Since my adopted sister Virginia Zeani celebrates a birthday (87) on October 21, I am starting early to give you some samples of her greatness. I have told you enough about her and you know what I feel for her as both singer and friend.Here is the first one.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Callas did it...Galvany did it..Guleghina did it....and NOW...Dimitra Theodossiou takes the fabulous interpolated high E flat at the end of the Nabucco duet w.Nucci.

  But the Met probably would not like her..too exciting!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT

  Not the typical Lucia voice (like Callas), but very exciting!!!!!  By the way, anyone who can guess all her fake names and the real one, I will send you all my Maria Malibran tapes.(WHO???)

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 Oslo Norway recent La Boheme.....Do not ask what it means!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Good singers anyway,but.......)

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FINALMENTE!!!!

OK......My buddy James Jorden (La Cieca) repaired the podcast problem, and they will be back tomorrow..Thanks for your patience!!!!!  I will still provide video clips as a bonus!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

One of my favorite operas. King is superb here, and I recommend this opera to all.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:20am EDT

Funny joke on Birgit Nilsson during the Solti Gotterdamerung recording session....From the documentary,"The Golden Ring."

Category:general -- posted at: 1:01am EDT

Anna has such a great personality, to accompany a fabulous voice. How many singers today would be great in any era? LUV HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

In the event you are new to this site, here is a repeat of the wildest stage happening we ever taped. I think it might have been a jealous diva, since it took place at Ashley Putnam's City Opera debut in 1977. When I told the tenor, Henry Price, that I was there,he said, "So was I!!!"...How did he go on?????

   There were many rumors, but we really never found out what this was all about,but at least we have this for posterity. I covered some music classes once, and the kids made me play this every day!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:31pm EDT

Born October 12, 1935, Pavarotti remains as one of the greatest singers in opera history. Yes, the "hype' could be a bit much, but let us remember the sensational voice!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm EDT

   Glorious Elisir tonight.....How often do we have FOUR singers of top quality all together??They rarely can do it with Verdi, but the cast tonight was simply a delight. Polenzani,Netrebko, Kwiecen, Maestri.    I had a ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (but did not see the Yankees win)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45am EDT

 The gorgeous basso voice of Met basso Morris Robinson. I saw him last night in Trovatore, and he was superb. Do not ever mess with him, as he is an ex-football star!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:03pm EDT

In blessed memory of the great Leyla Gencer, born October 10, 1928.How we adored her...she sang a HUGE repertory.Yes,she could sometimes be variable, but in all, one of the greats. I always said that if there was no Callas, "She would be Callas."

Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT

Echoes of Cornell MacNeil!!! Fabulous sound last night as De Luna..What a true Verdi baritone, and you know jaded me!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

Nice to make new diva discoveries!!  Last night Mme.Giannasstasio  sang a superb Leonora. It is a big,opulent tone and she was superb in her fioratura. I would like more chest voice (You know me.) I really loved her and hope we  hear more of her!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Hi again,

     In my effort to acquaint you with some of the special voices in the history of the vocal art, especially until my podcasts return, I am presenting one of the most remarkable voices, Eva Turner.This legendary soprano had a steely voice that could probably be heard across the English Channel.   Enjoy!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:46am EDT

 Imagine being able to sing this aria (1993) at 83....One of the most incredible artists in opera history.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT

 My  darling friend of over 35 years and the last of the great Verismo sopranos gives a New York Master Class Wednesday at the Manhatten School of Music. Diana's classes are so interesting and vibrant. I have rarely seen singers in my life I love more.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:32pm EDT

  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 EDT

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 EDT

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

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

  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 EDT

  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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

 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 EDT

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

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

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

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

   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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

 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!!!!!

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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 EDT

 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

    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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

 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 EDT

  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 EDT

  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 EDT

  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 EDT

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

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

  Our dear Facebook buddy, Larry Brownlee, who has one of the most amazing vocal techniques in our opera universe. He is also an avid sports fan and a "regular dude." We love him so much!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:34am EDT

Regina's 90th!!!!

                          
            My dear opera-loving friends,

                    It is a special occasion indeed when we are fortunate to celebrate the life and career of a great artist. On August 30th, Regina Resnik will celebrate her 90th birthday, and I invite you to pay tribute to one of the great icons in the world of music.
                     Whether or not one has personal knowledge of an artist's reputation as a friend or colleague, those of you who are devoted opera aficionados have studied the careers of various important artists, and appreciate their immense contributions in the world of music.
       Mme.Resnik is a totally unique figure in the world of music, having successfully achieved highest praise in a double career as both soprano and mezzo. In addition, her world-wide recognition as teacher, coach, filmmaker, television producer ( the popular "Regina Resnik Presents" series.) and her highly praised Broadway appearances in "Cabaret" and   "A Little Night Music" are examples of her great versatility; in addition, the vast number of opera productions she has directed, along with the aforementioned achievements, have resulted in having her stand totally alone in the world of opera. I am sure that those of you who are well-informed as to the achievements of various artists will understand my praise.
         Mme.Resnik's many vocal achievements are well-documented in both commercial and live recordings of such roles as Dame Quickly, Eboli, Amneris, Klytaemnestra, Carmen, Sieglinde and Fricka, and a vast number of both soprano and mezzo roles from stages in opera theatres world-wide.
          How refreshing it is to be able to thrill to a role she "owned' like Klytaemnestra, that mean lady in Elektra, and then cause utter hilarity in the audience at the Rudolf Bing Farewell Gala with her "Chacun a Bing's Gout!"
            I hereby declare August 30th "Regina Resnik Day" for all to celebrate with me, and all of our love and best wishes to one of music's greatest treasures.
                                          With all my love and appreciation,

                                                                           Charlie        

Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

Now LOOK!  I know you sort of like me, but PLEASE do not stop belonging to this site, just because I wanted to show you something of what we saw at the La Puma Opera Company when we thought opera was serious.

    Note how the tenor sings all of his high vowels on "III" ("Tosca' becomes "TEEEEESCA" in the aria. Also, how unkind of the guy taping to keep laughing..I NEVER laughed at La Puma....I held it in until I ran hysterical out of the place nd almost had a serious accident....

     I wonder if,in your city, you have anything like this..but please be KIND to these people who just wanted to perform. OH!!I wish we had them around today. There a few decent singers (the Scarpia) but essentially it was a RIOT!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:25pm EDT

  Continuing my 90th birthday Regina Resnik tribute, here is a role that she performed in  such a way that the audience was absolutely riveted.(It did not hurt to have Nilsson and Rysanek in the show.) Her famous scary laughter is not heard in the film as it was at the Met. This is the film with Gladys Kuchta.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm EDT

It may be in English, and I prefer to hear "Reverenza" from Regina. She OWNED this role and Geraint Evans was also wonderful. Remember, this is her 90th birthday week, so you will get a bit more of Regina.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

Paul Plishka was born on August 28, 1941. This video tribute to him at a Met Tosca on the occasion of his retirement after a Met career of  45 years is surely well-deserved. When I made my opera debut as Marchese/Melitone in 1960, young Paul was the Guardiano. As good as he was, we never could imagine that he would enjoy such an incredibly long and successful career, despite several personal family tragedies. I am so happy for dear Paul, a wonderful artist and lovable guy.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:47pm EDT

  In advance of dear Regina's 90th birthday on August 30, here is a non-operatic treasure!!!!!!! She could do EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

   There is so little of Virginia Zeani on video that is live, I thought you might enjoy a sample of her great work. What a thrill for me to be able to learn first hand about some of the great singers with whom Virginia worked. These older artists serve as valuable links to the past, and there are precious few of them left. I know you will enjoy Virginia.

I expect my computer expert soon, so you can again enjoy my podcasts, but i know you like the videos.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:07pm EDT

    Hi all,
         On Tuesday, August 28, we will celebrate the birthday of my all-time favorite tenor of those whom I saw live..Richard Tucker, born in 1913, 99 years ago.  Yes, I loved the excitement of Corelli and del Monaco, but like caruso, Tucker could excell in both lyric and dramatic roles, and he was one of the most consistent performers in my experience. Quoting Regina Resnik in an Opera News article, "He left his blood all over the stage!"
          When Tucker "hooked' into his passaggio, the effect was absolutely amazing;he had a ringing top that echoed throughout the house, and once Carreras was heard to have remarked, regarding the B flat in Ballo before the last scene,that "the note remained on stage even when he left it."
       We know of the negative criticism of Tucker, as he could chop a phrase, let out a Cantorial sob (Gigli sobbed also), and sometimes he might be considered 'over the top"( something we WISH FOR today), but who is perfect? Also,some people do not realize that he could sing a gorgeous legato line (one of my examples is Act two Chenier at "Credo al destino.")
          As Alvaro in Forza, at the end of the "Sleale" duet, he would drop the sword, come to the prompter's box, and let out a mighty high B natural that I can still hear in my ear!  He was a moving Samson, a cute Ferrando, a brilliant Dick Johnson, and had he not passed away too soon, he would have lasted for many more years. His heart condition did not stop him for giving 1000% every night, and I recall how George Jellinek wrote him that he should ease up, but that was NOT what Tucker was all about.
            On his birthday, let us remember one of the greatest singers in opera history and a beloved family man as well.

                                                                                  Sincerely,

                                                                                                Charlie
                                                                                      

Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

What words  are adequate to describe the remarkable genius, Leonard Bernstein, born Aug. 25, 1918?  Yes, sometimes he needed to be "choreographed."  A good friend of mine worked with him (I did not say "under"),and said that he would be conducting "even if the roof fell in," such was his involvement in the music. He surely contributed so much to the world of music!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

 August 25, 1940 was the birthday of one of the GREATEST artists I have ever heard!! Jose Van Dam for me is an ICON in the music world.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

  How about a little "goo," as Dmitri and Jonas sing this gorgeous Pearl Fishers duet!!!  Nice to know there are still singers like this around today!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT

  If I had to choose ONE commercial recording in my experience that thrills me the most, it is the Lotte Lehmann "Ich ging zu ihm" from Korngolds' "Die Wunder der Heliane."

    I recall that Rise Stevens, at one of our club meetings, described how she as a young student saw Lehmann as Eva in Die Meistersinger. It seemed that Rise was almost in a kind of trance over what she beheld. How wonderful that she became Octavian to Lehmann's Marshallin!

    As I have said, in the absence of my podcasts for now, I will regale you with some treasured material. I thank you for your patience!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

You have heard me praise my friend Ta'u Pupu'a whom I "discovered" when we sang in Rigoletto together several years ago;as good as he sounds here, he has come along to the point where is has been engaged for difficult roles like Bacchus in Ariadne,Radames,etc....and you already have heard samples of his work. Since Saturday, Aug.25 is his birthday, I wanted to present this clip.It is my pleasure to know this great guy.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Here is Schubert's "An die Musik," as sung by the magnificent Janet Baker, born August 21, 1933. I heartily recommend you purchase her recording of Elgar's "Sea Pictures," which ranks so very high in my "desert island" collection.  I regret I never saw her live, because she is a sublime artist.

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

 To keep you all interested while I await my repairman to fix my podcasts, I have been sending you some videos that you may enjoy. You would not normally know what to look for on Youtube, but since I have some ideas as to what you might enjoy, I can pick items.

   Handelman is the King on the left of the group. I was so busy singing my part that I did not realize, until I saw the tape, that the great diva Sue Hassell thought she was Maria Callas, and hit an E flat that might cause all animals in the neighborhood to come running. It is what we call in Italian a "GESCHREI!!"

    Make sure no little animals or small children are in the room when you play this. I have a few other "Perle Nere," which is the Italian expression (Black Pearls) for opera disasters. I sincerely hope you enjoy (??) some of my selections in the meantime.

    Do not forget that many small groups have some fine singers..but not this one.(Except of course, ME!)

Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm EDT

How wonderful to see dear Piotr Beczala on the cover of the new Opera News, with a beautiful article about his career...not to be missed by those who appreciate what great artistry and of course beautiful singing is all about. I have been singing his praises ever since I first heard him at the Met, and I am glad they chose to highlight his career which is surely becoming one of the most successful in the opera world.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

InIn anticipation of Regina Resnik's 90th birthday on August 30, I present her hilarious take-off on Orlovsky's aria, which brought down the house at the Farewell Gala of Rudolf Bing. There are some "private references" that you might not understand, but really the audience just cracked up. My favorite moment is the way she says ,"But ask Corelli TWWWWWice!."

     A friend and I ,who know Regina for over 50 years, spent the day yesterday with her, and it was a joyous reunion. You will hear much more on her birthday.

I hope these videos are pleasant until I get the podcast problem solved.!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:41pm EDT

Let us celebrate the birthday of Miliza Korjus on Aug.18 (1907.) This is a perfect example of "vocal camp" and be sure no little children or animals are near the speakers at the end, and you will see why!!! She made films and was a well-known personality, but no one ever told her what "vibrato" was. I must tell you that most people crack up at the end!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

  I never know what videos on Youtube you have seen, but I hope that perhaps some of my videos are new to you...and as entertaining as this one.  Birgit enjoyed it!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:18am EDT

Born August 16, 1951 , Rolandi STEALS THE SHOW at a City Opera Cenerentola, when they added an aria we never hear. It is a RIOT!!!!!

  Remember, until the podcasts are repaired, you will get some videos to entertain you..besides, I can rest my voice.(Aren't you lucky!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:02am EDT

Yes, I love to go to the opera..BUT I do know what we will never experience again. (This is in the regular key,by the way).    LORD!!!!! Do not tell me there is anything like this today!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

The dear unforgettable Renata Tebaldi, who filled our young lives on and off stage with the most beautiful loving personality and great artistry one could imagine. I miss her so!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

Carmen Melis, teacher of Renata Tebaldi, was born Aug.16, 1885. Here is an example of her work, and she certainly had a fabulous pupil.

  I am having some upload problems, so until I have solved them, I will regale you with some videos to keep you out of trouble.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

  You know by now what I think of Piotr Beczala and Anna Netrebko, artists who would be accepted as magnificent in ANY opera era. I just wanted to show anyone who may not have seen today's telecast of Manon why my eyes filled with tears!!!! To my "jaded' ears, this was a great triumph, and I hope you enjoy it.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

Remember VHS???

 You know how much stuff I have laying around, including about 2000 VHS tapes.(Mostly opera). If anyone wishes to receive my free VHS catalogues, let me know at Placido21@aol.com and include name and address.

  I would say $ 3.00 each, but you must be able to pick them up by car or bring a heavy diva to carry them, and you probably would be living in or near New York City.

 What a shame these things are just vegetating, but that's technology!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT

COMMENTS, ANYONE?????

My dear friends,

        At this juncture I feel that the fact we had to omit the comment section,owing to a large number of annoying ads, is really detrimental. Therefore if you wish to comment on any podcast and/or make suggestions for future ones, please E-mail me at Placido21@aol.com.

Ustedes pueden escribir en espanol.

Vous pouvez ecrire en francais.

Voi potete scrivere in italiano.

   (But that is all I can handle and forget Latin because I forgot it all.)

                                    I really want your feedback!!!!       

                    

Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

  I almost weep every time I think of what this great man was to music. He was only 48 at his passing. He was born with the kind of heart and soul that one cannot obtain. Every breath he takes thrills me to death,and let us bless his memory.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

Get out your Pavarotti towels!!!!! Diana is absolutely remarkable here. This is the kind of singing  and emotion that a Muzio, a Favero, a Zeani, a Scotto expressed.

 I assume that most of you get Youtube in your country, but I can pick out certain videos that I think special. Did you know that Youtube now is able to show you complete operas????

  If you have any comments, requests,etc,please E-mail me at Placido21@aol.comand I will try to make you happy.   

As ever your friend Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu (Met Traviata this coming season) sounds beautiful..Funny..he just did COSI..where an Albanian is disguised as an Albanian...!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

July 27, 1915. Mario was the first singer i ever saw (Aida) when I was 15.My first impression was a set of white teeth coming toward me before "Celeste Aida." He gave 1000% of himself and we miss this brand of singing!!!!

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

Anyone who has been living on another planet and never saw Mari Lyn can "enjoy" this example of her great art. Note that the Act Four letter is a perfect example of verismo Italian. Before I showed this to Diana Soviero, I told her, "You will never see anything like this." She replied, "Oh,maybe she can study with me!" Then I played Mari and Diana almost fell off my couch!!!!

     We love Mari Lyn and if you go to Youtube you will be able to sample  more of her great art, but keep small children and animals away from the screen, lest they become traumatized forever. NOTE: Great Italian translations!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

  The new Opera News features bios of young artists, and one is the magnificent Latonia Moore, who stepped in last year and made her Met debut as Aida on the broadcast. She brought down the house at Carnegie in Puccini's "Edgar" two years ago, and just go to Youtube to sample more of her art, and remember that I have heard them all!  ((I even dated Melba.)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

   Even in 1973 we can tell what a fabulous voice this was. "Pippo" was born on July 24, 1921 and as I have stated many times, he destroyed a fabulous voice by singing heavier repertory and forgetting what a passaggio is. However, perhaps in the history of tenor singing, he would rank way up there for an incredibly gorgeous natural voice.  Rest in Peace!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

  My darling "big sister," Virginia Zeani, one of the greatest sopranos...70 plus roles...and a legend!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:38am EDT


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