Maria Callas in I Puritani

Another of the great Callas Mexico performances,a Puritani under Guido Picco from 1952. Although the sound is not the greatest, we can judge how phenomenal Callas was in those historic Mexico performances. The cast includes Giuseppe Di Stefano, Piero Campolonghi, and Roberto Silva. (72 min.)

Direct download: Callas_Purit..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40am EDT

A Superb Mefistofele from 1965

   This wonderful work is performed by the Chicago Opera, 1965, under  Nino Sanzogno, and features Nicolai Ghiaurov,Renata Tebaldi, Alfredo Kraus, and Elena Suliotis.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Mef.Ghiaurov.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Celebrating Astrid Varnay on her birthday

The great Astrid Varnay was born on April 25, 1918. Let us celebrate the memory of this legendary soprano with highlights from her illustrious career. All selections are from the 1950's and they include scenes from Parsifal, Tannhauser (Venus and Elizabeth),Tristan und Isolde, Flying Dutchman (with Hans Hotter),Elektra (w.Hoengen and Schoeffler, and concluding with the Gotterdmaerung Immolation Scene.  (68 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, 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.

Selected recordings

Direct download: Varnay_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

Some of the best!!

12 selections featuring live performances by some of opera's greatest singers.Included are:

Renata Tebaldi,Leonie Rysanek,Leontyne Price, Zinka Milanov, Eleanor Steber, Birgit Nilsson, Kiri Te Kanawa,Kirsten Flagstad, Hilde Gueden, Judith Blegen, Renata Scotto, Tatiana Troyanos, Placido Domingo, Jon Vickers, Luciano Pavarotti, Franco Corelli, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Lauritz Melchior  (70 min.)

Direct download: Met_125.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

Die Meistersinger from Vienna, 1955

Scenes from a wonderful 1955 Meistersinger under Fritz Reiner. The cast includes Paul Schoeffler, Irmgard Seefried, Gottlob Frick, Hans Beirer, and Erich Kunz.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Meist.1955.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Walkure from Buenos Aires 1940, act Three

Act Three of the aforementioned Buenos Aires 1940 Walkure. (57 min.)

Direct download: Walk.B.A.-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

Die Walkure from Buenos Aires, Part One.

Highlights from acts and ond two from a historical 1940 Buenos Aires Walkure under Erich Kleiber. The cast includes Marjorie Lawrence, Irene Jessner, Rene Maison, Herbert Janssen, Emanuel List, and,in a rare early performance of Fricka near the start of her illustrious career, Rise Stevens as Fricka. ( 71 min. )

Direct download: Walk.B.A.-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Giulietta in Favorita

EXCITING STUFF!   Naples, 1963 Favorita under Fernando Previtali, with Giulietta Simionato, Gianni Raimondi, Mario Zanasi, and Nicola Zaccaria.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Fav.Simionato.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

In Memory of Leonard Warren

Leonard Warren was born on April 21, 1911. He was a sensational singer, up to the moment,on March 4, 1960 that he died on stage before our eyes. I present this 1945 Rigoletto in his memory.

  The cast also includes Jussi Bjoerling, Bidu Sayao, and William Hargrave, conducted by Cesare Sodero.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Warren_1945_Rig..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

The Opera Debut of the Great Astrid Varnay

 A fascinating event, as the great soprano Astrid Varnay makes her Met debut as Sieglinde,replacing Lotte Lehmann, on the Dec.6 Walkure broadcast...her Met debut, (with no rehearsals) AND the first time she EVER sang on ANY stage. This must go down in opera history as one of the great events.

   In the cast are Lauritz Melchior,Helen Traubel,Friedrich Schorr, and Alexander Kipnis, under Erich Leinsdorf. (68 min.)

  I must also make mention of  Donald Collup,former singer and pianist, who interviewed Mme.Varnay in her later years, and produced a magnificent  documentary of her  fabulous career. Mr.Collup's fascinating home page can be found at: I must also mention that his remarkable collection can be found at his store at:

Direct download: Varnay_Debut.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

 Die Piraten!!!!

  Gilbert und Sullivan in DEUTSCH?????   Why not??? It features my beloived Martha Moedl, the late great Arlene Auger, Gerd Nienstedt,Alexander Malta, and tenor Peter Bahrig.   This is from 1968 WDR radio. The conductor is Franz Marszalek. (60 min.)

    It's hard enough to sing "patter" in English....well, this should be fun!!!!

Direct download: Piraten.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27am EDT


Geee.It is "Aprile in Aprile."  Happy birthday, April 14, to a dear lady and great singer. She is a sweetheart and I have always felt she was a kind of "spirit" for me personally since we first met.

                          Love from Charlie

Aprile Millo was born on April 14, 1958, in New York City. She was the daughter of Margherita Ghirosi and tenor Giovanni Millo, the first American hired by La Scala after World War II. She developed an early interest in music, and after graduating from high school in 1977, she was chosen to be one of the first eight apprentices at the San Diego Opera Center. A string of vocal awards followed, including the Geraldine Farrar Award, the Montserrat Caballé Award in Barcelona, and first prize in the Concorso Internazionale di Voci Verdiane in Bussetto, Italy.

Upon her return to the United States, Millo joined the Utah Opera Company in Salt Lake City. It was in Salt Lake City that she made her professional stage debut with the Utah Opera in the title role of Verdi's Aïda in 1980. The following year, she travelled to New York to attend the Metropolitan Opera's open-call auditions, where she was invited to take part in the company's Young Artists Development Program. The next several years were spent learning roles, refining her acting style, and perfecting her vocal technique. During this time, she made her La Scala debut replacing Mirella Freni as Elvira in Ernani on January 4, 1983.

In 1984, Aprile Millo was signed to a three-year contract by the Met that called for her to work primarily as an understudy. On December 3, 1984, she made her Metropolitan debut replacing Anna Tomowa-Sintow as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, which critics described as "a blazing success". Three weeks later, on December 22, she performed the same role in her originally scheduled Met debut. The next year, in 1985, Millo took first prize in the Richard Tucker Competition.

On January 19, 1986, Millo made her Carnegie Hall debut in a concert version of Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima Crociata. That year, she also achieved success in the role of Aïda, singing the role in New York, as well as all over Europe and South America. It was as Aïda that she opened the 1989-90 Met season in an Emmy-winning production that was also telecast internationally.

During her career, Millo has made several recordings, including a debut CD of Verdi arias called Presenting Aprile Millo which was released by Angel Records in 1986. She also recorded the singing voice for Elisabeth Taylor in Zeffirelli's film, "The Young Toscanini". She has an extensive Met repertoire, including the Verdi heroines she is famous for (including Desdemona, Luisa Miller, Leonora in Il Trovatore) as well as some Puccini roles, including Liù in Turandot and as Tosca, a role she sang at the Met in the 98/99 season.

Go to my Soprano Bios

Category:general -- posted at: 12:17am EDT

Un Ballo in Maschera w.Ljuba Welitsch

The marvelous Ljuba Welitsch as Amelia in Ballo from 1949 Edinbugh under Vittorio Gui. The cast includes Mirto Picchi, Alda Noni, Paolo Silveri, Jean Watson.(Ulrica), Ian Wallace (Sam), and Hervey Alan (Tom).    (65 min.)

Direct download: Ballo_Wel..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

Farewelll,my Zinka

    Zinka's sad farewell,on Apr.13, 1966, was the 88th and last time I heard that incredible voice live...but it will always be with me...forever. You know that when you are a teen and are turned on to a special artist,entertainer,sports figure,etc...that stays with you all your life.

    The greatest voice I ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo:  Booohooo.I was once cute!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

Barbro Ericson

The superb mezzo from Sweden, land of fabulous artists, Barbro Ericson, in selections from the Verdi Requiem,Don Carlo, Ballo, Pique Dame, Boris, Aida, Das Rheingold, Lohengrin, and Saul and David. (68 min.)

Barbro Ericson Hederén Helen Augusta, born April 2 1930 in Halmstad , is a Swedish opera singer ( mezzo-soprano and alto ).

Ericson was educated at the College of Music and Opera School in Stockholm . After debuting at the Opera in 1956 she was employed there in 1958 . She came to portray over 100 roles, mainly in the major mezzo roles in works by Wagner , Verdi and Strauss . She has also made ​​more modern roles such as Mother Goose and Baba in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress , Mescalina in Ligeti's The Great bern wife , Marie in Berg's Wozzeck , and Madame de Croissy in Poulenc's Karmelitsystrarna . Ericsson has also appeared in several scenes in foreign countries such as Bayreuth , Salzburg , Metropolitan , Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, La Scala and Covent Garden .

Her records span from Gluck's Orpheus to Carmen and the high soprano role of Santuzza in Mascagnis In Sicily . Two of her biggest successes was in 1975 as Amman in Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten and previously as Klyteimnestra the same composer's Elektra .

Ericson was awarded a scholarship from the Set Svaneholms Memorial Fund in 1967 . She was appointed to the Royal Court Singer in 1968 and received Litteris et Artibus 1978th

Direct download: Ericson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

Rest in Peace, Lili Chookasian

So sorry to hear of the passing of a great singer. Rest in Peace,beloved lady!!!

Lili Chookasian (born August 1, 1921; died April 9, 2012) is an American contralto who has appeared with many of the world's major symphony orchestras and opera houses. She began her career in the 1940s as a concert singer but did not draw wider acclaim until she began singing opera in her late thirties. She arose as one of the world's leading contraltos during the 1960s and 1970s, and notably had a long and celebrated career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1962 through 1986. She was admired for her sonorous, focused tone as well as her excellent musicianship. She often chose, against tradition, to sing oratorios from memory.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Manon from 1969, La Scala

Never mind the "wrong language." I adore French, but Freni and Pavarotti are in such glorious form, I had to do this one. Rolando Panerai is Lescaut,Antonio Zerbini is the Count, and Franco Ricciardi is De Bretigny. Conducted by Peter Maag. (71 min.)

Direct download: Manon_Pav.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:55pm EDT


  What more can we say,as we remember Franco's birthday,on April 8, 1921! I saw him 40 times, and although there were times we wanted to shoot him (well,married to Loretta was not easy), he was ADORED!!!!!     God bless him forever!!

With a rich and ringing spinto tenor voice and movie-star good looks, Corelli won a wide public following from early on his career. However, while the public was enthralled with the tenor, music critics were divided, with some complaining about what they perceived as self-indulgence of phrasing and expression. During the 1960s the anti-Corelli sentiment among critics was epitomized by Alan Rich of the The New York Herald Tribune in a 1966 article which, while acknowledged the vibrancy and white heat of his singing, considered Corelli a throwback to an earlier era when, from Mr. Rich's perspective, musical compromises were common and stylistic refinement lacking. Rich said that, Corelli is "not employed by an opera, but employs it to serve purposes it was not meant to serve."[2] Also, many critics did not look favourably on his performances in French opera, owing to the tenor’s exotic French diction and style.[1] However, Corelli also had his admirers among several highly respected and notable critics, including Harold C. Schonberg of The New York Times, who once defended the expressive liberties taken by Corelli as possessing "its own kind of logic".[2]

Category:general -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana en Francais

An interesting  1934 recording of Cavalleria Rusticana in French,under Gustave Cloez. In the cast are Germaine Cernay, Gaston Micheletti, and Arthur Endreze, with Cernay singing also arias from Le Cid and Samson et Delilah.  (52 min.)

Born: April 28, 1900 - Le Havre, France
Died: 1943 - Paris, France

The French mezzo-soprano, Germaine Cernay (born: Pointu), studied piano and solfeggio when still a child. She joined the Conservatoire of Paris taking singing lessons with Albers and Engel.

Germaine Cernay she made her debut in 1925 at the Paris Opéra as Euryclée in Fauré’s Pénélope but she eventually appeared most of her career at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart), where she made her debut in 1927 in Alfano’s Risurrezione opposite Mary Garden. After a number of small parts she sang roles such as Mallika (Lakmé), Suzuki, Mignon, Geneviève, Carmen and Charlotte, among many others. She was also a star at the La Monnaie of Brussels and at a number of provincial French opera houses. She toured North Africa, England, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. In a broadcast she tried to sing Mélisande (a soprano role). Without neglecting the stage, her mind continuosly changed to sing melodies and oratorios. She was a famous interpreter of Bach. Germaine believed deeply in God and intended to spend her life in a cloister, but she died before having fulfilled her wish.

Direct download: Cavall.French.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT


Decca,Phillips, and DGG put out a special commemorative cd set for the Verdi year,remembering the great man's death in 1901. How could anyone accomplish what he did?????

 I announce all selections and casts and I know you will enjoy the variety. (67 min.)

Direct download: Verdi_Commem..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EDT

Medea in Corinto

Giovanni Simone Mayr's rarely heard "Medea in Corinto" under Newell Jenkins.

The Medea is Marisa Galvany (play the high E natural 10 times),Joan Patenaude-Yarnell as Creusa, Allen Cathcart as Jason, Robert White as Aegeus, Thomas Palmer as Creonte, and Molly Stark as Ismene.  (72 min.)

(Our photo from the live perf. Galvany is the one with the makeup.)

Direct download: Corinto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

Parsifal Act 3 for Good Friday

An almost complete Act 3 1956 Parsifal from Rome under Eugen Jochum, with Wolfgang Windgassen, Ferdinand Frantz, and Ludwig Weber (my personal favorite Gurnemanz.)  (61 min.)

Direct download: Pars.1956.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm EDT

Lauritz Melchior in Wagner

In London in 1926 and 1929, the phenomenal Lauritz Melchior made some recordings under the direction of Albert Coates. I know you will agree with most critics that Melchior was a "one-of-a-kind" artist. He sings the Tannhauser Rome Narrative, and then scenes from Siegfried with Rudolf Bockelman, Albert Reiss, and Norah Gruhn as the Forest Bird.   (58 min.)

   ...and speaking of a "one-of-a-kind Wagner singer, I have seen a few Wagnerian tenors who surely were "one-of-a-kind".....but I won't mention their names.

Direct download: Melchior_Coates.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


One million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Send me all names and address and I will send you as a gift, Justin Bieber and Sarah Palin in the new Ring DVD which was just released on the  AIUTO.....SOCCORSO>>>>>>HILFE!!!!! label.

Now,Charlie...Is that nice???????????????????????????????

Sorry..It is 2 A.M. NY Time.....I have had some depression lately..and you brought me out of I do not have to call Anna Netrebko to come over.

Look...I am not perfect...I would admit my faults .....if I had any........

Category:general -- posted at: 1:43am EDT


More Great Music

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