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


More Great Music

July 2009
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