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 EST

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 EST

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

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

  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 EST

  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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 Corelli......ma 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 EST

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

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

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

 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 EST

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

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

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

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

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 EST

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 EST

   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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

 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 EST

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 EST

 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 EST

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: Placido21@aol.com. 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 EST

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 EST

    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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

 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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

 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 EST

  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 EST

  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 EST

  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 EST

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

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

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

HIYA ALL,

      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 EST

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