Young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu (Met Traviata this coming season) sounds beautiful..Funny..he just did COSI..where an Albanian is disguised as an Albanian...!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

July 27, 1915. Mario was the first singer i ever saw (Aida) when I was 15.My first impression was a set of white teeth coming toward me before "Celeste Aida." He gave 1000% of himself and we miss this brand of singing!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:09pm EDT

Anyone who has been living on another planet and never saw Mari Lyn can "enjoy" this example of her great art. Note that the Act Four letter is a perfect example of verismo Italian. Before I showed this to Diana Soviero, I told her, "You will never see anything like this." She replied, "Oh,maybe she can study with me!" Then I played Mari and Diana almost fell off my couch!!!!

     We love Mari Lyn and if you go to Youtube you will be able to sample  more of her great art, but keep small children and animals away from the screen, lest they become traumatized forever. NOTE: Great Italian translations!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Turandot from La Scala, 1964

There is just nothing that compares to  Nilsson/Corelli in Turandot. I saw several and as I say "the applause and cheers never stopped in 50 years." This is from 1964 La Scala under Gianandrea Gavazzeni with Gallina Vishnevskaya and Nicola Zaccaria. ( 71 min.)

Direct download: Turandot_Scala_1964.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

La Rondine with Virginia Zeani

A tender performance of Puccini's "La Rondine" with Virginia Zeani, Luciano Saldari, Gabriella Ravazzi, Angelo Marchiandi (Prunier), and Angelo Romero (Rambaldo.) This is from Lucca in 1971 under Nino Verchi.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Rondine_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Olivia Stapp in Cavalleria Rusticana

Another  of my "diva buddies," Olivia Stapp, mezzo-turned-soprano, in a Cavalleria from 1978, with Giorgio Merighi and Matteo Manuguerra, under Riccardo Chailly. You know by now that I try to introduce people to singers who did not make 100 recordings!!!!  (65 min.)

Direct download: Cav_Stapp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

  The new Opera News features bios of young artists, and one is the magnificent Latonia Moore, who stepped in last year and made her Met debut as Aida on the broadcast. She brought down the house at Carnegie in Puccini's "Edgar" two years ago, and just go to Youtube to sample more of her art, and remember that I have heard them all!  ((I even dated Melba.)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

   Even in 1973 we can tell what a fabulous voice this was. "Pippo" was born on July 24, 1921 and as I have stated many times, he destroyed a fabulous voice by singing heavier repertory and forgetting what a passaggio is. However, perhaps in the history of tenor singing, he would rank way up there for an incredibly gorgeous natural voice.  Rest in Peace!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

  My darling "big sister," Virginia Zeani, one of the greatest sopranos...70 plus roles...and a legend!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:38am EDT

  Piotr is much more than a "singer." He has the depth of emotion, the love of the vocal line, and all the elements that constitute great singing!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

  Susan Graham, one of opera's finest artists, celebrates her birthday on July23. Here is Mme.Graham in a scene from a modern production of Ariadne. Happy birthday to a great star!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

 Diana Soviero in a scene from Act Two of mme.Butterfly. She combines the great voice with the kind of emotion of a Muzio, a Zeani, an Albanese. Enjoy!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

Luisa Miller from Turino

An exciting Luisa Miller featuring the young Jose Carreras and the young Katia Ricciarelli from Turino in the 1970's. The conductor is Fernando Previtali and the great Renato Bruson is Miller. Count Walter is sung by Mario Rinaudo and Federica is sung by Stella Silva. (72 min.)

Direct download: Luisa_Miller_Turino.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

Il Trittico with Beverly Sills

From 1967, the only time Beverly Sills sang the Puccini Trittico. In Tabarro she is joined by a young Placido Domingo and Seymour Schwartzman; in Suor Angelica the wonderful Frances Bible is the Principessa.(Another superb artist who never got to the Met);In Gianni Schicchi we hear Norman Treigle,one of the greatest singers I ever heard, and Salvator Novoa. Julius Rudel is the conductor.

Even in 1967, there were decent tape recorders to preserve performances like this and we must be grateful to whomever recorded the one Sills Trittico.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Sills_Trittico.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT

Licia Albanese, a living legend, turns 103 on July 22, 2012. Last time we met, I walked (slowly) with her (she is tiny) and reminded her of how I loved her Boheme with Gigli. I don't meet legends every day!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

   "Novun can compare vith me,you know!!"  (and she vas right!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

Zinka Milanov in Song

  My most beloved favorite singer, Zinka Milanov, sings songs by Strauss,Schumann, Giordani,Bozidar Kunc (her brother and accompanist), Brahms, Hageman ,Bersa, and Pavcic.These are from 1955; following these are six Croatian songs, recorded in 1943.

  As a bonus, we hear the incredible rendition of the Trovatore aria, "D'amor sull'ali rosee," which got me hooked on Zinka at around age 14. I know you will enjoy these selections. (70 min.)

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

What can I tell you??? The Wagner grandaughters are directing these new productions of poor Richard, who might be revived and say, "Gee, I never thought of that!!" As I say, on a certain "level"  (Twilight Zone??), the productions are entertaining, although I need someone to tell me what is going on and why???? I leave it to you to enjoy these productions in some way or totally get sick.  Have fun!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

Don Carlo with Eleanor Steber

In loving tribute to Eleanor Steber, one of opera's finest artists, I present a 1955 Don Carlo with Steber (Born July 17, 1914) and featuring Richard Tucker, Ettore Bastianini, Blanche Thebom, and Jerome Hines, under the direction of Kurt Adler  (72 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Steber.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

  I just realized that to see past podcasts,you look at the calendar on the right, and click on a date that is in blue. Otherwise you can scroll down only to a limited number of posts. I do hope you enjoy the new videos (even me)..Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT

 The magnificent Eleanor Steber was born on July 17, 1914. The performances I saw with her were unforgettable. Here is but one sample and I hope you think of her as affectionately as I do.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

  If I may, here is my Alvise with Jennifer Zarchy as Laura. It was a few years ago. I am NOT a bass, but considering I cannot read music..not too bad. If you want me to delete myself, let me know. If you are nice to me, I may someday put up my Monterone..Minestrone..MELITONE...  BE KIND!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT

 See how nice it is to give you a video sample after an audio podcast???? I hope you enjoy it and can hear that fabulous middle voice of Di Stefano (1975, Tokyo.)  Enjoy!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm EDT

Pippo sings Puccini

  Here are early recordings by the great Giuseppe "Pippo" Di Stefano from various Puccini operas, live and commercial. You know how angry I become when i hear how phenomenal he sounded and how he just let it all deteriorate. However, aside from that, this is glorious singing.  (65 min.)

Direct download: Di_Stefano_Puccini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm EDT

  Next year the Met sets their Rigoletto in 1960 La Vegas.( may be Frank Sinatra), so you see this stuff is coming over the ocean. I do not say it is not "fun" on one level, but do you approve of this new kind of "interpretation?" If you turned the sound off, could you recognize the opera????

Category:general -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

COME T'AMO!!!!!!

OK...This is all for tonight, but I had to practice doing this. I have heard Zinka's "note" 1000 times plus, and i still cannot believe it!!!!!

                                                         (I once had hair)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

 Before I fully matured (like now), I made up a scream tape to be played at parties. If you can guess most of them I will give you all my Andrea Bocelli tapes.  Have fun..but keep little kids and animals away when you play this!!!

                                          Addio, senza rancor.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT


Hello all,

     Many of us have known individuals who have changed our lives for the better, and, as we note on this site, I can be of some benefit to others, as a result of my buddy,James Jorden (La Cieca) helping me to create a site where opera lovers around the world can enjoy the great treasures that opera holds. 

     Today Mr.Jorden (in photo) helped me to add two new features. One is the ability to post videos directly from Youtube, and the other is to set up a hyperlink, so that on occasion you click a URL and go directly to other videos.  I hope this adds to your enjoyment of these podcasts, and if you have any special comments or requests, write me at

                                                My best


Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

The great Nicolai Gedda.

  NOTE: I now can put videos on this site!!!  Aren't you happy????????????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT

In memory of the late Charles Anthony, on his birthday, July 15, here is a sample of one of his master classes.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm EDT

Carlo Bergonzi sings his farewell at Carnegie Hall.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

Falstaff Rehearsals under Toscanini

From 1950, I bring you some rehearsal excerpts from Falstaff Act 2 under the great Arturo Toscanini. The cast includes Giuseppe Valdengo,Frank Guarrera,Theresa Stich-Randall, Cloe Elmo, Nan Merriman, Virgilio Assandri, and Norman Scott   (62 min.)

Direct download: Falstaff_Tosc.Reh.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

Magda Olivero sing Poulenc, etc.

The beloved Magda Olivero, now 102 years young, sings first Poulenc's "La Voix Humaine" from 1970 in Venice under Nicola Rescigno. This will be followed by a series of Ave Marias from several years:

Schubert( 1978), Bracesso ( 1979), Luzzi (1981), Saint-Saens (1985), and Leoncavallo ( 1987). The podcast concludes with a special arrangement,in 1994 (she was only 84), of an Ave Maria that is based on the Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo.  (72 min.) 

Magda is one of the great miracles of opera and when I speak to her every birthday and when friends of mine visit her in Milan, she speaks that gorgeous "Verism0" Italian, and is even more lucid than I am.

Magda Olivero (née Maria Maddalena Olivero, 25 March 1910) is a soprano of the verismo-school of singing. She was born in Saluzzo, Italy.

Olivero made her operatic debut in 1932 on Turin radio in Nino Cattozzo's (1886–1961) oratorio I misteri dolorosi.[1] She performed widely and increasingly successfully until 1941, when she married and retired from performing. She returned to the stage ten years later, at the request of Francesco Cilea, who asked her to sing the title role in his opera Adriana Lecouvreur.[2][3]

From 1951 until her final retirement, Olivero sang in opera houses around the world. Among her most renowned interpretations were the leading parts in Adriana Lecouvreur, Iris, Fedora, La bohème, La fanciulla del West, La traviata, La Wally, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Mefistofele, and Turandot (as Liù.)

She sang in Cherubini's Médée in Dallas in 1967 and in Kansas City in 1968.[4] In 1975, already an international star for four decades, she made her début at the Metropolitan Opera House in Tosca. Her last performances on stage were in March 1981 in the one-woman opera, La voix humaine by Poulenc.[5] Thus, her stage career ended at age 71 and spanned nearly 50 years. She continued to sing church music locally and, well into her eighties, made a recording of several arias. Recordings exist of many of her great performances of both full operas and arias and scenes.

Among her studio recordings are Turandot (as Liù, with Gina Cigna, for Cetra, 1938), Fedora (with Mario Del Monaco and Tito Gobbi, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli, for Decca, 1969) and highlights from Francesca da Rimini (with Del Monaco, conducted by Nicola Rescigno, for Decca, 1969). In 1993, she recorded, with piano accompaniment, Adriana Lecouvreur (with Marta Moretto as the Princesse de Bouillon); excerpts from this recording were published on the Bongiovanni label. At age 86, she performed Adriana's monologue in Jan Schmidt-Garre's film Opera Fanatic. She made occasional singing appearances into her nineties. Olivero celebrated her 102nd birthday on 25 March 2012.

Direct download: Olivero_Voix-Aves.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

For Carlo Bergonzi at 88!!  ERNANI

 In honor of the 88th birthday (July 13, 2012) of the great Carlo Bergonzi, one of the greatest singers of all-time, I present a 1962 Ernani with Leontyne Price, Cornell MacNeil, and Giorgio Tozzi, under Thomas Schippers. I could entitle Bergonzi's long career as "How to sing!!   68 min.

Direct download: Ernani_Bergonzi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48am EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana w.Elizabeth Rethberg

 From 1937, I bring you a Cavalleria Rusticana under Gennaro Papi, featuring the legendary Elizabeth Rethberg, Sydney Rayner, Carlo Morelli, Anna Kaskas (Mamma Lucia), and Irra Petina (Lola.). This is followed by commercial recordings of "Vissi d'arte" and "O Patria mia."  What a great artist she was!    (70 min.)

Direct download: Cavall.Reth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:02pm EDT

I Puritani With Virginia Zeani

  I never get to hear my own collection, so,for a change, I decided to listen to this wonderful 1957 Trieste Puritani under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli with Virginia Zeani, Mario Filippeschi, Aldo Protti, and Andrea Mongelli.

    I was "weaned" on those old Cetra operas with Filippeschi in some of them, and despite a voice that is not gorgeous, it sounds like ten trumpets. Virginia said it was not that big, but the top was sensational. I also add as a bonus, Elvira's aria and cabaletta from a 1956 Florence Puritani with Virginia.  Have fun!!  (72 min.)

Direct download: Puritani_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

Kirsten Flagstad in Die Walkure on her birthday, 2012.

  The miraculous Kirsten Flagstad, born July 11, 1895, is heard in her debut as Sieglinde with Paul Althouse (1935) and then in a scene from 1937 with Marjorie Lawrence as Brunnhilde in act three. Both are conducted by Arthur Bodansky. We then move to her Brunnhilde in 1940, with Lawrence as the Sieglinde, Lauritz Melchior and Julius Huehn, under Erich Leinsdorf.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Flagstad_Walk.Birth.2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Ebe Stignani, Born July 11, 1903..The GREATEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have played you a lot of my all-time favorite mezzo,Ebe Stignani.Here on her July 11 birthday, is some info.on her great career. Much adored in opera circles.

Born in Naples in 1903[1] (some sources cite her year of birth as 1904[2]), Ebe Stignani studied music for five years at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples, including piano and composition as well as singing. The date of her singing début is usually said to have been in 1925 at the San Carlo opera house in Naples, in the role of Amneris in Verdi's Aida, but there is evidence that she may have sung a number of roles in the previous year. In 1926, she was invited to La Scala Milan by Arturo Toscanini to sing the part of Princess Eboli in Verdi's Don Carlo, and Milan continued to be a principal stage for her during the rest of her career. She sang all of the major Italian mezzo-soprano roles, but also tackled Wagner's Ortrud (Lohengrin) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde), and Saint-Saëns's Dalila (Samson et Dalila) conducted by Victor de Sabata.

She appeared with the San Francisco Opera in 1938 and again in 1948 but never at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She toured extensively in North America in the years after World War II. Her first appearance at Covent Garden was in 1937, as Amneris, and she returned to London a number of times, notably in the role of Adalgisa in partnership with Maria Callas's Norma in 1952 and 1957. In the second of the two 1957 performances the thunderous and sustained applause after the duet Mira O Norma led conductor John Pritchard to encore that last part, apparently the only time she ever sang an encore in opera in her career. She also appeared frequently in South America, including the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and in many other European cities outside Italy including Paris, Madrid, and Berlin (where she sang in 1933, 1937 and 1941). Among the new roles which she created during her career were Cathos in Felice Lattuada's Le preziose ridicole (1929), and La Voce in Respighi's Lucrezia (1937).

She retired from the stage in 1958 after appearances in London (as Azucena) and in Dublin (as Amneris). Thereafter, she lived quietly in retirement at her home in Imola. She had married in 1941 and given birth to a son in 1944.

Stignani's voice was large and rich in tone, if sometimes hard-edged, and evenly balanced throughout its considerable range (extending from a low F to a high C). It had sufficient flexibility for her to undertake such roles as Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, but it was in noble, dramatic parts that she was heard to greatest effect. Critics often referred to the grandeur of her performances. By her own account, she was short and plump, and she admitted her shortcomings as an actress, but she achieved dramatic power and characterization through the quality of her voice and technique. She knew her priorities: speaking to Lanfranco Rasponi, she said, "I was given a magnificent gift, and in a way I am like a priestess, for I feel that it is my responsibility to keep the flame lit in the best possible manner... I am Stignani because of my voice". She was highly disciplined in her choice of roles and in the number of appearances she made, refusing to take assignments which she felt were not right for her voice, and this no doubt contributed to the longevity of her career at the highest level.

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


 In celebration of the 87th birthday of the remarkable Nicolai Gedda,on July 11, 2012, I present a Boheme with Scotto,Guarrera,Boky,Flagello, and Goodloe completing the excellent cast under Henry Lewis from 1972. Gedda has been one of the great operatic ICONS and is beloved in the music world for his artistry, musicianship, versatility, and of course that fabulous voice. (72 min.)

  I have added the last act aria from William Tell on the commercial recording as a bonus. (Count the high C's!!)


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

Aida From Mexico, 1950

 One of the legendary Maria Callas Mexico performances.This is Aida under Guido Picco from 1950. She is joined by Giulietta Simionato, Robert Weede, and our dear buddy Kurt Baum (well, if you had to see him as much as we did,you would probably agree that he was no Tucker,Corelli, or Del Monaco...and I do not want to hear that "today he would be famous".Nicola Moscona as Ramfis and Ignacio Ruffino as the King complete the cast.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Aida_Mex.1950.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

Simone Boccanegra, 1960

 A stellar cast in this 1960 Simone Boccanegra under Dimitri Mitropolous, featuring Frank Guarrera,Zinka Milanov, Carlo Bergonzi, Giorgio Tozzi, and Ezio Flagello. (73 min.). Yes, I was there and the show was unforgettable!!!!

Direct download: Boccanegra_1960.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

Dorothy Kirsten's Birthday,2012

  She sang magnificently into her 70's  ( as we discovered after her passing), we offer a July 6, birthday tribute to her. (1910-1992). Included are Gershwin songs (She knew how to sing pop, a rarity among opera divas), arias/scenes from La Rondine,Gianni Schicchi, Tosca, and Thais (with Robert Merrill), and some Louise scenes with Norman Treigle. We also include some Butterfly scenes when she was almost 65, with Russell Christopher and Nedda Casei. Kirsten was one of our finest American artists and we treasure her memory.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Kirsten_Birth.2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:57pm EDT


  Hello all,

      Every time I read the stats and see what interest you have in these podcasts,I am truly happy I can contribute to your pleasure. After all, I was turned on to opera by others, and so I am thankful to them that I can return the favor to you. I thank you again for all your sincere interest.

                                                As ever,

                                                     Carlo Magno, traditore(???)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

Macbeth, 1847 Version

 Scenes from the 1847 version of Verdi's Macbeth, from Royal Al;bert Hall in London, 1978 under John Matheson. The wonderful Rita Hunter, one of my favorite artists is the Lady Macbeth, with Peter Glossop, Jenneth Collins, and Richard Greager (Malcolm.) I did not include John Tomlinson,who played Banquo, in these scenes.  (68 min)

One of the beautiful elements of this podcast site is to behold the incredible number of countries that participate. When I listened back to my dialogue, dopey Charlie spoke of July 4th as if it were a "global" holiday. I apologize, since each country has its own special day. I think the excessive New York heat got to me.(if that is a good excuse)

Direct download: Macbeth_1847.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Caballe sings Donizetti

Scenes from two operas that featured Montserrat Caballe at her greatest!  First we have Maria Stuarda from Barcelona, 1969 under Reynald Giovaninetti, with Ina Delcampo,Pierre Duval, and John Darrenkamp, followed by a New York 1965 Roberto Devereux under Carlo Felice Cillario, with Lili Chookasian, Juan Oncina, Walter Alberti, and Ted Lambrinos. You will need a watch with a second hand at times to count how incredible is her breath control, especially in the Stuarda act two prayer.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Cab.Stu-Dever..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

La Fille du Reggiment, 1973

  The glorious 1973 Fille du Reggiment under Richard Bonynge with the great Joan Sutherland, Luciano (9 high C's) Pavarotti, and Regina Resnik.  Fernando Corena and Jean Kraft complete the cast, which brought audiences to their FEET!!!!   (68 min.)

Direct download: Fille_Suth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Fedora from Montreal

   Another example of the great singing and emotional delivery of Diana Soviero in this 1995 Montreal performance of Giordano's Fedora,under Alfredo Silipigni. Ermanno Mauro and Gaetan Leperriere complete the cast, and I am sure you will enjoy it.  (71 min.)

P.S. Again, I thank you for your interest. At this rate,we may reach TWO million downloads before Domingo retires. (probably more like five million.)

Direct download: Fedora_Soviero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16am EDT


More Great Music

July 2012
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