Let us hear the names of all the divas who can sing beautifully in Turandot, Lucia, Forza,and a wide variety of roles.

  Not many.....Callas, Zeani, etc..and we add the wonderful Magda  (and she has CHEST VOICE TOO!!!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:46am EST

  You all know how I discover new talent. Well, Mme.Nieves is not exactly new. She has a fine career, but I just "discovered" her.

I honestly feel she is one of our "shining divas" and am presenting a few excerpts. You know I have heard the BEST!

 

P.S. Since I cannot add comments here, owing to commercials that are put in, let me know if the new podcasts are fine, since I am just starting them again.

 Placido21@aol.com

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

Piotr Beczala Highlights from French Album

I present the magnificent tenor, Piotr Beczala, in arias from Werther, Le Cid, La Favorite, and Romeo et Juliette.

 Few tenors in my opera experience have thrilled me as much, and in addition he is the sweetest human being one could know.

 I did not give you the entire album, because if you don't buy it, he loses royalties.(I think!)

Direct download: Piotr_fr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:17am EST

Gotterdamering Exc, from 1955 Covent Garden with Set Svanholm, Margaret Harshaw,Herman Uhde, Dezso Ernster AND young Joan Sutherland as Woglinde!!    Fritz Stiedry Conducts.

 

 

I DID A PODCAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

500 more to come!!!

Direct download: Gott.Svan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm EST

"Jaded" Charlie rarely calls most singers of today "GREAT!"

They are fine and to be loved for the most part, BUT I feel Rene Pape belongs in the "great" category. He was born Sept.4, 1964 and has shown he belongs with the best of all-time!

  He is a bit "cool" backstage, but he pulled a funny thing in a Faust Garden Scene a few seasons ago. Looking at Marguerite and her jewels, he exclaimed, " Diamonds are a girl's best friend!!" Coming from a seemingly serious guy, it was FUN!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am EST

Mr. Bing allowed Regina Resnik only ONE Marina, and here is the CG duet. Fabulous!  Then he wanted her to do the Innkeeper, which she called the "Chickenplucker."

When her son,Michael Davis, was about 7, she taught him the beautiful melody toward the end of the duet, and he sang it for us.

  It is very frustrating that Bing's "whims" prevented Resnik from the kind of career she had elsewhere, but at least we have material like this to remember her.(Birthday was Aug.30)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:45pm EST

Para LLORAR!!(To CRY!!)  especially Lorengar and Kraus.....What an array of the greatest Hispanic artists!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EST

For my darling friend, Regina Resnik, whom I knew for 50 years. She was one of the greatest artists ever. She was born on Aug.30, 1922.

More to come!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am EST

Nadezna Kniplova and Frida Leider in the Walkure Battle Cry.

See, I am learning (again) how to do podcasts for you. Windows 10 must be learned, but I am progressing.

    Love  Charlie..Non mi lasciate!!!!!

Direct download: Hojotohos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am EST

Luisa Miller Finale  Elena Mosuc, Neil Schicoff.  EXCITING!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm EST

HEY!!!!!

 

First test for my new Windows 10. Joel Berglund singing Tannhauser aria. I hope now finally to get audio podcasts back for YOU!!!!!!

Direct download: Berglund.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:34pm EST

 

 

 

 

Not to wish to depress you, but to honor some of the great operea artists who left us too soon. We must treasure their memories, despite their tragically short life. Some are in their very early years (Seinemeyer);others are a bit older, (

If you have never checked them out, please do so, as they are surely worth remembering. If you can add to my list, of course do so:

 

Norman Treigle, Herman Uhde, Leonard Warren,Jon Garris, Jerry Hadley, Gosta Winberg, Salvatore Licitra, Miguel Fleta, Fritz Wunderlich, Yohihisha Yamaji (see IRIS),Jussi Bjoerling, Allan Crofoot, Michele Molese, David Poleri.

 

Irene Kramarich, Gwynne Cornell (our friend),Tatiana Troyanos, Jean Madeira, Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson,Conchita Supervia, Claudia Muzio, Meta Seinemeyer, Arlene Auger, Lucia Popp, Mado Robin, Kathleen Ferrier, the Welting sisters (Ruth and Patricia), Patricia Brooks, and I am sure I left out others that you will add.

 

Bless them for what they did for music!!!!

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

 

As a teenager, Korjus toured the Soviet Union with the Dumka Choir. In 1927, while performing in Leningrad, she managed to cross the border into Estonia, where she was reunited with her father. She then began touring the Baltic countries and Germany, and, in 1929, married Kuno Foelsch, a physicist. Korjus continued her concert career as a soprano in Germany and was eventually engaged by the Berlin State Opera in 1933. Her operatic appearances and recordings quickly propelled her to the forefront of European singers and earned her the nickname "The Berlin Nightingale". Film producer Irving Thalberg heard her recordings and signed her to a ten year film contract, sight unseen.

Korjus' first Hollywood film was The Great Waltz (1938), which Frank Nugent of the New York Times called "a showcase for Miliza Korjus" while also noting her resemblance to Mae West.[1] She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role.

Korjus was scheduled to star in a film version of the novel Sandor Rozsa in 1940, but an automobile accident caused her leg to be crushed, and, although she avoided amputation, she required extensive recuperation, causing the film to be cancelled. By 1941 she had healed well enough to begin a tour of South America. During her tour, the United States became involved in World War II, and she decided to stay in Mexico for the duration. While living there, she made a Spanish language film, Caballería del Imperio.

In 1944, Korjus returned to the United States, where she performed at Carnegie Hall. She toured the country for several more years, eventually settling in Los Angeles, California. She later founded Venus Records to release many of her earlier recordings.[1]

 

 

8/18/07    PLEASE!!!!! Keep little kids and sensitive cats out of the room!!!!!!!

 How did she make a career????I guess I am nuts (again)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:42am EST

Who said my favorite tenor had no high C onstage??? Tucker and Virginia are just amazing!!!

 

  I promised the return of audio podcasts soon. I will fix the glitch soon!!!! Please don't leave me "solo,perduto, e abbandonato" like poor Virginia..(90 in October!!!!

 

P.S. That is Mattila and Giordani!!! Who was drunk???Well, I wanted you to hear Tucker and Zeani. Sorry, I didn't catch it....

Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EST

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:28am EST

                The Pirates Strike Again !!!
May I urge you to read a fine article on Parterre Box,that deals with those dastardly villains known as "Tape Pirates." I am inspired by the mention of these crooks to offer you some absolutely true experiences in my life, and in the lives of other pirates.
1.  The guy who spent good money on a rather large phallic microphone in order to tape operas for Diana Soviero, since I was the best engineer for her.

2. Speaking of microphones, a friend was in Philly taping an opera from the orchestra, where you had to hold the mike in your lap pointing up.(I never did that...too annoying.) Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, the lady sitting next to him spied this "thing" and shockingly thought he was........NO,he wasn't!

3.Some dude pressed "play" instead of "record" at the Met at the start of some act, and you heard the end of the previous act!

4. All those tape pirates sat in the very front at Carnegie at the Eve Queler operas, since they were usually rare, and made sure they did not breathe so they would get good copies to sell on LP. One of them taped in stereo, with each mike under each armpit, and he looked as if he were DEAD for the entire show.

5. Making reel changes, before cassette machines, there is a trick to turning over the reel at the end of the tape, and if you did not want to lose anything, during a brief pause, you used your TEETH to change the reel...On e night the empty reel slipped out of the guy's mouth and it went down the Carnegie aisle...flop..flop..flop.

6. A fun guy who did not like someone who was taping, yelled from a box to the guy in the orchestra.."Hey..did you get a good tape???"

 

7. Once they saw a mike hanging down from a balcony, and I am told (this sounds crazy),that at a Caballe recitral, a BROOM HANDLE with a mike attached ascended from the orchestra..That I am not sure of...but I know Caballe did wait for some people to turn over the cassettes.

8. I cracked up when a friend was taping a Fischer-Dieskau recital where NO ONE BREATHES, even at a pause..He clicked to turn over the cassette, and he got looks equivalent to "Ve vill get zie barbed vire!" He never got part two!!!

9. At the Olivero Met debut Tosca, we all found it very hard to find a bathroom stall to change reels. I seem to have managed, but it wasn't easy. Speaking of stalls, one season at Carnegie, a guy came out of his stall, only to be confronted by a security guard!!!  Bye,bye, tape!!!!

10. The craziest thing a friend once rigged up was to put a reel machine in his car in the garage near Carnegie..and did some kind of thing with a wireless mike in his seat. Unfortunately, when he played the tape..he got things like, "Hey Joe...park it there!"
 

Nowadays,it is easy to tape with all the mini mikes,etc. I do not do it, because there is live Sirius stuff, Soviero retired, and you also end up not enjoyin g the show, since you are concentrating on the machine.
     So you see, opera pirate nutcases lived a dangerous existance (although I was NEVER sued!!!)

 

Category:general -- posted at: 6:11pm EST

Ora arriviamo a la mia opera favorita (well, it used to be). Note the great "Guerra Geschrei" of that loud tenor, the makeup on the Aida (she had quite a tan from ther beaches in Cairo), the great Amneris, who interpolates a high note at the end of the duet with What a Mess. Only lacking here is what I saw....The performance with the chorus lady with a wristwatch! Well, it was Eastern Isis time.

 

NO ONE HERE could watch operas with this company without having an accident...... but we had fun......

Category:general -- posted at: 6:02pm EST

  Another example of a soprano who KNOWS how to thrill audiences! Mme.Nieves is from Puerto Rico, and for me, the guy who is so fussy, she is superb!

  I love the attacks on certain notes which have a certain "slightly glottal" effect, which is common to sopranos who use it for more "Authority." Soviero does it, Caballe (a bit too much sometimes),etc.

  She is a thrill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:57pm EST

One of the finest young tenors of today, discovered on Facebook, like so many singers! The voice is capable of incredible range and I do believe he will join the others "big stars" very soon!!!!

  In my day we never had so many (if ANY) tenors like this..we have Camarena,Flores, Brownlee, and now Andrew.

  

 

  I still have delayed the audio podcasts, but will resume soon.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:19am EST

Hello all (on Del Monaco's 100th birthday,7/27),

My cd/dvd/cassette collection is even larger than Mario's voice, but it is gathering dust. I have been offering some original private and commercial material to singers,teachers,Facebook buddies.

I only ask postage, and am happy to share material with you (NO ZINKA!!). I do have a catalogue, but you may want to list specific artists you like.

  I bring gifts to Stefan Kocan, Piotr Beczala,and others for their enjoyment, but also some teachers have students who need to know who Claudia Muzio or Beniamino Gigli were.

  Let me know at Placido21@aol.com.

P.SA. Fabiano wants to come and raid my apartment!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:24am EST

I called Franco, very long distance, and he says, "Bravo,Michele," but still a bit GELOSO!!!!!

Love Michael...wonderful talent.

  Ana Maria Martinez is also superb!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:12am EST

 

Del Monaco was born in Florence to a musical upper-class family.[2] As a young boy he studied the violin but had a passion for singing. He graduated from the Rossini Conservatory at Pesaro, where he first met and sang with Renata Tebaldi, with whom he would form something of an operatic dream team of the 1950s. His early mentors as a singer included Arturo Melocchi, his teacher at Pesaro, and Maestro Raffaelli, who recognized his talent and helped launch his career.

 

That career began in earnest with Del Monaco's debut on 31 December 1940 as Pinkerton at the Puccini Theater in Milan. (His initial appearance in an opera had occurred the previous year, however, in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana in Pesaro.) He sang in Italy during the Second World War and married, in 1941, Rina Filipini. In 1946, he appeared at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for the first time. During the ensuing years he became famous not only in London but also across the operatic world for his powerful voice. It was almost heldentenor-like in scope but Del Monaco was no Wagnerian, confining his activities overwhelmingly to the Italian repertoire.

 

Del Monaco sang at the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1951 to 1959, enjoying particular success in dramatic Verdi parts such as Radamès. He soon established himself as one of four Italian tenor superstars who reached the peak of their fame in the 1950s and '60s, the others being Giuseppe Di Stefano, Carlo Bergonzi and Franco Corelli. Del Monaco's trademark roles during this period were Giordano's Andrea Chénier and Verdi's Otello. He first tackled Otello in 1950 and kept refining his interpretation throughout his career. It is said that he sang Otello an astonishing 427 times. However, the book published by Elisabetta Romagnolo, Mario Del Monaco, Monumentum aere perennius, Azzali 2002, lists only 218 appearances by him as Otello, which is a more realistic figure. Aptly, the tenor was buried in his Otello costume. Although Otello was his best role, throughout his career, Del Monaco sang a number of other roles with great acclaim, for example: Canio in Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), Radames in Aida (Verdi), Don Jose in Carmen (Bizet), Chenier in Andrea Chénier (Giordano), Manrico in Il trovatore (Verdi), Samson in Samson and Delilah (Saint-Saëns), and Don Alvaro in La forza del destino (Verdi).

 

Del Monaco made his first recordings in Milan in 1948 for HMV. Later, he was partnered by Renata Tebaldi in a long series of Verdi and Puccini operas recorded for Decca. On the same label was his 1969 recording of Giordano's Fedora, opposite Magda Olivero and Tito Gobbi.

 

His ringing voice and virile appearance earned him the nickname of the "Brass Bull of Milan".[3] Despite his idiomatic phrasing, he was still widely criticized for being unsubtle and unyielding in his vocal interpretations.

 

 I was 15. All I recall is "white teeth" coming toward me at the Met..My first opera ever and my first singer on a stage.(Aida).Saw him 40 times..Gave 1000% every night!!!

100 years ago,his first baby word must have been "Esultate!!!"

 

Category:general -- posted at: 1:15am EST

       Finally getting help to do podcasts again. I have done videos as you know, but should be able to do audios soon. Windows 8.1 is different, but I am getting there.

    Thanks for your patience!!!

                                  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EST

 

In The New York Times obituary, Peter G. Davis, who reviewed a 1978 Carnegie Hall recital by Bergonzi in The Times is quoted as noting:

More than the sound of the voice, it is Mr. Bergonzi’s way of using it that is so special. He is a natural singer in that everything he does seems right and inevitable — the artful phrasing, the coloristic variety, the perfectly positioned accents, the theatrical sense of well-proportioned climaxes, the honest emotional fervor. Best of all, Mr. Bergonzi obviously uses these effects artistically because he feels them rather than intellectualizes them — a rare instinctual gift, possibly the most precious one any musician can possess.[3]

Alan Blyth, in his Gramophone survey of Bergonzi's greatest recordings,[11] sums up the qualities of Bergonzi's voice:

His singing there [referring to an online example], even more his earlier Verdi discs, evinces an innate feeling for shaping a line on a long breath, an exemplary clarity of diction, words placed immaculately on the tone, an authoritative use of portamento and acuti. Add to those virtues the manner by which he gives to each phrase a sense of inevitability and you say to yourself, in a mood of sheer pleasure, this is exactly how the music ought to sound. In the theatre only Otello was beyond his capabilities, though his solos are movingly sung on the Philips set.
I think I took the great man for granted. LORD!!!!!! He was one of the greatest singers in opera history!!!!!!
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EST

Rest in Peace!!! One of our greatest singers. I hope we never forget him!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:26pm EST

She was 7 yrs.older than we thought...Great lady, who could sing POP as well as opera. Really wonderful, and at 69 came out of retirement to do Tosca (on Youtube.).

  Bless her memory!

 

Audio podcasts delayed...Patience!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EST

   I just wrote Grace to tell her how Obama inspired this!!!!

 

Computer BACK!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:41am EST

Got new computer (HP).It cooks Lasagna!!!! I am happy with it..windows 8.1. As soon as I learn it, I will send you more podcasts than the number of all the CD's and DVD's made by Placido. 

   I will have to keep up, because in 2047. he will record every Fischer-Dieskau song, which DFD recorded from when they built the Pyramids.

 

Loveya  and patience!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:39pm EST

RISE ET MOI !!!!!

   First singer I ever met. I can feel the greasepaint on her hand, after 60 years. We had a club for her and went to her home every year. This is the last meeting,around 1960. (I had hair!!)

   She made it to 99. I celebrate her June 11 birthday as I remember this beautiful person!!!

 

Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EST

   Rise Stevens, a great Octavian, was born in 1913 on the SAME DAY that Richard Strauss was born (1864).

What a wonderful coincidence!!   This was my first trio and I could not stop sobbing!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm EST

  Those who listen to Met Sirius radio mourn the death of beloved commentator Margaret Juntwait, who passed away of cancer last week.

  May she always be remembered by the "Met family" and her many fans.

                       Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am EST

Ciao,

 

   My "new" computer was inadequate..PLEASE hold on till new one comes!!! I want to get back to sending you things!!!!!

 

    Love  Charlie

 

Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EST


  Since I never hear my own tapes, a friend played Olivia's Nabucco aria (over the phone) years ago. I flipped out!!!! I did not recognize my own tape! She does just what we want...great singing that thrills me.

 On May 30,she celebrates her birthday (1940) and we wish her a great day. We have become friends, as she is a wonderful as a human being as she is onstage. She works in California with inner-city kids, whom she inspires.

Love to you,dear Olivia!!!!  

Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EST

   Beverly at 8!!!!!  Not bad!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm EST

Beverly Sills and Carol Burnette at the Met. It was such fun!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm EST

   Celebrating the birthday of the amazing Beverly Sills, who said she would "rather have 5 years of Callas than 5 years of me!" She was amazing on stage. and as I always state, "better than the sum of her parts.

 

NEW COMPUTER COMING, so I can do my usual audio podcasts.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm EST


   The Gods of the voice were in a great mood on May 17 (and I will send clips later today) because they decided that May 17 would feature the birthdays of Zinka Milanov(1906),Birgit Nilsson (1918), and Gabriel Bacquier (1924).

  Their great contributions to opera are treasured, and I am glad that those Gods were feeling good on that day,whatever the year.

 You see,some days are special:  Gigli and Melchior on March 20 BOTH in 1890, and we all know two important dudes celebrate on Jan.21.

   Clips coming up!!

                           Nostalgic Charlie

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

You all know I have heard the greats. I now feel that dear Michael Fabiano,born on May 8,1984, is a RARE singer in the opera world.

  He stepped in with short short notice for this Boheme at the Met, and I hope you enjoy him as much as the audience did.

  He also loves my crazy tapes.So I have ONE fan.

 

P.S.Will return to my audio podcasts as soon as I rob a bank and get a new computer.

       Regards Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:02pm EST

Time for a new computer. I have been sending videos only, but when I am settled (and poor),I can resume my regular podcasts.

  Non mi scordare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:47am EST

   Renata will live in our hearts forever!!! She was the sweetest,nicest artist I ever knew. This Tokyo audiences goes ballistic,and deservedly so.

   The low tones are SCARY, especially the end,bringing chest voice up so high. Yes, as the years past, the top could get a bit "under pitch" but so WHAT!!!!

 

In the theatre it was as if 10 jet planes flew over. It was just so amazing!  I miss her so much,as true opera lovers do!

 

Still some computer problems,and sending videos until I can do podcasts again......

 

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 8:07am EST

  Warren was born on Apr.21, 1911 and at 6:36 on this clip you will hear the exact moment where we saw him die on stage on Mar.4,1960.

   We were devastated,but I will remember this great man forever!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:34pm EST

"Hello,mom," said Jan Kiepura Jr.(by cell phone) in Piotr's dressing room. It was about 2 years ago, and the legendary Martha Eggerth,born Apr.17, 1912, answered her son... It was as close as I came to this wonderful lady!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:51am EST

No WONDER she killed him....Just you wait!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EST

Perhaps the most mesmerizing singing we ever heard.

Note the B flat to B of Leonie at 3:30...We got SCARED!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm EST

  Apr.12, 1933..when she showed up, Caballe was one of the greatest singers EVER!!!!

 

This verges on "camp" but we adore the final B!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:17pm EST



                                                   

  Dear Aprile Millo celebrates her birthday on Apr.14.
She has been one of the last of what we call "old school" divas, respecting the art of singers such as Milanov and Tebaldi. I will always remember a statement she once made to me about my "covering an E Flat" as the Sacristan, for it showed that she understands vocal technique in great detail.
  

She is a dear,caring person, and those of us who know her in her operatic endeavors, as well as in a personal way, are so happy to wish her all our best wishes on this day.          
                                                                                      Sincerely,  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:22pm EST




After the show, we went back to Ramey's to count how long Galvany held the E flat  (My tape.)They were sensational!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm EST

Here are Zinka and Tucker in clip I promised.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am EST




Talk about leaving a VOID,never yet to be filled..."No vun vill take my chair.". She sure was right, as Zinka and Tucker sang a fabulous Chenier on Apr.13, 1966. She sounded as fresh as this 1954 clip...Bless her forever...she gave me a treasurable youth....

 

Clip coming!!!!!!

Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22am EST

Sondra Radvanovsky, born Apr.11,1969, is an amazing lady. The resonance (like Cossotto) MUST be heard live;it is as if she is singing next to you, even in the most "innocent" phrases.

She has emerged as one of our most beloved divas...Happy Birthday,Sondra!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am EST

Another one???? I was chatting about Poliuto with Michael Fabiano,and beside Corelli, I wanted to see if anyone else sang the opera.

This "new" guy is superb!!!! I hope we get him here some day!!!!

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

 

 

I am so SICK of the “put down” of singers,especially tenors by using the word “provincial,” as if everyone has to be Tito Schipa or Carlo Bergonzi.

Definition:

having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial:

Lando Bartolini,Apr.11, 1947 is “narrow…unsophisticated???” Let us start naming the HUNDREDS of these so-called “provincial” singers…..it is pure snobbery to dismiss singers like Lando,Giacomini,De Muro,Masini,etc…in this negative way…..Many of these guys are much more exciting than the “biggies.”
Best to Lando on his birthday….

Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm EST

Apr.8,1921...Franco Corelli will NEVER be replaced.Friends of mine who knew him personally loved him as a sweet,caring man..although we felt he could be a "scared guy," despite the great voice and technique.

 Loretta di Lelio,his wife, was reputed to be very difficult. I do know they had to re-decorate a hotel room in Atlanta,Georgia,because the happy couple had a spaghetti fight.(with sauce!!!).

  Miss him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm EST


HAPPY COINCIDENCE...Michael Fabiano is rehearsing Poliuto around Corelli's Apr.8 birthday!!! Here is my all-time "Corelli moment." and that attack on the "reeeeendero" high C,where the vowel "e" makes it so exciting....Michael is so talented and we know he will be a huge success..
  Franco would love it!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EST

I went NUTS...Just found 1984 Traviata from San Diego under Bruno Rigacci. Diana is magnificent,with Vittorio Terranova (Holds high C forever), and Bob Borowsky.

 

 Play "Sempre Libera" and you will see why I love her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:15am EST

I will say forever that Diana Soviero belongs in the group of great Verismo soprnos like Muzio,Zeani,Scotto,Favero.

 I know her since 1977, where her Mimi caused me to run backstage and ask,"Who are you??? A new Tebaldi??"

Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm EST

  On the Met quiz Saturday,Mme.Eva Maria Westbroek gave examples of VERISMO. Go to 1:20:20 where Magda scares the pants (dress?) off you.

  She lives forever!!!!!!

 

Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EST

  I once asked Virginia Zeani if the "air" in Romania was especially conducive to creating more emotion and excitement in singers.  Here are some examples.

 

By the way,I have been doing videos for you, since it will take a bit more time until I can sit for a longer time.My back is getting better, but it takes time.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EST


   I see so much love and appreciation on Facebook,etc. for dear Renata Tebaldi, I thought I would tell you a few PERSONAL experiences with her:

      I am aware I have posted some of these previously, but I know some of you have not seen them;those who have seen them, you can see them again...

1. After she signed every program (despite the cold), she got into the limo, and as it drove her up 40th St.,she yelled "Ciao" out the window, with us "Tebaldiani" running after her. Remember, this is where little Charlie forgot there was a fire plug,and almost became the last castrato.

2. At one of huge affairs,as she cut the cake, she waved the knife and said,
"Questo e il bacio di Tosca." This might have been the same party where she said to me, "Dammi il braccio,mio piccino,and since I knew Boheme even at a tender age, I responded,"Obbedisco,signorAAA" and someone snapped the photo of us, a treasure for me. You have seen it on Facebook.
   She also sang at one of the affairs,accompanied by my "maestro" Armen Boyajian, and we sat on the floor a few feet away....so you see why the rest of my life has been an anti-climax....well,sort of.


3.  Before she left on the ill-fated Andfea Doria, we saw her off, and then my friends gave me the London Forza, a gift to me on my 20th birthday.(She almost came to my surprise party.)

4.The Met went to Philadelphia on Tuesdays, and we saw her off on the train. She stood in the open last car,and when the baggage handler opened the door, she said, "Spoletta,chiudi."

   5. After dad died,I brought ma to her first opera, Traviata. Tebaldi held her hand backstage, and every time we met,she always asked, "Carlos, com'e  la madre?"  (The reason for the "Carlos" rather than "Carlo" is because I spoke Spanish at that time and not Italian, and her English was limited.)

7. At the Carnegie Bell Telephone Hr. around 1957 she looked down at us kiddies sitting in the first row, winked at us and then out came "Inflammatus" like a jet plane.

       O sante memorie.....Her performances were EVENTS and never could any of us forget what she meant to us in our misspent youth. Non possiamo scordare questa donna chi ha dato tanto a tutti noi e alla arte vocale.(opera Italian.....That is how I learned it....non ridere!!!! Carlos <

Category:general -- posted at: 6:59pm EST

  Yes, I know there are subtle and calm moments in opera to be treasured, but what is wrong about being lifted out of your seat,as I was 40 times by Franco??

 Nothing today compares to this kind of singing!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm EST

You all know that there are so many singers,that sometimes it takes time to recognize what they have contributed. When I joined Facebook, and also at a friend’s recommendation, I discovered the Mar.31 birthday diva, Nelly Miricioiu.

She,like Leyla Gencer and a precious few other divas, lets it “all hang out,” and I once asked Zeani if the AIR in Romania causes some divas (Cotrubas,Zeani,etc.) to possess a special quality that is rare.

She also is the sweetest lady,and we love her, as evidenced by the Facebook posts.
So,a wonderful Happy Birthday to Nelly!!!!!

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

OFFICIALLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DEAR SAM!!!!!! When Sam one saw Norman Treigle early on....did he dream he would someday "inherit" some of the great man's famous roles...and the Olin Blitch scene here is RIVETING and represents an incredibly great artist..Love to dear Sam on his bithday..and my best to his lovely family....

 

We go back 45 years to our Anna Bolena,and we sang in Barbiere,Hoffmann,etc.

LOVE to dear Sam,one of opera's greatest artists!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am EST

Close to 90 here!!!!!!  Magda just thrills the opera world with what she has accomplished!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am EST

First year I cannot "call" her on her birthday...but she will NEVER be far from me.    Imagine that breath control and all the depth of emotion...a lesson to all!

 Buon compleanno 105 al miracolo!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am EST

At the "Loris,ove sei" near the end,I got thrills and chills..Happy birthday,dear Magda....Keep coaching those divas!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm EST

 

 

 

Remember tomorrow!!! Baby Magda at 65 made her Met debut in 1975..We cried all night...I have used this clip constantly to illustrate vocal control,breath support, emotional delivery,LOVE of singing,etc....Ovation is cut...it went on forever.

No room in bathroom stalls to change tapes....

Listen to the end..Rimuuuuuuuneri cosi....Most divas cannot SWELL there.
O say that if Magda ONLY sang that....we would know what she represented.....My candle is ready..Gee.I wish I had a Menorah with 105!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:51pm EST

NON SCORDARE....Light your candles (even a Jewish one like mine) for Mar.25 Magda's birthday (would have been 105.)
   I once asked her about the way she says "Nina Micheltorena in act 2 of Fanciulla...in a nasty way..showing her jealousy... Only special artists make DECISIONS that are especially effective....
I also love the glottal attacks..Amazing to have what we call an "old voice" and be a miracle!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:58pm EST

Over the years,I always told Zajick (born Mar.23 1952) that she was a unique throwback to the kind of “belt-it-out” voices we rarely have. I guess she realized I had fairly good taste, and invited me to do a mini-master class for her students…She has always been a “force of nature” and she feels there is nothing so rare as having a big voice..in an era where much of it is “pleasant.” Brava to her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm EST

Handelman has done crazy "scream tapes," but NEVER has a leading Met singer (a good one),RUIN a performance with a horrendous B natural GESCHREI as Manon dies.

Grigolo did a fine job, but suddenly he lets out this scream..Imagine what Callas,Milanov,Melba,etc..would do..He would  become a CASTRATO instantly....

 

How did they allow this??????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm EST

In 1956...WHY did teenage Charlie run to NY after Queens College  classes to freeeeeze on the standee line?? Here is why....Best example of how the 50 yr.old Zinka did sound..Go from "FERMA" and tell me why I went nuts....

Mario also tries some ppp's...and this perf.(I saw all 5 of them) also with Warren, marks the HEIGHT of my great opera days.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am EST



On her Mar.22 birthday (1912), I wish to honor one of the greatest singers in opera history...as "flawed" as one might think, but total MAGIC!!! Yes,her scoooops in "Hojotoho" made us laugh, but by the end of the opera,we were in tears!!!!
   I always remnember Olivia Stapp telling me how once in Germany she did a "voiceless Isolde," but the audience went crazy...Moedl just had something in her heart and soul that is difficult to describe.

 I once heard Franz Mazura read some of King Lear in German on the radio..I did not understand one syllable, but it was like Moedl..who could read the Dresden Telephony directory and thrill you!

  There are singers with their "flaws' (G.Jones,Gencer,Callas,etc.)BUT they have outstanding qualities that may compensate for not having the basic voice of a Tebaldi, a Flagstad,etc.

I knew Moedl's accompanist and he said she was a dear dear lady...My most difficult choice would be whether to have seen Nilsson or Moedl..That is tough!!!!  Bless the memory of the great Martha Moedl.

                                                               Charlie

P.S.It was 1957, and I can see before me, Moedl sinking into Uhde's arms at Walkure finale. No WONDER I love her so much.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EST

Adelaide Negri,Argentinian soprano, is never boring, but she is what we call "variable." Look, she did sing 87,409 roles and so we cannot dismiss her.

You judge this yourself....

Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm EST

This is really what the great Dane was about!! NO one could touch him!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EST

How did little Charlie discover opera. This 1948 film Luxury Liner!!!!!  Melchior's top is squeezed, and not the best Italian,but Aida remains my all-time favorite opera.

  I was 12.....and looking back, I express, on Melchior's birthday day my thanks.....although I might have been more normal...Maybe I should have stuck to Frank Sinatra!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:28pm EST

I may not be a believer in Astrology, but on March 20, 1890, something special must have been "in the air," because BOTH Beniamino Gigli AND Lauritz Melchior were born. So two of the greatest tenors in opera history share this day.
       Thanks to their madres for giving us two legends on this day. They represent the greatest tenor icons in the history of the vocal art.

            

            

Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm EST

March 19 is always a special day for me,because it marks the birthdays of my darling Diana Soviero AND mia madre!!!! Mom could dance in her youth, but Diana had more chest voice.

Love to two people who made my life so happy!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EST

  This great lady was a miracle!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EST

Darling soprano Irina Lungu posted this..Really funny!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm EST

OK.....I give up!!!! Baum had a fabulous high C,and fine reliable technique, even though (because of Zinka) we had to hear that ugly voice so much....OK,Kurt, I am sure you two made up!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm EST

When Antonietta Stella stepped on the Met stage as Aida in 1956...I said,"Zinka WHO??" Imagine that!!!!> What a luscious,glamorous voice..Nar.15, 1929 is her birthday.....Imagine a season with Milanov,Stella,Tebaldi,De Los Angeles,Steber,etc...I am SPOILED!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:58pm EST

I just had to put another Jack Swanson clip here. When I find a new young singer, I am so thrilled!!!! This is a great talent (with an interpolated B flat).

Honestly, this guy will go far, as soon as he turns 12.(kidding).

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

  I found ANOTHER TENOR.  Mr.Swanson will surely go far and I invite you to search Youtube for more of his superb singing.

  Luciano would be proud!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

Nothing like a "subtle" tenor, born Mar.11, 1900. I have a feeling Riccardo Muti might not appreciate this!!!

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

How lucky we are to have one of the very few divas who recalls the kind of exciting,emotional artistry of artists like Zeani,Scotto,Callas,Olivero,Soviero,and my ex-girlfriend, Maria Jeritza!

Mme.Miricioiu could teach a good number of "generic" divas how to color the tone, make special use of the text ,exhibit inner emotions, and of course you know how I love low notes (they can be "mixed chest") and those authoritative slight glottal attacks.

 

 Here is the lovely lady, a Facebook STAR, just last year,in the Lady Macbeth aria.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:43pm EST

Hi all,

  I have put videos up lately, because I had some back problems and could not sit too long at the computer to do the usual podcasts, but things are better, and I will resume as soon as possible.

 

Love  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:39pm EST

The man was one of my all-time favorites. Listen to the "feeling" in the voice, and I am so sad that he left us so soon.  BUY THE BOOK!!!!!!

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am EST

He left us so soon. Treigle was a veritable DYNAMO on stage, with a huge voice, and a stage personality that was RIVETING!!!!!  I  will never forget him!!!!

 

 

Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EST

Mar.3, 1890 is the birthday of Ruby Helder, female TENOR!!!!

  This is so interesting and a rarity.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:22pm EST

Superb tenor replacing Jonas Kaufmann this week.Jonas has the flu, but I have seen Lee in Don Carlo and he is WONDERFUL!!!!!

We are lucky to have so many great tenors...except NO RADAMESES!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm EST

 

Amara was born Lucine Armaganian in Hartford, Connecticut, of Armenian heritage, before moving to San Francisco where she was raised. She studied at the San Francisco's Community Music School under Stella Eisner-Eyn and sang in the chorus of the San Francisco Opera, 1945-46. In 1946, Amara made her concert debut at the War Memorial Opera House. Continuing her studies at the Music Academy of the West with Richard Bonelli in 1947, she won a contest to appear at the Hollywood Bowl in 1948. She continued as a student at the University of Southern California and as a soloist for the San Francisco Symphony for the following two years. Amara appeared in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos and as Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring in 1949.

 

Amara made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the "Voice from Heaven" in Verdi's Don Carlos, the opening night of Sir Rudolf Bing's inaugural season as general manager, on November 6, 1950. She continued at the Met over the course of 41 seasons until 1991, singing 56 roles in 882 appearances, nearly 60 of which were broadcast on radio and television. Appearing regularly as Micaëla in Carmen, Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, and Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Antonia in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Nedda in Pagliacci, Mimi in La bohème, her repertoire also included Leonora in Il trovatore and Aida.

 

In the mid-1970s, Amara was given only a "cover" contract - essentially a contract to be a stand-by for an indisposed singer - and was scheduled for fewer and fewer performances. In 1976 at the age of 51, she successfully sued the Met for age discrimination, but sang only sporadically with the company after that, and was absent from the roster from 1977 until 1981. In the last years of her Met career, she sang only one or two performances a season (one performance each in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991, and two in 1987; the 1985 performance took place at the Kennedy Center where the Met was on tour; the 1986 performance was presented by the Met in Brooklyn's Prospect Park). Amara did not appear with the company at its Lincoln Center home between 1983 and 1987.

 

Amara also performed in Europe, Asia, and South America, including at Glyndebourne (1954–55, 1957–58), the Edinburgh Festival (1954), the Vienna State Opera (1960), Russia (1965), and China (1983.)

 

Amara made a few recordings, notably as Musetta in La bohème, opposite Victoria de los Ángeles, Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill under Thomas Beecham, and as Elsa in Lohengrin, opposite Sandor Konya, Rita Gorr, Jerome Hines. Under Erich Leinsdorf she recorded the role of Nedda in Pagliacci twice, opposite Richard Tucker in 1951 and opposite Franco Corelli in 1960. Amara was also recorded singing the soprano solo in Verdi's Messa da Requiem. Made in 1964-65, the recording also features Maureen Forrester (Mezzo-Soprano), Richard Tucker (Tenor), George London (Bass), and the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy.

 

After retiring, Amara became the artistic director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo and taught master classes in the United States, Canada and Mexico. On January 23, 2005, she performed as a special guest artist with the Musica Bella Orchestra. The Times called Amara "the greatest lyric soprano of our time." Time Magazine wrote that "she brought to the stage the kind of dazzling vocal splendor that made the Met famous. In 1989 she was inducted into the Academy of Vocal Arts Hall of Fame.

 

Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EST

That gorgeous voice at 90 is still fine..although she is "more mezzo." She is lots of fun (not always PG-13).

  She was a "house soprano" because she was so ready to sing at short notice. This can be derogatory, but that is a great voice!!!!

  Bless her!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EST

One of the most GORGEOUS voices...and high notes that shook the chandeliers....Beautiful lady!!!!!!

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

Feb.27, 1888….The greatest!!! Rise once sat at her desk and spoke glowingly of Lehmann’s Eva when she saw her in the 1930′s…Rise sounded as if she was “in a “trance” as she spoke of a lady who would someday sing with her in Rosenkavalier

 

Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm EST

He could sing anything and we would adore him. I love  "Send the warrrrd"...Great man!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm EST

  • NO ONE..NO ONE thrills me more than the"miracle" of Caruso, Born Feb.25, 1873, and sadly died at 48!!!!

Born with a heart and soul no one could "acquire." I can listen to him forever!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EST


  •   I find it most unusual (for me,anyway) that Renata Scotto,born Feb.24, 1933 was so roundly hated and booed, and the repertory became just too heavy, but now,despite flaws (ever hear of Jones,Moedl,Rysanek??), she emerges as the LAST of the singers in the class of Muzio,Favero,Zeani,Soviero,Olivero, where the EMOTION is so riveting!!!
         Yes,the top register could cause much displeasure as the years went on, but when you take her career as a whole, you find so muchgreatnes in the woman:use of words, coloring the voice, true musicianship,etc.

      Happy birthday to Renata Scotto, who should be THE ONE to teach present-day divas what inner emotion is all about.They mostly know from nothing!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EST

See what I mean????????

Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EST


On Feb.25 (born 1873), we celebrate the birthday of Enrico Caruso, still the ALL-TIME GOD of singing in my opinion. He died at only 48, but thankfully we have over 200 of his recordings.
  
 How did he sound live?  One of my teachers, Jerry Lo Monaco,studied with Mr.Stanley, who told him we only hear 1/3 of the voice. The only lirico-dramatico tenor whom I saw who offers me a look at the Caruso talent was Richard Tucker,who could sing Cosi and La Juive, as Caruso sang Elisir and  La Juive.
    
  You listen to such selections as "L'alba separa dall luce l'ombra," "Angelo casto e bel,"(Duca dalba) "Io non ho che una povera stanzetta,"(Leoncavallo Boheme ) or the last session with "Deh ch'io ritorni"(L'Africaine),where you hear the dark sound that was able to sing "Vecchia Zimarra live.". Also, "Over there," where he sings "Send the WARRD" Just marvel at the glory of a man BORN with heart and soul.
    
Forget that awful film that is 99% fiction..just listen to the great man, and every single phrase drives me nutsy. With Caruso,and very very few others, every "vocal situation" seems to produce a "different joy." Without the basic sound,Bergonzi probably comes closest.
 
He left us so tragically,...we would have had about 10 more years of him,but at least we have plenty of examples of the great man. May he never be forgotten by those who understand his greatness.
                             

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YnNKaH7rQ1c?rel=0" frameborder="0

Category:general -- posted at: 7:18pm EST

Here is the clip of Virginia's album.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

Clip to follow.


Not only did I just get Virginia's 9 cd set (but she sent me NO FLORIDA WEATHER..VERGOGNA!!)but I see a glowing review in Opera News on p.48  Bonynge has good taste!!!!!!

No one deserves it more..She turns 90 Oct.21

Category:general -- posted at: 4:47pm EST


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