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: 1:41 AM

  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: 1:38 AM

 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 well...how 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 ever..as 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: 9:03 PM

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: 8:11 PM

   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 on...you DEVIL!!!!!     Love   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 2:11 AM

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: 2:02 AM

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: 12:53 AM

    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: 12:35 AM

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: 9:17 PM

 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.

                                                                         Charlie

Direct download: Boheme_Soviero_1980_Birth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:20 AM


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