Happy Birthday to Licia Albanese

  Licia was born on July 22, but perhaps earlier than 1913. She remains a legend in opera history. I met her a few times and it was like touching history, considering her career. Here she kisses the stage, with great affection, at the old Met closing.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EDT


Rossini's rarely heard opera "Zelmira," from San Carlo 1965 under Carlo Franci. The cast is as follows:

   Virginia Zeani (Zelmira), Gastone Limarilli (Antenore), Nicola Tagger (Ilo), Anna Maria Rota (Emma), and Paolo Washington (Polidoro.)   (69 min.)

The Mytilene warriors are mourning the death of Azor. Antenore, with the help of Leucippo, plots to take over the throne of Lesbos by trying to incriminate Zelmira in the deaths of Azor and her father. At first, even Emma, Zelmira's confidante, believes the accusations. Fearing for the safety of her young son, Zelmira reveals to Emma that her father is still alive and asks her to take the child into hiding. Prince Ilo returns to the island. Zelmira is afraid to tell him of the accusations against her or to defend herself. Instead, Prince Ilo hears only Antenore's version of the story. Antenore is crowned King of Lesbos. Leucippo attempts to murder Ilo, but is stopped by Zelmira. Found with the dagger in her hand, Zelmira is now also accused of attempting to murder her husband and is imprisoned.

Act 2

Leucippo intercepts a letter from Zelmira to Ilo in which she tells him that her father is still alive and that the accusations against her are false. He and Antenore temporarily free her from prison and trick her into revealing her father's hiding place. Both father and daughter are recaptured and await their deaths at the hands of the plotters. Meanwhile, Prince Ilo is distraught at what he believes to be the death of Polidoro and the unhappy end to his marriage. Emma appears and tells Prince Ilo the truth about Zelmira. He and his men rescue Zelmira and Polidoro. Zelmira is happily reunited with her husband and child, while both Antenore and Leucippo are led off in chains.[3]

Direct download: Zelmira.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40am EDT


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