It was the evening of March 4, 1960. Leonard Warren,born Apr.21, 1911, said his final words in Forza.."E salvo..o gioja.." and died before our eyes on stage. He sounded as great as always and we treasure his memory...but the sadness and shock of that night will never be forgotten.He was a fabulous singer..still my all-time favorite baritone..Rest in Peace!

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

  I have spoken previously about how I "discovered"  Ta'u when we did Rigoletto and I was so shocked he had NEVER sung a role before. Since that time,he has been doing extremely well,and recently did a Pollione;here is the aria from a concert, and I find it superb. (easy high C included.)

   Divas better treat him with respect, because this ex-football player still knows how to TACKLE!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am EST

Lauritz Melchior in Non-Wagner

The great man sings material that we do not usually hear, since he is renowned as probably the greatest Wagnerian tenor EVER. This material is from 1946-7 and is mostly superb, with the exception of the Italian arias,which I feel do not represent the man's greatness.

Dein ist meine ganzes Herz, I det frie (children's song from Denmark), Agnus Dei (Bizet), Easy to Love, Silent Night, Cantique de Noel,The Rosary, Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod), The Kiss in your Eyes (Der Opernball), Spring came back to Vienna, Kaiserwalzer (J.Strauss), Torna a Surriento, The Song is You, Summer Moon, Mattinata, Who is Sylvia, O Promise Me, I love you truly, All mein gedanken,arias from Tosca and Pagliacci.

Direct download: Melchior_Pop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:53am EST

Piotr Beczala introduced me last year to the son of Jan Kiepura and the great Martha Eggerth, and he proceeded to call "mom." We lost her this year at about 101. What a great lady she was, and here she is about 90,with the charm she exuded all her life. Apr.17, 1912 was her birthday!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:42pm EST

I know the wonderful tenor was born on April 17, 1940...but I wanted to give you Leonie again..and the great scream,even in concert! I celebrate his career, but let's face it, there is NO ONE like Leonie these days!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EST

 What a tremendous thrill it is when I discover a new voice! I had seen Michael Corvino at City Opera years ago, but now I see this magnificent rendition of the "Mamma,mamma" from "The Most Happy Fella" I am sure you will enjoy his beautiful singing, and his deep emotional involvement.

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

Gotthelf Pistor and Rome Narrative

In response to dear Mr.Jan Rouwen's request, I am making this double podcast of material as rquested:

1. Tenor Gotthelf Pistor in scenes from Siegfried, Parsifal, and Tiefland.

2. A comparison of the Tannhauser "Rome Narrative" as sung by:

Lauritz Melchior, Ramon Vinay, Rene Kollo (these three live) and Peter Seiffert and Placido Domingo (these two from commercial recordings.)

   Come on,folks, follow Mr.Rouwen's lead and send me more ideas (Placido21@aol.com)

Direct download: Pistor-Rome.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:45pm EST

 For dear Aprile Millo,born Apr.14 (Aprile in Aprile),1958. Aprile has been one of the sweetest,nicest people I ever met..and of course she sings here  in what we call the "old style."   Love always  from Charlie.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EST

 People tell me they adore this "lesser-known" soprano's rendition of Butterfly's entrance. What do you think????

Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm EST

Rita Hunter

Rita Hunter sings arias from Aida,Macbeth, Forza, Gioconda,Tosca, Fidelio, Idomeneo,Cavalleria, Schicchi (in English),  and "My Hero" (from the Chocolate Soldier), and " Tosti's "Goodbye."

Rita Hunter CBE (15 August 1933 – 29 April 2001) was a British operatic dramatic soprano.

Rita Hunter was born in Wallasey, Merseyside and lived in Limekiln Lane. During her childhood, her parents, both fans ofmusic-hall, would take Rita to many of the final tours of the last music-hall artists.[1] She studied singing in Liverpool with Edwin Francis and later in London with Redvers Llewellyn and Clive Carey. She joined the Sadler's Wells Opera Company in 1957, and sang in the chorus with them for two years before touring with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. She then obtained a grant from the Countess of Munster Trust, which made it possible for her to study for a year with Dame Eva Turner. After this she went back to the Company as a principal, where her roles included Senta in The Flying Dutchman, Musetta in La bohème, Odabella in Attila, Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Amelia in A Masked Ball, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Elizabeth in Don Carlos and Leonora in Il trovatore.

Rita Hunter will be remembered as one of the major Wagnerian sopranos of the later 20th century, especially for her performances as all three of the Brünnhildes in the Ring cycle, conducted by Reginald Goodall at the English National Opera.[2] In this production she was partnered by Alberto Remedios (who had studied singing at the same time as Hunter inLiverpool with Edwin Francis) as Siegfried, and Norman Bailey as Wotan. The recordings based on this production, with the same artists, are regarded as amongst the finest available, even though they are sung, in accordance with ENO practice, in English.

In an interview in 1979 Hunter expressed her dissatisfaction with having to sing the same part in both English and the original languages. "I find it very difficult learning a role in different languages. The phrasing is different - one has to take breath in a different place." She also recalled having to know "Santuzza in three different English translations as well as in Italian". She found Italian easier to learn and memorize than German.[1]

In the Glen Byam Shaw Ring production, the quality of Hunter's singing and interpretation enabled audiences to set aside her outsize stature (which conformed to all prejudices about Wagnerian sopranos), and few have matched her conviction as Brünnhilde. She made her debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera on December 19, 1972, in Die Walküre, with great success (conductor Erich Leinsdorf and Dame Gwyneth Jones as Sieglinde). She performed the GötterdämmerungBrünnhilde at Covent Garden, and also sang the part of Senta there at short notice. Hunter's later Metropolitan Opera performances of Die Walküre in 1975 featured Birgit Nilsson as Sieglinde and were conducted by Sixten Ehrling.

She also performed in Wagner and other operas in Munich, Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, and with the Welsh National Opera. In a memorable San Francisco season, she played the roles of Norma and Sieglinde in the same week.

Among conductors with whom she worked whom she found sympathetic to the singer, she cited Carlo Felice Cillario andRichard Bonynge.[1]

In 1980 she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

In 1981 she moved to Sydney and joined the Australian Opera. In 1986 she published her memoirs, Wait till the sun shines, Nellie. She died in Sydney in 2001, aged 67.

Direct download: Hunter3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:28pm EST


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