Der Engel

A sample from Jonas Kaufmann's new Wagner Album. "Der Engel" from the Wesendonck Lieder. Go BUY IT!!!!!!!

Direct download: Kaufmann_Engel.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

Cetra Tosca

An exciting Tosca on Cetra (the label that I was bought upon),with Adriana Guerrini, Gianni Poggi, and Paolo Silveri under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli. (70 min.)

       PODCASTS ARE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Direct download: tosca_cetra_02_28_131.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:28pm EDT

  One of the GIANTS of our music culture!!!!!!! Rest in peace@!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

Feb.27, 1888,the great great lady was born.....If I had to see ONE diva in my life from the would be this remarkable lady!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

 The very first Met telecast. Renata was a bit "chubby" here......butso what....Listen to that EMOTION!!! LOVE HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:18pm EDT

Happy Birthday to Renata Scotto

        As we celebrate the 79th birthday of Renata Scotto on Feb.24, I think back to the period when so many people (including yours truly) spent so much energy trashing her, largely owing to her essays into heavier repertory, and the extremely flawed top voice. Yes,indeed, like my beloved Martha Moedl, she was a "flawed Kunst diva," but when we stop and take note of the body of work that Scotto produced, and realize that,along with Diana Soviero, she has been the very last of the kind of "verismo sopranos" whose emotional intensity recalls the now-forgotten era of Muzio,Favero,Zeani,etc.
              There is so much more in singing than just "voice," and we can point out many artists who might be deemed "unlistenable" to those who do not delve more deeply into their over-all contribution to music. Callas would be a prime example, as would be Leyla Gencer, Gwyneth Jones,Conchita Supervia,  Magda Olivero,Raina Kabaiwanska,and others who were not simply "producers of gorgeous vocal tones," but who bring so much deep emotion to singing...the phrasing, the importance of even a single syllable, the love of the vocal line, the unforgettable "golden moments" that we may remember so well, even despite some rather "strange" sounds,like Leyla's scoops, Jones' taking three hours to get on the correct pitch of a note, Moedl's not knowing what will come out, Supervia's "goat-like' vibrato,etc.
           So we wish Mme.Scotto a very happy birthday and those of us who can shed some of the "baggage of the 1980's" must revere what she has meant to opera;sadly, there do not seem to be any singers today who can bring us the kind of depth of feeling that,for example, Muzio singing "O del mio amato ben" or just Moedl standing there as Brunnhilde without even uttering a single note, can offer.
                  Thanks to you,Mme.Scotto, and I humbly apologize for some of my rants!!!                                                    Sincerely,  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

  Why did that Parma audience go NUTS????  Here is an example!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:41am EDT

 After that Parma Tosca, the audience demands an encore at end of opera...I love it!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Feb.22, 1927 was the birthday of one of the greatest sopranos ever,Regine Crespin. It was an amazing voice, and here she sings the aria from The Damnation of Faust.She will never be forgotten!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT

The finale of an unusual production of one of the greatest operas,Die Frau Ohne Schatten. It is available on DVD complete (Salzburg 2011).Look it up on Amazon..It is totally UNCUT and takes place in a studio...this is the staging..but the singing is truly remarkable.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:06am EDT

Yes,she had her flaws...but LORD,Leonie Rysanek remains in our hearts one of the most exciting singers EVER!!! Here is the duet from "Aegyptische Helena" with Bernd Aldenhoff.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

She just continues to thrill me NO END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT

Have you all seen this wonderful scene from the Video "The Golden Ring?" Birgit enjoyed the joke!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993)[1] was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Music critic Alan Blyth said "Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty."[2] Most of her singing career was spent performing in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965. Although offered roles with many important European opera companies, Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred to perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.[2]

Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Her performance as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Met was the only time she sang an opera role on stage.

Anderson worked for several years as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a "goodwill ambassadress" for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

I was there and saw her debut.A historic occasion,paving the way for so many wonderful Afro-American artists.Sad so many suffered under the prejudice of others, but at least she made it.I was there!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

 Rigoletto on radio today from the Met. They no longer allow the Rigoletto to sing "AVRAIIIIIII".Instead,he says "avrai" and then the duet..and is thre anything like this????Leyla's glottal attacks and a fabulous ending.......

Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

  I love compilations like this. If you like high notes...have fun!!!!!  I hope the podcast glitches are fixed soon. Thanks for your patience.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT Verdad?????

   I have been informed that since Placido has nothing much else to do these days, he will probably be taking over the Pope's job, and besides, he LOVES the costume. Unfortunately, he will have to sell Madrid (es propietario de la ciudad) and as far as Marta goes...well,look, you can't have everything!!!   Buena Suerte, Placido!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

  May I wish you all a most happy Valentine's Day. Ella Fitzgerald has the kind of style in pop that many of our great opera stars possess in their fach. (Skip the AD!!)

                                          My best wishes to all of you....Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

ANOTHER great voice for Wagner, although it was Farrell's decision not to sing a complete Wagner opera..Preferred JAZZ...well, in opera,one of the great voices of all time, and a very funny lady!!!

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

 I just LOVED this lady....Magnificent voice..Born Feb.13, 1938. She should be more noticed. I saw her in Tosca, Ariadne,etc. She would be the GREAT Wagnerian of today!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:50am EDT

Born Feb.12, 1940, Gilda Cruz-Romo today would be QUEEN of the dramatic sopranos!!!!!!What a marvelous,exciting artist!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

  In 1967,Beverly Sills was "discovered" in this role..but she was always wonderful. We came close to falling out of the balcony at the way she sang this music!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm EDT

Magda Olivero and Richard Tucker in Manon Lescaut,Act 4. Just phenomenal!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EDT

 This is not my week..Another Libsyn meanwhile,I will give you some videos..PACENZA!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

 One of the joys of my life is when a marvelous artist shows such a lovely personality, and also is interested in singers of the past, and even visits this site. Stefan Kocan, a Slovak bass,currently at the Met as a sleazy Sparafucile in the Las Vegas Rigoletto. Stefan is not just a fine artist, but a "regular guy" and i am so happy to have met him and enjoy his amiable personality.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:31am EDT

In 1965, we did Tchaikowsky's beautiful and less-known "Iolantha." This was when I met Marisa Galvany, since I was her doctor (we did it in English.) The Met will do it in a few years, with these two great singers, Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, LOVE THEM!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:16pm EDT

 In my effort to please you all, I was told I could make my podcasts longer;however, if you only want the podcasts shorter than 74 min.because you want to burn them to a CD, I will keep the format the same. Please write me at if you feel I should NOT lengthen the podcasts. I will then keep everything the same.

                                         As ever    Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT

 Do we know of any Violettas who can conclude "Sempre Libera' like this??All she had to do was take a high E flat..Well,what more can we ask of this great lady???

Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT

  Several years ago,I sang the Sacristan in a Tosca with a superb artist, Dorothy Bishop. Since then, Dorothy, one of the sweetest and most talented individuals I have ever met, has been a HUGE hit all over the globe.This is from Helsinki,Finland. How many Toscas do you know who can belt out pop songs, hilariously imitate some of our personalities (She did Sarah Palin BETTER than Sarah Palin), and hit high D's????

Category:general -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

  Have you ever wanted to yell at some idiot(s) at the opera who talk,eat,text, and annoy you? I am happy Patti blasted this guy for taking a FLASH photo!

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

Turandot  Rome 1985

Turandot from 1985, Rome with Gwyneth Jones,Diana Soviero, Nicola Martinucci, Alessandro Corbelli. Great Performance!! (72 min)

Podcasts have returned!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Direct download: jones_turandot.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

Leonie Rysanek tears up the stage in a scene from act two Jenufa...There cannot today EXIST anything of this nature!!!!! LORD! How we miss her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

 This is why Dolora Zajick is so UNIQUE these days.Even at 60, and with Asthma, she drives us NUTS with that fabulous voice, a throwback to the "biggies" I used to hear. She has FUN!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT

Here is the Comte D'Ory aria sung by our newest discovery, Pretty Yende. She has thrilled NY audiences these weeks.!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm EDT

Our new sensation from S.Afrika..Pretty Yende, who replaced Nino Machaidze on short notice in the Met "Comte D'Ory." What a wonderful lady!!!!! a true STAR!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

Could we cast my favorite film as an OPERA?? Every time Madeline LeBeau utters the words, "Mugir ces feroces soldats," with the tears streaming down her face, it gets to me...every time...

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

  Still some glitches on the podcast site....I will "entertain" you meanwhile with some more videos..Thanks for your patience.


Category:general -- posted at: 8:32pm EDT

Now LOOK, it is nice to have some smaller opera groups perform for an audience. I think Mr.Gelb should give serious consideration to changing the new Ballo to this cast and production. Note how the Riccardo cannot get the papers out of his pocket..that is even funnier than his singing..I think!)

I know..I am mean!  However, this just made my day!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

                             Sweet memories of Funny Renata "Tosca Quotes"

       Renata was so funny and I recall some of her humorous quotes, both from Tosca:

1. At a big hotel party, she grabbed the knife to cut the cake and exclaimed,    

"Questo il bacio di Tosca!!"

2. When we saw her off on the train to Philly.(The Met went there on Tuesdays), the baggage handler opened the door of the open last car where she stood, and she said, "Spoleta,CHIUDI!"

      I will add that when us kiddies sat in the first row at Carnegie for a Bell Tel.Hr. appearance, she looked down at us, winked, and then DESTROYED the place by starting the "Inflammatus!" We felt the show was just for us.

  This act two Fanciulla scene in 1970 caused us to tear programs and throw them down!!!!!

     So how can anyone not think of her the way we all did..and still do????

Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

For Renata Tebaldi on her Birthday

                            Do we need more words to describe the great Renata Tebaldi, on her birthday,Feb.1? Little did us "kids" know, when we first met her,on the occasion of her Met debut,Jan.31, 1955 as Desdemona, that she was celebrating her 33rd birthday. Her performances were "events" and the love she brought across the footlights and after the show was something that has remained with me all these years.
                             On this day,let us all remember one of the most treasured singers in opera history. Your friend "Carlos" remembers you. (When I met her, her English was bad, as was my Italian, so I spoke in Spanish and thus,she called me "CarloS."
                                                               With all my love,


Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

More of our Feb. 1 birthday girl, the sensational Renata Tebaldi. I guess singers today would be scared of using chest voice...That is why so many are boring!!!!

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


More Great Music

February 2013
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