A Fabulous Walkure

  A fabulous cast in highlights from a Met 1968 Walkure (just released on Sony) under Berislav Klobucar. The cast is:

Birgit Nilsson,Leonie Rysanek, Jon Vickers,Thomas Stewart, Christa Ludwig, Karl Ridderbusch.

                               Don't tell me they make them like this anymore!!!!!     (72 min.)

Direct download: Walkure_1968.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:38pm EST

La Rondine With Diana Soviero

 Highlights from Puccini's "La Rondine" from a 1982 Philadelphia performance conducted by Angelo Campori. In the cast we have:

Diana Soviero,Giuliano Cianella, Silvia Baleani,James Hoback, Renato Capecchi, and Donald Collup.      (60 min.)


Direct download: Rondine_Soviero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:49pm 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.



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

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


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

The Great Giulietta Simionato

Tribute to the late great Giulietta Simionato with scenes from Aida,Adriana,Carmen,Cavalleria,Italiana,Nozze di Figaro,Trovatore,Don Carlo,Cenerentola

                                                               (57 min.)

Direct download: Giulietta.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:30am EST

An amazing Young Man


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


 Scenes from the ENOC Gotterdamerung (In English,if you can understand it) under Reginald Goodall. The cast is as follows:

  Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Aage Haugland,Katherine Pring, Norman Welsby

                                         (72 min.)

(Photo of Hunter,Remedios, Goodall)

Direct download: Hunter_Gotter..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05pm EST

Michael Bohnen

  The wonderful baritone, Michael Bohnen, was born on May 2, 1887. We celebrate his birthday with highlights from:

       Barber of Bagdad, Der Freischutz, Rigoletto, Tosca, Parsifal, Walkure, Das Rheingold, Bartered Bride,Meistersinger, and a Kol Nidre.        (60 min.)

Direct download: Bohnen.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:08pm EST


From the Nimbus "Prima Voce" series: 16 great baritones of the past:

Lucien Fugere, Victor Maurel, Mattia Battistini, Mario Ancona, Riccardo Stracciari, Giuseppe de Luca, Titta Ruffo, Pasquale Amato, Joseph Schwarz, Heinrich Schlusnus, Carlo Galeffi, John Charles Thomas, Lawrence Tibbett, Gerhard Husch, and Igor Gorin. (72 min.)

Direct download: Leg.Baritones.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21pm EST


A truly magnificent performance (highlights) from a Vienna 1960 performance of "La Forza del Destino" under Dimitri Mitropolous, and starring Antonietta Stella, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Ettore Bastianini,Walter Kreppel, and Giulietta Simionato. This surely is luxurious casting and i know you will enjoy it.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Stella_Forza.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:57pm EST


 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


Highlights from a 1942 Bayreuth Flying Dutchman under Richard Kraus. Featured are Joel Berglund, Maria Muller, Franz Voelker, and Ludwig Hofmann. (72 min.)

Direct download: Dutch.Berglund.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:40pm 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:




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

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


  Highlights from a stunning performance of Elektra from Syracuse,New York in 1977. Christopher Keene is the conductor and the magnificent soprano Olivia Stapp is the Elektra. Natalie Costa is Chrysothemis, Lili Chookasian is Klytaemestra, Richard Cross is Orestes, and Alan Crabbe is Aegisth.  I know this performance will thrill you.   (65 min.)


Direct download: Elektra_Stapp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:29pm EST


   In memory of the late Joan Sutherland, here are scenes from a live 1970 Traviata under Richard Bonynge with Mme.Sutherland,Sherrill Milnes, and Giacomo Aragall. The Flora is a newcomer named Frederica Von Stade.    (72 min.)

Direct download: Trav.Suth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:30am 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


    Act three of the glorious 1956 Tosca.  (30 min.)


              I hope you have enjoyed one of the greatest performances in my memory.

Direct download: Tosca_1956_Teb.act_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49am EST


                                ACT TWO OF THE FABULOUS 1956 TOSCA   (45 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Teb.1956_act_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38am EST


The first of three podcasts featuring the complete  Jan.7, 1956 Tosca under Dimitri Mitropolous and starring Renata Tebaldi, Richard Tucker, Leonard Warren, and Fernando Corena.   (48 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_1956_Teb.Act_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:24am EST


 As I do each year, I wished the wonderful Magda Olivero a happy birthday today,Mar.25th, and she sends her "abbraccio" to all of you. This podcast contains live material from Amsterdam between 1962 and 1972 and is testament to the miracle of her art. I do hope you enjoy it and will search Youtube for much more material.(68 min.)

Manon Lescaut ,Tosca,Iris,Risurrezione,Adriana, Mefistofele, Iris, Manon Lescaut (1964),Turandot, Gianni Schicchi, Boheme, La Rondine, Fanciulla del West

Direct download: Olivero_101.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:47pm EST


  A most exciting performance (exc.) of Samson et Delilah from 1964 Dallas with Rita Gorr, Mario del Monaco, and Enzo Sordello. The sound is a bit distant, but I feel the level of the performance will compensate. After the exc. you get a bonus, where in a rehearsal, Gorr admonishes poor Mario for not being in costume. (55 min.)

Direct download: DelM_Samson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:23pm EST


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

The Superb Joseph Calleja

Dear Joseph Calleja, who has been brilliant recently in the Met Lucia,in some arias from his albums.Included are:  Paris Entrance from Le Belle Helene, Butterfly Addio, Maristella's "Io conosco un giardino," Pourquoi me reveiller, O mio rimorso, and the Finale of Lucia.   (21 glorious minutes)


Direct download: Calleja_2011.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:47am 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!!!!


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

The Met debuts of Price and Corelli

 A historical evening as Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli make their Met debuts on  Jan.27, 1961. Also featuring Robert Merrill,Irene Dalis and a girl named Teresa Stratas as Inez. (Cleva conducting)  (67 min.)

Direct download: Trov.Debuts_1961.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04pm EST


   A rather "unsubtle" La Boheme under Franco Mannino from Macerata, 1971. Franco Corelli,Luisa Maragliano, and Giangiacomo Guelfi must have "escaped' from Il Trovatore for this show. Completing the cast are Elvidia Ferracuti and Nicola Zaccaria.  If you favorite opera is Pelleas et Melisande, do not listen to this one.  (67 min.)

Direct download: Corelli_Boheme.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:11pm EST


Highlights from a most exciting performance of Tannhauser from 1942 under George Szell.It features the legendary Lauritz Melchior, Helen Traubel, Herbert Janssen, Kerstin Thorborg, and Alexander Kipnis.  (67 min.)

Direct download: Tann.Melchior.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:56am EST

Virginia Zeani in "Il Console"

   As per request, I am offering you another mini-podcast. This is my adopted sister Virginia Zeani singing the great "To this we've come' (Da questo di) from a Spoleto performance of Menotti's "Il Console.". It is an example of the amazing emotion she exhibited.  It also demonstrates that you could sing in healthy chest voice and still have a huge career. Nowadays few singers are able to blend the lower voice with the middle, resulting in some very "empty' tones in the lower range.hould we blame the teachers? Do they consider chest voice "vulgar?" I get very angry when sopranos refuse to use the lower part of the voice, even in a mixed chest;so much of the music is lost!

Direct download: Zeani_Console_pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:37am 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

I tried!!!!

I ain't a Ramey, a Plishka, not even a Pinza...and surely not a real basso, but I think this is not bad. You do not have to be kind.I still love you all.   Charlie

Direct download: Handelman_Ramfis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:02am EST


   In the 1960's, we discovered the great LA PUMA opera co.in New York. We usually had to sit in the back and keep hankies over our faces because we had to try to hold back getting hysterical.They finally threw us out one night. What can I say about this?? I miss it so much...but at least we have our memories. (Did they have DEPENDS at that time??)

Direct download: Puma_Walkure.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:35pm EST


Anyone who collects "Opera oddities" will recognize this as the craziest thing EVER! I attended Ashley Putnam's Traviata debut at City Opera in 1977, and suddenly, as Henry Price started his aria, a lady in the orchestra let out a GESCHREI!!! To this day we never exactly found out why she did this..but some of us guess that a rival tenor did it!! When I wrote Henry Price that I was there..he wrote back, "So was I!!!"

               Make sure no little kids or furry animals are in the room when you play this!~!!!

Direct download: Putnam_Scream.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:04pm 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

La Rondine with Licia Albanese

Highlights from a live 1961 performance of "La Rondine" with Licia Albanese and Daniele Barioni. The conductor is Giuseppe Bamboschek. The sound is on the distant side, but it is a wonderful performance.(51 min.)


In the photo, Licia kisses the stage of the old Met in 1966, as this was the last performance. I was there, and it was a very sad night.

Direct download: Rondine_Licia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:01pm EST

The Final Scene From Salome in Comparison

Six great divas sing the final scene from Salome:

Inge Borgkh, Maria Cebotari, Marisa Galvany, Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Ljuba Welitsch  (68 min.)

Direct download: Salomes.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44pm EST


 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

Roberto Devereux Exc.With Nelly Miricioiu

Highlights from an exciting performance of Roberto Devereux from London, 2002 under Maurizio Benini and featuring Nelly Miricoiou,Jose Bros,Sonia Ganassi, and Roberto Frontali.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Dever.Miric..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:59pm EST


A bi-lingual presentation of highlights from Aida and Otello from French Radio 1948, conducted by Jules Gressier. It features Jose Luccioni,Maria Vitale, Charles Gambon.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Luccioni_operas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:56pm 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:



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

Manon 1951

A 1951 Manon w.Licia Albanese, Giuseppe Di Stefano,Martial Singher, Jerome Hines, and Allesio de Paolis under Fausto Cleva   (70 min.)

Direct download: Manon_1951.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49pm EST

Walkure Highlights from 1951

A stunning (stereophonic) performance by Kirsten Flagstad(age 56) with Astrid Varnay,Ferdinand Frantz,Blanche Thebom, and Gunther Treptow, conducted by Fritz Stiedry  (70 min.)

Direct download: Walkure_Met_1951.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:11pm EST

The Evening Star

Compilation of 15 baritones singing the Tannhauser Evening Star aria. They are,in order:

Ramon Blanchart, Giuseppe de Luca, Mattia Battistini, Joel Berglund, Sigurd Bjoerling, Michael Bohnen, Joseph Schwarz, Eberhard Waechter, Thomas Tipton, Heinrich Schlusnus, Alexander Sved, Herbert Janssen, Gerhard Huesch, Lawrence Tibbett, and George London.   (68 min.)

Direct download: Evening_Star.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:12pm EST

I Puritani w.Sills, Pavarotti

 Highlights from a fine performance of Bellini's "I Puritani" from Phil.1972 under Anton Guadagno. It features Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills,  Paul Plishka, and Louis Quilico. (70 min.)

Direct download: Puritani_Sills.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm EST


The happiest of birthdays (Dec.28) to Piotr Beczala, one of opera's greatest artists.

Here are arias from Aleko,Rusalka,Rigoletto,Hoffmann, and Romeo.

A big "BRAVO" to one of the great singers of today, and ANY opera era

Direct download: Piotr_Birthday_2010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:50pm 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

Pagliacci From La Scala 1987

Highlights from a fine performance of Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci" from La Scala, 1987. This was one of the last performances of Jose Carreras prior to his illness. Diana Soviero is the Nedda, John Rawnsley is Tonio, Angelo Romero is Silvio, and William Matteuzzi is Beppe. The conductor is Giuseppe Patane  (60 min.)

Direct download: Pag1987Scala.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EST

A wonderful new tenor

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



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

Tenors of Today

Selections from the cd's of 13 of our wonderful present-day tenors. We are so lucky to have them performing in the world of opera. In order, they are:

           Ben Heppner, Johan Botha, Roberto Alagna, Marcelo Alvarez, Rolando Villazon, Salvatore Licitra, Ramon Vargas, Vittorio Grigolo, Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Flores, Joseph Calleja, Marcelo Giordani, and Piotr Beczala.   (60 min.)

Direct download: Tenors_of_Today-13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:51pm EST

Romeo et Juliette Act 2 Finale

 A compilation of 9 tenors singing the finale of act two of Romeo et Juliette, ending with a high C.

The tenors (in correct order) are: Augustinello Afre, Georges Nore, Raoul Jobin, Franco Corelli, Stephen Costello, Alfredo Kraus, Ramon Vargas, Joseph Calleja, and Jussi Bjoerling. (37 min.)

Direct download: Romeo_Act_2_end.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm EST

Verdi on Cetra-Soria

An exciting compilation of material from various Verdi operas, as issued in 1951 on Cetra-Soria, for the Verdi year. Included are scenes (in correct order) from:

Otello, Ballo in Maschera, La Battaglia di Legnano,Ernani, I Due Foscari, Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller, I Lombardi, Nabucco, Don Carlo, and Aida (casts are announced)  (66 min.)

Direct download: Cetra_Verdi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm EST

Die Tote Stadt

Highlights from a live 1975 performance of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's "Die Tote Stadt," featuring Carol Neblett, John Alexander, and Dominic Cossa, conducted by Jules Rudel.   (55 min.).

 Note:This is a live perf.so there is some distance in the recording.

Direct download: Tote_Stadt.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:43pm EST

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



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

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

Early Puccini Recordings of Giuseppe di Stefano

  Here are some scenes (live and recorded) of the great tenor, Giuseppe "Pippo" Di Stefano. They are from Tosca,Turandot, Mme.Butterfly, La Boheme and Il Tabarro. Leonard Warren, Renata Tebaldi and Maria Callas also appear in these excerpts.

    I have announced all the selections on the podcast.     (56 min.)

Direct download: Pippo_Puccini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm 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




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

Werther Exc. W.Corelli/Kraus

 Act Three exc.from Werther with Crespin,Corelli,Readon, from a non-broadcast in 1972, followed by exc.from act three with Zeani and Kraus (In Italian).  Enjoy!!   (70 min.)

Direct download: Two_Werthers_exc..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:18pm EST

Diana Soviero's Met Debut

On November 13, 1986, Diana Soviero made her Met debut as Juliette, conducted by Placido Domingo, and featuring Alfredo Kraus and Paul Plishka. I know you will love it!!!! (58 min.)

Direct download: Soviero_Juliette_debut.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:24pm EST

Samson et Delilah, a Tribute to Shirley Verrett

In memory of the late wonderful Shirley Verrett, we present highlights from a live La Scala performance of Samson et Delilah, from 1970 under Georges Pretre. Richard Cassilly, Robert Massard, and Leonardo Monreale complete the cast.

As a bonus, Shirley Verrett sings the Death of Dido from a Troyens perf. in 1969 in Rome.  (72 min.)  When they leave us, a part of us breaks away,but our memories stay with us forever.


Direct download: Verret_Delilah.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:09pm EST



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

Piotr Beczala Sings Slavic Arias

Hiya all,


     You know I have become acquainted with this glorious Polish tenor, Piotr Beczala, and I will be seeing  him soon at the Met in Boheme and Romeo (I ordered tickets for THREE Romeos...I rarely do anything like that.). From Piotr's new album on the Orfeo label, I present arias from Prince Igor, Janek (Zelenski), and Eugen Onegin. I heartily recommend this album to you and hope these three selections give you a sampling of the album.

                                                       Thanks for your patience


P.S.  I re-installed Propaganda and will fix those interruptions..They think I am NEW!!!!!!                                                                  Charlie



Direct download: Beczala_Slavic.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:09am 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

The superb voice of Mirella Freni
  1. Mirella Freni, one of the great sopranos  in the world of opera, is presented in live performances. She sings the Strauss Four Last Songs, and arias from Gianni Schicchi,Adriana Lecouvreur, L'Amico Fritz, La Boheme, Turandot,Carmen, Vespri Siciliani, and the Eugen Onegin Letter Scene.  (70 min.)
Direct download: Mirella_Freni.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:26pm EST

A fascinating Analysis of the Ring

When the London/Decca Ring recordings were finished, Deryck Cooke recorded a most enlightening analysis of the Ring, using scenes from the recordings. I found this most enlightening, and wish to present about 50 minutes of it to you. I hope you enjoy it.

Remember, I miss your comments, so send them to me at Placido21@aol.com. I had to cancel that comment section owing to those ads.    (50 min.)

Direct download: Ring_Analysis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00pm 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

Simon Boccanegra 1950

  The great Leonard Warren stars in highlights from a 1950 Mexico City Simon Boccanegra.Also in the cast are Mario Filippeschi,Celia Garcia, Roberto Silva, and Ignacio Ruffino. The conductor is Renato Cellini   (62 min.)

Direct download: Warren_Simone_1950.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:09pm EST

Renata Tebaldi  1949-1959

   The great Renata Tebaldi in scenes from Andrea Chenier,Manon Lescaut, L'Assedio di Corinto, Faust, and the Stabat Mater of Rossini (Inflammatus)                    (69 min.)

Direct download: Early_Tebaldi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:24pm EST

Operatic Oddities 2

A pot-pourri of some of the oddities I have previously pubished, but now all together to make you laugh,cry, or never talk to me again,etc. I think you will have fun..Great for parties!!!!  (74 min.)

Direct download: Oddities_Pot-pourri.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:29pm EST

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:


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

Verdi in Deutsch
Many great singers sang Verdi in German, and we do not wish to neglect them, even if the vocal line is not what we usually expect. Here are some of the great artists singing Verdi in German:

Margarete Klose, Martha Moedl, Carla Martinis, Helge Roswaenge (pictured),Heinrich Schlusnus, Birgit Nilsson, Sebastian Feiersinger, Georg Hann, Gottlob Frick, and Leonie Rysanek   (68 min.)
Direct download: Verdi_in_Deutsch.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:59pm 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

  A thrilling Cavalleria (excerpts) with Marisa Galvany, Placido Domingo, and Signore Ciminelli under Anton Guadagno from 1973 in Hartford,Ct.
   I also​ added a Galvany bonus (What else is new?) with scenes from Macbeth,Medea,Traviata and Nabucco.    (60 min.)   After Marisa

 did Mayr's "Medea in Corinto" we posed for the photo you see.

Direct download: Cavalleria_w.Galvany.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11am EST

   Listen to highlights from an exciting live performance of Zandonai's thrilling opera "Francesca da Rimini from 1973 under Eve Queler. It features Placido Domingo, Raina Kabaiwanska, and Matteo Manuguerra. I know you will enjoy it!!!

  (65 min.)

Direct download: Francesca_1973.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

The superb basso, Carlo Colombara, a good buddy to many of us on Facebook,sings Italian and American songs. I know you will enjoy them. He reminds me of Cesare Siepi.  


Direct download: Colombara_Songs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:41pm EST

Macbeth excerpts with Stapp and Bruson

 Highlights from a Berlin 1980 Macbeth w.Olivia Stapp,  Renato Bruson, Veriano Luchetti, and

Victor von Halem ,conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli    (71 min.)

   This is in celebration of dear Olivia's birthday on May 30.



Direct download: Stapp_Macbeth_Exc..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:31pm EST

 Diana Damrau Recital

    The superb lyric-coluratura soprano, Diana Damrau, in a recital of songs by Berg, Strauss, Mahler, Zemlinsky, and Wolf,plus a Mozart concert aria w.orch.(59 min.)

Direct download: 2010-05-05-17-03-12.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30pm EST

In Memory of Giulietta Simionato

Today, May 5,2010 we pay tribute to the great Giulietta Simionato, who passed away at age 99. She was a phenomenal icon in the world of opera and we remember her fondly. I include highlights from Aida, Cavalleria, Barbiere, Mignon, Anna Bolena, Mignon, Carmen, and Werther  (72 min.)

Direct download: 2010-05-05-12-22-32.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:54pm EST

 Anna Bolena Act 1 finale

Ten wonderful sopranos sing the finale of Act one of Anna Bolena. The singers (in order of selections)are:

Renata Scotto, Beverly Sills, Olivia Stapp, Maria Callas(in photo), Elena Suliotis, Dimitra Theodossiou, Joan Sutherland, Leyla Gencer, Edita Gruberova, and Marisa Galvany.                (50 min.)

Send me a VOTE on your top 2 favorites!!!!!!!!!!

Direct download: 2010-05-04-17-15-15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:35pm EST

 Montserrat  Caballe sings Donizetti operas

The phenomenal voice of Montserrat Caballe is heard in two Donizetti works:

Parisina (exc.) w.Jerome Pruett, Louis Quilico, and James Morris

Roberto Devereux (exc.) with Jose Carreras and Vicente Sardinero

                                             (66 min.)

Direct download: 2010-05-03-22-55-14.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:22pm EST

Radio Hour vol.1

Hiya all,

         Despite allergies, arthritis, beri-beri, and misery not going yet to the MET,
I am back with you to present various singers in live performances on radio from the 1940's.

Included are:
                  Eileen Farrell, Stella Roman (pictured),Gladys Swarthout,Hilde Reggiani, Astrid Varnay,Licia Albanese, Norina Greco, Jan Peerce, Rene Maison, Robert Weede, Lauritz Melchior,and Richard Bonelli.   (61 min.)

                              As always, thanks so much for your lovely comments.

                                                 Carlo Handelmania

Direct download: 2010-04-23-17-42-48.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05pm EST

 Elizabeth Schwarzkopf's 1977 Farewell

The  2/8/77 Amsterdam farewell recital of Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, accompanied by Geoffrey Parsons. (70 min.)

She performs songs of R.Strauss, Wolf, Schubert, MahlerLiszt, Schumann, Wolf-Ferrari.

Direct download: 2010-04-13-19-00-58.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:27pm EST

A tribute to Jerome Hines

 A tribute to Jerome Hines, a great artist. The selections are anounced and biographical material is included. (73 min.)

The American Jerome A. Hines (November 8, 1921 – February 4, 2003) was a well-known basso opera singer who was associated with the Metropolitan Opera for many years. His height (6ft 6 inches, or 2m), stage presence and stentorian voice made him ideal for such roles as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Mephistopheles in Faust, Ramfis in Aida, the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, the title role of Boris Godunov and King Mark in Tristan und Isolde.

Hines was born Jerome Albert Link Heinz in Hollywood, California. He studied mathematics and chemistry at the University of California, while also taking vocal lessons. Hines made his operatic debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1941, singing Monterone in Rigoletto. He changed his surname to Hines at the suggestion of his manager Sol Hurok to avoid the anti-German feelings prevalent during World War II.[1]

In 1946, Hines made his debut at the Met as the Sergeant in Boris Godunov. He went on to sing forty-one seasons there, longer than any other Met singer, encompassing forty-five roles in thirty-nine operas. During this time he pursued further voice studies with Samuel Margolis and Vladimir Rosing.

In 1953, Hines made his European debut with Glyndebourne as Nick Shadow at the Edinburgh Festival in the first British performances of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. In 1958, he made his debut at La Scala in the title role of Handel's Hercules. From 1958 to 1963, he sang at Bayreuth in the roles of Gurnemanz, King Mark and Wotan. In 1961, he first appeared at the San Carlo in the title role of Boito's Mefistofele. In 1962, he sang Boris Godunov at the Bolshoi in Moscow, famously for Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev on the eve of the resolution of the Cuban Missile crisis.

Hines turned to coaching later in his career, founding the Opera-Music Theatre Institute of New Jersey in 1987, but he continued performing virtually until the end of his life; among his last appearances was a concert performance as the Grand Inquisitor with the Boston Bel Canto Opera in 2001 at the age of 79.

A born-again Christian and member of the Salvation Army, Hines composed an opera on the life of Jesus, I Am the Way. He sang the role of Jesus at the Met in 1968 and performed the work many times around the world.

Hines wrote a memoir, This is My Story, This is My Song (1969) ISBN 0-8007-0313-8, and two books on singing, The Four Voices of Man (1997) ISBN 0-87910-099-0 and Great Singers on Great Singing (1982) ISBN 0-87910-025-7.

Hines died of undisclosed causes in 2003, at age 81 at a Manhattan hospital.

Hines was married to the soprano Lucia Evangelista from 1952 until her death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2000. They had four children, David, Andrew, John and Russell. For most of his life, he lived in South Orange, New Jersey.

[edit] External links

Direct download: 2010-04-11-11-42-38.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:10pm EST

Jussi Bjoerling's Cav Return to the Me

Jussi Boerling Returns to the Met on Nov.16,1959,sadly,only one year before the great man's passing.

Giulietta Simionato is a sensational Santuzza, with Rosalind Elias, Walter, Cassell, Thelma Votipka (Cond.Nino Verchi) (50 min.)


Direct download: 2010-04-08-04-06-32.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:27am EST

Eide Norena (1884-1968)

A tribute to the lovely French soprano, Eide Norena. She sings arias from Zauberflote, Seraglio,Hamlet, William Tell, Turandot, Traviata,Rigoletto,and Gounod's Serenade.  (44 min.)

Direct download: 2010-04-03-18-53-17.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm EST

 Blanche Thebom Tribute

   We mourn the passing of the superb mezzo, Blanche Thebom. Here are scenes from Aida, Norma, Samson et Delilah, Don Carlo, and Tristan und Isolde. She was a wonderful singer and artist, with a beautiful rich voice.  Rest in peace.

Direct download: 2010-03-28-19-36-56.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:58pm EST

Magda Olivero is 100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 How can anyone adequately describe the miracle of the today 100 year old Magda Olivero. I spoke to her this morning and she gives you all "un abbraccio!!"

     CENT'ANNI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Listen to the selections and thrill to this great great lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    (66 min)


Correction:The Fedora I mentioned was in New Jersey, not in New York as I stated.



and when I called her and a friend called her she said the entire (new) apt.is covered w.Flowers......
GOD BLESS HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Direct download: 2010-03-25-12-53-17.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:19pm EST

Ballo 1944 Met

Ballo in Maschera highlights from 1944 under Bruno Walter. The cast includes Zinka Milanov,Leonard Warren, Jan Peerce, Frances Greer, and Kerstin Thorborg (67 min.)

Direct download: 2010-03-22-13-39-07.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:07pm EST

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