Three hours sleep (got to bed at 5) after the Butterfly at the Met...then to the Met at 9:00 for costumes,staging makeup. No one in Met history ever sang back-to-back NEW roles in the house.  She made history..and we love her so much!!!!

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

I discovered a fabulous baritone last night in Arabella. Michael Volle is just incredible.I was so thrilled!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EST

Compilation No.12

I sincerely hope you are enjoying these pot-pourris. Here is no.12. Remember, anyone who has comments or suggestions, e-mail me at Placido21@aol.com. I am unable to use the comments section here, because it results in outside advertisements.

1. Rysanek/London           Aida Nile duet  (in Deutsch)

2.Licia Albanese                  La Wally     "Ebben,ne andro lontana."

3.Ivar Andresen                  Gotterdamerung        Hagen's Watch

4.Agnes Baltsa                    Cenerentola Final aria

5. Piot Beczala                     I Lombardi aria    (My favorite tenor of today, as you know.)

6. Joel Berglund                   Tannhauser    "Evening star."

7.Grace Bumbry                    Andrea Chenier      "La Mamma morta."

8.Emma Calve                        Herodiade     "Il est doux."

9.Enrico Caruso                     "L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra"  (Drives me crazy!)

10.Antonietta Stella               Mme.Butterfly   "Che tua madre."

11.Franco Corelli  (Apr.8 birthday)   Favorita    "Una vergine"

12.Montserrat Caballe            Trovatore    "D'amor sull'ali rosee"

13.Mario DelMonaco                 Trovatore    "Di quella pira"

14.Fernando de Lucia                Iris     "Apri la tua finestra"

15. Nicolai Gedda                        Pearl Fishers aria  (Mio Dio!!!)

16. Marcello Giordani                  Adriana    "La dolcissima effigie."

Direct download: 12_Compil.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:09pm EST

What more can we say about the sensational Corelli, who has NEVER been replaced. This is my all-time Corelli "moment."The high C on "reeeeendero," that the Scala audience adores!

  Good friends of mine who knew him well do not share the oipinion of some that he was a difficult guy and adored him, although Loretta was no bargain. I do know one story (and it is in the Corelli book) that in a hotel in Atlanta,Georgia they had to re-decorate a room because the two of them had a "spaghetti fight."(WITH SAUCE!)

  I saw the man 40 times, from his 1961 debut, and will never forget him!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

William Tell with Nicolai Gedda

From Florence, 1972 under Riccardo Muti, I bring you William Tell with the following cast:

Nicolai Gedda, Norman Mittleman, Eva Marton, Agostino Ferrin (Gualtiero), Luigi Roni (Gessler), Flora Rafanelli (Edwige), Maria Casula (Jemmy), Mario Rinaudo (Melchtal).   (70 min.)

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

   Having sung the magnificent Mme.Butterfly on Friday evening, and retiring about 5:00 A.M., Kristine Opolais was awakened at 7:30, as The Met asked her if she could replace Mme.Hartig as Mimi on the Met telecast/broadcast (aria heard here). In the history of the Met (132 years), no other singer had ever sung two role debuts back-to-back.

 Imagine her then getting to the Met at 9:00 A.M. for a staging walk-through, vocalizing while they did her makeup, and when they could not find a properly fitting black wig, they used a blond one, and she had the sense,in act two, to change "bruni" to "biondi." This is what you call a real "trouper."

  The reviews were ecstatic, and she made music history in New York with this double-triumph. I am so thrilled for her, a lovely and brilliantly talented artist, who won the hearts of so many!!!!

  

Category:general -- posted at: 8:31pm EST

Get Crazy!!(Again??)

A conglomeration of all sorts of material, from the wonderful to the bizarre:

1.Corelli Celeste Aida B flat diminuendo. 2. Millo Aida E flat.

3.Benjamin Luxon "sings" the Cavalleria Intermezzo.  4. Zeani's fabulous Console aria.

5. Sirach Von Bodengraven again proves that there is something rotten in Denmark.(Otello)

6. Martinelli's last Otello (19470 duet w.Cesare Bardelli.

7.Crazy Bonisolli hits 4 high C's in Turandot, and then when people start to applaud, he says that there is a pause that Puccini wrote.(so you can applaud.) He gave tenors a bad name!!

8. Edita Gruberova in Roberto Devereux. "VA!!"  9. The guy singing our Nat.Anthem (to be deported).

10.Puritani duet w.Sutherland/Gedda (to die for!)   11. Tosca finale with Nilsson.

12. Zauberflote aria sung by.....Have mercy!!!   13. Stevens/DelMonaco BURN UP Carmen finale.

14. Longest held high note EVER!! Caballe Don Carlo finale.  15. Di Stefano fabulous Faust high C

16. Kraus great D flat in Favorita.      17. Zeani/Filippeschi Puritan i duet

18. De Los Angeles and Schwarzkopf in Rossini's Cat Duet      19.Rysanek Frau scene

20. Lauri-Volpi Fedora aria at 79!!!!   21. Giovanni Roberti in  puritani.(Hold your ears)

22. HILARIOUS guy named Dahlstrom in Rigoletto, with audience reaction.

Direct download: Shall_I_go_on.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm EST

My review is published.Here is what I heard last night.( This is from Covent Garden)

Category:general -- posted at: 9:45am EST


  She's a star!!! Last night at the Met was the first Mme.Butterfly of Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, and to these supposedly jaded ears, I was totally captivated by her vocalism,musicianship, stage deportment, and in total, she proved to be one of the brightest lights in the opera world today.
    The voice is rich and opulent, with an easily produced upper range (D flat in the entrance and piano B natural in "dolore' at the beginning of act three, as two examples.). In this extremely difficult role (Olivia Stapp says she finds  act two Butterfly harder the the whole of Elektra, owing to the sheer emotion involved.),
Mme.Opolais brings a vulnerable and sympathetic portrayal to the stage. She has the sense of line and phrase that is so endearing to those of us who so much appreciate an artist who can bring us to tears in so many of the glorious Puccini moments. I hope the Met will use her in many roles in future years.(Mimi next season.).  I thank her, as did the audience with its ovation, for a beautiful evening.
      Sadly, Mr.Valenti, whom I enjoyed so much at City opera, has great vocal problems;the middle is of decent, although unmemorable, quality, but th moment he reaches for high notes, the sound is totally "strangulato" and in act three, the 2 B flats were totally covered by the orchestra, since he has no trace of squillo. The act one love duet requires TWO sings to make it work, and sad to say, it did not have much effect, despite that positively riveting staging. (I got to love the production so much, even the puppet.)
     I would wonder if Dwayne Croft is not re-studying, because I found a very noticeable improvement in his vocal production,unlike recent years where I found the passaggio rather nasal and the voice not what I first loved so much;he was superb, and he and the fine Maria Zifchak (Suzuki) received well-deserved cheers, unlike the reaction to Mr.Valenti,which was "cool."(I guess the Met audience does have ears on occasion.)
    I was most impressed by Scott Scully as Goro.It is a pleasure to have a voice that is totally well-produced all through the range, and as Ialways say, Richard Bernstein is too fine a singer to be relegated to the Commissioner. Furthermore, the Bonzo of Stefan Szkafarowsky (get rid of Tanovitski) and especially the Yamadori of Jeongcheol Cha, made me hope they will graduate to larger roles some day soon.
     I noted a large group of Rochester.New York high school seniors who dressed so beautifully, that I was happy to see a group of young people not appearing like some of the slobs I have seen at the Met (even guys in shorts!).
      I see two more Butterflies, and perhaps MrValenti was ill and really is much more of what I remember, and then we have one with last year's fine Aida, Hui He, and last season's pretty dull Manrico of Gwyn Hughes-Jones, who would be better suited to Pinkerton. Marcello Giordani,where were you last night?
       If you love opera, combine Puccini's great music and Kristine Opolais' talent, and you have a mostly great evening!!      Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EST

Manon Lescaut from Buenos Aires, 1966

Despite  the sound,which can be a bit dull, Richard Tucker and Montserrat sing a magnificent Manon Lescaut under Bruno Bartoletti. Gianpiero Mastromei is the Lescaut, and Sr.Telasko is Geront (59 min.).  Note that the photo is the Richard Tucker Monument outside Lincoln Center.

Direct download: Lescaut3_Tucker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm EST


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