Maria Callas, Born on Dec.2, 1923

 What more need we say about Maria Callas, born on Dec.2, 1923?  She may have left us early, but her stamp upon the world of music is indelible, and will remain so through the ages. Yes, we know of her vocal flaws, especially after 1957, but what she gave to opera made the lives of true opera aficionados so rich and rewarding. Bless her memory!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

Stignani Stella del Marinar

Since they chose to cut Stignani's aria in Gioconda,in my latest podcast, here it is from another perf.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tZh-9M9Sgk

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

Rest in Peace, Sena Jurinac,wonderful soprano

Opera singer Sena Jurinac, one of the most celebrated sopranos of the post-war period, has died aged 90.

Born in Travnik in Bosnia in October 1921, the Austrian star studied in Zagreb, and made her debut there 1942 as Mimi in La Boheme.

She made very few recordings across her career, although the BBC recently issued a CD of her 1961 Proms show.

The Vienna State Opera, of which she was an honorary member, confirmed the singer had died in southern Germany.

In a statement, it said it was mourning the loss of a "legendary artist who shaped not only the Vienna State Opera but also the entire opera world".

Jurinac first sang for the company in 1944, playing Cherubino in The Marriage Of Figaro, and remained a member until 1983, when she made her farewell as Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.

She appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1947, and soon after made her London debut, singing Dorabella at Covent Garden.

Jurinac went on to become a favourite at Glyndebourne, and was renowned for her interpretation of Mozart.

Scholar Peter Branscombe described her voice as "beautifully pure, rich and even throughout its range".

Austrian news agency APA reported that Jurinac died Tuesday at her home near Augsburg.

From other news sites

Category:general -- posted at: 12:19am EDT

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!

Hi all,

           Not everyone in the universe celebrates Thanksgiving as we do in the U.S.A. However, it really does not matter, because we all have a lot to be thankful for, and we must also think of those who may have less than we do, and reach out to them always.  I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, and all my sincere thanks for your support.

             Hey, when we get to a million downloads, I will have to think of a special podcast.  Maybe Justin Bieber singing the Winterreise????

 My best,

 Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm EDT

Opera Lovers in China

  We have now about 954,000 downloads over 6 years. The U.S. leads with 211,322 and the SECOND country, with 24, 853 is China. Of course the podcasts seem to go all over the world, but I just wanted to congratulate the opera lovers in China for being number 2...not in any way forgetting the rest of the world.

          By the way, I was most surprised to see some downloads from Mars. I wonder if their sopranos used chest voice.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:19am EDT

Ta'u and Samantha


   In  the past I have mentioned my friend, tenor Ta'u Pupu'a and have spoken of how we met at our Rigoletto several years ago, and I could not believe he had never sung an opera before. After a few years, having now graduated from Juilliard, he is surely destined for a wonderful professional career (following a professional career as a pro football player...so do not mess with him!!).
      Last evening at the Good Shepherd-Faith Church on 66th Streeet (down from a theatre where I hope he will some day debut),he and a lovely soprano, Samantha Jeffreys, sang a recital, and it was one of the most exciting events I have had the pleasure of attending. Ms.Jeffreys has a very large and resonant lyric voice, almost too powerful for a church setting. She is so musical, and was able to excell in both popular and opera material. I noted a cute touch during the Mimi aria,when she got to "ma prego assai il signor," and made the sign of the cross.This shows she knows what is going on! It is hard to scale a large voice down in an acoustical live setting, and I hope in the future she  can lighten up somewhat in some of the material( e.g. the "Sombre Foret" from William Tell), but you know they call me "Picky Charlie."
        Ta'u was amazing! His first selections, "Tu che non chiagne" and "Non ti scordar di me' were in some parts of the middle and upper middle voice almost "Wagnerian" in tone, and he places every note so beautifully, with a brilliant easy top range.(Well,he has done Bacchus in Ariadne). He also has the ability to shine in popular music and sang so romantically  songs from Romberg's New Moon, and with Mme.Jeffreys, some West Side Story selections. He also did a "Corelli" by holding the high B flat at the end of the "Recondita Armonia' a couple of seconds longer, his big brilliant voice roused the audience to many bravoes.
           Ta'u  sang,as an encore, a beautiful song from his native Tonga, and the two ended with "You'll never walk alone." This was a divine evening, and we all hope for many future successes for these young artists.
           Since I am also the President of his non-existant fan club and his totally unpaid agent, I always feel such joy that I "discovered'' a guy who asked me if the Duke in Rigoletto was HARD??? Yup!!!!
             Love and best wishes to these marvelous young artists!
                                                                                 Charlie

 

Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm EDT

Katharine is GOLD!

Katharine Goeldner sang her first Met Jayne Seymour in Anna Bolena last Friday. This is a magnificent voice and a consummate musician and artist. If you go to Youtube, you will hear a Waltraute scene to DIE FOR!!!

 I finally saw a show where everyone was superb,and you know what a crab-apple I am!!    Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT

Angela Meade

 GO to the Youtube page of soprano Angela Meade!! Her first Anna Bolena on Friday was stunning....The voice is big and rich, with an easy top...but the astounding thing for this Milanov lover was that she has pppppianissimi from HEAVEN!!!  She received HUGE ovations, and I say that she will be our newest diva star!!!     

 Hey Charlie...Tell us what you think!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

How can I thank you enough???

  Hi all,

     As of this moment there have been 938,450 hits on this site over 5 plus years. I wish to thank you all,in all corners of the planet, for your support. I hope some of you (or maybe ALL) have become better acquainted with the great treasures that the vocal art affords to us mortals.

                                           My best,

                                               Charlie

P.S. For those of you who never learned Italian from opera (like me), the photo reads:  "A simple word that comes from the depths of my heart."



Category:general -- posted at: 1:40am EDT

In Memory of Luciano

 Despite some of the extra-hype, how could we deny the incredible voice of Luciano Pavarotti, born Oct.12, 1935...We lost him all too soon.

       When he sang, "Nessun dorma."   Bless his memory!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT


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