Louise (FIXED!)


Highlights from Charpentier's "Louise." Featured are the following artists:

Georges Thill and Ninon Vallin (commercial recording) of act one opening.

Grace Moore and Raoul Jobin and Beverly Sills and John Alexander in act three scenes.

Grace Moore, Ezio Pinza, and Doris Doe In act four material.
Renee Fleming and Sam Ramey in the final scene.   (69 min.)

Direct download: 2009-09-17-20-50-26.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21pm EDT

A lyric soprano compilation for Beverly

OH!!! Did you think I meant Beverly SILLS????  Although the great Beverly Sills is represented on this podcast, I did this one for a fine young lyric soprano by the name of Beverly Thompson, one of the talented Dolora Zajick students.
   This is the third podcast for one of these young artists, where I ask them about their repertory and their favorite artists and, adding some of my choices, I offer them an opportunity to sample some of the beautiful performances that are out there.

   Included here are selections  by:

      Beverly Sills, Leontyne Price, Renata Scotto,Kiri Te Kanawa, Elizabeth Grummer, Irmgard Seefried, Virginia Zeani, Diana Soviero, Renee Fleming, Renata Tebaldi, Mirella Freni, Eleanor Steber, and Bidu Sayao.
       I sincerely hope Beverly and all of you enjoy them.(65 min.)

Direct download: 2009-09-16-15-31-10.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Russian  Bassos of Renown

A compilation of mostly Russian bassos (or bassos who sing in the Russian mode):

Maxim Mikhailov  (Sadko)
Len Sibirjakov      (Prince Igor)
Fyodor Chaliapin   (Don Quixote)
Yvgenyi Nesterenko  (Life for the Czar)
Nicolai Ghiaurov (None but the lonely heart)
Paul Plishka   (Eugene Onegin)
Boris Gmyria   (Yolantha)
Mark Reizen (in photo)  Walkure
Alexander Kipnis (Tannhauser)
Alexander Pirogov (Tsar's Bride)
Sergei Aleksashkin  (Mazeppa)
                       (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-09-12-00-33-30.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:03am EDT

The Exciting Soprano, Adriana Guerrini

Opera scenes featuring the exciting Italian soprano, Adriana Guerrini (1907-1970). Mme.Guerrini. Featured are arias and scenes from:

Il Trovatore, Mme.Butterfly, Manon Lescaut (with Beniamino Gigli at 60), La Forza del Destino, and many scenes from her recording of La Traviata with Paolo Silveri and Luigi Infantino.   (72 min.)

Direct download: 2009-09-11-12-38-07.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

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

A birthday tribute to dear Regina Resnik

    Each August 30th, I present my special tribute to Regina Resnik, one of the greatest artists in the world of music. As I have previously stated, not only had Mme.Resnik sung as both soprano and mezzo with remarkable success.(This year is the 65th anniversary of her Met debut), but as teacher,coach,filmmaker,producer, director, she has distinguished herself in the opera world in a totally unique way.
     In this podcast I present to you some extended scenes from some of her greatest roles:

Klytaemnestra in Elektra with Inge Borgkh
Sieglinde in Walkure with Ramon Vinay and Astrid Varnay
Fricka in Die Walkure with Jerome Hines
Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera
        I am happy to present this podcast in honor of dear Regina Resnik"s birthday, and I know you will enjoy it as you have enjoyed my previous celebrations of her art.   (70 min.)




Direct download: 2009-09-01-00-26-43.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:53am EDT

The Glorious Virginia Zeani 1960 Traviata

   Some opera lovers feel that just because you know artists personally, they can do no wrong;this is totally untrue,especially since one tends to be MORE critical of artists one knows for fear that you will be accused of "personal prejudice.". Also, you "discovered" them on stage or on records and the personal relationship followed as a result of your enjoyment of their art, and their honest appreciation of your feelings.
      Virginia Zeani sang 648 Violettas, but the unusual element in this 1960 Covent Garden performance is that she substituted for Joan Sutherland with less than a day's notice, flew to London, met her tenor on stage for the first time, and what emerges is in my view one of the greatest performances of the role of Violetta (and I have heard great ones).
       Her tenor is William McAlpine and the Germont is Jess Walters, conducted by Nello Santi (who almost kills her in the "Sempre Libera," but she does beautifully, not to the mention the high E flat.)
       I sincerely hope you will enjoy the performance.    (66 min.)

Direct download: 2009-08-23-17-31-36.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:59pm EDT

Joseph Calleja

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

(I thought it would be nice to add some photos to the site.Little by little I will delete some and add new ones.)

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

Piotr,Maria, and Charlie

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

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

Rolando Villazon y Carlitos

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

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

Charlie and Two Turandots

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

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

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

The Most Beloved Bidu Sayao

A podcast dedicated to the beloved Bidu Sayao:

 I failed to identify the first selections which are:

 "Batti,batti' from Don Giovanni, "Deh vieni,non tardar" from Le Nozze di Figaro, and an aria from Gomes' "Il Guarany."
     These selections are followed by five Brazilian folk songs, and then the Rigoletto finale w.Leonard Warren, "Mi chiamano Mimi," and the third act Mimi/Marcello Scene from la Boheme w.Giuseppe De Luca.
      Following are Juliette's Waltz song from "Romeo et Juliette," the Manon "Adieu,notre petite table" and the St.Sulpice duet with Charles Kullman.
        Concluding the podcast is the famous 1945 premiere recording (done in one take) of the Cantilena from Heitor Villa-Lobos" Bachianas brasileira," op.45.                   (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-08-15-14-17-24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

15  Wonderful Tenors of the Present Era.

Welcome to TENOR HEAVEN!!!!!

    There are so many superb tenors in the opera world today,I thought you would like a sample of their art.They include:

Lawrence Brownlee, Eric Cutler, Jan Botha, Salvatore Licitra, Ben Heppner, Marcelo Alvarez, Ramon Vargas, Roberto Alagna, Juan Diego Flores, Jonas Kaufmann, Rolando Villazon, David Daniels (countertenor), Marcelo Giordani, Joseph Calleja, Piotr Beczala (in photo).        (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-08-13-15-22-47.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:54pm EDT

The Remarkable Eva Turner  (1892-1990)

   A podcast tribute to a lady who possessed one of the most phenomenal voices in opera history,Dame Eva Turner. I was first introduced to her by someone playing her ?"In questa reggia," and ever since I have marvelled at the beauty and power of a voice that thrilled thousands for almost 30 years.  The material I have included is as follows:

  Arias from Tosca. Aida, Gioconda, Mme.Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana, Il  Trovatore.
  "Homing" by Del Riego
   "God save the King" with chorus from the live 1937 Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
     "In questa reggia" and the Riddle Scene from a live 1937 Covent Garden performance of Turandot, with Giovanni Martinelli, conducted by John Barbirolli>
         I sincerely hope you enjoy this miraculous voice.

Direct download: 2009-08-11-15-07-21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Six Zerbinettas

The famous Zerbinetta aria from Strauss' "Ariadne Auf Naxos" as sung by six marvelous coluratura sopranos. They are:

Rita Streich, Hilde Gueden (in photo), Edita Gruberova, Ruth Welting, Natalie Dessay, and Beverly Sills (1912 version.)   (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-08-10-18-06-50.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

You might get a big "high" from 45 high C's.

A mini podcast that features five tenors singing the famous  "Fille du Reggiment" aria with the nine high C's. You therefore get to hear a total of 45 of them!!!!!!

Included are Grayson Hirst, Enrico De Giuseppe, Alfredo Kraus, Luciano Pavarotti, and Juan Diego Flores.    (41 min.)

P.S. After you hear this, try it yourself...So what if your family disowns you!!!!!!


Direct download: 2009-08-08-21-21-44.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EDT

A Treasury of Mezzos

 This is the second podcast in which I feature singers and repertory at the request of one of Dolora Zajick's group of truly amazing young artists. If you click the following link, it will take you to the "Seguidilla" from Carmen, as sung by the bright young mezzo, Allegra de Vita (in photo.)


   I have therefore presented a pot-pourri of mostly lyric mezzos singing some of the works tht Mme.De Vita is studying, plus some additional material I feel appropriate. The artists are:

Janet Baker, Magdalena Kozena, Joyce di Donato, Sonia Ganassi, Susan Graham, Sarah Connolly, Josephine Veasy, Elina Garanca, Viveca Genaux, Vesselina Kasarova, and (the only more dramatic mezzo), Shirley Verrett. 
      I sincerely hope this podcast will be a useful aid to Mme.De Vita's studies and we wish her our best for future success.    (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-08-06-14-24-48.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT

 La Battaglia di Legnano


Highlights from three recordings of Verdi's early opera, "La Battaglia di Legnano."  I wish they would perform this fine work more often. The three casts are as follows:

Caterina Mancini, Amadeo Berdini, Rolando Panerai
Antonietta Stella, Franco Corelli, Ettore Bastianini
Leyla Gencer, Giovanni Gibin, Ugo Savarese
                                 (56 min.)



Direct download: 2009-08-05-12-47-07.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

Che Gelida Manina Volume 3

   The third volume of "Che gelida manina" as sung by 15 tenors. 
     Included (in order) are:

Enrico Caruso, Dino Borgioli (abridged), Jan Peerce, Jerry Hadley, Neil Shicoff, Rolando Villazon, Jose Carreras, Giacinto Prandelli, Giacomo Aragall, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Sandor Konya, Hipolito Lazaro, Giuseppe Lugo (In French), Gianni Raimondi, and Roberto Alagna.
                             (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-08-03-00-53-10.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:25am EDT

Toasting Thirteen Terrific Tenors!

   I take great pleasure in presenting a podcast, the first of several, in which I specifically choose material to assist the young students in Dolora Zajick's program with their repertory, allowing them to sample some of the great artists of the past and present, and offering examples chosen from their requests.
   At the same time, all of you have the opportunity to continue to enjoy the artistry of many of our superb singers, in various vocal categories.     We start with the tenors:

Mario del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Carlo Bergonzi, Jon Vickers, James King, Rene Kollo, Jonas Kaufmann, Wolfgang Windgassen, Peter Schreier, Lauritz Melchior, Set Svanholm, Stephen Gould, and Jose Carreras. (66 min.)
       Let us wish these young artists our best, and let us praise Mme.Zajick, one of opera's greatest treasures, for her efforts.


Direct download: 2009-07-31-01-02-03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:28am EDT

Otello w.Mario del Monaco for his Birthday

   As a special tribute to the great Mario Del Monaco, born on July 27, 1915, I present highlights from a La Scala 1954 Otello, conducted by Antonino Votto, and featuring the great Renata Tebaldi and Leonard Warren.
    I saw this exact same cast a year later, on the occasion of Mme.Tebaldi's Met debut, and it remains one of the great events of my operatic experience.
    Let us remember one of the greatest tenors in the opera world on the occasion of his birthday.          (66 min.)

Direct download: 2009-07-25-06-28-00.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:54am EDT

The Wagner Operas from Bayreuth

Highights from the 10 Wagner operas featured in a new Decca 33 cd set (only 65.00 on Amazon). These are live performances from Bayreuth, and feature some of the greatest Wagnerian artists.The highlights are as follows:

Die Meistersinger       Hannelore Bode, Karl Ridderbusch
Fliegende Hollander    Anja Silja, Franz Crass, Josef Greindl
Tristan und Isolde       Birgit Nilsson,Wolfgang Windgassen
Parsifal                       Peter Hoffman, Waltraud Meier
Lohengrin                   Anja Silja, Astrid Varnay, Ramon Vinay
Tannhauser                 Wolfgang Windgassen, Grace Bumbry
Das Rheingold              Theo Adam, Erwin Wohlfart
Die Walkure                 Leonie Rysanek
Siegfried                       Birgit Nilson, Wolfgang Windgassen
Die Gotterdamerung      Birgit Nilsson, Thomas Stewart, Josef Greindl
                                 (71 min.)

Best way to get this is to use this link!!!!!!

Direct download: 2009-07-24-12-10-46.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:44pm EDT


  Several years I was delighted to hear Argentinian soprano Fabiana Bravo as Giorgetta in "Il Tabarro" and at a concert as well.I found her voice what we call "old style," with mixed chest voice and quite a depth of emotion. I present three excerpts from her new CD and hope you enjoy her.

        The selections are from Verdi's "Il Corsaro," Giordano's "Andrea Chenier," and Puccini's "Edgar."

   The album is on the KLEOS Classics label,Number KL5149 and you might search on Helicon Records Site.

  (I get NO commission!!!!)

Direct download: 2009-07-22-23-15-01.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

Happy 96th Birthday to Dear Licia Albanese.

We honor the 96th birthday of the legendary Licia Albanese (born on July 22, 1913) by featuring highlights from two of her greatest performances:

Mme.Butterfly  1941  w. Armen Tokatyan, John Brownlee, and Lucille Browning.

Manon  1951  with Giuseppe Di Stefano

           All our best to this great lady!!!!!!!!!

                          (66 min.)

Direct download: 2009-07-22-21-25-50.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

BLAZING HOT Trovatore from Naples, 1957

 I know that Signore Riccardo Muti (senza acuti**) would be scandalized at the kind of singing this Trovatore features. However, this is the kind of exciting singing that makes one's hair (if he has any) stand on end.
   This 1957 Naples Trovatore, conducted by Franco Capuana and featuring Antonietta Stella, Mario Filippeschi (who encores the "Di quella pira"), Fedora Barbieri, and Aldo Protti is an example of "white-hot" Verdi singing, and I wish there were more such performances today.
         (70 min.)

(**  without high notes) 

Direct download: 2009-07-15-12-26-54.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

Gedda and Sutherland in Bellini

As a special birthday tribute to the great Nicolai Gedda, who turned 84 on July 11, 2009, we present him and Joan Sutherland in highlights from 1963 live performances of La Sonnambula and I Puritani. The singing is truly amazing, and I know you will be thrilled!  (65 min.)

Direct download: 2009-07-14-12-21-40.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

Happy 85th Birthday to the Remarkable Carlo Bergonzi

On July 13, 2009, we celebrate the 85th birthday of Carlo Bergonzi, one of the greatest singers in opera history. His singing serves as a true "vocal lesson" for singers, and we have been blessed by his presence on opera and concert stages for over 50 years.

    This podcast, the second in his honor, features songs by Verdi, Caccini, De Curtis, Schubert, and Donizetti plus arias from Martha, La Boheme, Il Trovatore, Tosca, La Forza del Destino, L'Arlesiana, Mefistofele, and I Lombardi.
     Bergonzi always ended his recitals with "Non ti scordar di me," and we will surely never forget him!

                                      (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-07-13-12-30-04.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

The Magnificent Stephen Costello as Romeo




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

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

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


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

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

From a poster on RMO:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Olga Borodina

One of the most sumptuous voices in my opera experience has been that of mezzo Olga Borodina. Here is a podcast that features some of her magnificent recordings:

Songs by Borodin and Tchaikowsky
Falla's Siete Canciones Populares
Arias from:
            Semiramide, Favorita, Gioconda, Maid of Orleans,Les Huguenots, Samson et Delilah, The Damnation of Faust.
                                      (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-07-05-08-18-53.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:47am EDT

The English National Opera Ring

 I present highlights from the English National Opera Ring of the Nibelung under Reginald Goodall. The singing is superb, but I really cannot understand the English translation. Perhaps you are better than I at deciphering what they are saying, especially with the ladies' voices.
     The cast includes:

                Rita Hunter - Brunnhilde
                Norman Bailey -Wotan
                Margaret Curphey- Sieglinde
                Alberto Remedios - Siegfried
                Anne Collins - Erda
                Derek Hammond-Stroud -Alberich
                Aage Haugland - Hagen
                                  (75 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-29-09-07-20.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40am EDT

Multi Lingual Lohengrin (Fixed)

This podcast features scenes from Wagner's "Lohengrin" in languages other than German. The selections are as follows:

Arias by Nelly Melba, Fernando de Lucia, Tancredi Pasero, Francisco Vinas (in photo.) (In Italian)
The Bridal Duet with Renata Tebaldi and Gino Penno (Italian)

  Emili Vendrell singing the farewell.  (Catalan).

  Marjorie Lawrence and Yvonne Brothier in act 2 scene (French)

   Scenes with Ivan Koslovsky, Elisaweta Schumskaya, and a great mezzo, Eugenia Smolenskaya.   (75  min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-28-16-05-16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

German School of Singing

From volume 4 of the wonderful series, "The record of Singing," I present some marvelous singers from what is known as the "German School." They include:

Ludwig Weber, Gottlob Frick, Erich Kunz, Paul Schoeffler, Hans Hotter, Julius Patzak, Anton Dermota, Rudolf Schock,Irmgard Sefried,Elizabeth Schumann, Maria Stader, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Erika Koth, Elizabeth Grummer, Maria reinging (in photo), Inge Borgkh, Sena Jurinac, Gre Brouwenstijn, and Leonie Rysanek. (75 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-28-15-13-42.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT

Jan Kiepura and Martha Eggerth

The legendary couple in material from film, live and commercial recordings.
  Kiepura sings arias from Boheme, Tosca, Martha, Pearl Fishers (unpub.), and a Di quella pira (TWICE!) from the film, "So Ends Our Night," with the CHORUS as the accompaniment.
   He also sings  "Ob Blond"(Stolz), "Prayer for Poland,"(an arrangement of a Chopin song), and "Processional"with Gladys Swarthout.

   Mme.Eggerth is heard in "Mi chiamano Mimi," songs from Lehar's "Zarewitsch," "Die ganze Welt" (Lehar), and from a 1992 Vienna concert in 1992, at age 80, "Das Lied ist aus."(Stolz.).
    She is then heard in a Merry Widow Medley and "Wien,Wien" from a 2002 gala.(Amazing!!!).
      The podcast concludes with Eggerth and Kiepura singing the "Neapolitan Duet" from Lehar's "Der Zarewitsch," ending on a fabulous  piano  high C by the great tenor.   (68 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-26-15-42-49.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT

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

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

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

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

L'Amore Dei Tre Re-1941

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

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

Die Fliegende Hollander, Bayreuth 1959

    Highlights from a riveting performance of Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander" from a Bayreuth 1959 performance under Wolfgang Sawallisch.
     Featured is the amazing Leonie Rysanek as Senta, and the equally remarkable George London as the Dutchman. Also in the cast are Fritz Uhl as Erik and Josef Greindl as Daland.
                                  (52 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-23-18-17-12.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:40pm EDT

Dominic Cossa, a superb baritone

The podcast features songs and arias as sung by Dominic Cossa, one of the finest baritones the opera world has known. His career spanned over 30 years and he appeared in many opera theatres, including the Met,San Francisco Opera, City Opera,etc. The selections are:

Bella siccome un angelo (Don Pasquale)
Cruda funesta smania and cabaletta  (Lucia)
Albert's aria from Werther
Avant de quitter  (Faust)
Scintille,diamant (Contes d'Hoffmann)
O Holy Night  (Adam)
Mamma, mamma  (Most Happy Fella)
Pierrot's Lied  (Tote Stadt)   
                         (36 min.)


Direct download: 2009-06-16-00-15-57.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

La Traviata Finale of Act Three

An exciting compilation of various interpretations of the finale of the Traviata Gambling Scene (Act 3 or Act 2 scene 2 in various productions.) The casts are as follows:

Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi,Mario Zanasi  (1970)
Renata Tebaldi, Giacinto Prandelli, Gino Orlandini  (1952)
Maria Callas, Alfredo Kraus, Mario Sereni  (1958)
Licia Albanese, Richard Tucker, Leonard Warren  (1954) 
Joan Sutherland, Giacomo Aragall, Sherill Milnes  (1970)
Diana Soviero, Carlo Bergonzi, Garbis Boyagian  (1983)
Virginia Zeani, Aldo Bottion, Franco Bordini  (1967)
                                    (75 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-15-17-17-16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

Alexander Kipnis and Ezio Pinza in Boris Godunov

Two great Borises: Ezio Pinza (In Italian) (1939), and Alexander Kipnis (In Russian), (1943). The Pinza scenes also feature Alessio de Paolis,Kerstin Thorborg, and Leonard Warren.   (67 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-15-02-27-16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:54am EDT

Lohengrin From Bayreuth 1954

   In keeping with my promise to select certain live opera performances and present highlights, I chose a marvelous Bayreuth 1954 Lohengrin. It is conducted by Eugen Jochum and features the following cast:

Lohengrin   Wolfgang Windgassen
Elsa            Birgit Nilsson (age 36)
Ortrud         Astrid Varnay
Telramund   Herman Uhde
King Henry   Theo Adam

               I trust you will enjoy this podcast, and I will always select certain works to highlight for you. (72 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-14-21-58-35.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm EDT

 Diana Soviero as Tosca

    Those of you who have tuned in to my podcasts already know what love and admiration I have for Diana Soviero, whom I consider one of the greatest exponents of the "Verismo" style of singing, a style that reminds us of the era of Claudia Muzio, Mafalda Favero, Virginia Zeani.
      I am presenting highlights from the very first Tosca of Mme.Soviero, Montreal 1991, featuring Tony De Paolo as Cavaradossi and Harry Dworchak as Scarpia, conducted by Joseph Rescigno.
       I  believe you will concur that Mme.Soviero has been one of our greatest artists, and presently is hailed as one of our finest teachers and coaches. I consider myself most fortunate to have followed Mme.Soviero's career for the past 30 years, and hope you enjoy this superb performance.  
( 70 min.)


Direct download: 2009-06-13-23-35-47.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Bel Canto Supreme:Semiramide 1980

Highlights from an extraordinary performance of Rossini's "Semiramide." Featured are two of the greatest exponents of Bel Canto singing, Marilyn Horne and Montserrat Caballe. Featured also are Samuel Ramey and Francisco Araiza, conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos (Aix-en-Provence, 1980)                                      (72 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-13-22-16-21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

Happy 96th birthday to Rise Stevens, a great Octavian.

   The first real live opera star I met, at age 16, was dear Rise Stevens, who celebrated her 96th birthday on June 11. We had so many lovely afternoons at her home since we had a club for her, and she was always a dear gracious person. 
     One of her greatest roles was Octavian in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, and we present highlights from a superb 1949 performance that also features Erna Berger, Eleanor Steber, and Emmanuel List. I know this special tribute to this great artist will be appreciated by all.
                                              (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-13-00-38-29.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:07am EDT

Magda Olivero Sings at 99!!!!


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

 This is a brief scene from Francesca da Rimini.

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

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

Golden Age Artists Sing Donizetti

  Here is a compilation of arias and duets from Donizetti operas as sung by many great artists of the early 20th century. The selections are:

 Maria di Rudenz:
             Mattia Battistini   "Ah! Non avea piu lagrime."

Linda di Chamounix:
              Rosina Storchio     "Oh luce di quest'anima"

Lucrezia Borgia:

               Carlo Albani       "Di pescatore ignobile"
Don Sebastiano:
                Alfred Piccaver    "Deserto in terra."

La Favorita:
                Aureliano Pertile  "Una vergine"
                 Giacomo Lauri-Volpi   "Spirto gentil"
                 Riccardo Stracciari   "Vien,Leonora"
                 Sigrid Onegin      "O mio Fernando"
                  Ezio Pinza         "Splendon piu bel in ciel."
                  Marcel Journet   " Balthazar Aria"(In French)
 L'Elisir d'amore:
                   Fernando de Lucia and Ernesto Badini  Duet,act one.
                    Tito Schipa "Una furtiva lagrima"
Don Pasquale:
                     Giuseppe Anselmi     "Sogno soave e casto"
                     Olympia Boronat      "So anch'io la virtu magica"
                      Lucrezia Bori and Giuseppe de Luca     Duet
Lucia di Lammermoor:
                      Luisa Tetrazzini   Act One arias
                                         (74 min.)



Direct download: 2009-06-05-19-10-01.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

The Art (??) of mezzo Sylvia Sawyer

   One of the most hilarious singers ever to record (some nerve!!). Sylvia Sawyer recorded mezzo roles in Ballo, Aida, and Trovatore on Capitol records in the 1950's. The rest of the cast of the Aida and Trovatore was respectable, and included Stella Roman, Gino Sarri, and Antonio Mancaserra.
   However, Mme.Sawyer sounds like a little kid (even with chest tones), and her Italian diction has caused many opera lovers to become hysterical over the years. I hope you will not mind a little more levity in this sea of great music.             (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-02-14-13-56.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

The Legendary Callas Covent Garden Norma debut

Highlights from one of the greatest performances of opera. This is the Maria Callas debut at Covent Garden as Norma in 1952. The great Ebe Stignani is the Adalgisa, Mirto Picchi is Pollione, Giacomo Vaghi is Oroveso, and a newcomer by the name of Joan Sutherland is the Clotilde.   Vittorio Gui is the conductor.  
(70 min.)             

Direct download: 2009-06-01-23-31-49.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03am EDT

Tristan und Isolde,1957

Highlights from a magnificent performance of Tristan und Isolde from Florence, May 21,1957.It is conducted by the very famous Arthur Rodzinski and features:

Birgit Nilsson        Isolde
Wolfgang Windgassen   Tristan
Grace Hoffman      Brangaene
Gustav Neidlinger   Kurvenal
Otto von Rohr        King Marke
                                                 (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-06-01-18-44-56.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

The remarkable Leonie Rysanek sings Strauss

One can hardly find adequate words to describe the intensity and the committment that the great Leonie Rysanek offered to her audiences. Here are some scenes from  Richard Strauss operas that show her to her very best:

Salome, Ariadne, Elektra, Aegyptische Helena, Die Frau Ohne Schatten

   I know these excerpts will thrill you as much as they thrilled countless audiences for so many years.

                    (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-31-00-24-24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:53am EDT

Exciting baritone high notes!

A most exciting compilation that features some thrilling baritone top notes. Included are:

Piero Cappuccilli,Gino Bechi, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Cornell MacNeil (in photo), Sherrill Milnes, and Leonard Warren.

                                                      (75 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-30-01-38-15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:10am EDT

The 1959 Return of Jussi Bjoerling in Cavalleria Rusticana

   On November 16, 1959, the legendary Jussi Bjoerling made his return to the Met after a few years absence. The opera was Cavalleria Rusticana, and it starred Giulietta Simionato as a great Santuzza.
    Walter Cassell was Alfio, Thelma Votipka was Mamma Lucia, and Rosalind Elias was Lola. It was conducted by Nino Verchi.

                                            (50 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-27-16-41-52.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:02pm EDT

Vassilka Petrova Sings (???) Tosca

To quote Dante (with one alteration):

    "Lasciate ogni speranza voi che ascoltate!"

       This is the party recording of all time, the second and third acts of Tosca, as recorded on Remington records in 1950. It was the dawn of the LP era, although this recording made things sem more like "Gotterdamerung."
          The Tosca is Vassilka Petrova, who paid for this recording, and the unsuspecting Eddy Ruhl and Piero Campolonghi complete the cast.
           If you are a purist and/or have any sensitive little animals in the room, I advise you not to listen;otherwise, please "enjoy" the great Petrova, whose high C's are almost as good as mine were.
                                   (69 stunning mintues)



Direct download: 2009-05-27-11-54-12.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:18pm EDT

 The 1960 Salzburg Don Carlo

Highlights from a glorious performance of Verdi's "Don Carlo" from Salzburg, 1960. The excellent cast features:

  Sena Jurinac, Regina Resnik, Eugenio Fernandi, Ettore Bastianini, and Boris Christoff, and is conducted by Nello Santi.

                                      (72 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-25-11-42-07.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:10pm EDT

Siegfried  Finale Vol.2

Volume Two of the Siegfried Finale Compilation.Included are:

   Gwyneth Jones and Manfred Jung  (Boulez)
   Florence Easton and Lauritz Melchior (Various)
   Astrid Varnay and Wolfgang Windgassen   (Keilberth)
   Rita Hunter and Alberto Remedios  (Goodall)
   Gertrude Grob-Prandl and Gunther Treptow  (Moralt) 
   Kirsten Flagstad and Set Svanholm  (Furtwangler)
                                 (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-24-22-31-16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:01pm EDT

Siegfried  Finale Vol.1

Part One of two podcasts devoted to the great finale of Wagner's "Siegfried." Featured here are:

Anne Evans and Siegfried Jerusalem (in photo)  (Barenboim)
Hildegard Behrens and Reiner Goldberg   (Levine)
Martha Moedl and Ludwig Suthaus    (Furtwaengler)
Nadezda Kniplova and Gerald McKee   (Swarowsky)
Helen Traubel and Set Svanholm       (Stiedry)
Birgit Nilsson and Hans Hopf  (Kempe)
                                  (73 min.)


Direct download: 2009-05-24-18-50-23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

Marisa Galvany, volume 3.

The third volume of selections as sung by the wonderful Marisa Galvany. I sincerely hope you will enjoy them as much as you have on previous podcasts. The selections are from:

Turandot, Medea in Corinto (photo with Charlie), Cavalleria Rusticana, Marin Faliero, Il Trovatore.
   The tenors are:   Harry Theyard (Turandot)
                            Jerry Lo Monaco (Trovatore)
                            Placido Domingo (Cavalleria)

                                      (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-23-14-41-43.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:10pm EDT

The Wonderful Marisa Galvany, Volume 2

By extremely popular request:
        More highlights from the career of dear Marisa Galvany, one of the most exciting and versatile sopranos. I hope you enjoy this podcast, and more to come soon. On this podcast we have scenes from:

           Nabucco, Salome, Ballo in Maschera, Medea

                                          (72 min.)

    Reminder: Volume One is in the archives on 12/28/07

Direct download: 2009-05-23-13-20-18.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

Aureliano Pertile and Irene Minghini-Cattaneo

A tribute podcast to the very first singers I heard in my youth. The great tenor,Aureliano Pertile, was featured on the 1929-1930 Aida and Trovatore sets (on 78 r.p.m. discs).
   In addition, one of the most exciting mezzos, Irene Minghini-Cattaneo, sang the Amneris and the Azucena. Sadly she died in a bombing of her villa in 1942.
    These recordings have special meaning to me, since they were the very first recordings of opera that I ever heard.

                                    ( 67 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-22-10-19-45.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

 The Carmen Final Duet

An exciting comparison of versions of the last scene of Bizet's "Carmen."
Included are the following artists:

Grace Bumbry/Jon Vickers
Regina Resnik/Placido Domingo
Rise Stevens/Mario DelMonaco
Rise Stevens/Giuseppe DiStefano
Giulietta Simionato/Franco Corelli (In Italian)
Ebe Stignani/Beniamino Gigli  (In Italian)
Irina Arkhipova/Mario DelMonaco (In Italian and Russian)
                              (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-21-08-33-08.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:03am EDT

A Tribute to the Wonderful Lucine Amara

  Live selections from the amazing career of Lucine Amara, whose voice to this day, remains as youthful and bright as when her professional career began, over 60 years ago. Selections are from:

Tosca,Tote Stadt, Oberon, Suor Angelica, Tales of Hoffman, Eugene Onegin, Aida,Turandot, Pagliacci, and Cavalleria Rusticana.

                                         (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-21-01-14-54.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:44am EDT

Marilyn Horne-FIXED!!!

A tribute to Marilyn Horne, one of the greatest artists of our time (and any time!). The selections are from:

Pagliacci,Wozzeck, The Damnation of Faust, Die Walkure, Semiramide, Capuletti ed I Montecchi, Rinaldo, Partenope, Semele, Rosenkavalier, and other selections.

                                        (72 min.) 

Direct download: 2009-05-20-11-33-24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

Aida, January 24, 1953

  I cannot apologize for feeling extremely "jaded" when I listen to this remarkable performance of my favorite opera. I saw this cast and the memories are still vivid. The cast includes:

Zinka Milanov
Mario del Monaco
George London
Blanche Thebom
Jerome Hines

     Conducted by Fausto Cleva              (68 min.)


Direct download: 2009-05-12-18-52-50.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:19pm EDT

Tristan und Isolde, Bayreuth 1952

Highlights from a truly magnificent performance of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" from a 1952 Bayreuth performance under Herbert Von Karajan.

Martha Moedl- Isolde
Ramon Vinay-Tristan
Ira Milaniuk-Brangaene
Hans Hotter-Kurvenal
Ludwig Weber- King Marke
Herman Uhde- Melot

                                                (72 minutes)


Direct download: 2009-05-12-00-45-25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:17am EDT

Four Famous Operetta Tenors

A tribute to four German tenors, famous for their work in operetta. Sadly, three of them met an early tragic death. They are:

Peter Anders  (1908-1954)
Josef Schmidt (1904-1942) (In photo)
Fritz Wunderlich (1930-1966)

Also, the great Richard Tauber (1891-1948)

                                   (68 minutes)

Direct download: 2009-05-11-22-46-59.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

The two Mezzos named Elena!

Two wonderful mezzos with names that often get confused:

Elena Nicolai (Bulgarian mezzo with a HUGE voice!)

Elena Nikolaidi (Greek mezzo with a luscious voice.)

       I hope you enjoy this podcast, especially if you are as big a mezzo fan as am I.                         (71 min.)

                                                        My best  Charlie

(Note:In my narration, the Macbeth aria comes AFTER the Don Fatale.)

Direct download: 2009-05-07-18-00-21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

Simon Boccanegra, Jan.21, 1939

Highlights from one of the greatest (in my humble opinion) Met broadcasts. This Simon Boccanegra features a stellar cast of:

Lawrence Tibbett,Elizabeth Rethberg, Giovanni Martinelli, Ezio Pinza, and, in his debut season, Leonard Warren, conducted by Ettore Panizza.
                                           (70 min.)

As I indicated, please feel free to request any specific performances and I will surely comply with your wishes.
                                                  My best always,



Direct download: 2009-05-07-16-10-03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:38pm EDT

Rosa Ponselle as Carmen

Highlights from a Met Carmen of March 28,1936 featuring Rosa Ponselle, Rene Maison, Ezio Pinza and Hilda Burke
                  (The conductor is Louis Hasselmans)
                                      (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-03-15-47-54.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

 In memory of divas who left us too early

In loving memory of divas who passed away too early. They are as follows:

Meta Seinemeyer (1895-1929)
Conchita Supervia (1895-1936)
Claudia Muzio (1889-1936)
Maria Cebotari  (1910-1949)
Kathleen Ferrier  (1912-1953)
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (1954-1996)
Mado Robin  (1918-1960)
Arlene Auger  (1940-1993)
Lucia Popp  (1939-1993)
Tatiana Troyanos (In photo) (1938-1993)
Maria Callas  (1924-1977)
                                           ( 71min.)

Direct download: 2009-05-03-11-49-10.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

Zinka Milanov as Santuzza

Zinka Milanov as Santuzza:

  Cavalleria exc. 1957 w.Tucker,Valentino,Elias,Votipka (Cleva)

   Voi lo sapete from 1951
    Voi lo sapete, duets w.Giuseppe Gismondo and Benjamin Rayson from 1963 (Her last Santuzza)                   (71 min.)


Direct download: 2009-04-24-20-11-15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44pm EDT

Tribute to Dear Sam Ramey

Cari amici,

About 40 long years ago, I attended the first rehearsal of Donizetti's "Anna Bolena," at the home of our illustrious maestro and one of my mentors in life, Armen Boyajian. Marisa Galvany (one of her many phony names) was the Bolena (and I loved looking down her throat to see where those phenomenal E flats came from). Then there was this young dude named Sam Ramey, who opened his mouth and out came some of the greatest sounds we ever heard.

Gee... maybe he will make it some day, we all exclaimed! Now, as we celebrate Sam's 25th anniversary at the Met, and a 40 year professional career, singing an incredible range of roles and becoming one of the opera icons of our time, we feel so fortunate that he left Kansas to find an "Oz" of magic all over the opera world.

I therefore wish to celebrate with you Sam's Met anniversary, and a fabulous career. I still relish those old tapes of our Bartolo/Basilio and am so fortunate I was able to be in on a tiny part of an illustrious career.

I recall Sam once telling us about that skinny chain-smoking guy with the enormous voice by the name of Norman Treigle, and how he admired him. Well, they did so many of the same roles (Mefistofele, Boris,Blitch,Escamillo,

The Hoffmann villains,Don Giovanni, Figaro,etc.). Happily, Sam Ramey has been able to follow along in this tradition, with so many great performances of a huge number of roles,a remarkable number of recordings, and engagements in every important opera theatre in the opera world.

So..a happy 25th Met anniversary to a dear sweet and brilliantly talented guy and all my best to him and to his lovely wife and son (who also has a high F#...and more!)

With my sincerest best wishes       Charlie


Excerpts are from  Italiana,Lombardi,Rinaldo,Attila, Mefistofele, Comte D'Ory, Semiramide,Susannah, South Pacific.

                             (65 min.)

Direct download: 2009-04-24-18-37-17.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Casta Diva (repeated in error)

Norma  Podcast   Repeated in error(Who know why??)   

Direct download: 2009-03-09-21-28-38.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

Una Furtiva Lagrima

16 tenors sing the great "Una furtiva lagrima" from Donizetti's "L'Elisir D'Amore."  They are as follows (in exact order on podcast)

Giuseppe Anselmi, Enrico Caruso, John McCormack, Hipolito Lazaro,
Alessandro Bonci, Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa, Aureliano Pertile,
Andre D'Arkor, Dino Borgioli, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Josef Schmidt,
Giuseppe Di Stefano, Jussi Bjoerling, Carlo Bergonzi, Piotr Beczala.
                                        (71 min.)

Direct download: 2009-04-23-15-05-06.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:37pm EDT

The Great Caruso, Part Three.

The third podcast dedicated to the great Enrico Caruso, a true vocal "God." No words are ever adequate to describe the emotional charge yours truly derives from this man and what he has meant to the world of opera. I hope you enjoy the podcast.

Featured are songs, and arias from Otello,Germania,Samson et Delilah, Mme.Butterfly, Andrea Chenier, Pagliacci, and Martha.
                                         (73 min.)

Direct download: 2009-04-19-00-12-41.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:40am EDT

"Pourquoi me reveiller?" (21 tenors)

A comparison of 21 tenors singing the great Werther aria. The order is as follows:
Emile Marcellin, Giuseppe Lugo, Andre D'Arkor, Gaston Micheletti, Jose Luccioni, Fernand Ansseau, Alfred Piccaver, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Bergonzi, Alain Vanzo, Fernando de la Mora, Alfredo Kraus, Nicolai Gedda, Tito Schipa, Franco Corelli, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Joseph Calleja, Ramon Vargas, Roberto Alagna, Rolando Villazon, Piotr Beczala.                     (57 min.)

Direct download: 2009-04-18-10-56-42.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26am EDT

The Arabella Duets

The two beautiful duets from Richard Strauss' "Arabella." In most cases I have included both act one and act two duets;in a few cases, I have only the act one duet. These are the artists, in order of appearance:

Viorica Ursuleac/Margarit Bokor/ Alfred Jerger  (the 1933 creators of their roles.)
Lotte Lehmann Kate Heidersbach (Act One duet only.)
Karita Mattila/Barbara Bonney ( Act One duet only.)
Kiri Te Kanawa/Gabrielle Fontana/Franz Grundheber
Lisa Della Casa/Elfride Trotschel/Herman Uhde
Lisa della Casa/ Hilde Gueden/George London
Montserrat Caballe/Oliviera Miljakovic/Siegmund Nimsgern
Eleanor Steber/Hilde Gueden/George London In English)
                            (63 min.)

Direct download: 2009-04-05-18-46-42.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:12pm EDT


  The great aria from Giordano's "Andrea Chenier."

Riccardo Stracciari, Giuseppe Danise, Paolo Silveri, Heinrich Schlusnus,
Mario Sereni, Aldo Protti, Richard Paul Fink, Renato Bruson,
Giuseppe Taddei, Cornell MacNeil, Piero Cappuccilli,
Ettore Bastianini, and Leonard Warren In photo).
                                        (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-28-01-03-33.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:35am EDT

Clara Butt, a great contralto.

Many selections sung by Clara Butt, a very great artist:

1.Softly and gently  (Elgar:The Dream of Gerontius)
2. Where corals lie   (Elgar:Sea Pictures)
3.The Enchantress (Hatton)
4.The Leaves and the Wind (Cooper)
5.The Sweetest flower that blows (Hawley)
6. Barbara Allen (Traditional)
7. Kathleen Mavourneen (Crouch)
8. Ye Banks and braes (Scottish air)
9.The Promise of life (Cowen)
10.En priere (Faure)
11.The Birth of the flowers(Lehmann)
12. Lusinghe piu care (Handel:Alessandro)
13. Rend'il sereno (Handel:Sosarme)
14. Ombra mai fu (Handel:Serse)
15, In questa tomba oscura (Bethoven)
16.Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix (Samson et Delilah)
17. Che faro senza Euridice (Orfeo)
18.  Brindisi from Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti)
                       ( 66 min.)


Clara Butt was born in Southwick, Sussex. Her father was Henry Albert Butt who was a sea captain and who was born in 1848 in Saint Martin, Jersey, Channel Islands. He married Clara Hook in 1869, who was born in Shoreham, the daughter of Joseph Hook, mariner (1861 and 1871 census, in 1881 in New Shoreham workhouse). In 1880 the family moved to Bristol and Clara was educated at South Bristol High School, where her singing talent was recognised and encouraged. At the request of her headmistress, she was trained by the bass Daniel Rootham and joined the Bristol Festival Chorus, of which he was musical director. In January 1890 she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. In her fourth year she spent three months studying in Paris at the expense of Queen Victoria. She also studied in Berlin and Italy.

She made her professional début at the Royal Albert Hall in London in Sir Arthur Sullivan’s The Golden Legend on 7 December 1892. Three days later she appeared as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at the Lyceum Theatre. Bernard Shaw wrote in The World that she ‘far surpassed the utmost expectations that could reasonably be entertained’ (14 December 1892).

She returned to Paris and made further studies with Jacques Bouhy (the teacher of Louise Homer and Louise Kirkby Lunn) and later with the soprano Etelka Gerster in Berlin.

Camille Saint-Saëns wanted her to study Dalila, but due to laws then extant forbidding the representation of biblical subjects on the British stage, nothing came of it.

Soon she had acquired an excellent reputation, aided by her physical presence - she was 6 feet 2 inches tall. She made many gramophone recordings, often accompanied by the (uncredited) pianist Miss Lillian Bryant. She was primarily a concert singer and only ever appeared in two opera productions, both of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, in 1892 and 1920.

Edward Elgar composed his Sea Pictures for contralto and orchestra with Clara Butt in mind as the soloist, and she sang at the first performance at the Norwich Festival on 5 October 1899, with the composer conducting.

In 1900 she married the baritone Kennerly Rumford, and thenceforth often appeared with him in concerts. The couple eventually had three children two sons and a daughter. Besides singing in many important festivals and concerts, she was honoured with royal commands from Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and King George V. She made tours to Australia, Japan, Canada, the United States and to many European cities.

During the First World War she organised and sang in many concerts for service charities, and for this she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1920 civilian war honours. That year she sang four performances of Gluck's Orphee at Covent Garden under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham. According to The Times she 'played fast and loose with the time and spoilt the phrasing' and it appears not to have been a success.

Butt's three sisters were also singers. One of them, Ethel Hook, became a famous artist in her own right and made some superb solo recordings.

In later life Clara Butt was dogged by tragedies. Her elder son died of meningitis while still at school, and the younger committed suicide. During the 1920s she became seriously ill of cancer of the spine, but her faith gave her the strength to continue working. She made many of her later records seated in a wheelchair. She died in 1936 at the age of 63 at her home in North Stoke, Oxfordshire, as a result of an accident she suffered in 1931.

Sir Thomas Beecham once said, jokingly, that "on a clear day, you could have heard her across the English Channel".

Not all serious musicians admired her booming contralto, which can be mistaken for a man's voice on some recordings, or her rather 'populist' approach to her art.


Direct download: 2009-03-25-20-19-53.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:48pm EDT

Tosca Act Two Scene, Volume Three

The third volume of great artists in the act two scene from Puccini's Tosca. The artists are:

Zinka Milanov(in photo),Giangiacomo Guelfi,Franco Corelli
Renata Tebaldi, Tito Gobbi, Ferruccio Tagliavini
Renata Tebaldi, Ettore Bastianini, Giuseppe Di Stefano
Renata Tebaldi, Leonard Warren, Richard Tucker
Diana Soviero, Tony De Paolo, Harry Dworchak
Olive Middleton, Ed Watts, Chi Sa??

                        (73 minutes)


Direct download: 2009-03-22-20-17-54.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT

Tosca Act Two Scene, Volume 2

Part Two of the great Scarpia/Tosca scene compilation. The artists are:

Birgit Nilsson, Ramon Vinay, Franco Tagliavini
Virginia Zeani, Piero Francia, Placido Domingo
Maria Callas, Robert Weede, Mario Filippeschi
Maria Callas (Return to Met),Tito Gobbi, Franco Corelli
Magda Olivero(Met debut),Ingvar Wixell, James King
Dorothy Kirsten, Tito Gobbi, Franco Corelli
                        (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-22-18-35-03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

Tosca Act Two Scene,Volume One

The first of three exciting podcasts that feature the dramatic scene between Tosca and Scarpia in Act two, followed by the "Vittoria."
             The order is as follows:

Pilar Lorengar,Ingvar Wixell, Franco Tagliavini
Johanna Meier, Richard Fredricks, Herman Malamood
Eleanor Steber, George London, Carlo Bergonzi
Raina Kabaiwanska (in photo), Mario Zanasi, Placido Domingo
Leontyne Price, Josh Wheeler, David Poleri (In English)
Leonie Rysanek, Cornell MacNeil, Richard Tucker
Gallina Vishnevskaya,Vladimir Valaitis, Virgilius Noreika (In Russian)
                              (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-22-12-56-31.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT

Manon Lescaut Act Two Duet-Part Two

Volume Two of the Manon Lescaut Act Two duet compilation:

Maria Zamboni/Francesco Merli
Licia Albanese(Met farewell)/Richard Tucker
Berthe Montmart/Alain Vanzo
Adriana Guerrini/Beniamino Gigli (at 60)
Raina Kabaiwanska/Giuseppe Giacomini
Renata Tebaldi/Placido Domingo
Magda Olivero/Richard Tucker

   (Photo: Daniela Dessi and Fabio Armiliato)

                                      (63 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-21-16-24-17.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

Manon Lescaut Act Two Duet-part one

Part one of a compilation of the duet from Manon Lescaut Act Two. The pairs are as follows:

Renata Tebaldi.Mario Del Monaco
Virginia Zeani/Richard Tucker
Pilar Lorengar/James King
Raina Kabaiwanska/Placido Domingo
Dorothy Kirsten/Carlo Bergonzi
Hoerdis Schymberg/Jussi Bjoerling
Renata Tebaldi/Richard Tucker
                                       (The photo is from the Met,featuring Marcello Giordani and Karita Mattila.)                (69 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-21-15-28-38.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Recordings from the St.Petersburg State Museum

A series of recordings that were discovered at the St.Petersburg State Museum in Russia. The Russian artists,in order of presentation on the podcast are:

 Tenors:  Boris Slovstov, Yvgenyi Vitting, Lev Klement'yev,
     Vasily Damayev, David Yuzhin(and wife), Dmitri Smirnov (in photo), Leonid Sobinoff.

Baritones:Nikolai Shevelyov, Oscar Kamionsky, Maximian Maksakov

    The International artists are:
Emile Scaramberg, Giuseppe de Luca, Antonio Magini-Coletti
(with Giannina Russ), Adamo Didur, Francesco Vignas, and
Leon Escalais.               ( 66 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-13-16-04-29.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:32pm EDT

Casta Diva, Volume Two

The second volume of "Casta Diva," featuring:

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

                                    (74 min.)

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

Exciting Verdi Ensembles

A collection of ensembles from 14 Verdi operas. Some of the world's most famous artists are included.The operas,in this order are:

Nabucco, Giovanna D'Arco, Attila, Ernani, Ballo in Maschera,
Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, La Traviata, Il Trovatore,
Don Carlo, Luisa Miller, Vespri Siciliani, Aida, and Falstaff.

                                     (74 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-08-03-10-57.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44am EDT

The Beloved Alfredo Kraus

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

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

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

The Magic of Carlo Bergonzi

   I have waited far too long to present a podcast that features one of the great artists of all time, Carlo Bergonzi. There is so much material, but at least this is a good start. Included are arias and songs from his earlier days, up to his singing at age 67, and when I saw a New York recital at around age 77, there was still plenty of voice!
        The selections are from:

    Werther, Luisa Miller, Le Roi D'Ys, Forza Del Destino (original version), Elisir D'amore, L'Arlesiana, Martha, Mefistofele, the Verdi Requiem, and several songs.
     Bergonzi always ended his recitals with "Non ti scordar di me," and that is appropriate because he will NEVER be forgotten!

                                (73 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-06-20-08-02.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:42pm EDT

I Lombardi/Jerusalem

A compilation of scenes from Giuseppe Verdi's "I Lombardi"(1843)
and the revised Paris version (1847) which was called "Jerusalem," and in Italian productions it is known as "Gerusalemme." Featured are:

 Aprile Millo, Maria Vitale, Katya Ricciarelli, Leyla Gencer,
 Renata Scotto, Frances Alda, Maria Callas, Paul Plishka,
 Samuel Ramey, Marcel Journet, Luciano Pavarotti,
 Piotr Beczala, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Jose Carreras, Marcello Giordani, and Enrico Caruso.               (70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-03-02-12-43-49.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

The Liebestod

Ten versions of the great "Liebestod" from Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde."
                    The order is as follows:

Astrid Varnay,Helen Traubel, Lotte Lehmann, Nanny Larsen-Todsen,
Rita Hunter, Johanna Meier, Margaret Harshaw, Martha Moedl,
Birgit Nilsson, and Kirsten Flagstad.
                                             (73 min.)


Direct download: 2009-03-01-23-47-31.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:20am EDT

Olive Middleton as Adriana Lecouvreur

   In the 1960's, New York opera lovers who attended the La Puma Opera Company "adopted" the diva Olive Middleton whose prime years (including singing at Covent Garden) were in the 1920's. Olive was around 80, and of course the notes were rather "approximate," but she had great feeling for the music, and the spoken material really sounds like a legitimate singer, even at her advanced age.
     Unless you are a total "purist" you might have some fun with this podcast. We met her once at the Met and treated her like a real diva;she ate it up. She passed away in 1974 at age 93,so do the math!
      At present she is coaching with Zinka Milanov, Adelina Patti, and Ethel Merman.                          Enjoy(maybe) !!!   Charlie

Direct download: 2009-02-23-23-47-28.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:57pm EDT

Adriana Lecouvreur-Two Scenes

A comparison of famous divas performing the Phedre Recitative and the "Poveri Fiori" from Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur." Who is your favorite?

Magda Olivero,Renata Tebaldi, Aprile Millo, Diana Soviero, Montserrat Caballe,Mafalda Favero,Renata Scotto,Leyla Gencer(Phedre only), and
Nelly Miricioiu (Phedre only.).

                                 70 min.)

Direct download: 2009-02-23-22-37-25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

Mimi and Marcello

A compilation of various Mimi/Marcello scenes from act three of La Boheme. In the following order, the singers are:

Renata Scotto/Frank Guarrera
Luisa Maragliano/Giangiacomo Guelfi
Mirella Freni/Calvin Marsh
Victoria de los Angeles/Robert Merrill
Victoria de los Angeles/Renato Capecchi
Trude Eipperle/Karl Kronenberg(In German)
Raina Kabaiwanska/Matteo Manuguerra
Bidu Sayao/Giuseppe Valdengo
Renata Tebaldi/Frank Guarrera
Diana Soviero/Allan Monk
Rosetta Pampanini/Gino Vanelli
Licia Albanese/Afro Poli
Rosanna Carteri/Giuseppe Taddei
                             (70 min.)


Direct download: 2009-02-20-20-23-38.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:54pm EDT

The Great Artists of Spanish/Hispanic Origin

  The opera world has been enriched by the presence of so many artists of Spanish/Hispanic origin. I hope you enjoy this compilation of material featuring many of the wonderful performers from various Spanish-speaking lands:

Victoria de los Angeles, Montserrat Caballe, Conchita Supervia, Maria Barrientos, Hina Spani, Maria Galvany, Mercedes Capsir, Pilar Lorengar, Oralia Dominguez, Ramon Vinay, Miguel Fleta, Placido Domingo, Jose Palet, Hipolito Lazaro, Emile Vendrell, Antonio Cortis, Francisco Vinas, and Jose Mardones.

                               (73 minutos)

Direct download: 2009-02-15-17-22-16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:53pm EDT

"Pop" goes the opera star!!!

Some opera stars really can "crossover" into superb renditions of "Pop" music.(Well,most of them,anyway). Here are some examples featuring:

Thomas Hampson,Bryn Terfel, Kip Wilborn, Dorothy Kirsten, Rise Stevens, Sumi Jo, Maureen Forrester, Dorothy Bishop, Thomas Quasthoff, Rene Fleming, Federica Von Stade, Placido Domingo,
Diana Soviero (at 17), Regina Resnik, Renata Tebaldi,Cesare Siepi, and the famous Burnette/Horne/Farrell trio.

                       (72 min.)


Direct download: 2009-02-08-15-14-24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

The "Verismo" Divas

A podcast dedicated to the "lost art" of verismo soprano style. Included are arias by:

         Magda Olivero,Virginia Zeani, Maria Farnetti, Rosetta Pampanini,
         Pia Tassinari, Claudia Muzio, Maria Zamboni,
          Bianca Sciacciati, Hina Spani, Mafalda Favero, Rosanna Carteri,
          Licia Albanese, Angela Gheorghiu, Renata Scotto, and Diana 
          Soviero.   (64 min.)


Direct download: 2009-02-06-11-54-23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:23pm EDT

Controversial Singers (????)

  I have selected some artists I feel belong in my "controversial" category. I love most of them,but some I never could grasp...that is the way of things in life. One person exits a film and raves;the other one is totally negative. Same with opera, so PLEASE do not send me too much hate mail, because after all, I am a fairly nice guy.
    The artists are:
        Martha Moedl, Leonie Rysanek, Theresa Stitch-Randall, Boris Christoff, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Conchita Supervia, Lily Pons, Christina Deutekom, Ivan Koslovsky, Giovanni Martinelli, Maria Callas, Renata Scotto, Magda Olivero, and Leyla Gencer.
                                 (71 minutes)

Direct download: 2009-02-03-22-21-03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:51pm EDT



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


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

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

Singers of the Wagner Ring from the 1920's.

Commercial Recordings from the 1920's of some of the marvelous artists who sang in the Wagner Ring. Included are:

Frieda Leider, Lauritz Melchior, Friedrich Schorr, Emil Schipper, Margarete Klose, Florence Austral, Florence Easton, Walter Widdop, Germaine Lubin, Charles Rousseliere, Andre Verdiere, Ludwig Hoffmann, Ludwig Weber, Maria Olzsewska .
                               (69 min.)

Direct download: 2009-01-31-02-04-54.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:34am EDT

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