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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

MARIN FALIERO

An exciting live studio performance of the rarely heard Donizetti opera, "Marin Faliero." The cast includes Cesare Siepi, Marisa Galvany, Licinio Montefusco, and Giuliano Cianella, conducted by Elio Boncompagni, with the Orchestra and Chorus of RAI Turino.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Marin_Faliero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:22pm EST

Plot of Marin Faliero

Since this opera is so rarely done, here is the plot, and the podcast will follow.

Elena, the wife of Marin Faliero, Doge of Venice, is continually subjected to attacks on her reputation by the patrician Steno whose advances she has rejected. Steno then insults Israele Bertucci, the chief of the Venetian Arsenal in front of his workers. Steno is punished for these offenses, but Faliero is infuriated by the leniency of the punishment. Israele convinces Faliero to join a conspiracy against the Council of Forty, of which Steno is a member.

Meanwhile, Elena is in love with Faliero's friend Fernando, who wants to leave the city to save her from dishonour. During a masked ball, Fernando challenges Steno to a duel for having insulted Elena once again. When Fernando is found dying in the place where the conspirators were to meet, Faliero vows to avenge his death.

The conspiracy collapses following a betrayal by one of its members and the Doge is condemned to death. Before his execution, Elena confesses her love affair with Fernando to him. Faliero begins to curse her, but sensing that his death is imminent, pardons her instead. Faliero is led off. Alone on the stage, Elena hears the sound of the executioner's axe, screams and faints.[2]

Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm EST

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FRIEND, TA'U PUPU'A

 A very happy birthday (Aug.25), to my friend and superb artist, Ta'u Pupu'a, who is fast becoming one of our finest tenors,with upcoming engagements in several countries, and a San Francisco Opera debut. When he opened his mouth on "Questa o quella' about 5 years ago, I said, "WOW!" Then he said, "Is the Duke hard??? I never sang an opera before!!!"   So,from football to opera...he is making it BIG!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm EST

A WONDERFUL NEW VOICE!!!!!!

You know that at times I "discover' a new voice. Here is the Youtube link to a marvelous soprano, Alexandra Lo Bianco. She is marvelous and hope she has a great future!! We NEED sopranos like her!!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06lsxnLMJVI

Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm EST

Too much???????

I am sure the answer is a resounding "NO!" as i see how many individuals download my podcasts, and as you notice, I have been doing more and more. I am running out of ideas, so send your suggestions to me at Placido21@aol.com. If I do not get any suggestions, I will be forced to do RAP podcasts, and then you will (figuratively)throw rotten vegetables.   (Just kidding of course...I have enough material on CD for at least as long as Placido keeps singing.)

Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EST

MANY THANKS!!!!!!

   I have been looking at the statistics on this podcast site, and I wanted to express my gratitude for all of your interest. In five years, we are approaching one million downloads, and when I look at the various countries all over the globe where people have expressed interest, it is mind-boggling.

     Please do not hesitate to send me comments and/or suggestions to my E-mail address at:       Placido21@aol.com

                                                                                Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EST

MARCEL WITTRISCH AND FRANZ VOELKER

 Two magnificent German tenors,Marcel Wittrisch and Franz Voelker, in songs,opera, and operetta. There is a certain similarity in their voices, at least on recordings, but they still retain their individuality, and are truly superb artists.  (59 min.)

Direct download: Witt.and_Voelker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34pm EST

Diana Soviero Award

Founded in 1969 by the internationally celebrated voice specialist Wilbur James Gould, M.D., The Voice Foundation is the world’s oldest and leading organization dedicated to voice medicine, science and education. Since 1972, The Voice Foundation has sponsored an annual, internationalSymposium: Care of the Professional Voice. These meetings are attended by hundreds of medical and scientific experts, speech-language pathologists, performing artists and teachers from all over the world. As part of the conference at this year’s Voices of Summer Gala Concert and Banquet,Ms. Diana Soviero was named a 2011 Voice Education Research Award Winner. This award is presented annually by the Voice Foundation to honor individuals selected for unusual interest in and contribution to the field of voice communication. Past award recipients include: Dame Julie Andrews, Jack Klugman, Teddy Pendergrass, Anthony Quinn, Dan Rather, James Earl Jones, Pattie Lupone, Anna Moffo Sarnoff, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, among many others.

No one deserves it more than my darling Diana.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am EST

Happy Birthday to Fedora Barbieri

I got to know Barbieri, born June 4, 1920, after I made her some tapes and she came to New York for a master class. I thought she had one of the all-time greatest voices...an organ-like sound, and she OWNED Azucena.

           She used to sing her repertory for me over the phone (an octave down) and was a fun, if nutty, lady. She passed away a short time after I saw her when she was honored at a Licia Albanese Gala. She leaves so many wonderful memories for me, onstage and off.

                   T

Category:general -- posted at: 11:53pm EST

God Bless Dear Renata

From my video site...and look at the rest of the videoos.

http://www.youtube.com/mrfriendofopera#p/u/2/6fm0txTURvE

Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm EST

REST IN PEACE, DEAR GIORGIO TOZZI

One by one, the greats of our past leave us. We called the late Giorgio Tozzi "Signor Legato" after we heard his Gremin in Onegin, and he was a remarkable artist for so many years. May he rest in peace and may we always remember what he contributed to the vocal art.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:25pm EST

JUST YOU WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS IS PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N_Yw5_NjRw

We always said that Maria was stubborn and her diction needed work!!!!

  If link does not work, go to Youtube and type in "Gobbi My Fair Lady"

Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EST

Fernando Portari in La Rondine

I just discovered this fine tenor from Brazil. I am so glad to have still another superb tenor in our midst. I strongly suggest you buy the DVD Rondine (regular or Blue Ray).

He is also on Facebook (Who isn't???)

  The link below is to the "Nessun dorma" on Youtube.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNRY5w_rqgs

Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm EST

I suggest you buy DEPENDS before you see this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdQU-N8b3HA&feature=player_embedded#at=14

Category:general -- posted at: 2:36pm EST

An amazing Young Man

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeeiLh8PccI

This is an amazing young man, son of my friend Justin Hayward. The world would be a better place if we had more like him.   Not opera...but I wanted to share this.....having taught so many wonderful students, I appreciate this so much.

  

Category:general -- posted at: 1:28pm EST

REST IN PEACE, VINCENZO LA SCOLA

 So very sorry to report the sudden death of tenor Vincenzo La Scola, age 53. He had a sudden heart attack while in Istanbul,Turkey. They leave us too soon...but they leave a beautiful legacy. Rest in Peace.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EST

45 YEARS AGO Apr.16

  How I remember the sad day 45 years ago, when the gold curtain slowly fell as the old Met Opera House rang down the curtain for the last time..We all joined hands and tearfully sang "Auld Lang Syne." Little did i realize that NOTHING would ever be the same for me..even though the place was so antiquated and so many of the seats were cramped and mostly partial view

              It was my "home-away from-home as a teen opera lover and a "way-of-life" for us, as we froze outside on the standee line...but it was worth every moment of it. I often dream I am back there standing inside but sadly when I awake, I realize it is gone forever..except for my affectionate memories and my old tapes.

                                With affectionate, but sad memories.   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EST

Franco Corelli,  Born April 8, 1921

Lord!!!! What a sensation he was, although sometimes you wanted to beat him up (like his nutty wife Loretta), but the man had one of the greatest voices EVER.Go to Youtube and sample some material:

 

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Franco+Corelli&aq=f

 

Bless his memory on his birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:17am EST

Happy Birthday to Sam Ramey


    Happy birthday, March 28, to my old buddy Sam Ramey, one of the greatest singers in ANY opera era. Dorothy may have wanted to return to Kansas, but millions of opera lovers for 40 years are glad Sam left there to thrill the opera world with his great voice.
      I was privileged to sing with Sam at the start of his professional career, and those of us who knew him were positive he would make a great success!
Sam has been an operatic icon for so long, and I send him all my best for a happy day.(I keep asking him if his son has a high G yet, but I didn't get an answer yet.)
                                            Love always   Charlie, a lesser basso.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:01pm EST

TOSCA WITH VIRGINIA ZEANI AND PLACIDO DOMINGO

Highlights from a glorious 1975 Tosca in Barcelona with Virginia Zeani,Placido Domingo, and Piero Franci, conducted by Giuseppe Morelli.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Zeani.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08pm EST

Happy Birthdays to Diana Soviero and my mommy

Happy Birthdays on March 19 to the most lovable divas in my life:Diana Soviero and Sylvia Handelman. Well,mom was on the stage in the 1920's and did become an opera lover. They used to talk on their respective birthdays and when I think of mom and Diana, I am happy to have known them both. As to their cooking, it might be a toss-up,but mom had "chest" only on stage in those 1920's costumes.

     Bless the memory of my great mom and bless my dear friend Diana on this day!!!!

            Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:45pm EST

  May I remind you that now that I can make "minipodcasts" I can cater to your wishes so if you have a special aria,scene,singer,etc. in mind, e-mail me at Placido21@aol.com and I will do you the favor..I can eventually remove the post after you have downloaded it. 

      Young singers may wish to take advantage of this feature and request something they are studying.

       I just got a webcam/Skype and so if anyone wants a visual singing lesson, let me know but you must warn me so I put my pantalones on.

  As ever  Charlie

Direct download: opera_lovers_cartoon.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47am EST

The Great Norman Treigle as Boris

I can now make single podcast scenes which I send to various other sites (Facebook,etc.) Here is the great Norman Treigle as Boris.  If you have some favorite arias or scenes, let me know (Placido21@aol.) and if I have the material on CD, I can bow to your wishes!!!

Direct download: Boris_Clock-Treigle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm EST

Battaglia Di Legnano Exc. from La Scala

This is a most exciting performance of Verdi's "La Battaglia di Legnano" from Dec.7, 1961 at La Scala, conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni and featuring Antonietta Stella, Franco Corelli, and Ettore Bastianini. (68 min.)

Direct download: Battag.Stella.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34pm EST

I PURITANI WITH EDITA GRUBEROVA (EXC.)

 This is a truly exciting performance of Bellini's "i Puritani." It is from Vienna, 1994 under Placido Domingo and features Edita Gruberova, Marcello Giordani, Roberto Scandiuzzi, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. (70 min.)  ENJOY!!!

Direct download: Pur.Grub..mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:22pm EST

Renata Tebaldi, born Feb.1, 1922

How could we know, on Feb.1, 1955, meeting Renata for the first time after her Desdemona debut on Jan.31, that it was her BIRTHDAY!!!!  No one was as loving and friendly...her performances were "EVENTS......and we kept up a telephone relationship on every birthday for many years. Bless the memory of someone who changed my life!!!!!!

P.S. The evenings ended with her screaming "Ciao" out the limo as we pursued her up the street. One night,I was almost impaled on a fire plug...and luckily I did NOT become a castrato.

                              With treasured memories    Charlie.

Direct download: Tebaldi_Desdemona.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm EST

Rest in Peace,Margaret Price

She left us too soon...A wonderful voice. I saw her Desdemona and Figaro Countess...Wonderful!!!

 

P.S. A few new glitches in the podcasts..Please be patient..Love Charlie

Direct download: Marg.Price.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10pm EST

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Marcello Giordani

The happiest of birthdays (Jan.25) to dear Marcello Giordani, one of our great tenors...He is also as nice and natural a guy one could know....Bravo,maestro..Now try this:

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A6ry1z98qY

Direct download: Giordani2.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EST

Happy Birthday to Dear Joseph Calleja

  As long as this weekend marks the birthdays of 2 1/2 artists, we should celebrate number 33 of the beloved Joseph Calleja (Jan.22), who will be singing in the matinee Met Rigoletto on his special day. If you go to facebook, you will behold a man who has endeared himself to so many of us off as well as on the stage. I have met many artists in my life, and they are as nice as can be, but Joe is something extraordinary!

  May I wish this magnificent tenor all my love for a happy birthday and many,many more.

                               Love   Charlie

Direct download: Calleja_Birthday_2011.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EST

NO PUEDE SER!! Placido is 70 and the voice is still superb!!!

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS  to Maestro Placido Domingo, who turns 70 on Jan.21. How amazing to still sound wonderful, despite some lessening of range (well...whatyawant??) after over 50 years of singing onstage, rehearsing, practicing, not to mention running around the universe..

       May he enjoy many more years, just like that other lesser star (also Jan.21) who,compared to him, is on food stamps.(gg)

                                      Un abrazo al Maestro

                                                          Carlitos el Viejo

Direct download: Placidos_70th.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EST

"Ti voglio tanto bene."

Three songs from dear Marcello Giordani's new Italian song album, "Ti voglio tanto bene." They are:

"Senza Nisciuno," "L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra" and "I'te vurria.vasa."

          I sincerely hope you enjoy them. (I do not get a commission)

                                             HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!

Direct download: Giordani_Ital..mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am EST

A wonderful new tenor

Just saw Lee in Met Don Carlo...he was SPECIAL!!! Loved him....as did everyone else...

 

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Yonghoon+Lee&aq=f

Category:general -- posted at: 11:25pm EST

I know you will have some kind of fun...

http://www.handelmania.com/mad.htm

 

BUT do not eat or drink or fool around while you listen....CH

Category:general -- posted at: 9:09pm EST

Le Coq D'Or

  A superb performance (exc.) from a City Opera 1971 performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Le Coq D'Or" featuring Beverly Sills, Norman Treigle, Enrico di Giuseppe, and Muriel Greenspon.    (50 min.)

Direct download: Coq_Sills.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm EST

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEHYNs1orpk&feature=related

 

 

Get the DEPENDS ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

 

 

Nice if the tenor knew the words...Nice if the chorus did not sing LULU.....

Category:general -- posted at: 1:09am EST

Don Carlo From Vienna, 1961

A beautiful performance of Don Carlo (exc.) featuring Antonietta Stella,Flaviano Labo, Giulietta Simionato,Eberhard Waechter, and Walter Kreppel, conducted by Fausto Cleva. 73 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Stella_1961.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:15pm EST

http://www.google.com/search?q=Handelmania&hl=en&tbs=vid:1

 

I wanted to remind you of my Google Videos, in addition to my Mrfriendofopera videos on youtube.

 

I will take care of the Propaganda interruptions soon.

 

As ever   Charlie (going gaga over this Met Don Carlo on Sirius)

Direct download: Zinka_and_me.bmp
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EST

Grigolo sings Luisa Miller

Hi everyone.  I'm back - hopefully.  This is a test to make sure everything is working.  Please enjoy Vittorio Grigolo singing from Luisa Miller.  More later....Charlie

Direct download: Tesdt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm EST

 I adored Verrett and always placed her way up there with the greatest mezzos (sopranos also, since she did both mezzo and soprano roles.) When they leave us, a piece of us gets ripped away, since these "bigger-than-life" personalities have been so endearing to us,

 

  As ever Charlie

Direct download: Verrett.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm EST

Happy 85th Birthday to the Beloved Virginia Zeani

  My adored "sorella" Virginia Zeani turns 85 today,Oct.21. She has been a dear friend for many years and those of you who do not know her art can go to Youtube for a sample, or come to my house and hear all her material. (Full body search on the way out.)) I am so happy for her and Mr.Smith, a friend, surprised her with a fabulous book dedicated to her, with contributions by many people (me too!). Bless Virginia!!!

 

 P.S.I ran into a few more glitches so PULEEEZE be patient.The new podcast system needs to be worked out. Meanwhile, new and old listeners have plenty to listen to.  Love Charlie

Direct download: Zeani_85.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 11:39am EST

Who made this all possible???

  May I pause and give credit for these podcasts to my buddy,James Jorden, of Parterre Box fame. He taught me how to podcast,videocast, and remain a legend in my own mind.

  If you wish to order any of the albums on the podcast page, click the selection(s) and James gets a commission from Amazon.That is at least something we can do to thank him for his special efforts..and great talent!

                                 Il tuo caro amico,   Charlie

Direct download: james_jorden.png
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EST

BUBBBBBBBBLES!!!!!
My dear friend just came back from Czechoslavakia where he coached and conducted Boheme act 3......but there was a slight mishap in the show...  Instead of SNOW falling at the end of the act...BUBBLES came down....and they were still coming down in the fourth act....Poor Bohemians...they could slip all over!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   They should have used Corn Flakes..They are  not slippery.
OI VEY...To run an opera house....   Charlie "Bubbles' Handelman
Direct download: bubbles-0004.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59pm EST

Rest in Peace, beloved Cesare Siepi.

My all-time favorite basso passed away today.Cesare Siepi was the possessor of a luscious,velvety voice and on stage he was sensational.I saw him countless times and am so saddened at his passing. Here is a brief article about his  many successes.:

His international reputation was established in 1950, when Sir Rudolf Bing brought him to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to open the 1950 season as King Philip II in Don Carlos. He was to remain principal bass at the Met until 1974, adding roles such as Boris Godunov (in English) and Gurnemanz in Parsifal (in German), and singing all the major roles of the bass repertoire.

His also gave his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1950, and appeared there regularly until the mid 1970s.

In 1953 Siepi debuted at the Salzburg Festival with a legendary production of Don Giovanni conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, staged by Herbert Graf, and designed by Clemens Holzmeister. He made an immediate impact in the title role of Don Giovanni which became perhaps his best known role, as it had been for the most famous Italian bass of the generation before, Ezio Pinza. This performance has been released on CD, and a 1954 mounting of this production was filmed in color and released in 1955.

Siepi was a frequent guest at the Vienna State Opera. In 43 performances he sang Don Giovanni, more often than any other singer in modern times except for Eberhard Waechter. In 1967 Siepi was Don Giovanni in a controversially received production staged by Otto Schenk and designed by Luciano Damiani that showed Mozart's masterpiece in the light of the commedia dell'arte, emphasizing the comic and ironic elements of this opera (conductor Josef Krips strongly opposed this production's concept). In Vienna he also sang Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Colline (La bohème), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Padre Guardian (La forza del destino 1974 in a new production conducted by Riccardo Muti), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Mephisto (Faust), Filippo II (Don Carlos), and Ramphis (Aïda). His final performance at the Vienna State Opera was in Norma (Oroveso) in 1994.

He was a particularly fine recital artist, especially in Community Concerts under Columbia Artist Management, and a sensitive interpreter of German Lieder. He married Met ballerina Luellen Sibley and they have two children.

Siepi enjoyed a long career, and performed regularly until the 1980s, including lead roles in the ill-fated Broadway musicals Bravo Giovanni and Carmelina. In addition to his studio recordings, there are also many live recordings of performances of his major roles.

According to the Italian Wikipedia, Siepi's formal farewell to the operatic stage occurred at the Teatro Carani in Sassuolo on 21 April 1989. Indeed, Capon's List shows live recordings made as late as 1988.

Siepi's last studio recording was as the old King Archibaldo in RCA's 1976 taping of Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re, with Anna Moffo and Plácido Domingo in the cast.

    Rest in Peace, my beloved Cesare.

P.S. For my podcast on Siepi,see archives of May 3, 2006

 

Direct download: siepi.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm EST

Met Jamboree  3/24/51

A Met benefit concert in 1951, featuring some of the artists who were singing at that time.They include:

Lucine Amara,Lily Pons, Dorothy Kirsten, Regina Resnik, Gladys Swarthout, Roberta Peters, Bidu Sayao, Rise Stevens, Giuseppe Valdengo, Brian Sullivan, Salvatore Baccaloni, with guest appearance by Jimmy Durante (tenor??baritone?? basso??)

Direct download: Met_Jamboree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27pm EST

Renata Tebaldi's Farewell at La SCala, 1976

   The beloved Renata Tebaldi makes her final stage appearance at a recital in La Scala on May 23, 1976. No one could be as beloved as this great lady, and my life was made so much richer knowing her on and off stage. Bless her memory forever!   (60 min.)

Direct download: Tebaldi_Farewell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm EST

Nadine Weissmann, a gorgeous voice.   Hi all,
       I just watched the Weimar Ring, and mezzo Nadine Weissmann, the Erda and the Waltraute, possesses a superb,rich,luscious voice. I urge you to watch her:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr8EeExG_fY

I know I can pick them!!!!!!!!!!
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm EST

Attila from Venice, 1987
 Highlights from an exciting performance of Verdi's "Attila," featuring Sam Ramey, Linda Strummer,​ William Stone, and VerianoLuchetti from Venice, 1987 under  Gabriele Ferro.     (72 min.)
Direct download: Attila_1987.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EST

Happy Birthday to Rise Stevens  On Friday, June 11, Rise Stevens, the first singer I ever met..and the kindest and most lovable human being one could know, turns 97. She brought me and thousands of others to opera.We went to her home every year when the club existed.Bless her forever in my heart!!!
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm EST

Irina Rindzuner

You like divas???????????????

http://www.irinarindzuner.com/video.aspx

 

So go here and sample the art of the marvelous Irina Rindzuner, and also I placed clips on my site:

http://www.youtube.com/mrfriendofopera

  What a great lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EST

Rest in Peace, Philip Langridge

The opera world mourns the passing of the superb Philip Langridge, pictured here in his last role, the witch in Hansel and Gretel. Here is some biographical material:

Philip Gordon Langridge CBE (16 December 1939 – 5 March 2010)[1] was an English tenor,[2] considered to be among the foremost exponents of English opera and oratorio.[3][4]

Langridge was born in Hawkhurst, Kent, educated at Maidstone Grammar School and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.[5] He started his career as an orchestral violinist, which exposed him to a greater variety of music than professional singers ordinarily experience.

Langridge was admired for his fine technique coupled with keen dramatic instincts. His repertoire was broad, ranging from the operas of Claudio Monteverdi and Mozart to more modern works by Ravel, Stravinsky, Janáček and Schoenberg. At the end of his life, he was adding some Wagner roles, including Loge from Das Rheingold. Langridge was also a fine concert singer and regularly performed the sacred music of Bach and Handel. He also won great acclaim for his assumption of the title role in Elgar's oratorio, The Dream of Gerontius.

For all his versatility, he was at his most distinguished performing the works of Benjamin Britten.[6] Much of Britten's vocal music was written specifically for his artistic and life partner, tenor Sir Peter Pears. Many regarded Langridge as Pears' true successor because they shared similar vocal qualities and brought uncommon immediacy to the music they performed. He recorded many of his famous roles, including Peter Grimes and the Prologue / Quint in The Turn of the Screw, as well as all the orchestral song cycles for tenor voice.

Langridge's association with Harrison Birtwistle began in 1986 when he created the role of Orpheus in his opera The Mask of Orpheus. He also sang The Lawyer in the world premiere recording of Punch and Judy (1989) and created the roles of Kong in The Second Mrs Kong (Glyndebourne, 1994) and Hiereus in The Minotaur (Royal Opera House, 2008).[7] Birtwistle composed Vanitas (based on a poem by David Harsent) especially for Langridge's 70th birthday concert at London's Wigmore Hall in November 2009.[6]

Langridge was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to music in 1994. He was married to Irish mezzo-soprano Ann Murray until his death from bowel cancer. Langridge is survived by their son Jonathan Philip (born 1986, Greenwich, London),[8] and his three adult children from his previous marriage: Anita, Jennifer,[9] and opera director Stephen. [10]

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Category:general -- posted at: 1:52pm EST

Reminder of My Video Site!!

Hi all,

  Just a reminder that I have been putting up a great number of magnificent videos from my collection and from Youtube links (see under favorites) on my video site. I know you will appreciate them.

http://www.youtube.com/mrfriendofopera

My best   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 12:36am EST

Happy Birthday to the Magnificent Piotr!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A WONDERFUL TENOR AND THE SWEETEST GUY YOU COULD MEET!  (Except for me, of course)

Piotr Beczała (born December 28, 1966 in Czechowice-Dziedzice) is a Polish operatic tenor. Piotr Beczała was born in southern Poland and initially trained in Katowice. His first engagements were with the Landestheatre in Linz, after which he became a regular member of Zurich Opera. Between 2004-2006, Beczala made several major international house debuts. In April 2004, he made his debut at London's Royal Opera House as the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier, later returning in October of that year in the title role of Faust, then in June 2005 as the Duke in Rigoletto, and in September 2006, again in Faust. In November 2004, he made his San Francisco Opera and US debut as Lensky in Eugene Onegin. Beczała's La Scala debut came in January 2006 as the Duke in Rigoletto, the role in which he also made Metropolitan Opera debut on December 19, 2006.

In 2007 he was awarded the Munich Opera Festival Prize which acknowledges outstanding accomplishments by departments and members of the Bavarian State Opera as well as members of the Festival performance casts for his performances in in Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier and Werther.[1]

Beczała appears as Alfredo Germont in the Farao Classics recording of La traviata which has been nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award.[2] The cd is a live recording from the Bavarian State Opera's March 2006 production with Anja Harteros as Violetta, Paolo Gavanelli as Giorgio Germont, and Zubin Mehta conducting.

[edit] References

 

P.S.Guess whose birthday is also Dec.28????  Francesco Tamagno!!!!!!!!!!  I told Piotr to stay away from Otello for at least one week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:39am EST

RARE VIRGINIA ZEANI CLIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JUST APPEARED!!!!!!!!!!!

A live 1978 "Sola,Perduta" from Manon Lescaut, featuring my beloved Virginia Zeani!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnkC6L52PIE

Category:general -- posted at: 4:48am EST

What you will NOT hear at the Met this season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKChjB7-aAc&NR=1

 

 

.....because they want only "pretty singing' and Muti hates high notes.....Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

Reminder of my Video Site

Hi all,

Just a reminder that I am uploading and also taking clips from Youtube .so many wonderful video clips.If you click on "Favorites" you will be presented with a wide variety of material, in  addition to what is there that I personally uploaded. Have fun!!!

http://www.youtube.com/mrfriendofopera#p/f

Category:general -- posted at: 5:50pm EST

Summary of Charlie's Sites
Dear friends,
     Since lately I have added to my various sites, I thought I would summarize the links:
 
http://www.youtube.com/mrfriendofopera (the newest site for great videos I upload from my own collection and also favorites from Youtube)
 
http://handelmania.libsyn.com     My podcast site
 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vissidarte   My site for discussion but mostly for a huge number of audiofiles from my collection.
 
Handelmania on Google. Google no longer allows uploading, but if you type in "Handelmania" on Google, there are the remaining 80 plus videos for you to watch.
 
   What was life like before computers??????       Charlie
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm EST

Joseph Calleja

Joseph Calleja, one of the finest tenors in the world of opera, and a great dude!!!!!

PICTURES ARE NOT PODCASTS UNLESS YOU SEE THE USUAL BUTTON AT LEFT!!!!!
(I thought it would be nice to add some photos to the site.Little by little I will delete some and add new ones.)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:43pm EST

Piotr,Maria, and Charlie

Piotr Beczala, My dear friend Maria, the greatest Placido fan in the world (except for Marta), and yours truly.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:32pm EST

Rolando Villazon y Carlitos

We are all hoping that dear Rolando Villazon returns to us soon. He is one of the most affectionate dudes I have ever met, and he is slightly more hyper than even me.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm EST

Charlie and Two Turandots

Irina Rindzuner and Elinor Ross with Charlie after a Puccini concert in 2008.

      (Unfortunately the role is no longer in my extensive repertory.)

Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

The Magnificent Stephen Costello as Romeo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjvjU4QmVK0

 

 

Go to the above link to watch and listen to Stephen Costello, one of opera's finest young artists, as Romeo. Stephen will be the recipient of this year's Richard Tucker award, and will be singing in the Tucker Gala in November. Those of us who have followed his career,including his Met Edgardo, will attest to the fact that he is one of the brightest lights on the opera scene.  ENJOY!!!!!     Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EST

These photos are too big to place here...Go to this site and you will get a feeling for what I saw in the old Met...especially those gorgeous Zinka photos from her last performances......Nothing will replace these treasured memories...

http://images.google.com/images?sa=4&imgc=&imgsz=&q=color+opera+source%3Alife

Category:general -- posted at: 1:53am EST

What a TROUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From a poster on RMO:

Sorry to report that Ms DiDonato slipped over on the raked stage last
night during Act 1 of Barbiere di Siviglia at Covent Garden and broke
the tibia bone in her leg. It was opening night and the
accident happened during a recitative with Figaro (after "Una voce poco
fa"). She was rushing over to the corner of the stage and just seemed to
fall without any obvious reason, landing in a heap. She
continued to sing the recit, although noticeably much more quietly than
usual and then got up afterwards, carrying on as normal but obviously
with something not right about the way she was walking
Before Act 2 started an announcement was made that she had sprained her
ankle, was in a great deal of pain but would bravely struggle on
nonetheless. She re-appeared on crutches, hobbling around the
stage with the help of her colleagues JDF and Ferruccio Furlanetto.
Ironically, the first line she had to sing in Act 2 was the recit
claiming that she had cramp in her foot - and the entire audience
exploded into laughter, clapping and cheering for almost a minute. Her
singing was flawlessly brilliant throughout and she kept on smiling - a
real trooper. She even negotiated a very difficult scene where
Rosina goes on a furniture-trashing rampage during the temporale
- knocking over a chair, a harpsichord, a music stand and a huge
cupboard. She used her crutch to violently smash one of the
stage lights - it was very funny.

Elsewhere in the cast, JDF turned in another stunning display of
technical virtuosity and his "Cessa di piu resistere" brought the house
down - the applause went on for nearly 5 minutes and everyone was
screaming for an encore that never happened. Alessandro
Corbelli and Furlanetto were also brilliantly funny as Dr Bartolo and
Don Basilio respectively and Pietro Spagnoli was a very respectable
replacement for an indisposed Simon Keenlyside as Figaro

It was a fantastic evening - really funny and the musical standards were
truly extraordinary. When I got home I read on Joyce's blog
that her leg was actually broken and is now in a plaster cast - but she
valiantly intends to go on with the rest of the performances regardless.
Brava!

   THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So many singers are up there sick or injured, and we never know...That is the miracle of these great artists and what they do for us!!!!

GO HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://parterre.com/2009/07/07/but-cha-are-joyce/

Category:general -- posted at: 10:20pm EST

JUST RELEASED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MAMMA MIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Virginia just told me this was released!!! I am so thrilled they added the great Zeani to their fabulous library of great artists. Go to Amazon.com..Only 14.99....TRUST ME!  You will love it!! Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:27pm EST

L'Amore Dei Tre Re-1941

 Composer Italo Montemezzi himself conducts this brilliant performance of his rarely-heard "L'Amore dei Tre Re." The legendary Ezio Pinza sings Archibaldo, and we hear Grace Moore as Fiora, Richard Bonelli as Manfredo, and Charles Kullman as Avito.
   Why this opera is not performed more is sad, because it is so exciting and I think you will agree that it deserves more recognition.
                                                 (72 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-24-02-11-37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:38am EST

Magda Olivero Sings at 99!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qQqsyPPRhM

Can you imagine that at 99 Magda Olivero can still sing??

 This is a brief scene from Francesca da Rimini.

    I am so touched.....  Cent'anni,Magda!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm EST

Casta Diva, Volume Two

The second volume of "Casta Diva," featuring:

Beverly Sills, Gina Cigna, Montserrat Caballe, Joan Sutherland,
Zinka Milanov, and Maria Callas.

                                    (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-09-22-40-15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14pm EST

The Beloved Alfredo Kraus

A tribute to one of the greatest all-time tenors, Alfredo Kraus (1927-1999).The live selections are from the following operas:

Lucia,Traviata,Barbiere,Werther, Manon, Rigoletto, La Favorita,
Romeo et Juliette, Don Giovanni, and Faust.
                                 (73 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-07-01-39-15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09am EST

Esultate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xczMXSw2Lqc

   Do you like the idea of my sending you to some sites to sample some of the great clips tht exist? Let me know,because it is a nice feature, and you get to become jealous of what I saw live!!!!
    Mario del Monaco had a "bronze column of sound" that in my view was unmatched by any tenor I ever heard. Bottom to middle to top...the man was a phenomenon;he never faked it, gave 1000%, and remains one of the great tenors of my generation.

                               Charlie

P.S. He once almost deafened me for life when he came out the stage door and said, "Hello,boys!" Imagine what it was like to rehearse with him (without earplugs.)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am EST

Reminder of my videos

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Handelmania&hl=en&emb=0&aq=f#

A reminder of my video site for those who have not visited it.

                          As ever   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 2:40am EST

My Catalogues!!!

    Hi all,
         I may have mentioned my huge opera cassette/cd/dvd/vhs catalogues previously, but just a reminder that if you wish to peruse my material, over 10,000 items, please feel free to E-mail me at
Placido21@aol.com. Please provide full name and mailing address.
           I do not send the cassette catalogue unless you specifically request it, because it is enormous, and the postage costs are quite high;however, if you want it ALL, do not hesitate to request the whole collection.
             In this way, you will better understand why there is no room in my house for even ME!

                                   My best   Charlie

Direct download: attenzione.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 8:24am EST

Reminder of my Videos on Google

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Handelmania+Videos&ie=utf8&oe=utf8&num=10&hl=en&gl=us#q=Handelmania%20Videos&ie=utf8&oe=utf8&num=10&hl=en&gl=us&start=0

 

Just to remind some new members of my videos on Google (Handelmania)

My best  Charlie

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

Memories of Milanov

ONE ZINKA MOMENT?????? You KEEEEDING???? We usually would make the famous "Enzo adorato" B flat in Gioconda our favorite..In fact, do we know of ANY ONE SINGER who was "known for a single note?" As the supreme authority(???) on this forum on the Milanov career, a career I can readily "hear in my head," I will give you the gospel according to me. (This is a follow-up to a thread on Opera-l on "Milanov Moments.")

BURROUGHS...Where's the book already????????????????????????

So,my friends, let me give you my impressions of a lady whose career "shaped my opera life." First of all, I agree nthat her recordings usually do not do her total justice, unless you have every Met broadcast. She screams the C's in the Aida and Tosca on RCA, and in the 40's I found too much vibrato in the tone. She had a more secure top then, but despite the problematic C's in the 50's and 60's (they did improve to some extent after she worked with her brother, Bozidar Kunc), the pure voice was something I will treasure forever.

As a sixteen year old, I wore out the end of side three of the RCA LP set of the Trovatore because of the phenomenal "D'amor sull'ali rosee";however, the RCA "Orthophonic Sound' technique gave a kind of echo effect that even as a youngster I felt was not giving me a true picture of the voice. My question to the first Milanov nutcases I met on the standee line waiting for a Forza in 1953 was, "How does she sound live as compared to the records?"

Within a few minutes of the curtain rise at the Forza, I found the answer! That voice was absolutely glorious, as she started the "Me pellegrina," and by the incredible "Pace," I was in Milanov heaven...and so it goes from there, 85 performances later, I never changed my mind (even despite some screamy Ballos).

So now here are 5 of my 1000 Milanov "moments"' in addition to THE moment..the Gioconda B flat ppp:

1. Ernani:Final trio w.Del Monaco and Siepi,where she starts with that "Ferma" as she comes onstage and then sings in the most noble and powerful manner, with rich mixed low notes that are as thrilling as the high notes.

2. The double attack on the pianissimo on "Ora soave' during the Act 2 Chenier duet.

3. Chenier again:The high A flat (or A if the duet is in key) on "abbracciami, aMANTE" as the final duet was sung with fairly good tenors like Tucker,Bergonzi,Tucker, and DelMonaco.

4. The way she always swelled on the B flat "Maledizione' at the end of the "Pace."It was her "trick" of not hitting the note dead on forte, but giving it a swell that knocked you off your seats..I mean stands.

5. The section at the end of act three scene one Gioconda beginning, "O made mia..nel isola fatale,." with that glorious high b flat and then the lush low on "per lui che l'aaaaaama."

So you see, I think I have a fairly good idea of why no other singer in my life ever could thrill me like Zinka, and remember, she would agree with me in her utter modesty (!!!)

Thanks, Zinka, and i hope they let you kick your train wherever you are......

 (See,I once had hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm EST

You never heard anything like this!!!!!!

      Some of you may have heard this clip, but it is so bizarre I
  felt COMPELLED to upload it as a single podcast clip. I was
  seated in the New York State Theatre at the debut of soprano
  Ashley Putnam as Violetta, when, as you will hear, just before
  tenor Henry Price was about to sing his act two aria, some insane
  lady (as we later learned) let out a bloodcurdling Elektra geschrei 
  and ran out of the theatre. 
        The man next to me exclaimed, "Oh my Goddd!" as you
   will hear. To this day, we never learned what motivated this
   nutcase...but at least we have a "treasured memory" that will
   endure forever.
         I used to play this clip for my schoolkids and they demanded
  I play it over and over..some of them would even run up to
  the CD player to hear the scream loud in their little ears.
         So..you thought opera people (beside me,of course)
  were NORMAL?????

 

 

Direct download: 2008-04-06-23-45-31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45pm EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST


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