Sat, 5 July 2008
I have come to the conclusion that Roumanian-born Virginia Zeani has emerged, in my opinion, as one of the greatest divas in opera history. I hope you enjoy the selections on this podcast. The works represented are:
Forza del Destino,Maria di Rohan, I Puritani, Tosca,
Wed, 2 July 2008
Highlights from two analyses of the great Wagner Ring of the Nibelung.The first is by Speight Jenkins, using scenes from the 1953 Bayreuth Ring, and the second is by Deryck Cook, with material taken from the London Ring Set under Solti.
Finally, the legendary Ring Analysis as performed by the hilarious Anna Russell. ("She's not making this up, you know!"
Sun, 15 June 2008
A compilation of 13 baritones who sang Wagner, among other material.
George London, Bryn Terfel, Friedrich Schorr,Ferdinand Frantz,
Sun, 8 June 2008
A tribute to the great Jussi Bjoerling (1911-1960) with arias and
Tue, 3 June 2008
This is the first of the Jussi Bjoerling tribute podcasts. We present highlights from the remarkable 1947 Romeo et Juliette with Bidu Sayao as the Juliette.
Mon, 2 June 2008
ONE ZINKA MOMENT?????? You KEEEEDING???? We usually would make the famous "Enzo adorato" B flat in Gioconda our favorite..In fact, do we know of ANY ONE SINGER who was "known for a single note?" As the supreme authority(???) on this forum on the Milanov career, a career I can readily "hear in my head," I will give you the gospel according to me. (This is a follow-up to a thread on Opera-l on "Milanov Moments.")
BURROUGHS...Where's the book already????????????????????????
So,my friends, let me give you my impressions of a lady whose career "shaped my opera life." First of all, I agree nthat her recordings usually do not do her total justice, unless you have every Met broadcast. She screams the C's in the Aida and Tosca on RCA, and in the 40's I found too much vibrato in the tone. She had a more secure top then, but despite the problematic C's in the 50's and 60's (they did improve to some extent after she worked with her brother, Bozidar Kunc), the pure voice was something I will treasure forever.
As a sixteen year old, I wore out the end of side three of the RCA LP set of the Trovatore because of the phenomenal "D'amor sull'ali rosee";however, the RCA "Orthophonic Sound' technique gave a kind of echo effect that even as a youngster I felt was not giving me a true picture of the voice. My question to the first Milanov nutcases I met on the standee line waiting for a Forza in 1953 was, "How does she sound live as compared to the records?"
Within a few minutes of the curtain rise at the Forza, I found the answer! That voice was absolutely glorious, as she started the "Me pellegrina," and by the incredible "Pace," I was in Milanov heaven...and so it goes from there, 85 performances later, I never changed my mind (even despite some screamy Ballos).
So now here are 5 of my 1000 Milanov "moments"' in addition to THE moment..the Gioconda B flat ppp:
1. Ernani:Final trio w.Del Monaco and Siepi,where she starts with that "Ferma" as she comes onstage and then sings in the most noble and powerful manner, with rich mixed low notes that are as thrilling as the high notes.
2. The double attack on the pianissimo on "Ora soave' during the Act 2 Chenier duet.
3. Chenier again:The high A flat (or A if the duet is in key) on "abbracciami, aMANTE" as the final duet was sung with fairly good tenors like Tucker,Bergonzi,Tucker, and DelMonaco.
4. The way she always swelled on the B flat "Maledizione' at the end of the "Pace."It was her "trick" of not hitting the note dead on forte, but giving it a swell that knocked you off your seats..I mean stands.
5. The section at the end of act three scene one Gioconda beginning, "O made mia..nel isola fatale,." with that glorious high b flat and then the lush low on "per lui che l'aaaaaama."
So you see, I think I have a fairly good idea of why no other singer in my life ever could thrill me like Zinka, and remember, she would agree with me in her utter modesty (!!!)
Thanks, Zinka, and i hope they let you kick your train wherever you are......
(See,I once had hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm EDT
Mon, 19 May 2008
In tribute to the late marvelous Leyla Gencer, I present
Sat, 17 May 2008
A birthday tribute to two of the greatest sopranos who ever
Birgit Nilsson, born May 27, 1918
Zinka Milanov, born May 17, 1906
The Nilsson photo is separate,as you see, and the Milanov
Our lives would be far less enriched without these two great ladies.
Fri, 9 May 2008
I was so entranced by the recent singing in the Seraglio of soprano Diana Damrau that I thought I would present a few samples of her wonderful "Arie di Bravura," available on the Virgin Classics label.
Go to YOUTUBE and type her name..and you will see ASTOUNDING performances!!!!!!
Sun, 4 May 2008
Scenes from each Puccini opera,in chronoligical order,
Placido Domingo,Aureliano Pertile, Roberto Alagna,