As Lucine Amara celebrates birthday no.87 on March 1, I tell you that the voice is STILL as luscious and clear as on my 1948 audition tapes....No kidding!!!!! I give you the Youtube link below......and,trust me, she has never lost that sound!!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm EDT

Enrico Caruso Birthday


The above link will take you to the GOD of opera, Enrico Caruso, born Feb.23, 1873.

Bless his memory forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Medea with Magda Olivero

 A most exciting performnce of Cherubini's "Medea," from Dallas, 1967 under Nicola Rescigno. Magda Olivero makes a rare appearance in this opera, with Bruno Prevedi, Nicola Zaccaria, and Biancamaria Casoni.   

(64 min.)

Direct download: Medea_Olivero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

Walkure Act Three under Wilhelm Furtwaengler

From Covent Garden, 1937, a live performance of the third act of Die Walkure under Wilhelm Furtwaengler, featuring Kirsten Flagstad, Maria Muller, and Rudolf Bockelman.  (64 glorious minutes)

Direct download: Walkure_CG_Furt..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

Cesare Siepi as Gurnemanz

We rarely have heard the great Cesare Siepi in German opera. Here is act three of Parsifal from 1971 with Sandor Konya and Thomas Stewart. The conductor is Leopold Luwig. This is what we call "pure velvet." A great man!!!   (74 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal2_Siepi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

Tales of Hoffmann with Zeani, Part Two

Here is part Two of the Tales of Hoffmann from 1966, Geneva  (61 min.)

Direct download: Hoff.Zeani_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

Tales of Hoffmann from Geneva,Part One

Virginia Zeani sings the three Hoffmann heroines from a Geneva 1966 perf.  Her husband,Nicola Rossi-Lemeni sings the villains, and Jon Crain is the Hoffmann. (Part One-28 min.)

Direct download: Hoff.Zeani_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EDT

OTELLO, Covent Garden 1962

 A most exciting Otello from Covent Garden under Sir Georg Solti. Mario del Monaco,Tito Gobbi, and Raina Kabaiwanska are the featured artists, supported by Josephine Veasey and John Lanigan. 

(70 min.)

Direct download: Otello_Kab.2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

Rest in Peace, dear Charles Anthony

Maybe he did not want to use his name "Caruso," but those who loved him thought he EARNED IT!!!!!!!!

Bless his memory.!!!!!!

Anthony was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the child of immigrants from Sicily. He studied music at Loyola University New Orleans, where he studied under Dorothy Hulse, also the teacher of Audrey Schuh and Harry Theyard, from where he graduated in 1951. The tenor sang the role of the Messenger in Il trovatore, at the New Orleans Opera Association, in 1947. At the age of twenty-two, he auditioned under his birth name for the Metropolitan Opera's Auditions of the Air. He won the auditions, but Sir Rudolf Bing convinced him to drop his surname, saying that it would invite comparisons with Enrico Caruso.

[edit] At the Metropolitan

Anthony made his debut at the Metropolitan on March 6, 1954, playing the role of the Simpleton in Boris Godunov. Critics were impressed; The New York Times wrote, "Mr Anthony had better be careful. If he does other bit parts so vividly, he'll be stamped as a character singer for life." In the event, this proved true; although Anthony performed some larger roles early in his career (including Don Ottavio, to the Donna Anna of Herva Nelli, in Don Giovanni), he made his mark as a comprimario singer.

On February 17, 1992, following Act II of a performance of Puccini's Tosca, Anthony was honored in an onstage ceremony on the occasion of his breaking the record of George Cehanovsky for most appearances by an artist at the Metropolitan Opera. By the time of his retirement, Anthony had performed 2,928 times with the company, over fifty-six seasons.[2]

Anthony is an honorary member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) Local One in New York City.


Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm EDT

"My song goes round the world."

   In the words of that famous Josef Schmidt film, we are getting close to one million "songs" (downloads) and it is a great pleasure for me to spread the word and share with you the treasures that have enriched my life.

     When we reach a million, we will have to do something special.(Any ideas??). perhaps a Lady Gaga orJustin Bieber podcast.(For those in far-off lands, look them up on Wackypedia.).

         Thanks again for all your support.

                   As ever Carlo Magno (I just saw Ernani)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:48am EDT

The Great Cesare Siepi, Born 2/10/. 1923

GREATEST BASSO IN MY LIFE>>>Pure Velvet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

His international reputation was established in 1950, when Sir Rudolf Bing brought him to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to open the 1950 season as King Philip II in Don Carlo. He was to remain principal bass at the Met until 1974, adding roles such as Boris Godunov (in English) and Gurnemanz in Parsifal (in German), and singing all the major roles of the bass repertoire.

His debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was in 1950, and he appeared there regularly until the mid 1970s.

In 1953, Siepi debuted at the Salzburg Festival with a legendary production of Don Giovanni conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, staged by Herbert Graf, and designed by Clemens Holzmeister. He made an immediate impact in the title role of Don Giovanni which became perhaps his best known role, as it had been for the most famous Italian bass of the generation before, Ezio Pinza. This performance has been released on CD, and a 1954 mounting of this production was filmed in color and released in 1955.

Siepi was a frequent guest at the Vienna State Opera. In 43 performances he sang Don Giovanni, more often than any other singer in modern times except for Eberhard Wächter. In 1967 Siepi was Don Giovanni in a controversially received production staged by Otto Schenk and designed by Luciano Damiani that showed Mozart's masterpiece in the light of the commedia dell'arte, emphasizing the comic and ironic elements of this opera (conductor Josef Krips strongly opposed this production's concept). In Vienna he also sang Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Colline (La bohème), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino 1974 in a new production conducted by Riccardo Muti), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Méphistophélès (Faust), Filippo II (Don Carlos), and Ramphis (Aida). His final performance at Vienna was in Norma (Oroveso) at the Austria Center Vienna in 1994.

He was a particularly fine recital artist, especially in Community Concerts under Columbia Artist Management, and a sensitive interpreter of German Lieder. He married Met ballerina Luellen Sibley and they had two children.

Siepi enjoyed a long career, and performed regularly until the 1980s, including lead roles in the ill-fated Broadway musicals Bravo Giovanni and Carmelina. In addition to his studio recordings, there are also many live recordings of performances of his major roles.

Siepi's formal farewell to the operatic stage occurred at the Teatro Carani in Sassuolo on 21 April 1989. Indeed, Capon's List shows live recordings made as late as 1988.

Siepi's last studio recording was as the old King Archibaldo in RCA's 1976 taping of Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re, with Anna Moffo and Plácido Domingo in the cast.

Siepi died at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on July 5, 2010 after suffering a stroke more than a week earlier.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm EDT

Elektra with Astrid Varnay

A brilliant Elektra with Astrid Varnay, Leonie Rysanek, Hans Hotter, and Res Fischer from 1953 under Richard Kraus.   (71 min.)



She made her sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera on 6 December 1941 in a broadcast performance singing Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre, substituting for the indisposed Lotte Lehmann with almost no rehearsal. This was her first appearance in a leading role, and it was a triumph. Six days later she replaced the ailing Helen Traubel as Brünnhilde in the same opera. Varnay and Weigert became closer and were married in 1944. It was also at this time that she had lessons with former Metropolitan Opera tenor, Paul Althouse.

In 1948 she made her debut at Covent Garden and in 1951 in Florence as Lady Macbeth. In that year she also made her debut at Bayreuth after Flagstad, who had declined the invitation to Bayreuth, recommended that Wieland Wagner engage Varnay. She sang at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years, and appeared regularly at the Metropolitan until 1956.

She left when it was clear that the Met director Rudolf Bing did not appreciate her, and went on to become a mainstay of the world's other great opera houses, especially in Germany, in Wagner and Strauss but also several Verdi and other roles. She had already made Munich her home, where audiences considered her a goddess.

In 1969 she gave up her repertoire of heavy dramatic soprano roles and began a new career singing mezzo roles. After being the world's leading Elektra for over twenty years, she now established herself as a great interpreter of Klytemnestra. The role of Herodias in Salome became her most often-performed role: 236 performances. She returned to the Metropolitan in 1974 and last appeared there in Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in 1979.

In the mid-1980s, character roles now became Varnay's metier. Her last appearance on stage was in Munich in 1995, fifty-five years after her Metropolitan debut. In 1998 she published her autobiography Fifty-Five Years in Five Acts: My Life in Opera, written with Donald Arthur (German title is Hab'mir's gelobt).

In 2004, a documentary about her life and first New York career entitled Never before, produced by Donald Collup, who interviewed her, received acclaim in the USA. Her recordings of Strauss heroines such as Elektra and Salome along with the Wagnerian roles are among the treasures of the medium, while transcriptions of broadcast performances of her great roles document her art in sound, and a few video recordings of her late career preserve evidence of her acting ability. Astrid Varnay died in Munich on 4 September 2006, aged 88.

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

Rest in Peace, dear Camilla Williams

Camilla Williams, emerita professor of music

WilliamsThe NAACP's Roy Wilkins had asked her to sing a spiritual at the August 1963 civil rights rally in Washington, D.C. But Camilla Williams ended up singing The Star Spangled Banner as well.

Williams recalled that another singer on the program was caught in traffic, and Wilkins needed someone to sing the national anthem. (Contralto Marian Anderson was stuck in traffic.)

"I ran up all the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and was out of breath when I got to the microphone," she said. But she sang to the 200,000 gathered there and the next year, after King won the Nobel Peace Prize, she sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic for a gathering of dignitaries and friends of the civil rights leader. "I was honored to know Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta," she told the audience.

Williams was the first black singer on contract to appear with the New York City Opera. She premiered in 1946 as Cio Cio San in Madame Butterfly, and she was the IU School of Music's first black professor of voice.

   I spoke to her only recently...I am so sad...She was so kind and I reminded her she was my first ever Butterfly.Sadly, the racism in music prevented her from coming to the Met.  Bless her memory. (She was 92)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

My Memories of Renata Tebaldi

Ciao a tutti,


                 When we gathered outside the Met stage door on Feb.1, 1956, after Tebaldi's debut as Desdemona (we lost our voices for weeks), we were unaware that it was her 34th birthday. As usual, she signed every program in the freezing cold, and that was our first encounter with the lady who made our lives so happy, on and off stage. She would be 90 this day, and let me remember some of my personal tales of this beloved lady:
                   Those of us who heard her live do not believe that there was EVER any soprano who combined a phenomenally gorgeous quality and  Brunnhilde-like volume. Imagine a Gioconda duet withe two of them..get the earplugs!
                    I am following this with a few anecdotes from my personal experience, just to give you a more personal view of her personality:


    1. She did not like to fly,  and one Tuesday night, when she was off to sing in Philadelphia (The Met went there regularly), we were seeing off and she was standing in the last (open) car of the train;the baggage handler opened the door and she said, "Spoletta,chiudi!"
     2. She did another Tosca thing at one of our huge hotel parties, as she cut the cake, waving the knife with a hearty, "Questo e il bacio di Tosca."
     3. Every Met  Tebaldi evening ended with us nutcases chasing the limo up 40th Street and her yelling "Ciao" out the window.Once I did not notice a fire plug and almost became the world's last castrato.
   4.   As she came out at Carnegie (Bell Tel.Hr.) for the "Inflammatus" in 1955, she saw the "gang" in the first row, winked down at us and then launched into that great piece. We felt she was performing it for us. I do not think I ever really lost that "groupie mentality."


    5. After my dad died, I took my mom, a former Follies girl, to see her in Traviata.She took mom's hand backstage, and every time I saw her years after, she always asked, "Com'e la mamma?"
              Well,basta for all that....Just remember how thrilling it was for teens to find themselves close with a lady who filled the hearts of opera lovers everywhere with her great voice and her undying love. (Ooops..I almost wet the keyboard.).


                               On your 90th,dear Renata, thanks for all you were in life to so many who will never forget you.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Renata Tebaldi's 90th Birthday Tribute

   Here are arias and scenes from earlier Tebaldi performances, commercial and live. Included are: Boheme,Butterfly, Adriana, Louise, Giovanna D'Arco, Andrea Chenier,The Verdi Requiem and also a "Vissi d'arte' as sung by her teacher, Carmen Melis.   (68 min.).

      May my darling Renata never be forgotten!

Direct download: Tebaldi_90th.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT


 She said, "Dammi il braccio,mio piccinO" and I,knowing Boheme at 19 (with hair), responded, "Obbedisco,SignorA."   SNAP!!!!! This photo will forver remain in my heart.


Direct download: Renata_and_I.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT


More Great Music

February 2012
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29