La Gioconda, Florence 1956

Highlights from a 1956 Florence Gioconda under E.Tieri. The cast includes Anita Cerquetti, Ebe Stignani, Ettore Bastianini, Gianni Poggi, and Giuseppe Modesti. The "Stella del Marinar" was not performed, but I gave it to you in another brief podcast.  (66 min.)

Direct download: Gioconda_Cerquetti2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:37pm EDT

Stignani Stella del Marinar

Since they chose to cut Stignani's aria in Gioconda,in my latest podcast, here it is from another perf.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am EDT

Rest in Peace, Sena Jurinac,wonderful soprano

Opera singer Sena Jurinac, one of the most celebrated sopranos of the post-war period, has died aged 90.

Born in Travnik in Bosnia in October 1921, the Austrian star studied in Zagreb, and made her debut there 1942 as Mimi in La Boheme.

She made very few recordings across her career, although the BBC recently issued a CD of her 1961 Proms show.

The Vienna State Opera, of which she was an honorary member, confirmed the singer had died in southern Germany.

In a statement, it said it was mourning the loss of a "legendary artist who shaped not only the Vienna State Opera but also the entire opera world".

Jurinac first sang for the company in 1944, playing Cherubino in The Marriage Of Figaro, and remained a member until 1983, when she made her farewell as Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.

She appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1947, and soon after made her London debut, singing Dorabella at Covent Garden.

Jurinac went on to become a favourite at Glyndebourne, and was renowned for her interpretation of Mozart.

Scholar Peter Branscombe described her voice as "beautifully pure, rich and even throughout its range".

Austrian news agency APA reported that Jurinac died Tuesday at her home near Augsburg.

From other news sites

Category:general -- posted at: 12:19am EDT

Eugen Onegin Letter Scene

A comparison of five Eugen Onegin Letter Scenes:

   Sena Jurinac (Rest in Peace), Makvala Kasrashvili, Margaret Price, Theresa Zylis-Gara, and Gallina Vishnevskaya.     (65 min.)

Mme.Vishnevskaya is in the photo

Direct download: Onegin_Letter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:40am EDT


Hi all,

           Not everyone in the universe celebrates Thanksgiving as we do in the U.S.A. However, it really does not matter, because we all have a lot to be thankful for, and we must also think of those who may have less than we do, and reach out to them always.  I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, and all my sincere thanks for your support.

             Hey, when we get to a million downloads, I will have to think of a special podcast.  Maybe Justin Bieber singing the Winterreise????

 My best,


Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm EDT


A compilation of material as sung by the magnificent Robert Weede. Included are his Verdi album,scenes from Most Happy Fella, Milk and Honey, and A Cry for Us All.In addition, from a 1951 radio broadcast, he sings Gounod's "Nazareth." 


Direct download: Weede.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT

Opera Lovers in China

  We have now about 954,000 downloads over 6 years. The U.S. leads with 211,322 and the SECOND country, with 24, 853 is China. Of course the podcasts seem to go all over the world, but I just wanted to congratulate the opera lovers in China for being number 2...not in any way forgetting the rest of the world.

          By the way, I was most surprised to see some downloads from Mars. I wonder if their sopranos used chest voice.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:19am EDT


  A fine performance (in Italian) of Tchaikowsky's Eugen Onegin from RAI Milano 1953 under Nino Sanzogno. The cast features Giuseppe Taddei, Cesare Valletti, Rosanna Carteri, Eugenia Zareska, and Rafael Arie.   (68 min.)

Direct download: Onegin_Taddei.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT


Here is part two of the 1961 Forza del Destino (51 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Farrell_pt.2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:04pm EDT


Part one of an abridged Forza del Destino from 1961 under George Schick. The brilliant cast features Eileen Farrell, Richard Tucker, Robert Merrill, Jerome Hines, and Fernando Corena.  (63 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Farrell_pt.1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:24pm EDT

   A HOT Cavalleria Rusticana

You want excitement?  Here is a blazing hot Cavalleria from 1970(?) with a cast that includes Fiorenza Cossotto,Carlo Bergonzi,Anselmo Colzani,Jean Kraft (Lucia), and Nedda Casei. Christopher Keene conducts. (52 min.)

Direct download: Cav_Cossotto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

Beverly Sills Only Aida

Here is an interesting oddity,as the 26 year old Beverly Sills sings her only Aida. Walter Schroeder is the conductor of this concert version of scenes in Paterson,New Jersey in 1955. Our dear late Irene Kramarich is the Amneris, with Vincent Donato as Radames, and Victor Mincielli as Amonasro. I think you will enjoy this historica treasure.   (68 min.)

Direct download: Aida_Sills.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT

Mignon from Mexico, 1949

Highlights from a fine performance of Thomas' Mignon from Mexico, 1949, under Guido Picco. Sadly, the three principles passed away fairly recently, and we honor their memory. The cast features Giulietta Simionato, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Cesare Siepi, and Verdad Luz Guajardo.   (70 min.)

Direct download: Mignon_Sim..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:03am EDT


This is a great performance of Boito's Mefistofele. The 1931 recording,under Lorenzo Molajoli,features Mafalda Favero,Nazzareno de Angelis, Antonio Melandri, Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, and Ida Mannarini. This is true verismo singing.   (71 min.)

Direct download: Mefist.Favero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm EDT

Nabucco from La Scala, 1966

Highlights from a most exciting Nabucco from La Scala, 1966, under Gianandrea Gavazzeni.The cast includes Giangiacomo Guelfi, Elena Suliotis, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Gianni Raimondi, and Gloria Lane.  Added is a bonus of the fabulous high E flat Maria Callas hits in her 1949 Naples Nabucco, with Gino Bechi.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Nabucco_Suliotis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

Ta'u and Samantha

   In  the past I have mentioned my friend, tenor Ta'u Pupu'a and have spoken of how we met at our Rigoletto several years ago, and I could not believe he had never sung an opera before. After a few years, having now graduated from Juilliard, he is surely destined for a wonderful professional career (following a professional career as a pro football do not mess with him!!).
      Last evening at the Good Shepherd-Faith Church on 66th Streeet (down from a theatre where I hope he will some day debut),he and a lovely soprano, Samantha Jeffreys, sang a recital, and it was one of the most exciting events I have had the pleasure of attending. Ms.Jeffreys has a very large and resonant lyric voice, almost too powerful for a church setting. She is so musical, and was able to excell in both popular and opera material. I noted a cute touch during the Mimi aria,when she got to "ma prego assai il signor," and made the sign of the cross.This shows she knows what is going on! It is hard to scale a large voice down in an acoustical live setting, and I hope in the future she  can lighten up somewhat in some of the material( e.g. the "Sombre Foret" from William Tell), but you know they call me "Picky Charlie."
        Ta'u was amazing! His first selections, "Tu che non chiagne" and "Non ti scordar di me' were in some parts of the middle and upper middle voice almost "Wagnerian" in tone, and he places every note so beautifully, with a brilliant easy top range.(Well,he has done Bacchus in Ariadne). He also has the ability to shine in popular music and sang so romantically  songs from Romberg's New Moon, and with Mme.Jeffreys, some West Side Story selections. He also did a "Corelli" by holding the high B flat at the end of the "Recondita Armonia' a couple of seconds longer, his big brilliant voice roused the audience to many bravoes.
           Ta'u  sang,as an encore, a beautiful song from his native Tonga, and the two ended with "You'll never walk alone." This was a divine evening, and we all hope for many future successes for these young artists.
           Since I am also the President of his non-existant fan club and his totally unpaid agent, I always feel such joy that I "discovered'' a guy who asked me if the Duke in Rigoletto was HARD??? Yup!!!!
             Love and best wishes to these marvelous young artists!


Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm EDT

Don Carlo with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni

In tribute to the late Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, born Nov.6, 1920 and the husband of dear Virginia Zeani, I present highlights from the 1951 Cetra Don Carlo under Fernando Previtali. The other artists are Ebe Stignani, Maria Caniglia, Mirto Picchi, Paolo Silveri, and Giulio Neri  (72 min.)

Direct download: Don_C.Cetra.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:18am EDT


The second of two podcasts with scenes from the Covent Garden Boris of 1958 under Rafael Kubelik. The great Regina Resnik is the Marina, with Josef Gostic as Dmitri and Otakar Kraus as Rangoni.   ( 45 min.)

Direct download: Resnik_Marina.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Boris as Boris

 The first of two podcasts of scenes from Boris Godunov, Covent Garden, 1958 under Rafael Kubelik. Boris Christoff appears in the Clock Scene and the final scene,with John Lanigan as Shuisky and Joseph Rouleau as Pimen.  ( 42 min.)

Direct download: Christoff_Boris.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:20pm EDT

Happy Birthday in Honor of Victoria de los Angeles

A birthday tribute to one of the greatest singers in opera history. Victoria de los Angeles was born on Nov.1, 1923. I present a selection of arias from Martha, Traviata, Carmen, Manon, Faust, La Serva Padrona, Le Nozze di Figaro, plus Ravel's Sheherezade and two songs.  (72 min.)

   Bless the memory of this artist who defined the word "lovable" to millions of opera lovers.

Direct download: DeLos.2011.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:39pm EDT


More Great Music

November 2011
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