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


More Great Music

December 2018
S M T W T F S
     
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Archives

Syndication

Contact