We miss the late Cornell MacNeil.He had the HUGEST baritone voice I ever heard,even bigger than Warren. This is an Example of how he ROCKED the Met!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT

For Renata's birthday on Feb.1, I present an example of the most phenomenal voice imaginable..A Wagner-like sound,with the greatest beauty you can imagine...and as lovable offstage as anyone could be. More coming!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:06pm EDT

 Even if you are not Italian, you will enjoy (?) Mari Lyn's wonderful Trovatore aria. (with interesting titles.)  Be warned!  I do not advise eating or drinking before watching this.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:57am EDT

   I have just been in contact with Met head Peter Gelb, who watched the travesty of Beyonce lipsynching the National Anthem. He agreed with me that some singers,who were contracted several years ago, and who cannot sing, should be allowed to do a "Beyonce" in a few cases.

    I am not going to mention any names,because you know how tasteful I am, but the thought of a Milanov/Tucker Chenier next season might be a revelation. Also, I would like to have Justin Bieber appear as Norma, with Maria doing the voice.

    By the way, the Rondine this week, except for the glorious Kristine Opolais, should have had the rest of the cast miked. Do NOT believe the coming broadcast. It LIES!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Virginia Zeani may not hit the E flat here, but she did on the phone on my birthday!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

  How come all the great stars celebrate birthdays this week? Marcello celebrates on Jan.25 (b.1963), and we had Joe Calleja on the 22nd and what's his name and me on the 21st.

   We love Marcello, possessor of a brilliant voice, fine technique, and one of opera's favorites. I hope he has a great day and many,many more!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm EDT

  You all know when I get started on a great new voice, I inundate you with clips...Why not? This is a truly gorgeous voice and I hope you love it as much as i do.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:39am EDT

   I am always so happy to "discover" new divas.You all know I have seen the greats, and so when someone like Mme.Opolais comes along, I am so thrilled. She not only has the voice, but she has the kind of depth of emotion that is so important in opera.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:28am EDT

   I have just returned from La Rondine at the Met with the Latvian soprano, Kristine Opolais, as Magda. What a wonderful treat to add another superb diva to our array of wonderful sopranos.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

   What a gorgeous rendition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Talk about "nice guys!!" Joseph Calleja,born Jan.22, 1978, is one of our finest tenors. His voice in some ways harkens back to the style of De Lucia,Bonci,Anselmi. He is a great artist, and one of the most "regular dudes" one could know. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

  I know I kid the Placido fans a lot, but who can ever deny his remarkable accomplishments in the world of music. I wish him all my best, but hope he remembers that he did promise me ESPANA for my birthday tomorrow. Amazing man at 72!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

 Un poco temprano (a little early)for Jan.21 birthday,but Placido has had an amazing career and he will always remain an icon in the field of music. I hope he remembers his pledge to me and gives me Madrid on Monday,since we share the same birthday.  Feliz Cumpleanos,Placido!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:21am EDT

A bit ahead of time.

  On Monday,January 21,the opera world will celebrate (see photo) the birthdays of two individuals: One is one of the LEGENDS in the opera world, a great artist, a revered musical aficionado, and person of worldwide fame. The other person has a nice beard.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

SUPERB Manrico tonight, and had seen him also in Turandot..Voice even from bottom to top, and plenty of SQUILLO!!!!! Best dramatic tenor around today......I hope you like the clip!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:20am EDT

Need we say more about one of the greatest singers in opera history, especially in the bel canto repertory. She turns 84 on Jan.16 and has won the battle against cancer. BLESS HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:34am EDT

  You know how much of a pain I am about singers, so when a special one comes along, I am so thrilled, and i am not alone about what Michael Fabiano has already accomplished. Next season at the Met he will do Alfred in Fledermaus, and as in the Jan Kiepura film, "So ends our night," I hope he will sing the PIRA in act three in jail, plus a lot of other arias!

    Signor Fabiano is a welcome addition to a fine array of tenors that regale us with their superb talents these days. In "my day' we had a few great ones, but also..well,you know who.....

Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

Der Rosenkavalier from Naples, 1971

 Under the leadership of conductor Georges Pretre, here are three lovely ladies in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. They are Gundula Janowitz,Brigitte Fassbaender, and Ileana Cotrubas, with Karl Ridderbusch as Baron Ochs.   (69 min.)

Direct download: Rosenk.Janowitz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

...and why not???It makes my life so full, and this one from Valencia is stunning!!!!!! Now you see why I am poor!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:51am EDT

Well,now you are united with dear Franco, but PLEASE, be nice to him...

Category:general -- posted at: 1:08am EDT

Tosca with Olive Middleton

 A few lowlights from a 1965 Tosca with the famous cult figure Olive Middleton. She truly endeared herself to opera lovers and even in her 70's, she managed to exhibit some sense of emotion and even a few high C's, although most of her singing was closer to Berg than to Puccini. We all loved her and even some Met singers attended her performances. She is currently coaching with Maria Jeritza and Frances Alda. (31 min.)

Direct download: 14_-_Tosca_Puma_4.wav
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

An All-star Verdi Requiem

 From La SCala 1967 under Herbert von Karajan, here are highlights from the Verdi Requiem featuring Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, Fiorenza Cossotto, and Nicolai Ghiaurov.  (67 min.)

Direct download: Verdi_Req.Pav.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm EDT

   Although it was not "official," Sam Ramey did tell me that the Timur in Turandot last night would be his last Met appearance. Sam and I go back 42  years, we sang in Anna Bolena and other operas. We always knew Sam had the goods, and the great career he had is surely appreciated by countless opera lovers all over the globe. Now Sam has even more time to annoy people on Facebook!! Love to my old buddy , who did last night tell us that his days of taking off his shirt as he does in this Attila clip are a thing of the past!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

I had HAIR!!!!!!!

That SNEAKY James Jorden gave you a new photo on the top of the podcast site. Well, I must say it brings back memories of the old Met, where we LIVED in the standing room.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

We are BLESSED these days with a wonderful group of tenors, and here is still another,Matthew Polenzani!!!!!  I have been pleased to have heard him now in Seraglio,Don Pasquale, Elisir, and last night's Maria Stuarda!!! Great guy!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Here is a glorious sample of what I saw last night at the Met. It was a great evening, and I wish there would be more like this. In your city, you may be seeing this in the theatres on Jan.19. It was superb!!!!

   BUT the best thing is that since Mme.Van der Heever shaved her head for real, I told her I was happy at least I have more hair than SOMEBODY!!!!

    Joyce di Donato continues to give a "Master Class" in singing every time she appears!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm EDT

 In recent weeks New York opera audiences have thrilled to the magnificent (SQUILLANTE) voice of tenor Bryan Hymel, heard in the Troyens, and also seen in theatres around the globe. You know how many fine tenors I have heard, and he surely belongs with them, and he is destined for a brilliant career.(He surely picks easy arias!!).  All our best to him!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:03am EDT

La Figlia Del Reggimento

In Italiano, we present Donizetti's delightful opera,starring Mirella Freni, Alfredo Kraus, Vladimiro Ganzarolli, and Anna Di Stasio, from 1975, under Nino Sanzogno. (71 min.)

Direct download: Fille_Freni.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

  I have spoken often about the great "Verismo" sopranos, and when I think of Favero on her Jan.6 birthday (born in1903), I am filled with great emotion, but at the same time I am so sorry that this style of singing is just not in vogue today....So when I make podcasts involving Muzio,Zeani,Soviero,etc..you know I am trying to spread the word as to the kind of emotional singing of a Favero,etc.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

One of my all-time thrills was to be onstage when Marisa Galvany sang the Bolena, and especially this great scene. I hope you enjoy the various divas!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:43am EDT

Semiramide, the Joy of Bel Canto

From 1980 Aix-en-Provence under Jesus Lopez-Cobos, we bring you an example of remarkable Bel Canto singing. The cast includes Montserrat Caballe, Marilyn Horne,Samuel Ramey, and Francisco Araiza  (72 min.)

Direct download: Semiram.Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:35am EDT

For Grace Bumbry, born Jan.4, 1937, I present this example of her great singing. She now resides in Salzburg and we often communicate. I bet she can still sound gorgeous!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm EDT

Jaded Charlie sees the Met new Maria Stuarda next week.I hope it is wonderful, BUT listen to a scene with Galvany and Sills that caused INSANITY in the audience!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

In honor of the first time the Met opera is presenting Maria Stuarda....here are some
"Vil bastarda" scenes..but for me the best was Sills/Galvany...LOVE THIS!!!!!

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

She is 66. One of the most amazing singers..OK,the last note is a bit "under' but who cares. This is the brand of singing VE RBOTEN at the Met...TRUST ME!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:25pm EDT


More Great Music

January 2013
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