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,
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!