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,

                                                                           Charlie        

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.

                                                                                  Sincerely,

                                                                                                Charlie
                                                                                      

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

PORGY AND BESS

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 Placido21@aol.com 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

COMMENTS, ANYONE?????

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 Placido21@aol.com.

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


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August 2012
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