First Impressions of Singers

I am too ancient to remember exactly what most singers sounded like to my virgin ears when I first heard them live. Remember, we had very few recordings..no "pirates" and were extremely limited, so when a fabulous voice was heard for the very first time, in some cases there was an indelible impression. For me, the totally "unknown' voices were those of Antonietta Stella (Aida), Daniele Barioni (Tosca), Diana Soviero (Boheme). Also, although we had heard only a few early Tebaldi recordings, and NO ONE was prepared for what that voice sounded like live.

More recently, I was captivated by soprano Irina Rindzuner (in photo) as Santuzza in the City Opera Cavalleria. As she began the "Innegiamo" my ears perked up and i said to myself.."Mamma mia!!!" (Go to her Fanciullas at Da Capo in April.).

Can you recall your first impression of some of the great voices and give us some details? Also, can you recall the exact opposite (i.e. a voice you adored on recordings and in person with which you were much less impressed (Jan Peerce for me.)

Best Charlie

Direct download: 2006-09-27-10-36-24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

Suor Angelica

  A compilation of scenes from the great Puccini opera,
  featuring many fine artists. I will not write the names here
  since some of you might wish to use this podcast as a quiz.
                                ( 73 minutes)

Direct download: 2008-02-04-23-03-58.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm EDT

Bulent Bezduz, a great new voice!

Quite a superb new tenor from Turkey. How many tenors
do we know who can take the high E flat in the Lucia duet????

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Bulent+Bezduz&search=Search

Direct download: 2007-09-30-20-07-06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:40pm EDT

Renata and Charlie

 Who is that lady with Charlie???????????????

It is like this: At a party in 1955, she grabbed my hand and said, "Dammi il braccio mio piccino"(Boheme quote with a gender change). I then said,
" Obbedisco,signoraaaa."  (Even then I knew the words.).Someone happened to snap our picture. This experience will live in my heart forever as a happy memory of one of the sweetest people I ever knew.  

Direct download: I_did_sing_with_Renata.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm EDT

My Videos are Back!!!!!!
I had a problem with my 80 Videos on HANDELMANIA (Google) but they are
up there now...... so go to:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=handelmania&num=50&so=0&start=50

and all is well...ENJOY!!! Charlie

Direct download: 2007-08-17-15-02-48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

Finale of Act One of the Menotti opera, featuring Catherine Malfitano, Sandra Walker, and the late Enrico di Giuseppe.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm EDT

Opera Stars go POP!!!!

     This is a podcast in which famous opera stars sing
 popular music. Since I have not revealed the names
 of the artists until AFTER the selections, as a kind of
 guessing game, I am not listing them here.
        Have fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

   (Photo: The Very Great Karita Mattila) 

Direct download: 2006-05-04-11-01-31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EDT

The Beloved Renata Tebaldi

   I just wanted to stop a moment and think of someone who was the darling of all of us in the olden days at the Met. We were teens just turning on to opera, and Renata Tebaldi made our lives so very joyous; those of us who remember her on and off stage will never forget her. Her performances were truly "events." She remained every night and signed every single program,even in freezing weather.
     She "adopted" us so to speak and as the years passed,I never failed to wish her a happy birthday,until the very last year of her life. You know, I just cannot bring myself to remove her telephone number from my address/phone directory. I think it will stay there as long as I live!
     I hope this little tribute is not too saccharine and/or pretentious, and if you feel it is,just let me know..it is just that I wanted to remember her with all my love and affection.

P.S. This 1955 photo was taken at one of our huge affairs for her. She said to me, "Dammi il braccio,mio piccinO," and I responded, "Obbedisco,signorA," and happily someone snapped the photo.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:10am EDT

40th Anniversary of Zinka Milanov's Retirement April 13!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost forgot...40 years ago today,the greatest singer I ever heard live, Zinka Milanov, retired with an Andrea Chenier. She did sing the final Chenier duet with Richard Tucker at the Met Gala closing of the old house on April 16, but Apr.13 was her official retirement date.
On that occasion,the 87th time I saw her live,the voice was as clear and fresh as it was when I first saw her. Yes,the tears came,not only among us, but she could barely speak,and when I listen to her emotional (and very short) farewell speech,those memories return.
On May 17th,we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of her birth,and the book should be out that month also. As much as I thrilled to her singing so often,she really contributed to my not having a great average in college,but
I would do it the same way if I had the time machine running.
When you are a teenage opera lover and someone "bigger-than-life' comes along..you never forget...and she was the one who helped to
bring me so much joy for so long. God Bless You, my Zeeeenka...I bet
today you are singing your "Pace" just as well as ever (with Rosa looking on with envy!!!!!!)

With greatest affection,

Charlie
Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

Famous Artists Who Sang at La Scala

 A selection of 18 truly marvelous artists who performed at La Scala between 1880 and 1940:

         De Lucia,Sobinov,Bonci,Vinas,
         De Angelis,Pasero,Spani, Masini,
         Anselmi,Boninsegna,  
         Escalais,Zamboni,De Muro,
         Dalla Rizza,De Hidalgo,
         Pampanini,Cobelli,
                Sammarco                    

Download this episode from the April Podcast Archive.

Direct download: 2006-04-11-09-11-23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EDT


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