the cast are:  Renato Cioni,EnzoSordello, Silvana Zanolli, Giorgio Taddeo (Colline), and Otello Borgonovo (Schaunard) under Arturo Basile.  (64min.)

Direct download: Tebaldi_Parma_Mimi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:35am EDT

Stride La Vampa-1

  I have just received a series of wonderful compilations of various arias, terrific for your opera parties, where you can give prizes if you wish if people can guess some or all of the selec tions. I did not do a narration here, but here are the mezzos doing the Trovatore "Stride la Vampa":

Giuseppina Zinetti, Nell Rankin, Irene Dalis, Blanche Thebom, Miriam Pirazzini, Elena Nicolai, Oralia Dominguez, Bruna Castagna, Ebe Stignani, Irene Minghini-Cattaneo, and Fedora Barbieri. (29 min.)

I hope this series is enjoyable to you.   My best for a happy New year


Direct download: Stride_One.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10pm EDT

Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin which means HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our beloved Piotr for Dec.28. How fortunate the opera world is to be able to enjoy his great singing!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

Rigoletto Part Two

All fixed!!!!! Here is part 2 of the Rigoletto

Direct download:
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:09am EDT

A Great Rigoletto,Part One

Part One of a 1972 Rigoletto with a stellar cast under Richard Bonynge. Featured are Sherrill Milnes,Luciano Pavarotti,Joan Sutherland, Ruggero Raimondi, and Batyah Godfrey.  (55 min.)

Direct download: Rig.Pav.1a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT

I think if we counted up all the tears that Puccini,born Dec.23, 1858, has provided to the opera world, we might have another "Pacific Ocean." Bless forever what he has given us!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:52pm EDT

   Music for the Holiday Season (announced), as sung by famous artists. I know you will enjoy the selections and I wish you all the happiest holiday season!! (62 min.)

Direct download: Xmas_2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30pm EDT

At 66, still able to thrill us! Gruberova born Dec.22, 1946. A bit eccentric vocal production,but the way she gets to the wild..That kind of "scoop." One of the most adored singers!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT

 One of my saddest days, and a sad day for opera lovers, was Dec.19, 2004, when we lost our beloved Renata Tebaldi. My memories are still so vivid of her incredible singing, and the relationship we had over the years, with those "birthday phone calls' I made to her in the later years. The love she spread on stage and off stage was something none of us "kids" could ever forget, and we will think of her fondly for the rest of our lives.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm EDT

  Born on Dec.19, 1863, Milka Ternina was the teacher of my beloved Zinka Milanov, who just texted me and said, "I VAS BETTER!!!"

Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm EDT

Birgit Nilsson in Recitals

The miraculous Birgit Nilsson is heard in recitals from Australia and New York. Selections are announced on the podcast. I do not believe ANYONE in opera history could produce tones like her!!! (70 glorious minutes.)

Direct download: Nilsson_Recitals.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:38pm EDT

Let us pause for a moment or two and think of the horrendous tragedy that occured this week in the school in Connecticut. Even if I was not a teacher and loved kids the way I do, it is just mind-boggling to think of what occurred, and we should spend a moment of reflection to remember the poor little kids and the teachers who are no long with us physically, but will always be in spirit.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

Not as appreciated as i feel she should be, Raina Kabaiwanska was born on Dec.15, 1934. The feeling, the style, the love of the vocal line are special,if not a great tone. I really recommend you watch some more Youtube videos.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm EDT

Dec.15, 1910..(Some say May 15),is the birthday of the SENSATIONAl Giulietta Simionato, who,in this clip, shows why she is revered as one of the greatest singers of all time. Sorry she did not make it to 100.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm EDT

Angelo Lo Forese at 90!!!!  IN KEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Crabby jaded Charlie found a marvelous new soprano at Aida last night.She is Liudmyla Monastryska, possessor of a gorgeous and rich voice, with a brilliant top range and lovely pianissimi. I bravoed all night, and I think she was truly superb. Here is a sample.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EDT

Not a good day for divas. Gallina was a very famous artist and we hear her last scene of Onegin with Benjamin Luxon. Some straight tones,but a very great star!!!!!!   Never to be forgotten!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

  When she entered in Rosenkavalier act Three, the stage GLITTERED. It was a gorgeous ethereal voice and we remember her for what she did for all of us as a great artist.  Rest in Peace!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:15pm EDT

 Born Dec.11, 1892, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi sings a "Nessun Dorma' that is as thrilling as one could expect!!!!! I wish we had one tenor like this today.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm EDT

Remember that lovable film about Verdi's "Casa di riposo" for old singers, some of whom can still sing? Sarah Scuderi was the STAR of the film, and she was born on Dec.11, 1906. What a loving tribute to singers of the past who might not have the finances to live a luxurious retiremen t. This is so gorgeous!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

The marvelous Sondra Radvanovsky is singing the Met Ballo today; she possess one of the most brilliant voices I ever heard, but you MUST hear her live, because she has a kind of resonance in the house that sounds like a "mike is in her throat." I once told her some tones were "Isolde tones." Here is a clip rom her Chicago Ballo.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm EDT

Carmen with Shirley Verrett

 The late Shirley Verrett, one of my all-time favorite artists, appears as Carmen in this Rome 1967 performance under Georges Pretre. The superb Australian tenor, Albert Lance, is the Don Jose, with Robert Massard as Escamillo.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Carmen_Verrett.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT

Tosca With Zeani,Domingo

Highlights from a 1975 Barcelona Tosca under Giuseppe Morelli, with Virginia Zeani, Placido Domingo, and Piero Francia. Why don't more people realize how great she is?? Well,you've heard this before.  (70 min.)k

Direct download: Tosca_Zeani2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

  DIOS MIO!!!!!!  My friends (including Virginia Zeani) heard Boheme in Florida last night and went NUTS over this guy!!!  This is a fabulous voice and i hope we hear much more of him.. BRAVISSIMO!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

    My favorite part of my favorite opera!! I had mentioned that a few years ago Dolora Zajick asked me to give a "Handelmanian" class for her young students; she has a project with young singers, trying to bring back the kind of singing so missing today. Note how she sings the end of this scene with incredible abandon. I will see her as Amneris in two weeks. Note she takes the high B that usually only Aida takes toward the end. She has FUN!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am EDT

  Not just Cavalleria Rusticana!! Mascagni wrote such gorgeous music...This scene from his Piccolo Marat is just amazing. Virginia Zeani, Umberto Borso, and a loud prompter perform. The audience actually made them repeat this whole duet!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

Verdi's "Napuko"...(well,sort of.)

  Just enjoy these marvelous scenes from an opera written by Giuseppe Verdi, who made his fame at the premiere. However, not all performances are up to his standards. If you are a basso, I suggest you do not attempt to learn Zaccaria with this recording.  (16 wonderful minutes.)

Direct download: Napuko2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:15pm EDT

Kirsten Flagstad Sings Wagner and Strauss

 The sensational Kirsten Flagstad is heard in the World Premiere of Strauss' Four Last Songs from 1950 under Wilhelm Furtwaengler  in London.She is then heard in three Strauss songs: Befreit, Allerseelen, and Caecilie, from San Francisco in 1950 under Merolla.

She is joined by Set Svanholm in Wagner Scenes from The Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, and Die Meistersinger, from 1949 also under Gaetano Merolla.   (70 min.)

Direct download: Flagstad_Strauss-Wag..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

 Carreras was born on Dec.5, 1946. In his prime it was a glorious voice, one of the greatest in opera;yes,he did push the voice into heavier roles and even before the illness he was having problems, but for a time he was a true sensation, and he came thrugh a serious illness with great dignity and amazing courage.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:56pm EDT

Othalie Graham

  I always like to "spread the word' about exciting young artists. Here is info.on Othalie Graham....A great singer..and GORGEOUS!!!!

Canadian-American Soprano Othalie Graham is critically acclaimed throughout North America. As Turandot, the Boston Globe says her “timbre and power were thrilling - steely ring from top to bottom - and her path from imperiousness to passion was convincing.” Of a recent performance as Tosca, the San Francisco Chronicle praised her “high-powered blend of musical assurance and theatrical temperament. Singing the role for the first time, Graham displayed a potent and secure soprano that soared effortlessly through the role. Most impressive was her blend of delicacy and sheer muscle, which often combined forces within the space of a single phrase...her rendition of ‘Vissi d’arte’ was a heartbreaker.”

Emerging into the Wagnerian repertoire, Ms. Graham’s notable roles include Senta in Der Fliegender Holländer, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, Brünnhilde and Sieglinde in Die Walküre, and Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. Other prominent roles include the title role in Elektra, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Leonora in Fidelio, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Ariane in Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, Serena in Porgy and Bess, and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana.

Recent engagements include the title role in Turandot with Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Columbus, Opera Delaware, Utah Festival Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, and Sacramento Opera; Odabella in Attila with Sarasota Opera; the title role of Aida for the inaugural performance of the Istanbul International Opera Festival; Leonora in Il Trovatore with Utah Festival Opera; the title role in Tosca with Festival Opera; and the title role in Elektra at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. In the current 2010-2011 season and beyond, engagements include the title role of Turandot with the Vancouver Opera and Pensacola Opera, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West at the Nashville Opera, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Turandot excerpts in concert with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, and Isolde in Tristan und Isolde with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra in California.

Concert highlights include a New York recital debut with the Liederkranz Society after winning its annual competition; a Wagner concert co-sponsored by the Wagner Society of Washington D.C. featuring Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung and Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde; Brünnhilde excerpts from Die Walküre for the L’Opera de Montreal gala; the title role in Turandot with Boston’s Chorus Pro Musica, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Harrisburg Symphony; Elijah with Bryn Terfel and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; a featured appearance with Eve Queler at the Dahesh Museum of Art; as well as opera galas for Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera, and Canada’s Oakville Symphony.

Ms. Graham was the first-place winner of the 2010 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition in the Wagner Division; the first-place winner of the 2005 Joyce Dutka Competition; a recipient of the prestigious Sullivan Foundation Grant for 2005; and the first-place winner in the Wagner Division of the 2009 Liederkranz Competition. In Canada, her many awards and honors include the coveted Jean Chalmers prize in the Canadian Music Competition, winner of the Edward Johnson Competition, and first place in the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Competition.

She is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts.


Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

 Have you ever seen this adorable 1932 clip of the great Tetrazzini singing with Caruso??I think it is PRECIOUS!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT


Here is a comparison podcast of some wonderful mezzos and contraltos singing the Ulrica Scene from Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera." The singers,in order, are:

Bruna Castagna, Grace Bumbry, Jean Madeira, Susanne Resmark, Marian Anderson, Ewa Podles, Giulietta Simionato, Ebe Stignani, Regina Resnik, Fedora Barbieri, and last (and least), Sylvia Sawyer (66 minutes)

Direct download: Ulrica.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

Just listen to the section beginning "Coraggio" in the Vespri aria..That tells it ALL! The exciting attacks, the intensity, the verve....something unheard today!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

Some artists can "read the telephone directory" and make a fabulous impression. The late Maria Callas, born Dec.2 (or 3?), 1923, was such an artist. We all know of her flaws and her stormy life, but her legacy will live forever in the hearts of true music-lovers.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

OK friends....tell us what is "different" about this rendition....(Hint: Get a pitchpipe.)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

Another Callas' clip for her birthday.This was from one of the last recitals (with Di Stefano).Note she has to sing more chest voice...It is so sad...One of the greats at the end, but the feeling will never fade!!!!!.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm EDT

Juan Diego Flores Recital

 From New York City in 1994, I bring you the radiant voice of the superb Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Flores, a man who sings as gloriously as anyone I have ever heard.

  Included (announced) are songs and arias by Bellini,Rossini,Donizetti, Gluck, Morales, Serrano, and Tosti.    (70 minutes).

Note that the only times that encores have been allowed at the Met is when Flores sang the Fille du Reeggiment aria (with 18 high C's) and on a broadcast of Elisir, where he repeated the "Una furtiva lagrima."  This is a rarity in New York Met opera.

Direct download: Flores_2004.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT

  What is left to say about this legend? Yes, we know all about her flaws, personal difficulties, but what remains forever is a legacy of a phenomenal contribution that will never be forgotten. Here is the first of a series of clips for your personal remembrances and in tribute to her.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm EDT

Gedda is now 87...This is rather recent......Not sure when..but the man is a VOCAL GOD!!!!!

Dedicated to another ageless singer, Martha Eggerth (now 100).

Category:general -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

Mme.Butterfly with Renata Scotto

One of the very last exponents of truly emotional style and careful attention to the delicacy of phrasing in opera has been Renata Scotto. This 1967 Radio Turino Butterfly from 1967 under Artuto Basile is an example of her great artistry, despite some of the top notes that were often a bit problematical as the years passed.he is 33 here, but for many more years her Butterfly remained  possibly the greatest of them all.She is joined by Renato Cioni,Franca Mattiucci, and Alberto Rinaldi. (71 min.)

Direct download: Butterfly_1967_Scotto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT

Die Fledermaus from 1938

 A delightful Die Fledermaus from Stuttgart Radio, 1938 under Gustav Goerlich.The cast includes Margarete Teschemacher (Rosalinda), Peter Anders (Alfred), Karl Mikorey (Eisenstein), Einar Kristjansson (Orlovsky), Martina Wulf (Adele), and Karl Schmitt-Walter (Dr.Falke.).

   In act two the guests are Erna Berger, Peter Anders, Maria Reining, and Esther Rethy.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Fleder.1938.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

   Darling miraculous Magda Olivero turns 103 on March 25. She will speak in that gorgeous "verismo Italian" when I call her...Hard to imagine a world without this beautiful spirit!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:41am EDT

Don Carlo 1961, Part Two.

 Here is part two of the Vienna 1961 Son Carlo  (51 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Labo-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:35pm EDT

Don Carlo Vienna 1961 Part One

 Part One of a 1961 Vienna Don Carlo under Fausto Cleva,featuring Flaviano Labo,Antonietta Stella, Giulietta Simionato, Eberhard Waechter, and Walter Kreppel. (61 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Labo1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EDT

Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli on television in Chenier finale.(In key).

Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm EDT

 The GOD of singing in a magnificent example of the heart and soul of the great Caruso. Note the way he enters his "passaggio" on a word like "notte" and for me EVERY Caruso "vocal situation" is unique in my mind. Bless this great man!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT

The Debut of Bidu Sayao in Manon

The beloved Bidu Sayao makes her Met debut as Manon in 1937 under Maurice Abravanel. The cast is completed by Sydney Rayner, Richard Bonelli, Angelo Bada, Chase Baromeo, and George Cehanovsky.  This is a historic event, for it heralds the great Sayao career.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Manon_Sayao.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

         My very dear opera friends,

                     You may or may not understand a "crazy collector's mentality," but as I approach age 77, I look around and feel that some day I do not want my enormous collection to go into a dumpster. My joke is that when I met Anja Silja a few years agho after a Jenufa, I asked her for the Elena Makropolous formula so I could have 356 hyears more to listen to my tapes. She must have thought "who is this nutcase?"
                I have been discarding reels and cassettes (ever hear of them?), but what remains is still an enormous collection of CD's,VHS videos, and LP's, not just the items I used for a 25 year "Pirate business" but lots of commercial material. For example, do you know anyone who has over 50 Elektras or every Ring that was ever recorded?
                  I look around and wonder what I was thinking when I would visit Tower Records after a Met performance and buy something like the complete works of Heinrich Schlachenheimer (??)This is why I am so glad Tower closed because I can save a little money!
             In your travels (and I am also speaking to singers or opera-lovers who reside in other countries), you might know some younger opera lovers, similar to a 17 year old Charlie Handelman who knew every note of Zinka Milanov's repertory.(and most of the words.) Also,you may be affiliated with a school like MSM where young students can enjoy some of my enormous collection...rather than have it lay around and gather dust.
            This does not mean that I am discarding everything, but let's face it....there is just too much...and I would like to "spread the wealth" to those of you who might be interested. Of course, you would need a truck, a U-haul, or a large tenor to pick stuff up. Why should it sit around here and some day be discarded, although my executor can do what he wants with it..but it would be an enormous job.
             Well, that is where I am at the moment, and please feel free to write or phone me if you have any ideas..but do not give anything to anyone who never heard of Claudia Muzio!
                                                     Love  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT

  I have spoken often of the old La Puma Co.and have played you scenes. TELL ME...could any of you sit there and not have a serious accident in your.....They finally threw us out one night...we could not stop laughing..I miss them so..but at least we have the Met.....

Category:general -- posted at: 12:54am EDT

 When many opera singers attempt "crossover," they fall on their names mentioned....but when Sumi Jo sings "Send in the Clowns" with such beauty and style, it is indeed a pleasure.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:38am EDT

Parsifal from Bayreuth 1951

 Scenes from a glorious Parsifal under Hans Knappertsbusch from Bayreuth 1951. The stellar cast includes Martha Moedl, Wolfgang Windgassen, George London, Ludwig Weber, and Herman Uhde (Klingsor.)   (73 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal_1951.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:53pm EDT

Songs Of Paolo Tosti

Several Golden Age artists sing songs of Paolo Tosti.(Announced).They as follows:

Adelina Patti, Mattia Battistini, Fernando de Lucia, Emma Eames, Charles Dalmores, Enrico Caruso, Giuseppe Anselmi, John McCormack, Alfred Piccaver, Dusolina Giannini, Rosa Ponsellle, and Richard Tauber.  (62 min.)

Direct download: Tosti_songs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

Los Twinkies no van a morir!!!!!

  Who cares about the U.S.Financial crisis, problems in the Mideast, will Angela Gheorghiu show up, and all the other pressing problems in this world? The most important news of the day is that it looks like the Hostess company, maker of Twinkies, and other high cholesterol snacks, will be SAVED!

    So many of us who were about to commit "Suicidio" feel that life is worth living again. Thanks the Lord for bringing us out of this potentially disastrous situation!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

Adriana Lecouvreur with Leyla Gencer

 Another example of the versatilty and artistry of Leyla Gencer, "Queen of the Pirates." This is an Adriana from Naples, 1966, Under Oliviero di Fabritiis. The cast also features Amadeo Zambon, Enzo Sordello, and Adriana Lazzarini.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Adriana_Gencer_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19am EDT

Renata Scotto Sings Songs of Verdi

 For a little change of pace, I present a series of songs as written by Giuseppe Verdi.(Announced.) They are sung by Renata Scotto, accompanied by Vincenzo Scalera in 1989  (50 min.)

Direct download: Scotto_Verdi_songs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

  Ruby Helder, Female Tenor!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:45pm EDT

    The two girls teach you what  exciting singing is about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Another "innovative' production of La Boheme,from Salzburg 2012.This is coming out next month on DVD and Blue Ray. It features two of the greatest artists of today, Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala. I think you might consider purchasing it ,unless you are a purist.(I used to be.)

Category:general -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

  My darling friend, Marisa Galvany, lost her husband, George Kornbluth last week. In his memory,I would like to present this video, thinking that wherever dear George is, he is recalling all the beautiful days with Marisa and all who loved him. He was a wonderful man, and we shall miss him.



Category:general -- posted at: 9:55pm EDT

Un Ballo in Maschera 1940

  This is a most exciting Ballo from 1940 under Ettore Panizza, featuring Zinka Milanov, Jussi Bjoerling,Alexander Sved, Bruna Castagna, and Stella Andreva. (70 min.). Why didn't mommy take me, even though I was only 4!!!

Direct download: Ballo_1940.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

Even in concert, the remarkable Leonie manages one of her famous GESCHREIS!!!! Did you know the union of stage hands got mad because they could not get any overtime;this is because Leonie rolled around in the dust, and they were not needed!! (Well,figuratively, anyway.)

Category:general -- posted at: 7:48pm EDT

On her birthday, let us remember the sensational Leonie Rysanek, one of the greatest artists in opera history. Yes, she had her flaws, especially in Italian repertory, but she made roles like Senta,the Empress, Sieglinde,etc. totally unforgettable. We will not see her like again!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

The Sensational Mexico 1951 Aida

 As I indicated in my spoken commentary, sometimes you forget, with all the material available, just how some performances stay in your memory, and how unbelievably exciting the Mexico 1951 Aida was. Here is a mini-podcast of most of act three with Callas,Del Monaco, and Taddei. Sorry, they do not make them like this anymore!!!!  (24 min.)

Direct download: Aida__Mex.Act_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:02pm EDT

Wanna hear great singing?????   My old buddy Sam Ramey(hates the wig), Luciano, and a singer I always adored, Lauren Flanigan, in the Lombardi Trio.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

   Born November 7, 1926, Joan Sutherland has been one of the greatest singers in opera history. She earned the name "La Stupenda." Note her wild ending of the aria..Count the number of high C's!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am EDT

Christa Ludwig in German Opera

 The very great mezzo Christa Ludwig in scenes from Parsifal (w.Fritz Uhl and Walter Berry, Vienna 1961 under Von Karajan), Walkure w. James Morris under James Levine, and the marvelous finale of a 1966 Frau Ohne Schatten under Karl Boehm w.Berry,Rysanek, and Dalis.   (70 min.)

Direct download: Ludwig_Wagner_pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:27pm EDT

Born Nov.8 , 1921...Hines' last appearance..Really amazing!!!!!! A stalwart basso for so many years!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

 I want the ones with the high D flat, and the best for me is the first one..Sondra Radvanovsky..some sopranos do not (or cannot) take the note.

In order we have:

    Sondra Radvanovsky, Mariella Devia, Christine Weidinger, Dimitra Theodossiou.Darina Takova, Mariella Devia again, Katia Ricciarelli, Lucia D'Anselmo, Nelly Miricioiu, Joan Sutherland twice, and Vasso Papantoniou.

     I just love these comparisons!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

   We ancient collectors are so STARVED for Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs style of singing..Brilliant tone,warmth of emotion, GREAT LOW NOTES, wonderful easy top range...and what I call "authoritative glottal attacks' on certain phrases.   She is my new "find."

Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm EDT

Let's face it!!! When I get started on a new diva, I get CRAZY!!!!! However, you already know about what I love...and this is the kind of singing I DIE FOR!!!!! This is my all-time favorite aria, and she is absolutely magnificent.!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:04pm EDT

   I just discovered a diva who reminds true opera lovers of the kind of singing so badly missing today...Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs lets it all "hang out" like a Caterina Mancini,Marisa Galvany, Maria Callas.   I went nuts!

   She is also a Facebook friend, and a sweetheart!!!! More to come!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Les Choeurs d'Operas Francais

   Choruses from French operas, including Mireille, Romeo et Juliette (Gounod), The Pearl Fishers, La Jolie Fille de Perth (Bizet) w.Alfredo Kraus, La Damnation de Faust (Berlioz), Herodiade (Massenet), Hamlet (Thomas) w.Thomas Hampson and Gregory Kunde, and the Salve Regina from Poulenc's Dialgues des Carmelites.   (69 min.)

Direct download: French_Choruses_pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

Piero Cappuccilli Tribute

In 1955, Cappuccilli auditioned for La Scala in Milan, where the auditioners, deeply impressed, encourage him to enter the Viotti competition. After his first place award, he made his official operatic debut in 1957 at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan, singing Tonio in Pagliacci. In 1960, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, singing Giorgio Germont in La traviata, which was to be

Cappuccilli spent most of his career singing in Europe, with only infrequent travels to North and South America. He made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 1964, as Enrico, at the Royal Opera House in London as Germont in 1967, and his Opéra de Paris debut took place in 1978, as Amonasro. He also appeared at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He worked with the greatest European conductors of his time (Karajan, Gavazzeni, Abbado, Kleiber) and became one of the finest interpreters of the Italian repertoire.

Cappuccilli was highly respected as a "Verdi baritone", where his beautiful voice, fine vocal technique, musical elegance, and dignified stage presence, were shown to their best advantage.

He left an impressive discography, he recorded Lucia di Lammermoor twice, first with Maria Callas in 1959, and with Beverly Sills in 1970. Other notable recordings include; Rigoletto, opposite Ileana Cotrubas and Placido Domingo, under Carlo Maria Giulini, Macbeth, opposite Shirley Verrett, and Simon Boccanegra, opposite Mirella Freni and Nicolai Ghiaurov, both under Claudio Abbado. He also recorded Don Carlos, Il Trovatore and Aida under Herbert von Karajan

Cappuccilli sang until his mid-sixties; an automobile accident in 1992 ended his stage career. He died in his native Trieste, at the age of 78.[2]

 Pagliacci,Zaza,Macbeth,Attila,Due Foscari,Forza,Trovatore,Do Carlo,Pearl Fishers, Chenier, Nabucco,Ernani,Roberto Devereux.

(68 min.)

Direct download: Capp.2_Pod..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:41am EDT

In my efforts to keep you entertained, I mix audio and video clips along with my podcasts. I consider the Lehmann aria here as one of my top favorite commercial recordings of all time!!!

The final passages send me to heaven!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm EDT

Edita Gruberova has a kind of "eccentric' vocal approach..but so exciting..and the way she goes up to the top (scooooops) is a thrill.  I really love her.... WE NEED HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Don Giovanni from Naples, 1955

 A pretty good cast!!!!  Don Giovanni under the legendary Karl Boehm in Naples 1955, with early Birgit Nilsson,Sena Jurinac,Alda Noni, Giuseppe Valdengo, Sesto Bruscantini, Anton Dermota, Gottlob Frick, and a new guy as Masetto named Walter Berry.(He might make it some day!!)  (71 min.)

Direct download: Don_G.1955_pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:52pm EDT

   I am sure that wherever you reside, you have experienced tragedies owing to Mother Nature, as we have this week on the Eastern Seaboard, owing to Sandy, a devastating example of what weather patterns can cause.

    I wish to express my sincere best wishes for anyone in my area, or in any land where you have suffered such tragedies. This is not the time to "Esultate" after a storm, but to reflect on how people must work with each other and come together, even in the face of such devastation.

    How unimportant our "trivial pursuits" appear, in the face of real tragedy, and I hope we will all pull together whenever we face such a heartbreaking situation, no matter where we live.

   Sincerely,   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT


From RAI Turino, 1951, under Arturo Basile, we present Cilea's "L'Arlesiana," with Ferruccio Tagliavini, Pia Tassinari (his wife), Paolo Silveri, Gianna Galli, and Loretta de Lelio (Mrs.Franco Corelli.)  (68 min.)

P.S. My brilliant (??) intro.did not come out, but the cast speaks for itself, so you can be spared my voice at least once.

Direct download: LArlesiana_pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

 Born October 29, 1926, Vickers in some roles was absolutely a SENSATION. I was not a fan of his in Italian opera, but in Wagner,Grimes, and a few other roles he was one of the greatest singing artists EVER! I hear he is not well!!!! Bless a man who can achieve this incredible career!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

  How fitting that the Met is presenting Ades' opera "The Tempest," when the East Coast is suffering in the midst of "Sandy," a horrendous storm. 

 For soprano Audrey Luna, her role makes the Queen of the Night seem like Sarastro by comparison.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT

  In 1972, after a Sills/Galvany Maria Stuarda, one of the greatest shows I ever saw, we went back to Ramey's house to hear my tape(I am the "bravoer.") We were hysterical counting how many measures Marisa held the E flat in the trio. Beverly was also phenomenal in music that you would not associate with her. The two ladies performed that Confrontation Scene like two madwomen, and the audience went ballistic!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

 The ever-jaded crabby Charlie loves to go to the opera, BUT what you see here from dear Diana Soviero is a totally lost art...Like Carteri,Zeani,Scotto,Muzio,Favero,etc..THIS is the kind of emotional delivery that we collectors adore. When I fell out of the balcony on Mar.13, 1977 (OUCH!!) at her Mimi, and we became buddies for life...I thought Tebaldi was cloned. She did tell me Tebaldi once kissed her as a little it must have rubbed off!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:05am EDT

 Dmitri Hvorostovsky told me how he adored Pavel Lisitsian,and he did know him personally. I always found Lisitsian,born Oct.24, 1911, to have an absolutely gorgeous voice, like Dmitri.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:45am EDT

  Should I be ashamed that I "enjoy" crazy productions????  The singing is usually fine, and some ideas sort of work...but maybe I am so caught up in the craziness, I forget that many new directors  do have some novel ideas, but I am conflicted because I am "enjoying" this stuff...but not sure WHY!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:53am EDT

   How can singers participate in stuff like this??? Imagine Callas,Corelli,Melba,MOI, involved in this Eurotrash..some modern productions are quite interesting, but to me, this is a joke!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Giovanna D'Arco

An early Renata Tebaldi performance from  Naples, 1951 under Gabriele Santini. Featured also are Giino Penno (loudest high notes I ever heard), and Ugo Savarese. ( 72 min.). Featured also is a bonus of Tebaldi, Campora, and Taddei in the finale of the Traviata Gambling Scene from Naples, 1952, where uncharacteristically, Tebaldi thinks she is Elektra.

Direct download: Giovanna_Pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:30pm EDT

  Look..the poor kid loses a brother, a baby, and has the devil after her. Don't you think that would make anyone a nutcase??????

Category:general -- posted at: 1:24am EDT

  For my darling friend and great artist, Virginia Zeani, I wish a most happy birthday (Oct.21). I have known many artists over the years, but I must say that Virginia (along with Tebaldi) has made my life so happy. I hope you will be listening to many Youtube features, and I know you will enjoy them.  Bless you, my darling Virginia!!

Zeani was born Virginia Zehan, in Solovăstru, Romania. She studied first in Bucarest, with Lucia Anghel, then with famed coloratura soprano Lydia Lipkowska. Her singing for the Italian Cultural Society in Bucarest so impressed the Italian Ambassador, the Consul and the Press Attaché that they quickly arranged for her to study in Italy, and in March 1947 she travelled to Milan to work with the great tenor Aureliano Pertile.

Early career in Italy

With no previous stage experience, in May 1948 she made her professional debut in Bologna, deputising at short notice for Margherita Carosio as Violetta in La traviata, and was immediately offered a tour of thirty more performances. Violetta was a role she would sing an estimated 648 times around the world, during her career. Her partner that evening was tenor Arrigo Pola (Alfredo), the voice teacher of Luciano Pavarotti.

Her career was at first primarily focused in Italy, where she sang in many of the regional opera houses. She describes these years as "making the bones", singing many performances of big roles in smaller houses to gain strength and experience.

National and international recognition

In January 1950 she was invited to star in a three month "tournee", or season, in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt, singing Violetta, Nedda, Michaela and most significantly Adina in L'elisir d'amore opposite the great Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. She was 24, he was 60.

In 1952 came an important step when, again at short notice, conductor Tullio Serafin chose her to replace Maria Callas as Elvira in i Puritani in the Teatro Communale in Florence. Soon her growing reputation led to invitations to many of the major opera houses of Europe, and Violetta was her debut role in Vienna, and Paris. She made her debut at La Scala, Milan in 1956, as (Cleopatra) in Handel's Giulio Cesare, opposite Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, whom she married shortly afterwards.

Despite having appeared in several successful tours of Great Britain she had yet to appear at Covent Garden. Her debut eventually came in 1960, once again as an emergency replacement, but this time for the indisposed Joan Sutherland. She recalls arriving at the Royal Opera House at 4pm, after a sleepless night and flights from Vienna via Frankfurt. There was just time for costume fittings and a brief rest before she walked, for the very first time, onto the Covent Garden stage. She had never before met any of the cast and had to ask "Which one is my Alfredo?" That remarkable performance was broadcast world-wide and has been preserved on disc. Zeani also appeared in Barcelona, Leningrad, Moscow, Philadelphia, Bucharest etc. and eventually in New York's Metropolitan Opera, as Violetta, in 1966.


In her early career she won considerable success in bel canto roles such as Lucia di Lammermoor, (Gilda) in Rigoletto, (Elvira) in I Puritani, and the title role in Linda di Chamounix, and lighter lyric roles such as Massenet's ("Manon") and (Marguerite) in Gounod's Faust. As her voice matured she gradually turned to more dramatic roles including Puccini's Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly and Tosca, and verismo operas including Fedora and Adriana Lecouvreur. She tackled more Verdi roles including (Aida), (Desdemona), (Elisabetta), (Alzira) and (Lina) in Stiffelio, as well as two Wagnerian heroines, (Elsa) in Lohengrin and (Senta) in The Flying Dutchman.

She created the role of (Blanche) in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites in 1957 at La Scala, later performing his solo masterpiece for soprano La Voix Humaine.

In 1972 she enjoyed one of her greatest successes as Magda in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul.

In all she sang some 69 major roles and only ever cancelled two performances.

She sang with many famous colleagues including tenors Beniamino Gigli, Mario Filippeschi, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Bergonzi, Nicolai Gedda, Alfredo Kraus, Jon Vickers, Luciano Pavarotti, and Plácido Domingo, mezzo sopranos Giulietta Simionato, Fedora Barbieri, Shirley Verrett, Lili Chookasian, Grace Bumbry, baritones Gino Bechi, Tito Gobbi. Nicolae Herlea and basses Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Boris Christoff, etc. A warm-voiced singer with stunning looks and an affecting stage presence, she made few commercial recordings, but many of her live performances exist as bootleg recordings and YouTube postings.


Virginia Zeani, "Teacher of the Year 2010" at home in her music room in Florida

Zeani retired from the operatic stage in 1982, but, together with her husband, Nicola Rossi Lemeni, in 1980 began to teach singing at the music school in Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The couple were later both honored as "Distinguished Professors". After her husband's death in 1991 she taught at IU for many more years before moving to Florida where she continues to teach talented young singers, In 2010, having now taught for thirty years, the magazine Classical Singer named her Teacher of the Year.

Amongst Zeani's most famous pupils are Sylvia McNair, Susan Patterson, Angela Brown, Stephen Mark Brown, Elizabeth Futral, Marilyn Mims, Vivica Genaux, Mark Nicolson, Heidi Klassen, James Valenti Elīna Garanča and Ailyn Perez.


She was the recipient of many major awards including Commendatore of the Italian Republic. In 2010, King Michael of Romania awarded her his highest honour, "Nihil sine Deo",[1] and in May 2011 she travelled to the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest where he invested her with the award.


Category:general -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT

  Since my adopted sister Virginia Zeani celebrates a birthday (87) on October 21, I am starting early to give you some samples of her greatness. I have told you enough about her and you know what I feel for her as both singer and friend.Here is the first one.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Callas did it...Galvany did it..Guleghina did it....and NOW...Dimitra Theodossiou takes the fabulous interpolated high E flat at the end of the Nabucco duet w.Nucci.

  But the Met probably would not like her..too exciting!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT


Anita Cerquetti had to retire very soon. She had a magnificent voice,as you will hear, in arias from Ernani, Agnese di Hofenstaufen (Spontini), Oberon, Vespri Siciliani, Forza del Destinmo.William Tell, Aida,and Ernani. (63 min.)

Anita Cerquetti (April 13, 1931) is an Italian dramatic soprano who had a short career in the 1950s.

Cerquetti was born in Montecosaro, near Macerata, Italy. She was originally a student of the violin and trained eight years with Luigi Mori. After a mere one year of vocal study at the Conservatory of Perugia she made her operatic debut in Spoleto in 1951 as Aida. She sang all over Italy, notably in Florence as Noraime in Les Abencérages, under Carlo Maria Giulini in 1956, and as Elvira in Ernani, under Dimitri Mitropoulos in 1957. Her Teatro alla Scala debut was in 1958 as Abigail in Nabucco. She also sang on RAI in a wide variety of roles such as Elcia in Mosè in Egitto, Mathilde in Guglielmo Tell, Elena in I vespri siciliani, etc.

Cerquetti made headlines in January 1958, when she replaced "in extremis" the ailing Maria Callas in Norma, at the Rome Opera House. She was already singing the role at the San Carlo in Naples. She commuted between the two cities to honor both engagements for several weeks. This "tour de force" won her great acclaim but had serious effects on her health. Shortly after she started withdrawing little by little from the stage until her complete retirement in 1961, aged only 30.

Cerquetti sang relatively little in America. Her debut there was at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1955, as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, opposite Jussi Björling, with Tullio Serafin conducting.

Cerquetti made only two commercial recordings, both for Decca in 1957, a recital of Italian opera arias and a complete La Gioconda with Mario del Monaco, Ettore Bastianini, Giulietta Simionato, Cesare Siepi. Among her "pirated" recordings is a 1958 Aida, from Mexico City, with Flaviano Labò, Nell Rankin, Cornell MacNeil, Fernando Corena and Norman Treigle. The Rome Norma of 1958 with Franco Corelli is also available. In 1996 she sang and talked in Jan Schmidt-Garre's film Opera Fanatic. A recording of Don Carlo from Florence 1956 featuring Cerquetti as Elizabetta is available from Melodram.

Direct download: Cerquetti_Pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:32pm EDT

Fidelio from Vienna, 1953

Highlights from an exciting Fidelio from Vienna, 1953 under Herbert Von Kareajan. It features Martha Moedl, Wolfgang Windgassen, Josef Metternich, Otto Edelmann (Rocco), Rudolf Schock, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, and Hans Braun (Don Fernando.)  (65 min.)

Direct download: Fidelio_Moedl_Pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

  Not the typical Lucia voice (like Callas), but very exciting!!!!!  By the way, anyone who can guess all her fake names and the real one, I will send you all my Maria Malibran tapes.(WHO???)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:21am EDT

 Oslo Norway recent La Boheme.....Do not ask what it means!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Good singers anyway,but.......)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:42am EDT


OK......My buddy James Jorden (La Cieca) repaired the podcast problem, and they will be back tomorrow..Thanks for your patience!!!!!  I will still provide video clips as a bonus!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

One of my favorite operas. King is superb here, and I recommend this opera to all.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:20am EDT

Funny joke on Birgit Nilsson during the Solti Gotterdamerung recording session....From the documentary,"The Golden Ring."

Category:general -- posted at: 1:01am EDT

Anna has such a great personality, to accompany a fabulous voice. How many singers today would be great in any era? LUV HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

In the event you are new to this site, here is a repeat of the wildest stage happening we ever taped. I think it might have been a jealous diva, since it took place at Ashley Putnam's City Opera debut in 1977. When I told the tenor, Henry Price, that I was there,he said, "So was I!!!"...How did he go on?????

   There were many rumors, but we really never found out what this was all about,but at least we have this for posterity. I covered some music classes once, and the kids made me play this every day!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:31pm EDT

Born October 12, 1935, Pavarotti remains as one of the greatest singers in opera history. Yes, the "hype' could be a bit much, but let us remember the sensational voice!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm EDT

   Glorious Elisir tonight.....How often do we have FOUR singers of top quality all together??They rarely can do it with Verdi, but the cast tonight was simply a delight. Polenzani,Netrebko, Kwiecen, Maestri.    I had a ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (but did not see the Yankees win)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45am EDT

 The gorgeous basso voice of Met basso Morris Robinson. I saw him last night in Trovatore, and he was superb. Do not ever mess with him, as he is an ex-football star!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:03pm EDT

In blessed memory of the great Leyla Gencer, born October 10, 1928.How we adored her...she sang a HUGE repertory.Yes,she could sometimes be variable, but in all, one of the greats. I always said that if there was no Callas, "She would be Callas."

Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT

Echoes of Cornell MacNeil!!! Fabulous sound last night as De Luna..What a true Verdi baritone, and you know jaded me!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

Nice to make new diva discoveries!!  Last night Mme.Giannasstasio  sang a superb Leonora. It is a big,opulent tone and she was superb in her fioratura. I would like more chest voice (You know me.) I really loved her and hope we  hear more of her!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Hi again,

     In my effort to acquaint you with some of the special voices in the history of the vocal art, especially until my podcasts return, I am presenting one of the most remarkable voices, Eva Turner.This legendary soprano had a steely voice that could probably be heard across the English Channel.   Enjoy!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:46am EDT

 Imagine being able to sing this aria (1993) at 83....One of the most incredible artists in opera history.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT

 My  darling friend of over 35 years and the last of the great Verismo sopranos gives a New York Master Class Wednesday at the Manhatten School of Music. Diana's classes are so interesting and vibrant. I have rarely seen singers in my life I love more.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:32pm EDT

  I was in the Met lobby last week, and i heard this SOUND!!! I got so upset, thinking someone was being murdered....and look what happened to me.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

NO MEZZO I ever heard thrills me more than the sensational Ebe Stignani, who sings the Don Fatale in a live 1938 San Francisco broadcast..and she never came to the Met...Well,what else is new??Want a list???

Category:general -- posted at: 1:22am EDT

A sample of the Borgia I just reviewed. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

  I showed you Elizabeth DeShong in my review page of the Borgia. Here is the young marvelous tenor, Michael Fabiano, whom I mentioned in my review. He is truly superb!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

  Dear buddies and buddiettes,

    I wish to review the SF Lucrezia Borgia broadcast, although as I have said a few times (??),it was on RADIO,not in my physical presence. The most telling element was that I made three marvelous discoveries in one show, Vitalij Kowaljow,Michael Fabiano, and Elizabeth DeShong.
     Fabiano,who appeared in the telecast called "The Audition," has a gorgeous lyric tenor voice. His style reminds me of Alfredo Kraus, but with a more glowing tone. I look forward to his Cassio, and hopefully a lot more. His Gennaro (here comes the pun) was not "generic" as many singers today seem to be.
    Elizabeth DeShong, in the lower register (my favorite area of the female voice), reminded me of a kind of  a lyric "Clara Butt" or maybe a lyric Obratsova. The voice is so exciting, and she gets up to high C easily.
     Vitalij Kowaljow was the STAR, as far as I believe; his is a gorgeous bass-baritone voice, and I also liked the decorations in the repeat of the Act One cabaletta. (unlike Chaliapin, who sings the most eccentric descending phrases imaginable in "La mia vendetta."), Did he not appear as Wotan in the Kirov visit?
       Renee has always posed an enigma for me; in music with "quiet orchestration" as in Arabella act one or Traviata act two, the lady is sublime. Today,had I been there as i was at Carnegie several years ago for Borgia, I would not have been as impressed, since her voice lacks enough squillo to rise over an orchestra. On the broadcast she was thrilling, and at least there is ONE diva around today who is not afraid to sound like Lina Bruna Rasa in the low register.(well,sort of.). Although she avoided taking a high E flat in the final cabaletta, she sang beautifully and with her usual enthusiasm. I only  wish she was more than a "radio voice" in the Met.
        I hope to hear more of my three "discoveries' real soon. I feel warm and fuzzy when I realize that there are still some fine artists with us who can excite jaded old me.                     
                                                               Lovingly,   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

I wish the Met would be able to stage the Gotterdamerung finale as beautifully as this from Valencia under Zubin Mehta....yes, I know, her costume is not really flattering (She is Jennifer Wilson.)..but look, who said you need Lindsay Lohan as Brunnhilde...who would probably steal the Ring anyway.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am EDT

Here is more of Marco Berti. Please remember that you must BE THERE to totally appreciate what SQUILLO is. I almost fell out of my seat last night... I think Berti is now the ONLY "heroic tenor" for Manrico,Radames,Calaf, etc. You know how fussy I am....but I really found him special.(and just spent money on Amazon.)

Category:general -- posted at: 11:34pm EDT

Not since the old "Corelli days" have I been as thrilled as I was last evening when Marco Berti sang Calaf in the Turandot. The voice is brilliant from middle to top;the SQUILLO in that tone made me CWAZY!! I also so much appreciate what he wrote to me after i wrote to him.(Below). We need him so much!!!!

Mio caro signore....BRAVISSSSSIMO per Calaf.... Ho visto non importa Lei e MAGNIFICO...Io gridava molto ieri sera..Carlo Handelman Lei segue la tradizioni dei tenori SQUILLANTI!!!!!!!

Marco Berti
7 hours ago
Marco Berti

Dear Charles, I was very touched to read his words, I have always tried in all the years of his career to give my best and my best, sometimes I could sometimes not. What you are saying is the culmination of a lot of sacrifices and hard work, Thank you very much for giving me understood and supported. Grazie davvero. Marco

Category:general -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

I think this will amuse you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

I know this is not operatic (unless it is two tenors fighting over a cab ride to the Met), but I wanted you who live in so many countries to understand the great maturity and kindness that New York businessmen exhibit.

However, do not let this clip prevent you from visiting our beautiful city..just wear armor!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:41am EDT

He left us too soon. Wunderlich, born Sept.26, 1930 was to have made Met debut, but tragically died, and we are still not totally sure of the circumstances. This was a great man and we treasure his memory;no wonder Piotr Beczala loves him...there are many similarities.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

Until I get those delightful podcasts going again, I am giving you some special material most of you have heard, but it is worth a repeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

 This familiar clip of my all-time favorite singer is re-played for anyone who might have been living on another planet, where they never heard of a pianissimo!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

Opening Met Elisir tonight with the great Annna Netrebko. I know it will be a great success.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

 This GREAT singer can do comedy as well sing some of the most difficult opera roles!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm EDT

Those of you who do not see some of the "innovative" productions of operas might be shocked at this Calixto Bieito concept of Parsifal. I wonder if I "enjoy" some of these productions because of  sheer "entertainment" or do I find some real value in the concept. Some of what we call "Eurotrash" can be quite interesting, but some of the productions are so bizarre, I cannot understand what the director is doing.

   The excellent tenor, Andrew Richards, makes his Met debut this season as Don Jose. I wrote him that I enjoyed his Parsifal a lot, even the singing.(gggg).

NOTE: Some NUDITY AT THE END!!!! ( Andrew's END)

Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm EDT

JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    This is the La Puma Opera and now you know why we ppppp'd in our pantaloni..Note the tenor does not know how to sing the vowel "A" but instead sings " IIIII". Is there anyone out there who would be able to contain their laughter???Note,whoever was taping had trouble not getting totally hysterical. I must say, we did have fun, in a sick way, but remember, they were SERIOUS!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:25pm EDT

   For me, the most gorgeous voice in the middle register I EVER heard, was Daniele Barioni. He did not last long, but he thrilled us from his debut in 1957 in Tosca,Boheme, Butterfly,Fanciulla,Traviata,etc. In Rondine, he is joined by PRIME Anna Moffo, who is simply exquisite here. This music is some of Puccini's greatest.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

The audience was so ASTOUNDED at Cornell MacNeil's last note of the Ernani aria, they screamed before it ended. It was awesome.He was born on Sept.24, 1922, and we lost him recently. I always thought Warren's top was huge...MacNeil's top was SCARY!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

How sad that Ettore Bastianini, born September 24, 1922, passed away of throat cancer so young. He had a fabulous,dark voice and was a premiere baritone in opera history.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

You do not have to sing Otello to be a great great tenor.Born Sept.24, 1927, Kraus is a perfect example of "How to sing." This is an adored man!!!!!   Una leyenda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

My dear ma used to love Nicolai Gedda's rendition of "Dein ist mein ganzes herz," so at a little party, accompanied by my dear late buddy,Bob Fazio, I decided to try it..with a really inappropriate high A flat at the end.(but look, I am a big HAM!). This is several eons ago, but you know it is still there...but I do not intend to make a comeback.  BE KIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:54pm EDT

This was the very first Met telecast, and Scotto was on the "chubby" side(she didn't like that)..but who cared??? She was treated badly at times, but as we listen to her and what she does with words, coloring the voice,etc...she emerges as one of the very last of the "verismo" sopranos.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

Yes, he was a nervous wreck(with that wife!!!!) and could drive us crazy..but NO ONE could thrill more than this man!!!! I saw him 40 times and I will never forget him.Rest in Peace, Franco!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

 My latest discovery!! How does he do it??? Really an  amazing talent, and when you have an artist like this, opera companies can revive rare works!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

A DISCOVERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Michael Spyres has a range from low N to high Z......I will put a few more clips on of this amazing man!!!! They should revive operas just for him!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

 Sometimes a singer comes along who reminds you of the great artists you have heard for so many years. Such an artist is the Polish tenor, Piotr Beczala (pronounced "Bechawa"). I have already played material with Piotr, one of the sweetest guys you could meet, but I wanted to show you something I treasure in the "Nicolai Gedda' tradition. Piotr also loves Gedda, and there are some elements of Gedda, and another tenor Piotr admired, Fritz Wunderlich in his voice, but he is still a totally unique artist.

     I note that at this moment,there are 2454 downloads from Poland, and I am sure he is a celebrity there, as he is throughout the opera world. I hope you enjoy my 2012 favorite singer.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

A Curator?????

When I told a friend I do not always know what you might enjoy, he told me that since there is so much out there, I am a kind of "curator" as if I decided to show various paintings in a museum. However, you can still send me comments and suggestions to: Hopefully, the regular podcasts will return soon, but meanwhile, I seem to be able to discover (by racking my brain), what might please you.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:55pm EDT

Anyone living in a country where they never heard of the great hilarious Anna Russell, I present her phenomenal Ring Analysis...The best line is, "I'm not making this up,you know." She is a LEGEND!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:07am EDT

    I bet you thought you would get away without hearing my darling Marisa Galvany in the Bolena. This is 1974 from City Opera, but when we did it she held the last E flat for about an hour.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

Since I am the only one here who "knows where to go" to find things you will love, especially until the podcasts return, here is another treat for you. This is one of my favorite scenes, and I am very nostalgic about it, since I sang Rochefort in Bolena with Marisa Galvany and Sam Ramey.To rehearse with Galvany and look down her throat as those fabulous D's and E Flats came forth was a thrill for me.  Have fun..but do not try this at home!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

In the temporary absence of my podcasts, I offer you some repeats of the favorite selections you have enjoyed.This Lotte Lehmann recording makes me CRAZY!!! I rank it way up there with the most ravishing recordings i ever heard. ENJOY!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

One of the VERY FEW divas who "lets it all hang out" is Lauren Flanigan, one of the most exciting and dedicated artists. She not only a great artist, but does amazing charity work for the poor, and I just wish I had seen her even more in her great City Opera days; however,I did happily catch her in Macbeth, Mother of us All, Atilla, Vanessa, and Tote Stadt, and was always thrilled with her total committment to the role. Here is a scene from Nabucco, and I know you will like it.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

 Despite all my stupid and often insulting Rita Hunter jokes, she was one of my favorite singers..Brilliant tone, great feeling, pianissimi,chest voice..Last wonderful Aida and Brunnhilde i saw. I really recommend the ENOC Ring, if you can take Goodall's slow slow tempi.  She died really too soon.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:46pm EDT

Her famous long hair once got caught in Del Monaco's boot in Samson et Delilah..We loved dear Blanche!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT

Blanche Thebom (September 19, 1915 – March 23, 2010[1]) was an American operatic mezzo-soprano, voice teacher, and opera director. She was part of the first wave of American opera singers that had highly successful international careers.[2] In her own country she had a long association with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City which lasted 22 years. Opera News stated, "An ambitious beauty with a velvety, even-grained dramatic mezzo, Thebom was a natural for opera: she commanded the stage with the elegantly disciplined hauteur of an old-school diva, relishing the opportunity to play femmes du monde such as Marina in Boris Godunov, Herodias and Dalila."[3]

While Thebom sang a broad repertoire which encompassed everything from Handel and Mozart to Verdi and Debussy, she was best known for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner. Two Wagner roles with which she was particularly associated were Fricka in Die Walküre and Brangaene in Tristan und Isolde.[4] She notably sang the latter role in a famous 1952 recording made in London with Kirsten Flagstad, Ludwig Suthaus, and conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. In addition to several other recordings, she also appeared in two feature films during her career: Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944) and, with Mario Lanza, The Great Caruso (1951).[5]

After retiring from the stage in 1967, Thebom worked as an opera director in Atlanta for 6 years. She then taught singing both privately and on the music faculties of the University of Arkansas and San Francisco State University. She also co-founded the Opera Arts Training Program of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and served on the board of the Metropolitan Opera for nearly four decades.[3]

We LOVED HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

There are examples of either arias, phrases, or even a single WORD that exemplify the great talent of an artist; note the way Mme.Malfitano PLUNGES into this music.There are so few today who can do this. Lauren Flanigan, Renata Scotto, Diana Soviero,etc.KNEW how to do this..I love this scene!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

 I guess that I am guilty, on the Jewish New Year, for posting this, but look....I did light a candle for Sue's voice. You know I have posted her great high E flat in the Aida I was in, but did not realize what a GESCHREI it was until I saw the tape. I was too busy singing the RE to pay attention.

    If you happen to be one of those people who are not into S/M, do NOT listen!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

  HEY!!! Despite his not being at the Met this year... I will attend Joe Calleja's recital at the New York Winery on Oct.11 at 8 P.M.  I am glad to see Joe..he is missed...but he is singing 67 Otellos in Italy so he has no time for us.....Look forward to this with our great guy!!!!!   Here is the song from his new album..If only Lanza had his style!!!!

Still awaiting new software to get those podcasts back. Thanks for your patience.(I have lost mine!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

  In my efforts to select material that is special to me (and to you), while the podcasts have to be delayed a while longer, I am selecting some material you will like (and in some cases have heard). Remember that I seem to know what you like, no matter if you have Youtube or not, with its jillions of videos.

    I am sure that you have thought of certain "moments' that sum up the greatness of a particular artist, and here is my "Franco moment," with the fabulous High C on the "Eh" vowel which drives me (and the Scala audience) totally crazy!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm EDT

  The magnificent Tatiana Troyanos, who passed away too soon. She was one of the truly great singers.Born Sept.12, 1938, she will always be missed, but never forgotten.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

My  friend is off to La Fenice to hear what Verdi originally wrote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Yma Sumac had a range of 587 octaves..well,almost....She was born on Sept.10, 1927...she gets MADDDDDD here!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm EDT

A very happy birthday (Sept.8) to dear Linda Strummer, wife of another darling person, Peter Strummer.  I wish we had her around today!!!!!!!!! (well,she is "around' on Facebook)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EDT

TRAGIC death at only age 33, Seinemeyer was a great singer and was born on September 5, 1895. What a loss to opera!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:38pm EDT

Catching up on birthdays...The GREAT Rene Pape, born September 4, 1964. I hope someday he will do Wotan.This man is absolutely a sensation!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT


      When my computer buddy returns from seeing Verdi's original Traviata at La Fenice, I will be able to do podcasts again.We had to re-install things and so there will be a delay.Meanwhile,I will send you some videos.

     Thanks for your PACENZA!!!!!!

                                                        Carlitos  ( a name given me by Rolando Villazon)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm EDT

  Our dear Facebook buddy, Larry Brownlee, who has one of the most amazing vocal techniques in our opera universe. He is also an avid sports fan and a "regular dude." We love him so much!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:34am EDT

Regina's 90th!!!!

            My dear opera-loving friends,

                    It is a special occasion indeed when we are fortunate to celebrate the life and career of a great artist. On August 30th, Regina Resnik will celebrate her 90th birthday, and I invite you to pay tribute to one of the great icons in the world of music.
                     Whether or not one has personal knowledge of an artist's reputation as a friend or colleague, those of you who are devoted opera aficionados have studied the careers of various important artists, and appreciate their immense contributions in the world of music.
       Mme.Resnik is a totally unique figure in the world of music, having successfully achieved highest praise in a double career as both soprano and mezzo. In addition, her world-wide recognition as teacher, coach, filmmaker, television producer ( the popular "Regina Resnik Presents" series.) and her highly praised Broadway appearances in "Cabaret" and   "A Little Night Music" are examples of her great versatility; in addition, the vast number of opera productions she has directed, along with the aforementioned achievements, have resulted in having her stand totally alone in the world of opera. I am sure that those of you who are well-informed as to the achievements of various artists will understand my praise.
         Mme.Resnik's many vocal achievements are well-documented in both commercial and live recordings of such roles as Dame Quickly, Eboli, Amneris, Klytaemnestra, Carmen, Sieglinde and Fricka, and a vast number of both soprano and mezzo roles from stages in opera theatres world-wide.
          How refreshing it is to be able to thrill to a role she "owned' like Klytaemnestra, that mean lady in Elektra, and then cause utter hilarity in the audience at the Rudolf Bing Farewell Gala with her "Chacun a Bing's Gout!"
            I hereby declare August 30th "Regina Resnik Day" for all to celebrate with me, and all of our love and best wishes to one of music's greatest treasures.
                                          With all my love and appreciation,


Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

Now LOOK!  I know you sort of like me, but PLEASE do not stop belonging to this site, just because I wanted to show you something of what we saw at the La Puma Opera Company when we thought opera was serious.

    Note how the tenor sings all of his high vowels on "III" ("Tosca' becomes "TEEEEESCA" in the aria. Also, how unkind of the guy taping to keep laughing..I NEVER laughed at La Puma....I held it in until I ran hysterical out of the place nd almost had a serious accident....

     I wonder if,in your city, you have anything like this..but please be KIND to these people who just wanted to perform. OH!!I wish we had them around today. There a few decent singers (the Scarpia) but essentially it was a RIOT!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:25pm EDT

  Continuing my 90th birthday Regina Resnik tribute, here is a role that she performed in  such a way that the audience was absolutely riveted.(It did not hurt to have Nilsson and Rysanek in the show.) Her famous scary laughter is not heard in the film as it was at the Met. This is the film with Gladys Kuchta.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT

It may be in English, and I prefer to hear "Reverenza" from Regina. She OWNED this role and Geraint Evans was also wonderful. Remember, this is her 90th birthday week, so you will get a bit more of Regina.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

Paul Plishka was born on August 28, 1941. This video tribute to him at a Met Tosca on the occasion of his retirement after a Met career of  45 years is surely well-deserved. When I made my opera debut as Marchese/Melitone in 1960, young Paul was the Guardiano. As good as he was, we never could imagine that he would enjoy such an incredibly long and successful career, despite several personal family tragedies. I am so happy for dear Paul, a wonderful artist and lovable guy.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:47pm EDT

  In advance of dear Regina's 90th birthday on August 30, here is a non-operatic treasure!!!!!!! She could do EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

   There is so little of Virginia Zeani on video that is live, I thought you might enjoy a sample of her great work. What a thrill for me to be able to learn first hand about some of the great singers with whom Virginia worked. These older artists serve as valuable links to the past, and there are precious few of them left. I know you will enjoy Virginia.

I expect my computer expert soon, so you can again enjoy my podcasts, but i know you like the videos.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:07pm EDT

    Hi all,
         On Tuesday, August 28, we will celebrate the birthday of my all-time favorite tenor of those whom I saw live..Richard Tucker, born in 1913, 99 years ago.  Yes, I loved the excitement of Corelli and del Monaco, but like caruso, Tucker could excell in both lyric and dramatic roles, and he was one of the most consistent performers in my experience. Quoting Regina Resnik in an Opera News article, "He left his blood all over the stage!"
          When Tucker "hooked' into his passaggio, the effect was absolutely amazing;he had a ringing top that echoed throughout the house, and once Carreras was heard to have remarked, regarding the B flat in Ballo before the last scene,that "the note remained on stage even when he left it."
       We know of the negative criticism of Tucker, as he could chop a phrase, let out a Cantorial sob (Gigli sobbed also), and sometimes he might be considered 'over the top"( something we WISH FOR today), but who is perfect? Also,some people do not realize that he could sing a gorgeous legato line (one of my examples is Act two Chenier at "Credo al destino.")
          As Alvaro in Forza, at the end of the "Sleale" duet, he would drop the sword, come to the prompter's box, and let out a mighty high B natural that I can still hear in my ear!  He was a moving Samson, a cute Ferrando, a brilliant Dick Johnson, and had he not passed away too soon, he would have lasted for many more years. His heart condition did not stop him for giving 1000% every night, and I recall how George Jellinek wrote him that he should ease up, but that was NOT what Tucker was all about.
            On his birthday, let us remember one of the greatest singers in opera history and a beloved family man as well.



Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

What words  are adequate to describe the remarkable genius, Leonard Bernstein, born Aug. 25, 1918?  Yes, sometimes he needed to be "choreographed."  A good friend of mine worked with him (I did not say "under"),and said that he would be conducting "even if the roof fell in," such was his involvement in the music. He surely contributed so much to the world of music!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

 August 25, 1940 was the birthday of one of the GREATEST artists I have ever heard!! Jose Van Dam for me is an ICON in the music world.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

  How about a little "goo," as Dmitri and Jonas sing this gorgeous Pearl Fishers duet!!!  Nice to know there are still singers like this around today!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT

  If I had to choose ONE commercial recording in my experience that thrills me the most, it is the Lotte Lehmann "Ich ging zu ihm" from Korngolds' "Die Wunder der Heliane."

    I recall that Rise Stevens, at one of our club meetings, described how she as a young student saw Lehmann as Eva in Die Meistersinger. It seemed that Rise was almost in a kind of trance over what she beheld. How wonderful that she became Octavian to Lehmann's Marshallin!

    As I have said, in the absence of my podcasts for now, I will regale you with some treasured material. I thank you for your patience!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

You have heard me praise my friend Ta'u Pupu'a whom I "discovered" when we sang in Rigoletto together several years ago;as good as he sounds here, he has come along to the point where is has been engaged for difficult roles like Bacchus in Ariadne,Radames,etc....and you already have heard samples of his work. Since Saturday, Aug.25 is his birthday, I wanted to present this clip.It is my pleasure to know this great guy.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Here is Schubert's "An die Musik," as sung by the magnificent Janet Baker, born August 21, 1933. I heartily recommend you purchase her recording of Elgar's "Sea Pictures," which ranks so very high in my "desert island" collection.  I regret I never saw her live, because she is a sublime artist.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am EDT

 To keep you all interested while I await my repairman to fix my podcasts, I have been sending you some videos that you may enjoy. You would not normally know what to look for on Youtube, but since I have some ideas as to what you might enjoy, I can pick items.

   Handelman is the King on the left of the group. I was so busy singing my part that I did not realize, until I saw the tape, that the great diva Sue Hassell thought she was Maria Callas, and hit an E flat that might cause all animals in the neighborhood to come running. It is what we call in Italian a "GESCHREI!!"

    Make sure no little animals or small children are in the room when you play this. I have a few other "Perle Nere," which is the Italian expression (Black Pearls) for opera disasters. I sincerely hope you enjoy (??) some of my selections in the meantime.

    Do not forget that many small groups have some fine singers..but not this one.(Except of course, ME!)

Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm EDT

How wonderful to see dear Piotr Beczala on the cover of the new Opera News, with a beautiful article about his career...not to be missed by those who appreciate what great artistry and of course beautiful singing is all about. I have been singing his praises ever since I first heard him at the Met, and I am glad they chose to highlight his career which is surely becoming one of the most successful in the opera world.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

InIn anticipation of Regina Resnik's 90th birthday on August 30, I present her hilarious take-off on Orlovsky's aria, which brought down the house at the Farewell Gala of Rudolf Bing. There are some "private references" that you might not understand, but really the audience just cracked up. My favorite moment is the way she says ,"But ask Corelli TWWWWWice!."

     A friend and I ,who know Regina for over 50 years, spent the day yesterday with her, and it was a joyous reunion. You will hear much more on her birthday.

I hope these videos are pleasant until I get the podcast problem solved.!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:41pm EDT

Let us celebrate the birthday of Miliza Korjus on Aug.18 (1907.) This is a perfect example of "vocal camp" and be sure no little children or animals are near the speakers at the end, and you will see why!!! She made films and was a well-known personality, but no one ever told her what "vibrato" was. I must tell you that most people crack up at the end!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

  I never know what videos on Youtube you have seen, but I hope that perhaps some of my videos are new to you...and as entertaining as this one.  Birgit enjoyed it!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:18am EDT

Born August 16, 1951 , Rolandi STEALS THE SHOW at a City Opera Cenerentola, when they added an aria we never hear. It is a RIOT!!!!!

  Remember, until the podcasts are repaired, you will get some videos to entertain you..besides, I can rest my voice.(Aren't you lucky!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:02am EDT

Yes, I love to go to the opera..BUT I do know what we will never experience again. (This is in the regular key,by the way).    LORD!!!!! Do not tell me there is anything like this today!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

The dear unforgettable Renata Tebaldi, who filled our young lives on and off stage with the most beautiful loving personality and great artistry one could imagine. I miss her so!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

Carmen Melis, teacher of Renata Tebaldi, was born Aug.16, 1885. Here is an example of her work, and she certainly had a fabulous pupil.

  I am having some upload problems, so until I have solved them, I will regale you with some videos to keep you out of trouble.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT


The first commercial recording of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, featuring Camilla Williams and  Lawrence Winters in the title roles, with Avon Long as Sportin' Life, Inez Matthews as Serena, June McMechen as Clara, and Warren Coleman as Crown. The conductor is Lehman Engel. (60 min.)

Direct download: Porgy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:11pm EDT

The "Tackle Tenor."

  My dear friend Ta'u Pupu'a, a native of Tonga, and former pro-football player. He "tackles" opera like the star he was at the sport. His career is blossoming, and here are some rehearsal excerpts from Tosca,Carmen, Turandot, and the terribly difficult Mahler "Das Lied von der Erde." We wish him the best as he embarks on an exciting career.(and I knew him "when.)   (18 min.)

Direct download: Tau_Reh..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

Leontyne Price's Opera Debut as Tosca

The opera debut, on NBC TV in 1955, of Leontyne Price, in an abridged English version of Tosca. This historic performance features David Poleri, Josh Wheeler, and a newcomer named Thomas Stewart as Angelotti. The conductor is Peter Herman Adler.    (72 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Price_TV.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

Il Tabarro

An Exciting Il Tabarro from 1946 under Cesare Sodero, with Licia Albanese, Lawrence Tibbett, Frederick Jagel, Margaret Harshaw, Alessio de Paolis, and Virgilio Lazzari. This is followed by some 1970 scenes from Il Tabarro from Florence, with Magda Olivero, Aldo Bottion, and Giulio Fioravanti,under the direction of Gaetano Delogu.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Tabarro_Licia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:22am EDT

A Thrilling Rigoletto

From 1967 under Lamberto Gardelli, a wonderful Rigoletto starring Cornell MacNeil,Nicolai Gedda, Roberta Peters, Bonaldo Giaiotti, and Belen Amparan. You will love this!! (72 min.)

Direct download: Rigoletto_1967_Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

  You know by now what I think of Piotr Beczala and Anna Netrebko, artists who would be accepted as magnificent in ANY opera era. I just wanted to show anyone who may not have seen today's telecast of Manon why my eyes filled with tears!!!! To my "jaded' ears, this was a great triumph, and I hope you enjoy it.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

ELEKTRA Hamburg/Rome

  The sound track of the 1969 Hamburg Elektra film under Leopold Ludwig, featuring Gladys Kuchta, Regina Resnik, Ingrid Bjoerner, and Hans Sotin. This is followed by the Elektra/Klytaemnestra scene with Martha Moedl and inge Borkh from Rome 1965, under Antal Dorati (71 min.)

Direct download: Elektra_Kuchta.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

Remember VHS???

 You know how much stuff I have laying around, including about 2000 VHS tapes.(Mostly opera). If anyone wishes to receive my free VHS catalogues, let me know at and include name and address.

  I would say $ 3.00 each, but you must be able to pick them up by car or bring a heavy diva to carry them, and you probably would be living in or near New York City.

 What a shame these things are just vegetating, but that's technology!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT


My dear friends,

        At this juncture I feel that the fact we had to omit the comment section,owing to a large number of annoying ads, is really detrimental. Therefore if you wish to comment on any podcast and/or make suggestions for future ones, please E-mail me at

Ustedes pueden escribir en espanol.

Vous pouvez ecrire en francais.

Voi potete scrivere in italiano.

   (But that is all I can handle and forget Latin because I forgot it all.)

                                    I really want your feedback!!!!       


Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

  I almost weep every time I think of what this great man was to music. He was only 48 at his passing. He was born with the kind of heart and soul that one cannot obtain. Every breath he takes thrills me to death,and let us bless his memory.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

Il Trovatore from Paris, 2003

A thrilling Trovatore from Paris 2003 under Maurizio Benini. Featured are Roberto Alagna, Sondra Radvanovsky,Dolora Zajick, Stefano Antonuccci, and Orlin Anastassov (Ferrando.) ( 71 min.)

  Just a little postscript:

        I used to tell Mme.Zajick that is so RARE in our usually "pretty" approach to opera, and that she is a throwback to a Stignani, a Barbieri,etc. She seemed to understand my feelings in regard to what she does want of her own students, and had me do a "Handelmanian Master Class" in which I played recordings illustrating style,emotion, etc.....I cudda beena star!! (But I cannot read music.)

Direct download: Trovatore_Radvan..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm EDT

Giuseppe Taddei in Simon Boccanegra

A truly glorious Simon Boccanegra from Monaco, 1966, featuring the kind of singing we adore. Giuseppe Taddei, Giorgio Tozzi, Antonietta Stella (Toni Starr), Gianfranco Cecchele, and Ivan Sardi. The conductor is Giuseppe Patane.    (66 min.)

Direct download: Boccanegra_Taddei.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

Get out your Pavarotti towels!!!!! Diana is absolutely remarkable here. This is the kind of singing  and emotion that a Muzio, a Favero, a Zeani, a Scotto expressed.

 I assume that most of you get Youtube in your country, but I can pick out certain videos that I think special. Did you know that Youtube now is able to show you complete operas????

  If you have any comments, requests,etc,please E-mail me at Placido21@aol.comand I will try to make you happy.   

As ever your friend Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu (Met Traviata this coming season) sounds beautiful..Funny..he just did COSI..where an Albanian is disguised as an Albanian...!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

July 27, 1915. Mario was the first singer i ever saw (Aida) when I was 15.My first impression was a set of white teeth coming toward me before "Celeste Aida." He gave 1000% of himself and we miss this brand of singing!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:09pm EDT

Anyone who has been living on another planet and never saw Mari Lyn can "enjoy" this example of her great art. Note that the Act Four letter is a perfect example of verismo Italian. Before I showed this to Diana Soviero, I told her, "You will never see anything like this." She replied, "Oh,maybe she can study with me!" Then I played Mari and Diana almost fell off my couch!!!!

     We love Mari Lyn and if you go to Youtube you will be able to sample  more of her great art, but keep small children and animals away from the screen, lest they become traumatized forever. NOTE: Great Italian translations!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Turandot from La Scala, 1964

There is just nothing that compares to  Nilsson/Corelli in Turandot. I saw several and as I say "the applause and cheers never stopped in 50 years." This is from 1964 La Scala under Gianandrea Gavazzeni with Gallina Vishnevskaya and Nicola Zaccaria. ( 71 min.)

Direct download: Turandot_Scala_1964.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

La Rondine with Virginia Zeani

A tender performance of Puccini's "La Rondine" with Virginia Zeani, Luciano Saldari, Gabriella Ravazzi, Angelo Marchiandi (Prunier), and Angelo Romero (Rambaldo.) This is from Lucca in 1971 under Nino Verchi.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Rondine_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Olivia Stapp in Cavalleria Rusticana

Another  of my "diva buddies," Olivia Stapp, mezzo-turned-soprano, in a Cavalleria from 1978, with Giorgio Merighi and Matteo Manuguerra, under Riccardo Chailly. You know by now that I try to introduce people to singers who did not make 100 recordings!!!!  (65 min.)

Direct download: Cav_Stapp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

  The new Opera News features bios of young artists, and one is the magnificent Latonia Moore, who stepped in last year and made her Met debut as Aida on the broadcast. She brought down the house at Carnegie in Puccini's "Edgar" two years ago, and just go to Youtube to sample more of her art, and remember that I have heard them all!  ((I even dated Melba.)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

   Even in 1973 we can tell what a fabulous voice this was. "Pippo" was born on July 24, 1921 and as I have stated many times, he destroyed a fabulous voice by singing heavier repertory and forgetting what a passaggio is. However, perhaps in the history of tenor singing, he would rank way up there for an incredibly gorgeous natural voice.  Rest in Peace!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

  My darling "big sister," Virginia Zeani, one of the greatest sopranos...70 plus roles...and a legend!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:38am EDT

  Piotr is much more than a "singer." He has the depth of emotion, the love of the vocal line, and all the elements that constitute great singing!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

  Susan Graham, one of opera's finest artists, celebrates her birthday on July23. Here is Mme.Graham in a scene from a modern production of Ariadne. Happy birthday to a great star!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

 Diana Soviero in a scene from Act Two of mme.Butterfly. She combines the great voice with the kind of emotion of a Muzio, a Zeani, an Albanese. Enjoy!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

Luisa Miller from Turino

An exciting Luisa Miller featuring the young Jose Carreras and the young Katia Ricciarelli from Turino in the 1970's. The conductor is Fernando Previtali and the great Renato Bruson is Miller. Count Walter is sung by Mario Rinaudo and Federica is sung by Stella Silva. (72 min.)

Direct download: Luisa_Miller_Turino.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

Il Trittico with Beverly Sills

From 1967, the only time Beverly Sills sang the Puccini Trittico. In Tabarro she is joined by a young Placido Domingo and Seymour Schwartzman; in Suor Angelica the wonderful Frances Bible is the Principessa.(Another superb artist who never got to the Met);In Gianni Schicchi we hear Norman Treigle,one of the greatest singers I ever heard, and Salvator Novoa. Julius Rudel is the conductor.

Even in 1967, there were decent tape recorders to preserve performances like this and we must be grateful to whomever recorded the one Sills Trittico.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Sills_Trittico.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT

Licia Albanese, a living legend, turns 103 on July 22, 2012. Last time we met, I walked (slowly) with her (she is tiny) and reminded her of how I loved her Boheme with Gigli. I don't meet legends every day!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

   "Novun can compare vith me,you know!!"  (and she vas right!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

Zinka Milanov in Song

  My most beloved favorite singer, Zinka Milanov, sings songs by Strauss,Schumann, Giordani,Bozidar Kunc (her brother and accompanist), Brahms, Hageman ,Bersa, and Pavcic.These are from 1955; following these are six Croatian songs, recorded in 1943.

  As a bonus, we hear the incredible rendition of the Trovatore aria, "D'amor sull'ali rosee," which got me hooked on Zinka at around age 14. I know you will enjoy these selections. (70 min.)

Direct download: Milanov_Songs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

What can I tell you??? The Wagner grandaughters are directing these new productions of poor Richard, who might be revived and say, "Gee, I never thought of that!!" As I say, on a certain "level"  (Twilight Zone??), the productions are entertaining, although I need someone to tell me what is going on and why???? I leave it to you to enjoy these productions in some way or totally get sick.  Have fun!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

Don Carlo with Eleanor Steber

In loving tribute to Eleanor Steber, one of opera's finest artists, I present a 1955 Don Carlo with Steber (Born July 17, 1914) and featuring Richard Tucker, Ettore Bastianini, Blanche Thebom, and Jerome Hines, under the direction of Kurt Adler  (72 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Steber.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

  I just realized that to see past podcasts,you look at the calendar on the right, and click on a date that is in blue. Otherwise you can scroll down only to a limited number of posts. I do hope you enjoy the new videos (even me)..Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT

 The magnificent Eleanor Steber was born on July 17, 1914. The performances I saw with her were unforgettable. Here is but one sample and I hope you think of her as affectionately as I do.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

  If I may, here is my Alvise with Jennifer Zarchy as Laura. It was a few years ago. I am NOT a bass, but considering I cannot read music..not too bad. If you want me to delete myself, let me know. If you are nice to me, I may someday put up my Monterone..Minestrone..MELITONE...  BE KIND!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT

 See how nice it is to give you a video sample after an audio podcast???? I hope you enjoy it and can hear that fabulous middle voice of Di Stefano (1975, Tokyo.)  Enjoy!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm EDT

Pippo sings Puccini

  Here are early recordings by the great Giuseppe "Pippo" Di Stefano from various Puccini operas, live and commercial. You know how angry I become when i hear how phenomenal he sounded and how he just let it all deteriorate. However, aside from that, this is glorious singing.  (65 min.)

Direct download: Di_Stefano_Puccini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm EDT

  Next year the Met sets their Rigoletto in 1960 La Vegas.( may be Frank Sinatra), so you see this stuff is coming over the ocean. I do not say it is not "fun" on one level, but do you approve of this new kind of "interpretation?" If you turned the sound off, could you recognize the opera????

Category:general -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

COME T'AMO!!!!!!

OK...This is all for tonight, but I had to practice doing this. I have heard Zinka's "note" 1000 times plus, and i still cannot believe it!!!!!

                                                         (I once had hair)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

 Before I fully matured (like now), I made up a scream tape to be played at parties. If you can guess most of them I will give you all my Andrea Bocelli tapes.  Have fun..but keep little kids and animals away when you play this!!!

                                          Addio, senza rancor.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT


Hello all,

     Many of us have known individuals who have changed our lives for the better, and, as we note on this site, I can be of some benefit to others, as a result of my buddy,James Jorden (La Cieca) helping me to create a site where opera lovers around the world can enjoy the great treasures that opera holds. 

     Today Mr.Jorden (in photo) helped me to add two new features. One is the ability to post videos directly from Youtube, and the other is to set up a hyperlink, so that on occasion you click a URL and go directly to other videos.  I hope this adds to your enjoyment of these podcasts, and if you have any special comments or requests, write me at

                                                My best


Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

The great Nicolai Gedda.

  NOTE: I now can put videos on this site!!!  Aren't you happy????????????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT

In memory of the late Charles Anthony, on his birthday, July 15, here is a sample of one of his master classes.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm EDT

Carlo Bergonzi sings his farewell at Carnegie Hall.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

Falstaff Rehearsals under Toscanini

From 1950, I bring you some rehearsal excerpts from Falstaff Act 2 under the great Arturo Toscanini. The cast includes Giuseppe Valdengo,Frank Guarrera,Theresa Stich-Randall, Cloe Elmo, Nan Merriman, Virgilio Assandri, and Norman Scott   (62 min.)

Direct download: Falstaff_Tosc.Reh.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

Magda Olivero sing Poulenc, etc.

The beloved Magda Olivero, now 102 years young, sings first Poulenc's "La Voix Humaine" from 1970 in Venice under Nicola Rescigno. This will be followed by a series of Ave Marias from several years:

Schubert( 1978), Bracesso ( 1979), Luzzi (1981), Saint-Saens (1985), and Leoncavallo ( 1987). The podcast concludes with a special arrangement,in 1994 (she was only 84), of an Ave Maria that is based on the Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo.  (72 min.) 

Magda is one of the great miracles of opera and when I speak to her every birthday and when friends of mine visit her in Milan, she speaks that gorgeous "Verism0" Italian, and is even more lucid than I am.

Magda Olivero (née Maria Maddalena Olivero, 25 March 1910) is a soprano of the verismo-school of singing. She was born in Saluzzo, Italy.

Olivero made her operatic debut in 1932 on Turin radio in Nino Cattozzo's (1886–1961) oratorio I misteri dolorosi.[1] She performed widely and increasingly successfully until 1941, when she married and retired from performing. She returned to the stage ten years later, at the request of Francesco Cilea, who asked her to sing the title role in his opera Adriana Lecouvreur.[2][3]

From 1951 until her final retirement, Olivero sang in opera houses around the world. Among her most renowned interpretations were the leading parts in Adriana Lecouvreur, Iris, Fedora, La bohème, La fanciulla del West, La traviata, La Wally, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Mefistofele, and Turandot (as Liù.)

She sang in Cherubini's Médée in Dallas in 1967 and in Kansas City in 1968.[4] In 1975, already an international star for four decades, she made her début at the Metropolitan Opera House in Tosca. Her last performances on stage were in March 1981 in the one-woman opera, La voix humaine by Poulenc.[5] Thus, her stage career ended at age 71 and spanned nearly 50 years. She continued to sing church music locally and, well into her eighties, made a recording of several arias. Recordings exist of many of her great performances of both full operas and arias and scenes.

Among her studio recordings are Turandot (as Liù, with Gina Cigna, for Cetra, 1938), Fedora (with Mario Del Monaco and Tito Gobbi, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli, for Decca, 1969) and highlights from Francesca da Rimini (with Del Monaco, conducted by Nicola Rescigno, for Decca, 1969). In 1993, she recorded, with piano accompaniment, Adriana Lecouvreur (with Marta Moretto as the Princesse de Bouillon); excerpts from this recording were published on the Bongiovanni label. At age 86, she performed Adriana's monologue in Jan Schmidt-Garre's film Opera Fanatic. She made occasional singing appearances into her nineties. Olivero celebrated her 102nd birthday on 25 March 2012.

Direct download: Olivero_Voix-Aves.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

For Carlo Bergonzi at 88!!  ERNANI

 In honor of the 88th birthday (July 13, 2012) of the great Carlo Bergonzi, one of the greatest singers of all-time, I present a 1962 Ernani with Leontyne Price, Cornell MacNeil, and Giorgio Tozzi, under Thomas Schippers. I could entitle Bergonzi's long career as "How to sing!!   68 min.

Direct download: Ernani_Bergonzi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48am EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana w.Elizabeth Rethberg

 From 1937, I bring you a Cavalleria Rusticana under Gennaro Papi, featuring the legendary Elizabeth Rethberg, Sydney Rayner, Carlo Morelli, Anna Kaskas (Mamma Lucia), and Irra Petina (Lola.). This is followed by commercial recordings of "Vissi d'arte" and "O Patria mia."  What a great artist she was!    (70 min.)

Direct download: Cavall.Reth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:02pm EDT

I Puritani With Virginia Zeani

  I never get to hear my own collection, so,for a change, I decided to listen to this wonderful 1957 Trieste Puritani under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli with Virginia Zeani, Mario Filippeschi, Aldo Protti, and Andrea Mongelli.

    I was "weaned" on those old Cetra operas with Filippeschi in some of them, and despite a voice that is not gorgeous, it sounds like ten trumpets. Virginia said it was not that big, but the top was sensational. I also add as a bonus, Elvira's aria and cabaletta from a 1956 Florence Puritani with Virginia.  Have fun!!  (72 min.)

Direct download: Puritani_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

Kirsten Flagstad in Die Walkure on her birthday, 2012.

  The miraculous Kirsten Flagstad, born July 11, 1895, is heard in her debut as Sieglinde with Paul Althouse (1935) and then in a scene from 1937 with Marjorie Lawrence as Brunnhilde in act three. Both are conducted by Arthur Bodansky. We then move to her Brunnhilde in 1940, with Lawrence as the Sieglinde, Lauritz Melchior and Julius Huehn, under Erich Leinsdorf.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Flagstad_Walk.Birth.2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Ebe Stignani, Born July 11, 1903..The GREATEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have played you a lot of my all-time favorite mezzo,Ebe Stignani.Here on her July 11 birthday, is some info.on her great career. Much adored in opera circles.

Born in Naples in 1903[1] (some sources cite her year of birth as 1904[2]), Ebe Stignani studied music for five years at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples, including piano and composition as well as singing. The date of her singing début is usually said to have been in 1925 at the San Carlo opera house in Naples, in the role of Amneris in Verdi's Aida, but there is evidence that she may have sung a number of roles in the previous year. In 1926, she was invited to La Scala Milan by Arturo Toscanini to sing the part of Princess Eboli in Verdi's Don Carlo, and Milan continued to be a principal stage for her during the rest of her career. She sang all of the major Italian mezzo-soprano roles, but also tackled Wagner's Ortrud (Lohengrin) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde), and Saint-Saëns's Dalila (Samson et Dalila) conducted by Victor de Sabata.

She appeared with the San Francisco Opera in 1938 and again in 1948 but never at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She toured extensively in North America in the years after World War II. Her first appearance at Covent Garden was in 1937, as Amneris, and she returned to London a number of times, notably in the role of Adalgisa in partnership with Maria Callas's Norma in 1952 and 1957. In the second of the two 1957 performances the thunderous and sustained applause after the duet Mira O Norma led conductor John Pritchard to encore that last part, apparently the only time she ever sang an encore in opera in her career. She also appeared frequently in South America, including the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and in many other European cities outside Italy including Paris, Madrid, and Berlin (where she sang in 1933, 1937 and 1941). Among the new roles which she created during her career were Cathos in Felice Lattuada's Le preziose ridicole (1929), and La Voce in Respighi's Lucrezia (1937).

She retired from the stage in 1958 after appearances in London (as Azucena) and in Dublin (as Amneris). Thereafter, she lived quietly in retirement at her home in Imola. She had married in 1941 and given birth to a son in 1944.

Stignani's voice was large and rich in tone, if sometimes hard-edged, and evenly balanced throughout its considerable range (extending from a low F to a high C). It had sufficient flexibility for her to undertake such roles as Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, but it was in noble, dramatic parts that she was heard to greatest effect. Critics often referred to the grandeur of her performances. By her own account, she was short and plump, and she admitted her shortcomings as an actress, but she achieved dramatic power and characterization through the quality of her voice and technique. She knew her priorities: speaking to Lanfranco Rasponi, she said, "I was given a magnificent gift, and in a way I am like a priestess, for I feel that it is my responsibility to keep the flame lit in the best possible manner... I am Stignani because of my voice". She was highly disciplined in her choice of roles and in the number of appearances she made, refusing to take assignments which she felt were not right for her voice, and this no doubt contributed to the longevity of her career at the highest level.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EDT


 In celebration of the 87th birthday of the remarkable Nicolai Gedda,on July 11, 2012, I present a Boheme with Scotto,Guarrera,Boky,Flagello, and Goodloe completing the excellent cast under Henry Lewis from 1972. Gedda has been one of the great operatic ICONS and is beloved in the music world for his artistry, musicianship, versatility, and of course that fabulous voice. (72 min.)

  I have added the last act aria from William Tell on the commercial recording as a bonus. (Count the high C's!!)


Direct download: Boheme_Gedda_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

Aida From Mexico, 1950

 One of the legendary Maria Callas Mexico performances.This is Aida under Guido Picco from 1950. She is joined by Giulietta Simionato, Robert Weede, and our dear buddy Kurt Baum (well, if you had to see him as much as we did,you would probably agree that he was no Tucker,Corelli, or Del Monaco...and I do not want to hear that "today he would be famous".Nicola Moscona as Ramfis and Ignacio Ruffino as the King complete the cast.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Aida_Mex.1950.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

Simone Boccanegra, 1960

 A stellar cast in this 1960 Simone Boccanegra under Dimitri Mitropolous, featuring Frank Guarrera,Zinka Milanov, Carlo Bergonzi, Giorgio Tozzi, and Ezio Flagello. (73 min.). Yes, I was there and the show was unforgettable!!!!

Direct download: Boccanegra_1960.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

Dorothy Kirsten's Birthday,2012

  She sang magnificently into her 70's  ( as we discovered after her passing), we offer a July 6, birthday tribute to her. (1910-1992). Included are Gershwin songs (She knew how to sing pop, a rarity among opera divas), arias/scenes from La Rondine,Gianni Schicchi, Tosca, and Thais (with Robert Merrill), and some Louise scenes with Norman Treigle. We also include some Butterfly scenes when she was almost 65, with Russell Christopher and Nedda Casei. Kirsten was one of our finest American artists and we treasure her memory.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Kirsten_Birth.2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:57pm EDT


  Hello all,

      Every time I read the stats and see what interest you have in these podcasts,I am truly happy I can contribute to your pleasure. After all, I was turned on to opera by others, and so I am thankful to them that I can return the favor to you. I thank you again for all your sincere interest.

                                                As ever,

                                                     Carlo Magno, traditore(???)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

Macbeth, 1847 Version

 Scenes from the 1847 version of Verdi's Macbeth, from Royal Al;bert Hall in London, 1978 under John Matheson. The wonderful Rita Hunter, one of my favorite artists is the Lady Macbeth, with Peter Glossop, Jenneth Collins, and Richard Greager (Malcolm.) I did not include John Tomlinson,who played Banquo, in these scenes.  (68 min)

One of the beautiful elements of this podcast site is to behold the incredible number of countries that participate. When I listened back to my dialogue, dopey Charlie spoke of July 4th as if it were a "global" holiday. I apologize, since each country has its own special day. I think the excessive New York heat got to me.(if that is a good excuse)

Direct download: Macbeth_1847.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Caballe sings Donizetti

Scenes from two operas that featured Montserrat Caballe at her greatest!  First we have Maria Stuarda from Barcelona, 1969 under Reynald Giovaninetti, with Ina Delcampo,Pierre Duval, and John Darrenkamp, followed by a New York 1965 Roberto Devereux under Carlo Felice Cillario, with Lili Chookasian, Juan Oncina, Walter Alberti, and Ted Lambrinos. You will need a watch with a second hand at times to count how incredible is her breath control, especially in the Stuarda act two prayer.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Cab.Stu-Dever..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

La Fille du Reggiment, 1973

  The glorious 1973 Fille du Reggiment under Richard Bonynge with the great Joan Sutherland, Luciano (9 high C's) Pavarotti, and Regina Resnik.  Fernando Corena and Jean Kraft complete the cast, which brought audiences to their FEET!!!!   (68 min.)

Direct download: Fille_Suth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Fedora from Montreal

   Another example of the great singing and emotional delivery of Diana Soviero in this 1995 Montreal performance of Giordano's Fedora,under Alfredo Silipigni. Ermanno Mauro and Gaetan Leperriere complete the cast, and I am sure you will enjoy it.  (71 min.)

P.S. Again, I thank you for your interest. At this rate,we may reach TWO million downloads before Domingo retires. (probably more like five million.)

Direct download: Fedora_Soviero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

All-star Huguenots

   Reminding us of the olden days when they had the "Night of the Seven stars,"this Scala 1962 Huguenots under Gianandrea Gavazzeni features the voices of Corelli,Sutherland,Simionato,Ghiaurov,Tozzi, Cossotto, and Ganzarolli.  (73 min.)

Les Huguenots was chosen to open the present building of the Covent Garden Theatre in 1858. During the 1890s, when it was performed at the Metropolitan Opera, it was often called 'the night of the seven stars', as the cast would include Lillian Nordica, Nellie Melba, Sofia Scalchi, Jean de Reszke, Édouard de Reszke, Victor Maurel and Pol Plançon.

Direct download: Huguenots_Corelli.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:15pm EDT

Mefistofele from La Scala

 Scenes from a most exciting 1964 Scala performance of Boito's "Mefistofele," featuring Nicolai Ghiaurov, Carlo Bergonzi, and Raina Kabaiwanska, under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. (70 min.)

Direct download: Mef.Ghiaur.Scala.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT


Wait till you hear this superb performance of Nabucco.It is from San Francisco, 1982 under Kurt Herbert Adler, and it features two artists I cherish personally as well as vocally. Olivia Stapp is a marvelous Abigaille.Today she would eclipse everyone!! Paul Plishka, recently retired from opera after a 45 years plus fabulous career, Matteo Manuguerra, a baritone who should have been better recognized, tenor Gordon Greer as Ismaele, and Susan Quittmeyer as Fenena. This will thrill you!   (69 min.)

Direct download: Nabucco_Stapp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Carmen with Regina Resnik

   I am especially nostalgic in presenting to you a beautiful 1969 Carmen under Zubin Mehta, featuring a great artist I have known and loved for over 50 years. Regina Resnik has been one of opera's icons, not only in her vocal careers as soprano and mezzo, but as director, producer,filmmaker, coach, and teacher. This Carmen features the magnificent Richard Tucker, Justino Diaz, and Judith Raskin, and i know you will truly enjoy it.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Carmen_Resnik_1969.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

An Exciting La Gioconda

  I present an exciting La Gioconda from Chicago, 1966 under Nino Sanzogno. The cast is headed by Elena Suliotis, and features Renato Cioni, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Ivo Vinco, and Elena Zilio.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Gioconda_Suliotis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A Fine Faust

   From 1949 under Wilfred Pelletier, here are scenes from Gounod's Faust, featuring Giuseppe Di Stefano, Dorothy Kirsten, Leonard Warren, Italo Tajo, and Dorothea Manski.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Faust_1949_Met.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:56am EDT


  The happiest of birthdays to my beloved Marisa Galvany (June 19), one of the most exciting singers in my many years of opera-going. I present scenes from Ballo, Aida, Traviata, Attila, and Il Trovatore. (72 min.)

   The photo of the Nabucco scene is to remind you to go to Youtube, if you never have, and you will be amazed at the  high E flat at the end of the Nabucco duet which she takes "out of the air." It is another thrilling Galvany moment.

Love from Charlie

Direct download: Galvany_Birthday_2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:13am EDT


 A fine Bolshoi Theatre radio performance of Eugene Onegin, featuring Gallina Vishnevskaya, Sergei Lemeshev, Eugene Belov, Ivan Petrov (Gremin), and Larissa Avdeyeva (Olga.) The conductor is Boris Khiakin and the performance dates approximately from the 1960's. )71 min.)

Direct download: Onegin_Vish..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:01pm EDT

   I was told..and correctly, that the Rigoletto debut was Joe Calleja....I can KILL the person who labelled it wrong..Maybe I need to listen to my own podcasts, and now i have to write Piotr and apologize.........

Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

Four of the Greats!!

   Arias and scenes as sung by four of the great singers of the last opera era: Nicolai Gedda, Gundula Janowitz, the late Arlene Auger and the late Tatiana Troyanos. I am sure you will treasure their great artistry.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Jan.Aug.Ged.Troy..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT


 A most exciting performance (highlights, as always) of Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda," from a 1971 La Scala performance under Carlo Felice Cillario. The cast features Montserrat Caballe, Shirley Verrett, Ottavio Garaventa, Giulio Fioravanti, and Rafael Arie   (64 min.)

Direct download: Stuarda_Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Fidelio from Cologne

A 1956 Fidelio under Erich Kleiber from Cologne,Germany. Featured are Birgit Nilsson, Hans Hopf, Paul Schoeffler, Gottlob Frick, Hans Braun (Don Fernando), Gerhard Unger (Jacquino), and Ingeborg Wenglor (Marzelline.)     (73 min.)

Direct download: Fidelio_Cologne.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:39pm EDT

Norma From La Scala 1955

  A dream cast in Bellini's "Norma" from La Scala 1955 under Antonino Votto,featuring Maria Callas, Giulietta Simionato, Mario Del Monaco, and Nicola Zaccaria. (70 min.)

Direct download: Norma_Scala_55.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

More Rise Stevens and a "friend."

  This was at our last club meeting in 1960 out at Rise's home on Long Island. The guy next to her did have hair at the time but look, time marches on!! How can I ever forget her?

Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT


  How can I forget the very first opera star I ever met, and then we went to her apt.every year for the music club,and it was a joyful afternoon. In honor of her 99th birthday on June 11,2012, I present highlights from a 1939 Rosenkavalier with her idol, Lotte Lehmann, Emmanuel List, and Marita Farell. Bless her forever in my heart.   (70 min.)

Direct download: Rise_Rosen..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:58am EDT

The Pearl Fishers

  A superb rendition of Bizet's "Pearl Fishers" (Highlights, of course) from Los Angeles, 1980 under Calvin Simmons. We lost him and tenor Barry McCauley so young. Diana Soviero, Dominic Cossa, and John Seabury (Nourabad) complete the excellent cast  (72 min.)

Direct download: Pearl_Fishers_LA.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36am EDT


Highlights from a RAI Rome 1973 Arabella under Wolfgang Rennert, with Montserrat Caballe, Siegmund Nimsgern, Oliviera Miljakovic (Zdenka), and Jeanette Scovotti (Fiakermilli.)  (67 min.)

Direct download: Arabella_Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT

Thais from Trieste

An Italian Thais that features the great voice of Ettore Bastianini. Thais is sung by Fiorella Carmen Forti, and the Nicias is Glauco Scarlini. This is from Trieste, 1954, under Luigi Toffolo  (71 min.)

Direct download: Thais_Bastianini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm EDT


  As I indicated on the podcast narration, EVEN I never heard of some of these singers, and I am ashamed...but look, you need to live 5 lifetimes to even scratch the surface of what is out there. Here are the singers' names, in order of appearance: (like the podcast, 5 at a time.)    (72 min.)

Jose Garcia, Julius Lieban, Gertrude Forstel, Elisa Petri, Paul Payan

Riccardo Stracciari, Florence Smithson, Barbara Kemp, Heinrich Schlusnus, Umberto Urbano

Anne Roselle (In photo), Adamo Didur, Tinka Vesel-Polla, Karl Schmidt Walter, Alexander Sved,

Christina Maristany, Pierre Bernac and Leila Ben Sedira, Louis Orlac, Friedl Beckmann, and Margarita Carosio.

Direct download: Connoisseur-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:07am EDT

Piccolo Marat

  We know how marvelous an opera Cavalleria Rusticana is, but Mascagni wrote other operas with truly glorious music. One of them is "Piccolo Marat" (I can't find the plot anywhere so far.) You will hear Virginia Zeani as Mariella, Umberto Borso as Piccolo Marat, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni as L'Orco, Afro Poli as Il Carpentiere, and the coinductor is Oliviero de Fabrittis in a live performance from Livorno in 1961.

The audience goes wild after their duet,and demands an encore!!!!!!   (72 min.)

Direct download: Marat_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm EDT

Birgit Nilsson and Hans Hotter Sing Wagner

 Two of the greatest singers of Wagner, Birgit Nilsson and Hans Hotter,perform scenes from Die Walkure and the Flying Dutchman,plus a bonus of Hotter singing Schubert's "An die Musik" and "Meeresstille" accompanied by Gerald Moore.  (67 min.)

Direct download: Nilsson-Hotter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37am EDT

Otello by Rossini

What a shame that I did not know who Virginia Zeani was, when in 1968 the Rome opera brought Otello by Rossini to the Met. Well,at least we have this document featuring one of our favorite sopranos. This is from 1960 Rome under Fernando Previtali, and also features Agostino Lazzari as Otello, Giuseppe Baratti as Iago,Franco Ventriglia as Elmiro, and Anna Reynolds as Emilia. Look for the plot on Wikepedia or other sites. (70 min.)

Direct download: Otello_Rossini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

In Loving Memory of Shirley Verrett

Born on May 31, 1931, I have always felt that Shirley Verrett ranks way up there with Simionato,Cossotto,etc. She was a marvelous singer, who blew the roof off with a magnificent voice, and I will never forget her. We lost her in 2010, but her memory lives on.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

In memory of George London on his birthday.

 In memory of the marvelous George London, on his May 30th birthday, we shall hear duets  from Eugen Onegin (with Valerie Bak), Aida (with Astrid Varnay, Arabella (with Eleanor Steber, arias from Prince Igor,Flying Dutchman, and a scene from act one of Parsifal. Also included,from a live recital, are the Mussorgsky "Songs and Dances of Death." We pay tribute to this glorious artist.   (71 min.)

Direct download: London_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT


 For May 30, we wish the marvelous mezzo,turned soprano,Olivia Stapp, a very happy birthday. She has been one of our finest artists, and you will hear scenes from Elektra, Macbeth, Anna Bolena (as both Seymour and Anna), and Tosca (with Nicolai Gedda).    (60 min.)

Direct download: Stapp_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm EDT


Highlights from an Italian version of Berlioz's "Les Troyens" from La Scala, 1960 under Rafael Kubelik. Mario del Monaco,Giulietta Simionato(Dido),Nell Rankin (Cassandra). and Nicola Zaccaria (Narbal) are in the cast.    (67 min.)

Direct download: Troj.Del_Mon..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:20am EDT

Forza del Destino, 1953

An all-star Forza from New Orleans, 1953 under Walter Herbert. In the cast are Zinka Milanov, Mario del Monaco, Leonard Warren, William Wilderman, and Norman Treigle (Marchese). Need I say more???   (72 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Orleans.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:49am EDT

An All-star Simone Boccanegra

  Yes, they did once make them like this:  A brilliant Scala 1972 Simone Boccanegra which features Piero Cappuccilli,Mirella Freni,Nicolai Ghiaurov, Gianni Raimondi, and Felice Schiavi (Paolo). The conductor is Claudio Abbado. (and stop telling me I only like dead and retired singers!!!)  (72 min.)

Direct download: Simone_Capp..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

Happy Birthday, Teresa Stratas

  "My aunt sings opera," said a kid in my Spanish class one day. I thought to myself, "Big deal!." I was polite..."What is her name???"   TERESA STRATAS!!!!!!

Born May 26, 1938, she has had many emotional problems,but who can doubt her great artistry...Best to her!!!

Born: May 26, 1938 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre: Opera

Stratas is one of the controversial stars of the latter half of the twentieth century, and one whose personality and life, like that of Callas, another great soprano of Greek descent, are inextricably linked with her performances in the minds of many members of the public. Also like Callas, she had a special magnetism as a performer, due to her dramatic intensity and exceptional physical beauty. Her top became weak during her middle and late career and she lost some focus in the middle of her voice, which sometimes caused her to force. However, her performances on stage and on film were so riveting that most were willing to forgive those vocal flaws, and even her habit of canceling, usually due to nerves.

She grew up in Toronto and began singing in nightclubs and in her father's restaurant when she was twelve. Encouraged by her successes, including radio performances, and after being given a free ticket to La Traviata, an experience which she said overwhelmed her with the concept of what the human voice can do, she auditioned for the Opera School at the Royal College of Music in Toronto in 1954. She had never studied voice, knew opera only from that one performance, and brought Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as her audition piece, but her personality and potential talent were so impressive that she was admitted, and was such a quick learner that she made her debut with the Canadian Opera as Mimi in 1958, and won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air the next year, making her debut as Pousette in Manon the next year. In 1960, she created the title role of Glanville-Hicks' Nausicaa at the Athens Festival. Her Covent Garden debut was again as Mimi in 1961, and in 1962, she made her La Scala debut as Isabella in de Falla's Atlantida. In 1974, she came to international fame with her appearance as Salome on a television production of Salome, considered one of the very few singers in living memory who could convincingly portray Salome's transformation from naive teenager to depraved woman. In 1979, she sang the title role of the first performance of the three-act version of Berg's Lulu at the Paris Opera.

In the 1980s, she almost completely withdrew from the operatic stage, though she made notable recordings of Weill songs, and appeared in films of La Traviata and Amahl and the Night Visitors. She also explored Broadway, earning a Tony Award for best actress for her performance in Rags in 1986, and recorded Julie in Showboat. In 1981, she backpacked through India, where among other activities, she volunteered for Mother Teresa's projects in the poorest areas of the cities. In 1988, she returned to the Met to create the role of Marie Antoinette in Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

Remembering "Bubbles."

   Let us remember the great Beverly Sills, born on May 25, 1929. She was an amazing artist, and was able to take a basically light coluratura voice, and often turn it into a voice that thrilled even in more dramatic roles. Rest in Peace.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

Francesca da Rimini w.Olivero,Del Monaco

 From Scala,1959 under Gianandrea Gavazzeni, highlights from Zabdonai's exciting opera, Francesca da Rimini, featuring Magda Olivero, Mario del Monaco, Gianpiero Malaspina (Gianciotto), Piero de Palma (Malatestino), etc.   (68 min.)

Direct download: Francesca_Magda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:01pm EDT

An All-star Falstaff

 From 1958 Chicago under Tullio Serafin, here is a really fabulous cast in Verdi's "Falstaff," with Tito Gobbi,Cornell MacNeil,Renata Tebaldi,Giulietta Simionato,Anna Moffo,Alvino Misciano, and Anna Maria Canali.  (62 min.)

Direct download: Falstaff_Gobbi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT


 Most of the early Verdi opera "Alzira," from Rome 1967, under Franco Capuana. The cast features Virginia Zeani (Alzira), Cornell MacNeil (Gusmano), Gianfranco Cecchele (Zamoro), and Carlo Cava (Alvaro).      (72 minutes)

Direct download: Alzira.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

Medea with Leonie Rysanek

Highlights from a live 1972 Vienna Medea under Horst Stein. The remarkable Leonie Rysanek is the Medea, with Bruno Prevedi, Lucia Popp, and Nicolai Ghiuselev completing the cast.  (54 min.)

Direct download: Medea_Rysanek.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm EDT

Waltraute in Gotterdamerung

 A comparison of six marvelous mezzos in the Act One Waltraute Monologue from Die Gotterdamerung.  In order they are:

   Rosette Anday, Elizabeth Hoengen, Margarete Klose, Hanna Schwarz, Christa Ludwig, and Martha Moedl (who was a mezzo at the start and end of her career.).

  I wish to call your attention to the magnificent Youtube rendition by Katharine Goeldner, if you wish to go there. It is surely as fine a rendition as the above.  (62 min.)

Direct download: Waltraute.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38pm EDT

Very Loud tenors

 A pot-pourri of tenors from the earlier part of the 20th century who excelled in a very bright and powerful top range for the most part. Those included (in order on the podcast) are:

Leonce Escalais, Bernardo de Muro, Eduardo Garbin, Mario Gillion, Aristodemi Giorgini, Icilio Calleja, Giovanni Zenatello, Antonio Paoli, Dimitri Smirnov, Leonid Sobinov, and (in photo), John O'Sullivan. (68 min.)

Direct download: Loud_tenors.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

Birgit Nilsson's Birthday

 Someone must have done something right on May 17, because both Zinka Milanov and Birgit Nilsson were born.(Nilsson in 1918, Zinka in 1906). Anyone here who never saw Nilsson live would need OXYGEN if they heard what that was like in live performance. She was an absolute MIRACLE in opera history, and beloved lady to all.

Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson was born on May 17, 1918 in the town of Vastra Karup in the province of Skane (Scania) in southern Sweden. She married Bertil Niklasson, a veterinary student she met on a train, on September 10, 1948.

Miss Nilsson made her operatic debut on October 9, 1946 as Agathe in Der Freischütz with only 3 days notice. Her debut came shortly after she had joined the Swedish Opera School. After her brief stint as Agathe, Miss Nilsson made her breakthrough performance as Lady Macbeth in 1947 at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.

Miss Nilsson attained international stardom after a performance as Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on December 18, 1959. She says, though, that the single biggest event in her life was when she was asked to perform at the opening of the 370th season at La Scala as Turandot on December 7, 1958.

In 1966, Miss Nilsson was asked to appear in a rather unusual performance at the Metropolitan Opera. During a showing of Tannhäuser, she was asked to sing the parts of both Venus and Elisabeth. They did not appear on stage at the same time, of course!

Birgit Nilsson is probably best known for her portrayals of Turandot in Turandot, Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen (a role with which she made her La Scala debut in 1958), Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, and Elektra in Elektra. Miss Nilsson is also known for her interesting relationship with Rudolf Bing. When Bing was asked if Birgit was difficult, he replied, "Not at all, you put enough money in and a glorious voice comes out." When preparing her taxes Miss Nilsson was asked if she had any dependents. "Yes," she said, "Rudolf Bing." Miss Nilsson retired from opera in 1984.

Comments? E-mail me here! (Please note: I am NOT Birgit Nilsson! I am just the person who made this page.)

Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

God bless my Zinka!!!

 For May 17, Zinka's birthday (1906).No one thrilled me more from my first opera experiences and she became my favorite singer. Was I cute at 19? (Don't answer that!!!)   Never to be forgotten!!!!!

Born in Zagreb, Croatia as Zinka Kunc (pronounced [zîːŋka kûnt͡s]), she studied with the Wagnerian soprano Milka Ternina and her assistant Marija Kostrenčić. She also studied in Milan with Campi and in Vienna with Stickgolt. On October 29, 1927, she made her operatic debut as Leonora in Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at the young age of 21. Her debut in her native Croatia, at the National Theatre in Zagreb, took place five weeks later as Marguerite in Charles Gounod's Faust

After an early debut in Dresden (November 5, 1928, also as Leonora), her teacher, Ternina, was not pleased and much work commenced to perfect her technique. She performed in Zagreb and Ljubljana almost exclusively for the next six years. Later she became a member of the New German Theatre in Prague, where all performances were sung in German. She was discovered there by Bruno Walter, who recommended her to Arturo Toscanini for a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Salzburg.

In 1937, the soprano made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, once again as Leonora. At that time she adopted the name Milanov, which was the stage name of her second husband, an actor. According to Milanov herself, "Kunc" wasn't "glamorous" enough for the Metropolitan Opera. In the article "Zinka Takes Off" (Opera News, November 2004, vol 69, no. 5), it is stated that the name change was deemed necessary since the gentlemen at the Met feared the "implications inherent in what they predicted would be the standard American mispronunciation — but they were never forthright with her about it".[citation needed] On November 8, 1937, Erich Simon, who was in charge of engaging Milanov, cabled Edward Ziegler, the assistant manager of the Met, "Mme Zinka KUNZ-MARCOVIC has informed me that she wishes to perform under her husband's stage name, MILANOV."[citation needed]

She was in romantic relationship with Marshal of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito, before he married Jovanka Broz. In 1947, she left the Met when she married, for the third time, to Yugoslav general and diplomat Ljubomir Ilić, and returned to live in Yugoslavia.[citation needed] She was at the peak of her artistic and vocal powers when she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Tosca in 1950. Milanov returned to the Metropolitan Opera the same year, invited by Rudolf Bing in his first year there as general manager.[citation needed]

She gave her final performance in 1966 at the closing night of the old Metropolitan Opera House. Having worked as a voice teacher while still performing, Milanov devoted herself to teaching after her retirement. Among her pupils were Betty Allen, Grace Bumbry, Christa Ludwig, , Dubravka Zubovic and Milka Stojanovic. She recorded prolifically from the 1940s through to the 1960s. Her voice was well-suited to Italian operas such as those of Verdi, Ponchielli, Puccini and the verismo composers. She died in New York City, aged 83.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

Elisir D'amore with Freni/Gedda

From 1965, highlights from a delightful "Elisir d'Amore" with Nicolai Gedda,Mirella Freni,Fernando Corena, and Mario Sereni under Thomas Schippers.   (71 min.)

Direct download: Elisir_Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

L'Amico Fritz

A beautiful performance of Mascagni's "L'Amico Fritz," one of the operas that they ought to perform more often.This is from Milano, 1953 under Vittorio Gui, and features Cesare Valletti, Rosanna Carteri, Carlo Tagliabue, and Rina Corsi. (65 min.)

Direct download: Fritz_Carteri.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Tannhauser from 1955

  A fine live performance of Tannhauser under Rudolf Kempe from 1955. The cast includes Ramon Vinay,Astrid Varnay,George London, Blanche Thebom, and Jerome Hines. (69 min.)

Direct download: Tannh.1955.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

More of the superb soprano, Marisa Galvany

 You all know of my great praise for dear Marisa Galvany, and you have responded with praise to my podcasts of her material. Here is another selection of her material, with some repeats, but sometimes it is more valuable to hear a compilation.  Included are scenes and arias from Ernani,Traviata, Cavalleria (with Domingo), and Aida (as Aida and Amneris.)  (58 min.)

Galvany studied primarily under Armen Boyajian (also the teacher of Paul Plishka and Samuel Ramey). She made her professional opera debut at the Seattle Opera in 1968 in the title role of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca. The following year, she portrayed the title heroine in Simon Mayr's Medea in Corinto in New York City, a performance which was recorded for Vanguard. She made her first international appearance in 1972 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in the title role of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida.

In 1972 Galvany was offered a contract to join the roster of principal singers at New York City Opera by Julius Rudel. She accepted, making her debut with the company later that year as Elisabetta in Gaetano Donizetti's Maria Stuarda opposite Beverly Sills in the title role. She continued to sing regularly with that company through 1983, portraying such roles as Abigaille in Nabucco, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, , Odabella in Attila, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Violetta in La traviata, and the title roles in Anna Bolena and Luigi Cherubini's Médée. She also sang in several different productions of Tosca where she partnered such tenors as José Carreras and Harry Theyard.

In 1973, Galvany filmed her acclaimed Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, for the Canadian Broadcasting Company, opposite Louis Quilico. That same year she made her first appearance with the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company as Aida with Pier Miranda Ferraro as Radamès, Joann Grillo as Amneris, and Gianfranco Rivoli conducting. In 1974 she made her first appearance at the New Orleans Opera opening the 1974-1975 season as Rachel in Fromental Halévy's La Juive with Richard Tucker as Eléazar. She returned to open the company's next two consecutive seasons as Aida and Valentin in Les Huguenots, the latter production with Rita Shane and Susanne Marsee. She later returned to New Orleans to sing Salomé in Jules Massenet's Hérodiade.

Galvany made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1979, in the title role of Norma. In 1985, the singing-actress sang Gertrud in Hänsel und Gretel and Ortrud in Lohengrin on tour with the company, then the Kostelnička in Jenůfa during the Fall Season in the theatre. At the Cincinnati Opera, she appeared in Turandot (with Harry Theyard) and Salome (with Ticho Parly as Herod).

During the mid 1980s, Galvany began to add mezzo-soprano roles to her repertoire. She sang Amneris in Aida at the Cincinnati Opera in 1985. In 1992 she sang the title role in Bizet's Carmen with the New York Grand Opera. (NYGO) She performed frequently with the NYGO up into the early 2000s.

On the international stage Galvany has appeared at the Opern- und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt, the Liceu, the Great Theatre, Warsaw, the National Theatre in Prague, and the National Theatre in Belgrade among others. She has also sang in operas in Brazil and Venezuela.


Direct download: Galvany4-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

The Superb Soprano, Rosanna Carteri

Rosanna Carteri is, for me, an example of a "lost art" in opera. She possesses the emotion, the attention to word and phrase, the beauty of voice, and all the elements that I honestly feel are so rare in these days. I am not intending to denigrate anyone, but you "cognoscenti" by now (with slight prejudice from me)  might understand what I mean. I hope you enjoy this soprano as I do  (71 min.)

Rosanna Carteri (born 14 December 1930) was an Italian soprano primarily active in the 1950s through the mid-1960s.

Rosanna Carteri was born in Verona but was raised in Padua. She studied with Cusinati and started singing in concert at the age of twelve. She won a RAI singing contest in 1948 which led to her operatic debut at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome as Elsa in Lohengrin in 1949, aged only 19. She made her La Scala debut in 1951. Other debuts were at the Salzburg Festival as Desdemona in Otello in 1952 under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwängler, San Francisco as Mimi in La Bohème in 1954, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Marguerite in Faust in 1955, the Arena di Verona as Mimi in 1958, Covent Garden as Tosca in 1960, Opéra de Paris in 1961 as Violetta in La Traviata.

Carteri made a few recordings for Cetra early in her career, in such operas as Guglielmo Tell, La Bohème and Suor Angelica. She recorded La Traviata for RCA Victor with Cesare Valletti and Leonard Warren under the direction of Pierre Monteux. She participated in several television productions for RAI such as Le nozze di Figaro, La Traviata, Otello, and Falstaff.

Carteri also participated in the creation of some contemporary works such as Ifegenia by Ildebrando Pizzetti in 1950, Proserpine e le straniero by Juan José Castro in 1952, Calzare d'argento again by Pizzetti in 1961 and Il mercante di Venizia by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco also in 1961.


Carteri decided to retire from singing in the mid-1960s while still only in her thirties to devote herself to her family.

Direct download: Carteri.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:27pm EDT

Don Carlo 1980, Part two

 The second part of the 1980 Five Act Don Carlo.   (69 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Cruz-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

Don Carlo 1980, Part One

Part one of highlights from a wonderful 1980 Don Carlo under James Levine. The cast features Giuseppe Giacomini, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Tatiana Troyanos, Sherrill Milnes, Paul Plishka, and Jerome Hines.   (66 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Cruz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Il Pirata w.Caballe

A most exciting reading of Bellini's "Il Pirata" (highlights) with Montserrat Caballe, Flaviano Labo, and Piero Cappuccilli under Franco Cap[uana from Florence, 1967 (68 min.)

Direct download: Pirata_Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

...and you thought there were no more Toscas.....

The link is long..Instead of copying it,go directly to Youtube  VASSILKA PETROVA, but be careful you do not eat,drink, or have any small animals near the computer....

Category:general -- posted at: 12:26am EDT

Boris Godunov with Hans Hotter

A most exciting performance of Boris Godunov (In German), featuring Hans Hotter, Hans Hopf, Martha Moedl,Lorenz Fehenberger, Kurt Boehme (Varlaam), Kim Borg (Pimen), under Eugen Jochum. Munich 1957  (65 min.)

Direct download: Boris_Hotter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

A Superb Lohengrin

Here are highlights from a marvelous Lohengrin from Berlin Radio 1942, under Robert Heger. The cast features two of my all-time favorites, Margarete Klose and Franz Voelker, and stars Maria Muller, Jaro Prohaska, and Ludwig Hofmann(the King.)  (71 min.)

Direct download: Loheng.Voelker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

Reminder of Mr.Friend of Opera Videos

Remember that there are 1240 wonderful videos on my "Mrfriendofpera" site."  Have fun!!

Go to Mr.Friend of opera site and click Zinka's photo at upper right.Then you see, and upper left the "Favorites".....Then scroll for what you want.

Here is the easiest way to access the site:

Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT

Maria Callas in I Puritani

Another of the great Callas Mexico performances,a Puritani under Guido Picco from 1952. Although the sound is not the greatest, we can judge how phenomenal Callas was in those historic Mexico performances. The cast includes Giuseppe Di Stefano, Piero Campolonghi, and Roberto Silva. (72 min.)

Direct download: Callas_Purit..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40am EDT

A Superb Mefistofele from 1965

   This wonderful work is performed by the Chicago Opera, 1965, under  Nino Sanzogno, and features Nicolai Ghiaurov,Renata Tebaldi, Alfredo Kraus, and Elena Suliotis.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Mef.Ghiaurov.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Celebrating Astrid Varnay on her birthday

The great Astrid Varnay was born on April 25, 1918. Let us celebrate the memory of this legendary soprano with highlights from her illustrious career. All selections are from the 1950's and they include scenes from Parsifal, Tannhauser (Venus and Elizabeth),Tristan und Isolde, Flying Dutchman (with Hans Hotter),Elektra (w.Hoengen and Schoeffler, and concluding with the Gotterdmaerung Immolation Scene.  (68 min.)

She made her sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera on 6 December 1941 in a broadcast performance singing Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre, substituting for the indisposed Lotte Lehmann with almost no rehearsal. This was her first appearance in a leading role, and it was a triumph. Six days later she replaced the ailing Helen Traubel as Brünnhilde in the same opera. Varnay and Weigert became closer and were married in 1944. It was also at this time that she had lessons with former Metropolitan Opera tenor, Paul Althouse.

In 1948 she made her debut at Covent Garden and in 1951 in Florence as Lady Macbeth. In that year she also made her debut at Bayreuth after Flagstad, who had declined the invitation to Bayreuth, recommended that Wieland Wagner engage Varnay. She sang at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years, and appeared regularly at the Metropolitan until 1956.

She left when it was clear that the Met director Rudolf Bing did not appreciate her, and went on to become a mainstay of the world's other great opera houses, especially in Germany, in Wagner and Strauss but also several Verdi and other roles. She had already made Munich her home, where audiences considered her a goddess.

In 1969 she gave up her repertoire of heavy dramatic soprano roles and began a new career singing mezzo roles. After being the world's leading Elektra for over twenty years, she now established herself as a great interpreter of Klytemnestra. The role of Herodias in Salome became her most often-performed role: 236 performances. She returned to the Metropolitan in 1974 and last appeared there in Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in 1979.

In the mid-1980s, character roles now became Varnay's metier. Her last appearance on stage was in Munich in 1995, fifty-five years after her Metropolitan debut. In 1998 she published her autobiography Fifty-Five Years in Five Acts: My Life in Opera, written with Donald Arthur (German title is Hab'mir's gelobt).

In 2004, a documentary about her life and first New York career entitled Never Before, produced by Donald Collup, received acclaim in the USA. Her recordings of Strauss heroines such as Elektra and Salome along with the Wagnerian roles are among the treasures of the medium, while transcriptions of broadcast performances of her great roles document her art in sound, and a few video recordings of her late career preserve evidence of her acting ability. Astrid Varnay died in Munich on 4 September 2006, aged 88.

Selected recordings

Direct download: Varnay_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

Some of the best!!

12 selections featuring live performances by some of opera's greatest singers.Included are:

Renata Tebaldi,Leonie Rysanek,Leontyne Price, Zinka Milanov, Eleanor Steber, Birgit Nilsson, Kiri Te Kanawa,Kirsten Flagstad, Hilde Gueden, Judith Blegen, Renata Scotto, Tatiana Troyanos, Placido Domingo, Jon Vickers, Luciano Pavarotti, Franco Corelli, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Lauritz Melchior  (70 min.)

Direct download: Met_125.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

Die Meistersinger from Vienna, 1955

Scenes from a wonderful 1955 Meistersinger under Fritz Reiner. The cast includes Paul Schoeffler, Irmgard Seefried, Gottlob Frick, Hans Beirer, and Erich Kunz.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Meist.1955.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Walkure from Buenos Aires 1940, act Three

Act Three of the aforementioned Buenos Aires 1940 Walkure. (57 min.)

Direct download: Walk.B.A.-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

Die Walkure from Buenos Aires, Part One.

Highlights from acts and ond two from a historical 1940 Buenos Aires Walkure under Erich Kleiber. The cast includes Marjorie Lawrence, Irene Jessner, Rene Maison, Herbert Janssen, Emanuel List, and,in a rare early performance of Fricka near the start of her illustrious career, Rise Stevens as Fricka. ( 71 min. )

Direct download: Walk.B.A.-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Giulietta in Favorita

EXCITING STUFF!   Naples, 1963 Favorita under Fernando Previtali, with Giulietta Simionato, Gianni Raimondi, Mario Zanasi, and Nicola Zaccaria.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Fav.Simionato.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

In Memory of Leonard Warren

Leonard Warren was born on April 21, 1911. He was a sensational singer, up to the moment,on March 4, 1960 that he died on stage before our eyes. I present this 1945 Rigoletto in his memory.

  The cast also includes Jussi Bjoerling, Bidu Sayao, and William Hargrave, conducted by Cesare Sodero.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Warren_1945_Rig..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

The Opera Debut of the Great Astrid Varnay

 A fascinating event, as the great soprano Astrid Varnay makes her Met debut as Sieglinde,replacing Lotte Lehmann, on the Dec.6 Walkure broadcast...her Met debut, (with no rehearsals) AND the first time she EVER sang on ANY stage. This must go down in opera history as one of the great events.

   In the cast are Lauritz Melchior,Helen Traubel,Friedrich Schorr, and Alexander Kipnis, under Erich Leinsdorf. (68 min.)

  I must also make mention of  Donald Collup,former singer and pianist, who interviewed Mme.Varnay in her later years, and produced a magnificent  documentary of her  fabulous career. Mr.Collup's fascinating home page can be found at: I must also mention that his remarkable collection can be found at his store at:

Direct download: Varnay_Debut.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

 Die Piraten!!!!

  Gilbert und Sullivan in DEUTSCH?????   Why not??? It features my beloived Martha Moedl, the late great Arlene Auger, Gerd Nienstedt,Alexander Malta, and tenor Peter Bahrig.   This is from 1968 WDR radio. The conductor is Franz Marszalek. (60 min.)

    It's hard enough to sing "patter" in English....well, this should be fun!!!!

Direct download: Piraten.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27am EDT


Geee.It is "Aprile in Aprile."  Happy birthday, April 14, to a dear lady and great singer. She is a sweetheart and I have always felt she was a kind of "spirit" for me personally since we first met.

                          Love from Charlie

Aprile Millo was born on April 14, 1958, in New York City. She was the daughter of Margherita Ghirosi and tenor Giovanni Millo, the first American hired by La Scala after World War II. She developed an early interest in music, and after graduating from high school in 1977, she was chosen to be one of the first eight apprentices at the San Diego Opera Center. A string of vocal awards followed, including the Geraldine Farrar Award, the Montserrat Caballé Award in Barcelona, and first prize in the Concorso Internazionale di Voci Verdiane in Bussetto, Italy.

Upon her return to the United States, Millo joined the Utah Opera Company in Salt Lake City. It was in Salt Lake City that she made her professional stage debut with the Utah Opera in the title role of Verdi's Aïda in 1980. The following year, she travelled to New York to attend the Metropolitan Opera's open-call auditions, where she was invited to take part in the company's Young Artists Development Program. The next several years were spent learning roles, refining her acting style, and perfecting her vocal technique. During this time, she made her La Scala debut replacing Mirella Freni as Elvira in Ernani on January 4, 1983.

In 1984, Aprile Millo was signed to a three-year contract by the Met that called for her to work primarily as an understudy. On December 3, 1984, she made her Metropolitan debut replacing Anna Tomowa-Sintow as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, which critics described as "a blazing success". Three weeks later, on December 22, she performed the same role in her originally scheduled Met debut. The next year, in 1985, Millo took first prize in the Richard Tucker Competition.

On January 19, 1986, Millo made her Carnegie Hall debut in a concert version of Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima Crociata. That year, she also achieved success in the role of Aïda, singing the role in New York, as well as all over Europe and South America. It was as Aïda that she opened the 1989-90 Met season in an Emmy-winning production that was also telecast internationally.

During her career, Millo has made several recordings, including a debut CD of Verdi arias called Presenting Aprile Millo which was released by Angel Records in 1986. She also recorded the singing voice for Elisabeth Taylor in Zeffirelli's film, "The Young Toscanini". She has an extensive Met repertoire, including the Verdi heroines she is famous for (including Desdemona, Luisa Miller, Leonora in Il Trovatore) as well as some Puccini roles, including Liù in Turandot and as Tosca, a role she sang at the Met in the 98/99 season.

Go to my Soprano Bios

Category:general -- posted at: 12:17am EDT

Un Ballo in Maschera w.Ljuba Welitsch

The marvelous Ljuba Welitsch as Amelia in Ballo from 1949 Edinbugh under Vittorio Gui. The cast includes Mirto Picchi, Alda Noni, Paolo Silveri, Jean Watson.(Ulrica), Ian Wallace (Sam), and Hervey Alan (Tom).    (65 min.)

Direct download: Ballo_Wel..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

Farewelll,my Zinka

    Zinka's sad farewell,on Apr.13, 1966, was the 88th and last time I heard that incredible voice live...but it will always be with me...forever. You know that when you are a teen and are turned on to a special artist,entertainer,sports figure,etc...that stays with you all your life.

    The greatest voice I ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo:  Booohooo.I was once cute!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

Barbro Ericson

The superb mezzo from Sweden, land of fabulous artists, Barbro Ericson, in selections from the Verdi Requiem,Don Carlo, Ballo, Pique Dame, Boris, Aida, Das Rheingold, Lohengrin, and Saul and David. (68 min.)

Barbro Ericson Hederén Helen Augusta, born April 2 1930 in Halmstad , is a Swedish opera singer ( mezzo-soprano and alto ).

Ericson was educated at the College of Music and Opera School in Stockholm . After debuting at the Opera in 1956 she was employed there in 1958 . She came to portray over 100 roles, mainly in the major mezzo roles in works by Wagner , Verdi and Strauss . She has also made ​​more modern roles such as Mother Goose and Baba in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress , Mescalina in Ligeti's The Great bern wife , Marie in Berg's Wozzeck , and Madame de Croissy in Poulenc's Karmelitsystrarna . Ericsson has also appeared in several scenes in foreign countries such as Bayreuth , Salzburg , Metropolitan , Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, La Scala and Covent Garden .

Her records span from Gluck's Orpheus to Carmen and the high soprano role of Santuzza in Mascagnis In Sicily . Two of her biggest successes was in 1975 as Amman in Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten and previously as Klyteimnestra the same composer's Elektra .

Ericson was awarded a scholarship from the Set Svaneholms Memorial Fund in 1967 . She was appointed to the Royal Court Singer in 1968 and received Litteris et Artibus 1978th

Direct download: Ericson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

Rest in Peace, Lili Chookasian

So sorry to hear of the passing of a great singer. Rest in Peace,beloved lady!!!

Lili Chookasian (born August 1, 1921; died April 9, 2012) is an American contralto who has appeared with many of the world's major symphony orchestras and opera houses. She began her career in the 1940s as a concert singer but did not draw wider acclaim until she began singing opera in her late thirties. She arose as one of the world's leading contraltos during the 1960s and 1970s, and notably had a long and celebrated career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1962 through 1986. She was admired for her sonorous, focused tone as well as her excellent musicianship. She often chose, against tradition, to sing oratorios from memory.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Manon from 1969, La Scala

Never mind the "wrong language." I adore French, but Freni and Pavarotti are in such glorious form, I had to do this one. Rolando Panerai is Lescaut,Antonio Zerbini is the Count, and Franco Ricciardi is De Bretigny. Conducted by Peter Maag. (71 min.)

Direct download: Manon_Pav.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:55pm EDT


  What more can we say,as we remember Franco's birthday,on April 8, 1921! I saw him 40 times, and although there were times we wanted to shoot him (well,married to Loretta was not easy), he was ADORED!!!!!     God bless him forever!!

With a rich and ringing spinto tenor voice and movie-star good looks, Corelli won a wide public following from early on his career. However, while the public was enthralled with the tenor, music critics were divided, with some complaining about what they perceived as self-indulgence of phrasing and expression. During the 1960s the anti-Corelli sentiment among critics was epitomized by Alan Rich of the The New York Herald Tribune in a 1966 article which, while acknowledged the vibrancy and white heat of his singing, considered Corelli a throwback to an earlier era when, from Mr. Rich's perspective, musical compromises were common and stylistic refinement lacking. Rich said that, Corelli is "not employed by an opera, but employs it to serve purposes it was not meant to serve."[2] Also, many critics did not look favourably on his performances in French opera, owing to the tenor’s exotic French diction and style.[1] However, Corelli also had his admirers among several highly respected and notable critics, including Harold C. Schonberg of The New York Times, who once defended the expressive liberties taken by Corelli as possessing "its own kind of logic".[2]

Category:general -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana en Francais

An interesting  1934 recording of Cavalleria Rusticana in French,under Gustave Cloez. In the cast are Germaine Cernay, Gaston Micheletti, and Arthur Endreze, with Cernay singing also arias from Le Cid and Samson et Delilah.  (52 min.)

Born: April 28, 1900 - Le Havre, France
Died: 1943 - Paris, France

The French mezzo-soprano, Germaine Cernay (born: Pointu), studied piano and solfeggio when still a child. She joined the Conservatoire of Paris taking singing lessons with Albers and Engel.

Germaine Cernay she made her debut in 1925 at the Paris Opéra as Euryclée in Fauré’s Pénélope but she eventually appeared most of her career at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart), where she made her debut in 1927 in Alfano’s Risurrezione opposite Mary Garden. After a number of small parts she sang roles such as Mallika (Lakmé), Suzuki, Mignon, Geneviève, Carmen and Charlotte, among many others. She was also a star at the La Monnaie of Brussels and at a number of provincial French opera houses. She toured North Africa, England, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. In a broadcast she tried to sing Mélisande (a soprano role). Without neglecting the stage, her mind continuosly changed to sing melodies and oratorios. She was a famous interpreter of Bach. Germaine believed deeply in God and intended to spend her life in a cloister, but she died before having fulfilled her wish.

Direct download: Cavall.French.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT


Decca,Phillips, and DGG put out a special commemorative cd set for the Verdi year,remembering the great man's death in 1901. How could anyone accomplish what he did?????

 I announce all selections and casts and I know you will enjoy the variety. (67 min.)

Direct download: Verdi_Commem..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EDT

Medea in Corinto

Giovanni Simone Mayr's rarely heard "Medea in Corinto" under Newell Jenkins.

The Medea is Marisa Galvany (play the high E natural 10 times),Joan Patenaude-Yarnell as Creusa, Allen Cathcart as Jason, Robert White as Aegeus, Thomas Palmer as Creonte, and Molly Stark as Ismene.  (72 min.)

(Our photo from the live perf. Galvany is the one with the makeup.)

Direct download: Corinto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

Parsifal Act 3 for Good Friday

An almost complete Act 3 1956 Parsifal from Rome under Eugen Jochum, with Wolfgang Windgassen, Ferdinand Frantz, and Ludwig Weber (my personal favorite Gurnemanz.)  (61 min.)

Direct download: Pars.1956.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm EDT

Lauritz Melchior in Wagner

In London in 1926 and 1929, the phenomenal Lauritz Melchior made some recordings under the direction of Albert Coates. I know you will agree with most critics that Melchior was a "one-of-a-kind" artist. He sings the Tannhauser Rome Narrative, and then scenes from Siegfried with Rudolf Bockelman, Albert Reiss, and Norah Gruhn as the Forest Bird.   (58 min.)

   ...and speaking of a "one-of-a-kind Wagner singer, I have seen a few Wagnerian tenors who surely were "one-of-a-kind".....but I won't mention their names.

Direct download: Melchior_Coates.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


One million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Send me all names and address and I will send you as a gift, Justin Bieber and Sarah Palin in the new Ring DVD which was just released on the  AIUTO.....SOCCORSO>>>>>>HILFE!!!!! label.

Now,Charlie...Is that nice???????????????????????????????

Sorry..It is 2 A.M. NY Time.....I have had some depression lately..and you brought me out of I do not have to call Anna Netrebko to come over.

Look...I am not perfect...I would admit my faults .....if I had any........

Category:general -- posted at: 1:43am EDT


Conductor Rico Saccani seems to fancy himself the reincarnation of Toscanini,(look at his site) but he does have some superb recordings,mostly from Budapest. Unfortunately,he lists only the principals of this Rigoletto,Leo Nucci, Marcello Giordani, and Mariella Devia. (67 min.)

   Nucci is still singing and we sadly only had him briefly at the Met;likewise Devia, a great diva. Marcello takes a wild high D natural at the end of "Possente Amor" which made me CWAZY! Have fun!!!

Direct download: Saccani_Rigoletto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

The Great Ljuba Welitsch as Salome

  Ljuba Welitsch made a sensational debut as Salome at the Met. Here is a 1952 perf.under Fritz Reiner, with Elizabeth Hoengen,Set Svanholm, Hans Hotter, and Brian Sullivan. (65 min.)

Direct download: Welitsch_1952_Salome.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

Walkure Exc.from Buenos Aires, 1960

 Only portions of this Walkure from 1960 Buenos Aires under Ferdinand Leitner exist, and nothing of act three, but there are some exciting moments for you to enjoy. The cast includes Martha Moedl, Hans Hotter, Gre Brouwenstijn, and Hans Beirer.   (58 min.).

   As I remarked on my narration, Martha Moedl's "Hojotojo" might be termed "OH LORD!" by most of you;we felt that way in 1957 when we first saw her. However, you know how I am crazy for her, and many singers do we know who "let it all hang out?" The lady is still for me and for so many one of the greatest singers long as you do not expect an easy top. We could use more singers today with such "abandon." Well, not too much!

(Photo:Gre Brouwenstijn.)

Direct download: Walk.Leitner.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:03pm EDT

Rosa Ponselle in Popular Music, 1925-1950

21 popular selections (announced) by the sensational Rosa Ponselle. Unimaginable how she sounded live.  (65 min.)  Bio follows:

Legendary Operatic Diva, Rosa Ponselle, was discovered at age 21, while singing in vaudeville, by Enrico Caruso who brought her to the Met to appear opposite him as the "Leonora" in the 1918 Metropolitan Opera premiere performance of Verdi's La FORZA del DESTINO. She became the first American-born artist to sing a major role at the Met without the benefit of prior European training or experience, and is credited with opening the doors of the Met to the American-trained singer. Most remarkable about Ponselle is that she had no vocal training prior to her operatic debut. Born with a natural gift for singing and acting, she was a true Dramatic Soprano having many revivals done for her. For the 19 seasons that she sang with the Met, she was considered its reigning queen, and was dubbed by Huneker as "The Caruso in Petticoats". Geraldine Farrar is reported to have said when discussing singers, "There are two you must put aside, one is Enrico Caruso, the other is Rosa Ponselle. Then you may begin to discuss all the others." Leonard Bernstein, who credited Ponselle with changing the direction of his young life, wrote in a letter to her, "Yours is the first operatic voice I ever heard, at age eight, on an old Columbia 78, singing 'Suicido'. Even through all the scratchiness and surface noise, that voice rang through in such glory that it made me a music-lover forever. I thank you every day of my life." is is ultimate perfection.'"f us all."  Legendary Operatic Diva, Rosa Ponselle, was discovered at age 21, while singing in vaudeville, by Enrico Caruso who brought her to the Met to appear opposite him as the "Leonora" in the 1918 Metropolitan Opera premiere performance of Verdi's La FORZA del DESTINO. She became the first American-born artist to sing a major role at the Met without the benefit of prior European training or experience, and is credited with opening the doors of the Met to the American-trained singer. Most remarkable about Ponselle is that she had no vocal training prior to her operatic debut. Born with a natural gift for singing and acting, she was a true Dramatic Soprano having many revivals done for her. For the 19 seasons that she sang with the Met, she was considered its reigning queen, and was dubbed by Huneker as "The Caruso in Petticoats". Geraldine Farrar is reported to have said when discussing singers, "There are two you must put aside, one is Enrico Caruso, the other is Rosa Ponselle. Then you may begin to discuss all the others." Leonard Bernstein, who credited Ponselle with changing the direction of his young life, wrote in a letter to her, "Yours is the first operatic voice I ever heard, at age eight, on an old Columbia 78, singing 'Suicido'. Even through all the scratchiness and surface noise, that voice rang through in such glory that it made me a music-lover forever. I

Direct download: Ponselle_Pop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT

Happy No. 70 to my dear Sam Ramey

   Around 1970, after our "first premier basso" Paul Plishka, had already established himself as one of the fine bassos in opera, there arrived from Kansas a young man named Sam Ramey, and as part of the Paterson,New Jersey Company, under the marvelous Armen Boyajian, we began to sing many operas with Sam as the lead.

   It was my pleasure to sing in Anna Bolena,Boheme,Tales of Hoffmann, and Barbiere with Sam. We knew he had great talent, but as we know, he has had one of the great opera careers, and on this March 28, I wish him a happy birthday.

      Sam!!! Put your shirt DEVIL!!!!!     Love   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 10:11pm EDT

Georges Thill- Volume 2

A very great tenor,Georges Thill ,in arias from Herodiade, Aida, La Juive, Alceste, Le Cid, Les Huguenots, Pagliacci, Lohengrin, Traviata,Wm.Tell, Joseph (Mehul), Sapho (Massenet), Romeo et Juliette, Fortunio (Messager), L'Attaque du Moulin (Bruneau), and Parsifal.    (67 min.)

Direct download: Thill-vol._2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

Happy Number 60,my beloved Dolora Zajick

A FORCE OF NATURE!!!!  I always told Dolora we need to clone her...because there is NO ONE ELSE these days who sings like the "old-timers." 

                                               LOVE  from Charlie


Category:general -- posted at: 8:53pm EDT


    Bless the great lady who reaches 102 on Mar.25. She is a miracle in the world of music, and in her honor here are scenes from the Fanciulla del West from Venice, 1967 under Oliviero de Fabritiis, with Daniele Barioni and Giangiacomo Guelfi.  (70 min>).

    Words always fail me when I speak of this beloved lady, and i know she will express her usual greeting to you all in our yearly phone conversation.  I do not imagine a world without her.

                                                       Love to you, my dear Magda.

P.S.   Called her Monday and she sounds like a KID!!! Her voice is so clear, and that "Verismo Italiano" is something I treasure.She sends you all her love, knowing how many people appreciate her.

Direct download: Magda_Fanc.102.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT


In my opera-going experience, I cannot say any singer touched my heart more than the lady who would be 100 years old this day, March 22, 2012. This 1964 scene from Elektra tells only a tiny fraction of what she was onstage. It had nothing to do with a pure vocal tone, but it was a "total package" of beauty and excitement that opera lovers will remember if they were able to witness at least some of her career, as I did.

    I behold her right now, from 55 years ago, as Isolde, and the Brunnhildes, and will never forget her.   (19 min.)

Direct download: Moedl_100.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:17pm EDT


 In honor of my dear Diana Soviero's 21st birthday, I present highlights from a 1980 Los Angeles Boheme under John Mauceri. This was the opera (in 1977) in which I first heard this very great artist, and you know the rest.

     In the cast are Riccardo Calleo, Frederick Burchinall, Robert McFarland (Schaunard),Stephanie Sundine, and Robert Hale.   (71 min.)

I follow this with the letter I wrote to everyone on this day.

                                                   She means so much to me.    Charlie

  Hello everyone,

                Every March 19 I celebrate the birthdays of two of the greatest divas in my life,those of Diana Soviero, and my ma. Ma didn't have much chest,but she could kick up  storm in the Follies in the 1920's. 
   I will never forget the first time (Mar.13, 1977) that I heard that glorious Soviero voice as Mimi ,and,coupled with the depth of emotion, the attention to phrase, the combination of what we term "Kunsst/Stimm divas (both voice and art divas). I wish my darlings,one in my memory forever, and one who has always been so appreciated by directors,colleagues,audiences and of course her students all my best on this day.
       Anyone who does not know her worth, just go to Youtube with 5 Pavarotti towels, and watch her Suor Angelica finale,which is an example of the kind of verismo singing you hear from Muzio,Favero, and Zeani,and does not exist today.

                                                  All my love to my two girls.


Direct download: Boheme_Soviero_1980_Birth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT

A Brilliant 1970 Scala Vespri

This is a magnificent Vespri Sicilani from Scala 1970 under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. It features Renata Scotto, Piero Cappuccilli, Ruggero and Gianni Raimondi (no relations) and I know you will enjoy it. The more I hear Scotto, the more I am captivated by her feeling for the line and the style.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Vespri_Scala_1970.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

The Great Norman Treigle, Born 3/6/23

Treigle was born in New Orleans, the fifth and final child of a poor carpenter and his wife. Following his 1946 marriage to the former Loraine Siegel, the bass-baritone began vocal studies with the contralto Elisabeth Wood. In 1947, he made his operatic debut with the New Orleans Opera Association, as the Duke of Verona in Roméo et Juliette.

Between 1949 and 1951, he attended Loyola University of the South's College of Music, while performing various roles with the local opera company.

In 1953, Treigle made his New York City Opera debut, as Colline in La bohème. Three years later, the bass-baritone scored his first significant success, as the tormented Reverend Olin Blitch, in the New York premiere of Floyd's Susannah. He made his European debut in this same opera, at the Brussels World's Fair, in 1958.

In succeeding seasons, Treigle became one of the top bass-baritones in North America, and was acclaimed as one of the world's foremost singing-actors. He sang in many experimental productions and participated in several important premieres, in operas by Einem, Copland, Moore, Floyd, Orff, Dallapiccola and Ward (The Crucible). Perhaps his greatest roles were in Faust (as Méphistophélès), Carmen (as Escamillo), Susannah, Il prigioniero, Les contes d'Hoffmann (the four Villains), Boris Godunov and, especially, Mefistofele.

Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle.

In the autumn of 1974, Treigle made his London debut at Covent Garden in a new production of Faust. On February 16, 1975, Treigle was found dead in his New Orleans apartment. He had been diagnosed as a chronic insomniac and it was determined that he had consumed an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. By his first wife, he had a son (who died in 1993) and a daughter, Phyllis. He had also adopted the daughter of his second wife, from whom he was separated at the time of his death.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am EDT

Saving $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ at the Met

Mr.Gelb MUST cut corners at the Met since he spent 500 zillion dollars on the new he has to cut down on the chorus...He will therefore use a new chorus for some spectacles.

Will the audience know??????

Direct download: Bad_Puma.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT


So,we had the Talmud, the Koran, War and Peace, Don Quijote (I had to read ALL of it), but now comes my review of the wonderful Latonia Moore's Met debut!!! (Do not worry,it will be somewhat shorter than the above.).For me, the most important element of the Aida was that the DUMB theory, totally dispelled by the marvelous low register of Latonia, that you cannot sing chest because "it shortens the top range."  Just take the phrase in act three " O patria,patria,quando mi costi,etc.) or the opening of "Ritorna Vincitor" where unlike every Aida I have heard in recent years cannot say "parola" like a true Italian. (Sweet said, "parowwwwwlah).
           Will Gelb understand the importance of someone who today joined "minor" artists like Varnay,Flagstad, and te Kanawa in making a fabulous debut on the eadio? Is it possible that perhaps he will decide that this was a special event and do some cast changing for next season?
            Latonia has a luscious voice, with all the elements of a great soprano, as I thought years ago at the "Elgar" performance at Carnegie. I am so happy for her...and did you ever hear such a prolonged ovation after "Ritorna Vincitor," which was in some ways "Zeani-like" in temperament and the lower register (and Virginia loved it, by the way.)
              Blythe sang magnificently, but I hate when Armiliato rushes the very end of the Judgement Scene, not allowing the kind of thrills that,for example, Antonino Votto gives with Simionato. Morris is getting on,but he surely has paid his dues. Ataneli sounded excellent with Madama Moore in the duet, and of course Marcello sang as brilliantly as always, with the "squillante" sound I love so.
                 So you see, the review was not as long as you thought,but at least I expressed what I felt about the "new star" who might end up as famous as that guy on the Knicks...that could be very Linteresting.

                                                                    VIVA LATONIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                       Chesty Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

Latonia Moore to make Met debut as Aida

        At a Licia Albanese gala years ago, and then in the complete Puccini  "Edgar" at Carnegie Hall, I heard the magnificent voice of Latonia Moore,who brought the house down, and when I met this sweet and lovely lady, I threatened to picket the Met if they didn't grab her up!!!!
         Well, now she joins Astrid Varnay,Kirsten Flagstad, Kiri te Kanawa and others I cannot think of now, making a Met debut on a broadcast (March 3). I am wishing this superb lady all my best for the Aida, and hope and pray the Met will learn something and give her more material over the years.
         I have some arthritis these days, so I am glad I do not have to walk around at Lincoln Center with my "Latonia Belongs at the Met" sign.
          I wish this beautiful diva all my best!!!!!!!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 8:08pm EDT

Rigoletto with Alfredo Kraus

This is the Met debut (1966) of the fabulous Alfredo Kraus (including a D natural). Francesco Molinari-Pradelli conducts, with Cornell MacNeil, Roberta Peters, and Ruza Baldani. (71 min.)

Direct download: Rig.Kraus_deb..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

The Art of Geraldine Farrar

One of the world's most popular divas was Geraldine Farrar  (1882-1967). I present highlights from La Boheme, Mme.Butterfly, Tosca, and Il Segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari). In the duets we have Enrico Caruso, and in the Boheme quartet we have Caruso,  Antonio Scotti, and Gina Viafora

(55 min.)

Direct download: Farrar.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT


  As Lucine Amara celebrates birthday no.87 on March 1, I tell you that the voice is STILL as luscious and clear as on my 1948 audition tapes....No kidding!!!!! I give you the Youtube link below......and,trust me, she has never lost that sound!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm EDT

Enrico Caruso Birthday

The above link will take you to the GOD of opera, Enrico Caruso, born Feb.23, 1873.

Bless his memory forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Medea with Magda Olivero

 A most exciting performnce of Cherubini's "Medea," from Dallas, 1967 under Nicola Rescigno. Magda Olivero makes a rare appearance in this opera, with Bruno Prevedi, Nicola Zaccaria, and Biancamaria Casoni.   

(64 min.)

Direct download: Medea_Olivero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

Walkure Act Three under Wilhelm Furtwaengler

From Covent Garden, 1937, a live performance of the third act of Die Walkure under Wilhelm Furtwaengler, featuring Kirsten Flagstad, Maria Muller, and Rudolf Bockelman.  (64 glorious minutes)

Direct download: Walkure_CG_Furt..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

Cesare Siepi as Gurnemanz

We rarely have heard the great Cesare Siepi in German opera. Here is act three of Parsifal from 1971 with Sandor Konya and Thomas Stewart. The conductor is Leopold Luwig. This is what we call "pure velvet." A great man!!!   (74 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal2_Siepi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

Tales of Hoffmann with Zeani, Part Two

Here is part Two of the Tales of Hoffmann from 1966, Geneva  (61 min.)

Direct download: Hoff.Zeani_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

Tales of Hoffmann from Geneva,Part One

Virginia Zeani sings the three Hoffmann heroines from a Geneva 1966 perf.  Her husband,Nicola Rossi-Lemeni sings the villains, and Jon Crain is the Hoffmann. (Part One-28 min.)

Direct download: Hoff.Zeani_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EDT

OTELLO, Covent Garden 1962

 A most exciting Otello from Covent Garden under Sir Georg Solti. Mario del Monaco,Tito Gobbi, and Raina Kabaiwanska are the featured artists, supported by Josephine Veasey and John Lanigan. 

(70 min.)

Direct download: Otello_Kab.2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

Rest in Peace, dear Charles Anthony

Maybe he did not want to use his name "Caruso," but those who loved him thought he EARNED IT!!!!!!!!

Bless his memory.!!!!!!

Anthony was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the child of immigrants from Sicily. He studied music at Loyola University New Orleans, where he studied under Dorothy Hulse, also the teacher of Audrey Schuh and Harry Theyard, from where he graduated in 1951. The tenor sang the role of the Messenger in Il trovatore, at the New Orleans Opera Association, in 1947. At the age of twenty-two, he auditioned under his birth name for the Metropolitan Opera's Auditions of the Air. He won the auditions, but Sir Rudolf Bing convinced him to drop his surname, saying that it would invite comparisons with Enrico Caruso.

[edit] At the Metropolitan

Anthony made his debut at the Metropolitan on March 6, 1954, playing the role of the Simpleton in Boris Godunov. Critics were impressed; The New York Times wrote, "Mr Anthony had better be careful. If he does other bit parts so vividly, he'll be stamped as a character singer for life." In the event, this proved true; although Anthony performed some larger roles early in his career (including Don Ottavio, to the Donna Anna of Herva Nelli, in Don Giovanni), he made his mark as a comprimario singer.

On February 17, 1992, following Act II of a performance of Puccini's Tosca, Anthony was honored in an onstage ceremony on the occasion of his breaking the record of George Cehanovsky for most appearances by an artist at the Metropolitan Opera. By the time of his retirement, Anthony had performed 2,928 times with the company, over fifty-six seasons.[2]

Anthony is an honorary member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) Local One in New York City.


Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm EDT

"My song goes round the world."

   In the words of that famous Josef Schmidt film, we are getting close to one million "songs" (downloads) and it is a great pleasure for me to spread the word and share with you the treasures that have enriched my life.

     When we reach a million, we will have to do something special.(Any ideas??). perhaps a Lady Gaga orJustin Bieber podcast.(For those in far-off lands, look them up on Wackypedia.).

         Thanks again for all your support.

                   As ever Carlo Magno (I just saw Ernani)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:48am EDT

The Great Cesare Siepi, Born 2/10/. 1923

GREATEST BASSO IN MY LIFE>>>Pure Velvet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

His international reputation was established in 1950, when Sir Rudolf Bing brought him to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to open the 1950 season as King Philip II in Don Carlo. He was to remain principal bass at the Met until 1974, adding roles such as Boris Godunov (in English) and Gurnemanz in Parsifal (in German), and singing all the major roles of the bass repertoire.

His debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was in 1950, and he appeared there regularly until the mid 1970s.

In 1953, Siepi debuted at the Salzburg Festival with a legendary production of Don Giovanni conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, staged by Herbert Graf, and designed by Clemens Holzmeister. He made an immediate impact in the title role of Don Giovanni which became perhaps his best known role, as it had been for the most famous Italian bass of the generation before, Ezio Pinza. This performance has been released on CD, and a 1954 mounting of this production was filmed in color and released in 1955.

Siepi was a frequent guest at the Vienna State Opera. In 43 performances he sang Don Giovanni, more often than any other singer in modern times except for Eberhard Wächter. In 1967 Siepi was Don Giovanni in a controversially received production staged by Otto Schenk and designed by Luciano Damiani that showed Mozart's masterpiece in the light of the commedia dell'arte, emphasizing the comic and ironic elements of this opera (conductor Josef Krips strongly opposed this production's concept). In Vienna he also sang Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Colline (La bohème), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino 1974 in a new production conducted by Riccardo Muti), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Méphistophélès (Faust), Filippo II (Don Carlos), and Ramphis (Aida). His final performance at Vienna was in Norma (Oroveso) at the Austria Center Vienna in 1994.

He was a particularly fine recital artist, especially in Community Concerts under Columbia Artist Management, and a sensitive interpreter of German Lieder. He married Met ballerina Luellen Sibley and they had two children.

Siepi enjoyed a long career, and performed regularly until the 1980s, including lead roles in the ill-fated Broadway musicals Bravo Giovanni and Carmelina. In addition to his studio recordings, there are also many live recordings of performances of his major roles.

Siepi's formal farewell to the operatic stage occurred at the Teatro Carani in Sassuolo on 21 April 1989. Indeed, Capon's List shows live recordings made as late as 1988.

Siepi's last studio recording was as the old King Archibaldo in RCA's 1976 taping of Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re, with Anna Moffo and Plácido Domingo in the cast.

Siepi died at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on July 5, 2010 after suffering a stroke more than a week earlier.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm EDT

Elektra with Astrid Varnay

A brilliant Elektra with Astrid Varnay, Leonie Rysanek, Hans Hotter, and Res Fischer from 1953 under Richard Kraus.   (71 min.)



She made her sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera on 6 December 1941 in a broadcast performance singing Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre, substituting for the indisposed Lotte Lehmann with almost no rehearsal. This was her first appearance in a leading role, and it was a triumph. Six days later she replaced the ailing Helen Traubel as Brünnhilde in the same opera. Varnay and Weigert became closer and were married in 1944. It was also at this time that she had lessons with former Metropolitan Opera tenor, Paul Althouse.

In 1948 she made her debut at Covent Garden and in 1951 in Florence as Lady Macbeth. In that year she also made her debut at Bayreuth after Flagstad, who had declined the invitation to Bayreuth, recommended that Wieland Wagner engage Varnay. She sang at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years, and appeared regularly at the Metropolitan until 1956.

She left when it was clear that the Met director Rudolf Bing did not appreciate her, and went on to become a mainstay of the world's other great opera houses, especially in Germany, in Wagner and Strauss but also several Verdi and other roles. She had already made Munich her home, where audiences considered her a goddess.

In 1969 she gave up her repertoire of heavy dramatic soprano roles and began a new career singing mezzo roles. After being the world's leading Elektra for over twenty years, she now established herself as a great interpreter of Klytemnestra. The role of Herodias in Salome became her most often-performed role: 236 performances. She returned to the Metropolitan in 1974 and last appeared there in Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in 1979.

In the mid-1980s, character roles now became Varnay's metier. Her last appearance on stage was in Munich in 1995, fifty-five years after her Metropolitan debut. In 1998 she published her autobiography Fifty-Five Years in Five Acts: My Life in Opera, written with Donald Arthur (German title is Hab'mir's gelobt).

In 2004, a documentary about her life and first New York career entitled Never before, produced by Donald Collup, who interviewed her, received acclaim in the USA. Her recordings of Strauss heroines such as Elektra and Salome along with the Wagnerian roles are among the treasures of the medium, while transcriptions of broadcast performances of her great roles document her art in sound, and a few video recordings of her late career preserve evidence of her acting ability. Astrid Varnay died in Munich on 4 September 2006, aged 88.

Direct download: Elektra_Varnay.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:18am EDT

Rest in Peace, dear Camilla Williams

Camilla Williams, emerita professor of music

WilliamsThe NAACP's Roy Wilkins had asked her to sing a spiritual at the August 1963 civil rights rally in Washington, D.C. But Camilla Williams ended up singing The Star Spangled Banner as well.

Williams recalled that another singer on the program was caught in traffic, and Wilkins needed someone to sing the national anthem. (Contralto Marian Anderson was stuck in traffic.)

"I ran up all the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and was out of breath when I got to the microphone," she said. But she sang to the 200,000 gathered there and the next year, after King won the Nobel Peace Prize, she sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic for a gathering of dignitaries and friends of the civil rights leader. "I was honored to know Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta," she told the audience.

Williams was the first black singer on contract to appear with the New York City Opera. She premiered in 1946 as Cio Cio San in Madame Butterfly, and she was the IU School of Music's first black professor of voice.

   I spoke to her only recently...I am so sad...She was so kind and I reminded her she was my first ever Butterfly.Sadly, the racism in music prevented her from coming to the Met.  Bless her memory. (She was 92)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

My Memories of Renata Tebaldi

Ciao a tutti,


                 When we gathered outside the Met stage door on Feb.1, 1956, after Tebaldi's debut as Desdemona (we lost our voices for weeks), we were unaware that it was her 34th birthday. As usual, she signed every program in the freezing cold, and that was our first encounter with the lady who made our lives so happy, on and off stage. She would be 90 this day, and let me remember some of my personal tales of this beloved lady:
                   Those of us who heard her live do not believe that there was EVER any soprano who combined a phenomenally gorgeous quality and  Brunnhilde-like volume. Imagine a Gioconda duet withe two of them..get the earplugs!
                    I am following this with a few anecdotes from my personal experience, just to give you a more personal view of her personality:


    1. She did not like to fly,  and one Tuesday night, when she was off to sing in Philadelphia (The Met went there regularly), we were seeing off and she was standing in the last (open) car of the train;the baggage handler opened the door and she said, "Spoletta,chiudi!"
     2. She did another Tosca thing at one of our huge hotel parties, as she cut the cake, waving the knife with a hearty, "Questo e il bacio di Tosca."
     3. Every Met  Tebaldi evening ended with us nutcases chasing the limo up 40th Street and her yelling "Ciao" out the window.Once I did not notice a fire plug and almost became the world's last castrato.
   4.   As she came out at Carnegie (Bell Tel.Hr.) for the "Inflammatus" in 1955, she saw the "gang" in the first row, winked down at us and then launched into that great piece. We felt she was performing it for us. I do not think I ever really lost that "groupie mentality."


    5. After my dad died, I took my mom, a former Follies girl, to see her in Traviata.She took mom's hand backstage, and every time I saw her years after, she always asked, "Com'e la mamma?"
              Well,basta for all that....Just remember how thrilling it was for teens to find themselves close with a lady who filled the hearts of opera lovers everywhere with her great voice and her undying love. (Ooops..I almost wet the keyboard.).


                               On your 90th,dear Renata, thanks for all you were in life to so many who will never forget you.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Renata Tebaldi's 90th Birthday Tribute

   Here are arias and scenes from earlier Tebaldi performances, commercial and live. Included are: Boheme,Butterfly, Adriana, Louise, Giovanna D'Arco, Andrea Chenier,The Verdi Requiem and also a "Vissi d'arte' as sung by her teacher, Carmen Melis.   (68 min.).

      May my darling Renata never be forgotten!

Direct download: Tebaldi_90th.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT


 She said, "Dammi il braccio,mio piccinO" and I,knowing Boheme at 19 (with hair), responded, "Obbedisco,SignorA."   SNAP!!!!! This photo will forver remain in my heart.


Direct download: Renata_and_I.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

Fedora Highlights with Beniamino Gigli

  We begin with some scenes from a 1951 Rio de Janeiro Fedora with Beniamino Gigli (born 1890) and Elena Nicolai, conducted by Nino Sanzogno. Also included are three arias from Fedora with Gigli.   (44 min.)

Direct download: Fedora_Gigli.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Gotterdamerung from 1936

Here we present highlights from a superb Gotterdamerung under Artur Bodansky. Despite the transcription disc sounds, one can understand what great Wagnerian artists existed in that era. Marjorie Lawrence, Lauritz Melchior, Friedrich Schorr, Ludwig Hoffman, Kathryn Meisle and Dorothee Manski (Gutrune) are the artists.  (63 min.)

Direct download: Gott.Lawrence.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:45pm EDT

A little more about Paul...

   I also wanted to mention that the "kid" at around age 20 was the Guardiano in our Forza del Destino in Paterson, New Jersey, under the brilliant leadership of Paul's teacher and coach, Armen Boyajian.  I also want to express my deep affection for Paul, and wish him all the best. He has always been a wonderful artist and a fine human being.

                                                Love from Melitone

Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

Bless you,Paul Plishka, as you bid farewell to the Met

Paul Plishka (born August 28, 1941) is a Ukrainian-American bass opera singer.

Mr Plishka comes from Old Forge, Pennsylvania and Paterson, New Jersey; his parents were American-born children of Ukrainian immigrants. He studied at Montclair State College and with Armen Boyajian (also the pedagogue of Marisa Galvany and fellow basso Samuel Ramey), and made his operatic debut with the Paterson Lyric Opera, in 1961.

Plishka made his formal debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Monk in La Gioconda, in 1967. He became one of the company's leading basses, and has appeared in many other theatres, including the Teatro alla Scala (debut in La damnation de Faust, 1974) and the New York City Opera (I puritani, 1981).

The bass sang over 1,600 performances with the Met, placing him at Number 10 on their official list of most-frequent performers, which dates back to the company's inception in 1883. On January 10, 2012, bid Farewell to the company, as the Sacristan in Tosca, opposite Patricia Racette and Roberto Alagna.

He is a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity. [1]

Paul Plishka's artistry was recognized in 1992 when he received the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and when, several years earlier, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great American Opera Singers in a celebration at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Phil.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

NEW STYLE FOR "Mr.Friend of Opera."

   I think you will like the new style of my VIDEO check it out...

Category:general -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT


  The happiest of birthdays to the great Marcello Giordani as I present five beautiful Italian songs from his album, "Ti voglio tanto bene." Marcello is a very great artist and a lovable human being as well.  Bravo al MAESTRO MARCELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                          Con affetto,



Direct download: Giordani_Birth_2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

Rest in Peace, Rita Gorr

Dear Rita Gorr just passed away. She would have turned 86 in February.I saw her Met debut as Delilah, and her Amneris matched Birgit in size of voice....A wonderful artist.

  Rest in Peace.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT


Highlights from a rare 1935 performance of Romeo et Juliette, conducted by Louis Hasselmans. It features Eide Norena, Charles Hackett, Giuseppe de Luca, Leon Rothier, and Gladys Swarthout. The sound is not great,owing to the original transcription discs, but it is quite acceptable. (71 min.)

Direct download: Romeo_1935.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

Coming up on Renata Tebaldi's 90th birthday.

On a freezing morning on Jan.31, 1955, I awoke at 4:30 to get to the Met standee line to wait all day for the debut of the lady whose 90th birthday comes on Feb.1.Therefore when we met her outside for the first time, it was her 34th birthday(born Feb.1, 1922.) She was the most beloved artist one could imagine and we became close, as did many others, because she was our (mommy." I called her for many years on her birthday and to this day, that 19 year old kid never quite recuperated from knowing this loving lady and one of the greatest sopranos in opera history. Can we do any special kind of tribute here on Feb.1 in her memory???It would be nice, especially for the younger fans of opera who never saw her.?? I have some cute stories to tell and many things about her singing only those who saw her could explain.  No one who knew her on and off stage will EVER forget what she meant to us.

    If you have any requests for lives arias/scenes, e-mail me at

Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT


Just to remind you of my Google Videos (168 of them) at:

Category:general -- posted at: 12:04am EDT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Jan.22) to dear Joseph Calleja

I have met many singers, and they are usually sweethearts...but dear Joe is so special to all who know him on and off stage. May I wish him a wonderful birthday and may he continue to thrill audiences all over the globe.   

The three arias are from the new album, "The Maltese Tenor."

Direct download: Calleja_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

Bless Rosa Ponselle!!

 Born on Jan.22, 1897, Rosa Ponselle was considered my many to have had the most gorgeous voice EVER!  Unfortunately she retired in her late thirties, but at least we do have her Villa Pace recordings, and the voice was still remarkable. Imagine a "kid" making a debut with Caruso in Forza at the Met!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

I did have hair and freckles once!!!!!!

When I think of that "other' Spanish speaking dude with whom I share a birthday, I often look back on my youth, and remember someone I resembled. Of course, as I compare us two, I do feel slighted, since he has sung more roles than I, I take the train and he has a jet, and I may own 250 Toscas, but he owns Madrid.

Love to a great icon in the world of music (Not me!!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm EDT

Born: January 21, 1941 - Madrid, Spain

The famous Spanish tenor and able conductor, Plácido Domingo, was born to zarzuela singers. After a tour of Mexico, they settled there and gave performances with their own company. Placido joined his parents in Mexico at the age of 7 and began appearing with them in various productions while still a child. He also studied piano with Manuel Barajas in Mexico City and voice with Carlo Morelli at the National Conservatory there (1955-1957).

Plácido Domingo made his operatic debut in the tenor role of Borsa in Rigoletto with the National Opera in Mexico City in 1959. His first major role was as Alfredo in La Traviata in Monterrey in 1961. That same year he made his USA debut as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Dallas Civic Opera. Then he was a member of the Hebrew National Opera in Tel Aviv (1962-1964). He made his first appearance with the New York City Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly in October 1965. In August 1966, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Turiddu in a concert performance of Cavalleria rusticana at New York's Lewisohn Stadium. His formal debut on the stage of the Metropolitan followed in September 1968, when he essayed the role of Maurice de Saxe in Adriana Lecouvreur, establishing himself as one of its principal members. He also sang regularly at the Vienna State Opera (from 1967), Milan's La Scala (from 1969), and London's Covent Garden (from 1971). His travels took him to all the major operatic centers of the world, and he also sang for recordings, films, and television.

Plácido Domingo also pursued conducting. He made his formal debut as an opera conductor with La Traviata at the New York City Opera in October 1973, and in October 1984, he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, conducting La Boheme. He commissioned Menotti's opera Goya and sang the title role at its premiere in Washington, D.C, in November 1986. In 1987 he sang Otello at the 100th anniversary performances at La Scala. On New Year's Eve 1988 he appeared as a soloist with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a gala concert televised live to millions, during which he also conducted the orchestra in the overture to Die Fledermaus. In July 1990, he participated in a celebrated concert with fellow tenors Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti in Rome, with Zubin Mehta conducting. The concert was telecast live to the world and subsequently became a best-selling video and compact disc. In 1992 he appeared at the opening gala ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. In 1993 he sang Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival with extraordinary success.

Plácido Domingo celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera singing Siegmund in Act 1 of Die Walküre in a performance broadcast live on radio throughout the world in September 1993. In July 1994, he again appeared in concert with Carreras, Pavarotti, and Zubin Mehta in Los Angeles, which spectacle was telecast live to the world. In 1994 he was named principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. In 1996 he assumed the position of artistic director of the Washington (D.C.) Opera.

One of the best-known lyric tenors of his era, Plácido Domingo has gained international renown for his portrayals of such roles as Cavaradossi, Des Grieux, Radames, Don Carlo, Otello, Don Jose, Hoffmann, Canio, and Samson.

He published an autobiography, Plácido Domingo: My First Forty Years (New York, 1983).

Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

Joseph Calleja and Tatiana Lisnic Concert

 Joseph Calleja and Tatiana Lisnic sing a concert in Regensburg, 2004 under conductor Alex Kober               (65 min.)

Direct download: Calleja_Regens..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

Reminder for you!

    Reminder: Especially our new members, that since we had to remove the "Comments' section from this site, since I was getting tons of unwanted ads, you need to write me at if you have any comments or suggestions.

        Also, I invite young artists to make private requests for special podcasts that might help you with your repertory. For example, when I did a "Handelmanian Master Class' for Dolora Zajick's students, I did make some podcasts for some of them according to what they were studying.(e.g. 10 Vissi d'artes,etc.). So feel free to make such a request.

          In addition, if I say something mean about one of your favorite singers, I will not be offended, since I have done that for years!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

The WORLD of Opera

    When I look at the statistics on this site, I am absolutely delighted at the incredible interest in opera all over the globe. From Albania to Zanzibar,etc...and maybe because of my teaching Romance Languages, I got a special thrill out of the fact that Venezuela ranks numero SEIS!!!!.

          I also want you to read the interesting Wikipidia site (on the blog) that lists various opera singers from many countries in the history of opera.

     By the way,since we have now so many stars from Latin-America, I did make a list of them, but whatever country you are from (even Brooklyn), you can find some of your fellow countrymen who made it BIG!

                           Love to you all,


(Why did the Wikipedia site come out twice?????????)

Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Don Carlo La Scala 1977, Part Two

Here is part two of this superb La Scala Don Carlo.  Enjoy!!!!   (70 min.).

What a fabulous cast!!!!

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Scala-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:27pm EDT

Don Carlo from 1977 La Scala Part One

What a cast!!! This is part one of the five act version of Don Carlo from La Scala, 1977, under Claudio Abbado. The stellar cast features Jose Carreras, Mirella Freni, Elena Obratsova, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicolai Ghiaurov, and Evgenyi Nesterenko (Inquisitor)      ( 66 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Scala-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

An Exciting Samson et Delilah

From 1964,am under Jean Fournet, I bring you highlights from Samson et Delilah with Oralia Dominguez (should be more appreciated), Jon Vickers, and Ernest Blanc. (69 min.)

  (I wonder if Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature could sing!!)

Direct download: Samson_Dominguez..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT


  Compilation of various Confrontation Scenes from Maria Stuarda of Donizetti.I know you will enjoy the various sopranos/mezzos in this act one finale. The pairs (in order) are:

Carmela Remigio/Sona Ganassi   Janet Baker/Pauline Tinsley (In English,in mezzo key),

Giusy Devinu/Enkelejada Shkosa     Monserrat Caballe/ Shirley Verret

Edita Gruberova/ Carmen Oprisanu     Ruth Ann Swenson/ Lauren Flanigan

Leyla Gencer/ Shirley Verret                 Beverly Sills/ Marisa Galvany

                                         (64 exciting minutes)

Direct download: Stuarda_Confron..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:36pm EDT

Early Studio Recordings of Franco Corelli

Here are the earliest reordings (1956-1959) by Franco Corelli.They originally were on the Cetra label. The arias are from:

I Lombardi, Otello, Tosca, Turandot, Cavalleria, Fedora,Mme.Butterfly, Adriana Lecouvreur, Fanciulla, Andrea Chenier,  Lodoletta, Mefistofele, Pagliacci, and Werther.  (66 min.)

  How we miss him!!!!!!!!

Direct download: Corelli_Early.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:27pm EDT

Un Ballo in Maschera from Scala, 1956

What a great cast (except Oscar) in this La Scala 1956 Ballo under Gianandrea Gavazzeni.It features Antonietta Stella, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Ebe Stignani, Ettore Bastianini, Eugenia Ratti, Silvio Maionica (Sam), and Nicola Zaccaria (Tom.)    (68 glorious minutes)

Direct download: Ballo_Stignani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT

The Magnificent Ailyn Perez

   I have a dear buddy who turns off any Violetta who can not show the kind of pure JOY that Mme.Perez exhibits. This is her Covent Garden debut, and i will post more (if she approves.) I met her before she became the wife of the equally endearing Steven Costello,but I only heard her today, and went NUTS./.Crabby Charlie...Listen to the way she sings just these lines on the order of Callas, Soviero, and one of her teachers, Virginia Zeani, for whom I played this part on the phone.

  Destined for STARDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More later...   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 1:11pm EDT

La Sonnambula with Virginia Zeani

From Naples, 1959, under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, here is a fine performance of Bellini's "La Sonnambula." It features Virginia Zeani, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, and Nicola Monti (70 min.)

  The photo shows Virginia being honored last year in Bucarest.

HAPPY 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Direct download: Zeani_Sonn..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT


 January 4 is the birthday of a great artist, Mme.Grace Bumbry,pictured here as a former Kennedy Center Honoree. A happy birthday and all our love for a great career!!!!!

 You will find a lot of material on Youtube, so go there and enjoy her magnificent talent.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

More Great Music

September 2012
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