Even after knowing someone 50 years, I am still amazed at what she accomplished, but too many critics never understood the greatness of Marisa Galvany..but you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We just had a Happy New Year talk about the divas who get INVOLVED..you know:Moedl,Callas,Olivero,etc. She started some master classes down in Raleigh, North Carolina.Mayber some day we can produce some divas who are not afraid to let it all hang out.    As ever Charlie,unpaid agent of about 5 divas.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:48pm EDT

The Muse Surmounted

Robert Maxwell Stern's affectionate look at some of the ladies who would fall under the category of "demented." Please be advised that one might not be able to digest the contents of this podcast in one session, unless you enjoy torture and have a few tranquilizers and/or strong beverages on hand: (72 minutes of joy.)

1. Rosalina Mello (1920)  "Fado Celestial" (Portuguese folk song.)

2. Alice Gerstl Duschak (83 yrs.young):  "Reigen"  (Weber). (She taught Jessye Norman)

3. Betty Jo Schramm   "Va,va,tra le selve" from Artaserce by Graun.

4.Tryphosa Bates-Batcheller (1945,age 69.) "Canzonetta' from Margita by Meyer-Helmud.

5.Matalia De Andrade    Manon Act 2 aria   Portuguese artist (HERE, you need that drink!)

6.  Bacchanale from Samson et Delilah, played by the Homophone Orch  (I think the average age was about 7.)

7. Olive Middleton  "Miserere" (age only 75, with interpolated high C). The DARLING cult figure of New York's La Puma opera.  (I saw her..I think she had teeth,although not sure whose it was.)

8.Norma-Jean Erdman-Chadbourne and her talented husband in the Aida Tomb Scene (In English).

    Sadly, they could not find a real tomb for the guy.)

9. Sylvia Sawyer  Aida Judgement Scene exc, She was the star of Capitol records, who caused singers I know to fall on the floor in hysterics, especially owing to her great Italian diction.)

10. Vassilka Petrova in Tosca excerpts (she PAID!) She had 6 husbands. I guess she vocalized enough to drive them away.

11. Mari Lyn (Marilyn Sussman)  "Una voce" (Cadenzerized.). The DARLING of Youtube. I told Soviero how unusual she was, and before Diana watched the "Traviyenta," she said, "Maybe she will study with me."  Diana came close to wetting my couch!

12.Sari Bunchuk Wontner in Traviata arias. (great orchestra at the end.)

13. Tryphosa (again?) singing "Darling Nelly Gray."

14. FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (age 73)  "Valse Caressante" by McMoon (her hiusband.). Need I say more??????

                 PLEASE continue to listen to my podcasts, despite this one.

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

The Record Collector, Vols.47-48

Rare historical recordings from volumes 47 and 48 of the "Record Collector" series.

1.Meta Seinemeyer (1929)      "Die Nacht" (Rubenstein)  (Tragic death at 33)

2-3. Heinrich Schlusnus (1920)   "Zueignung" (R.Strauss) and Hamlet aria

4-5.  Marcel Journet (1912 and 1916) Robert le Diable aria (Meyerbeer) and Cleopatre aria (Massenet)

6-7.  Nino Piccaluga (1925 and 1928)  Arias from La Fanciulla del West and Andrea Chenier

8. Anne Roselle   (1926)    "O Patria mia."

9-10. Leon Campagnola (1922 and 1911)   Walkure  "Ein Schwert" and Favorite aria (en Francais)

11. Antonio Pini-Corsi (1907)   Fra Diavolo (Auber) "Del Capitano alla Salute."

12.  Gaetano Pini-Corsi  (1909) (His brother)  Siegfried Forging Song

13.  Umberto Pini-Corsi  (1904)  (Their cousin, possibly age 14.)  "Una Furtiva lagrima"

14.  Ninon Vallin  (1939)   "Mailied"  (Beethoven)

15. Franz Voelker  (1937)  "Staendchen' (Schubert)  (One of Charlie's top favorite tenors.)

16. Julius Patzak    (1932)    Faust aria  (In Deutsch)

17.  Ettore Bastianini   (1953,live perf.)   Il Tabarro aria

Direct download: Rec.Coll.47-8.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Compilation No.4

Taken from so many files, I present another compilation of good stuff, useful for parties and quizes. I hope you like them. More to come!

1. Federica Von Stade      "My Funny Valentine"

2.  Leonard Warren           "Largo al Factotum"

3.  Virginia Zeani                Maria Rohan aria

4. Giuseppe Anselmi         "Una furtiva lagrima"

5. Daniele Barioni              "Amor ti vieta"

6. Olympia Boronat           " The Nightingale (Alabiev)

7. Gre Browenstijn             "Vissi d'arte"

8. Maria Callas                     "Depuis le Jour"

9. Nicolai Gedda                   Cabaletta from "La Sonnambula"

10. Lina Bruna Rasa             Cavalleria Scene

11. Elvira de Hidalgo           (Callas' teacher)  "Una voce"

12. Mario del Monaco           "Esultate"

13. Leonce Escalais              Jerusalem (Verdi) aria

14. Gottlob Frick                    Hagen scene from Gotterdamerung

15. Igor Gorin                         Attila aria

16. Herman Jadlowker        "Fuor del Mar" (Oberon)

17. Margarete Klose             "Che Faro" (Orfeo-in German)

Direct download: Compilation_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

THE NOTE!!!!!!!

Apr.22, 1972..Rudolf Bing's regime ends (except for the Gala that evening) with Corelli and Caballe in Don Carlo, act 4. Are you prepared for the last NOTE????

(28 minutes plus the last note, so the podcast lasts an hour.)

Direct download: Caballe_NOTE.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13pm EDT


Just to know these podcasts make you happy all year round, it is one of the joys of my life, and at this time may I wish you all,from Angola to Zanzibar (I cannot find the Angolese or Zanzibarese translations, but you get the idea.)

                                                               Your buddy   Charlie


Category:general -- posted at: 6:24pm EDT

A Superb Arabella

Rudolf Kempe leads an Arabella from Covent Garden, 1953, starring Lisa della Casa and Herman Uhde in the leading roles, with Elfriede Trotschel as Zdenka, Lorenz Fehenberger as Matteo, Ira Milaniuk as Adelaide, and Max Probstl as Count Waldner  (67 min.)

Note: at the request of one of our loyal listeners, I will limit the time on podcasts to 80 minutes. I hope this is all right;if not, let me know!!!

Direct download: Arabella_Della_Casa_1953.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT

Andrea Chenier from Naples, 1958

A glorious cast in a 1958 Naples Andrea Chenier under Franco Capuana. Antonietta Stella, Franco Corelli, and Ettore Bastianini head a cast that also includes Loretta Di Lelio (Mrs.Corelli) as Bersi, Vito de Taranto as Mathieu, Antonio Pirino as the Spy, and Antonio Cassinelli as Roucher. (70 min.)

My computer geniuses tell me I may extend the podcasts as to length, but still feel it is easier for you to download if the time is not excessive, but the podcasts can be longer. I am not sure about this, so I need your feedback (to Placido21@aol.com). If you wish me to stay with the 74 min.maximum, I will, but I can go much higher. Let me know if I can extend the time.

Direct download: Stella_1958_Chenier.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

Lauritz Melchior Tribute

 The remarkable Lauritz Melchior sings highlights from Siegfried, Tannhauser, Tristan (w.Frida Leider),Pagliacci,Otello, Walkure (w.Lotte Lehmann), Meistersinger, Gotterdamerung (with Kirsten Flagstad), plus the live "Walse" from the 1940 broadcast of Walkure, where you need a stopwatch!!!!

(72 min.)

Direct download: Melchior_Tribute.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Mado Robin was amazing...Dec.29, 1919...Died of cancer so young!!! It was not a freak voice..she could really sing well,other than the high K over T..

Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

  Last season Piotr introduced me to the son of Jan Kiepura and Martha Eggerth, who has just passed away at 101. He then called "mom" from the dressing room. Here she is at around 90,with the same great style and love of the vocal line. May the dear lady rest in peace.  Charlie

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

  For our lovable Piotr Beczala on his Dec.28 (1966) birthday!!! He has brought so much to us on and off stage. In all my years as an opera aficionado,I consider him so special and not only do we adore him on stage but also he is an affectionate lovable guy.

    He also affords me an opportunity to clear my tenor collection of the too many CD's I have purchased, which I happily bring him!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:23pm EDT

Leonie Rysanek sings three roles in Elektra

The fabulous lady sings the following material in Elektra:

1. Monologue of Elektra under Karl Boehm in 1980.

2. Scene (as Chrysothemis) with Varnay under Richard Kraus in 1953

3. Klytamenestra scene with Behrens from 1996 under Maazel.

4. Scene w.Birgit Nilsson (again as Chrysothemis) from 1965 Vienna.

5. From the 1980 film under Boehm:the recognition Scene with Fischer-Dieskau.

6. Finale of the opera 9as Chrysothemis) with Christel Goltz from Munich 1965 under Boehm.

                                                            (76 min.)

Direct download: Rysanek_in_Elektra_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

Direct download: 01_-_Baker-Jubals_Lyre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT

Direct download: 01_-_Baltsa-Orfeo-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

 Alex Penda, formerly Alexandrina Pendachanska, (name too long to sign autographs??), a Bulgarian soprano, sings in a manner totally ABSENT since the days of Callas and Galvany. I am stunned!!!!!

 May she continue to earn great praise in her career, and perhaps she will enlighten the opera world as to what exciting singing is all about (in the tradition of her beloved countryman (lady),Raina Kabaiwanska.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm EDT

Let us talk about STYLE!!!! Do we know any German singers who can top Bing Crosby????? This was a great man!!!   Happy Holidays!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

  I am told we only get a portion of what that was!!!! I just CRY when the man opens his mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:12am EDT

To all of you great people

  Thanks so much for your interest and support, and may your holidays be happy ones!!!!!!!!!  (Even if you prefer Justin Bieber over Piotr Beczala.)

Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am EDT

 Here it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:28pm EDT

I always complain about the "Price-isms" that crept into the Price singing over the years;this is an example of TRUE GREATNESS!!!! I never understood why she resorted to so many strange sounds with that phenomenal voice, but at least we hear what the reputation was all about here!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:25pm EDT

...Iwill not be able to do this.  Lina Vasta could teach some sopranos how to sing....Imagine,at 92!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

 Only a bunch of nutty people (like my friends and I) could run to Sam Ramey's house after this Maria Stuarda, put on my tape, and count how many seconds Galvany holds the E flat. This is called, living life!!!!" She still is a great friend, but I always feel badly that more people did not know her...however,YOU DO!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

So,do you agree?????????????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

 (With Franco Tagliavini).  Did i ever tell you my Raina story? Probably...but here it is again for new listeners:

    In 1972, we had a party for Leyla Gencer after her Atilla. The photos of all other divas were removed and only Leyla was on the walls.  New Years' Eve..in walked Kabaiwanska, and staring at the walls, exclaimed, "What is this..a SHRINE????"  We cracked up!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am EDT

The great lady..Kabaiwanska born on Dec.15, 1934.Emerged as one of the most important divas!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

Dec.15, 1910..she almost made it to 100! I think this is the greatest rendition of this scene EVER!!!!!One of the greatest singers in opera history.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:57am EDT

I have often stated that at  times a single line or word or even SYLLABLE out of the mouth of an artist can tell you something that is special about the singer. During last night's truly glorious Tosca performance by Sondra Radvanovsky, I realized that the "VI" of "Vissi d'arte" (I think that is an E flat) represented the level of brilliance of tone that was so special to me, and of course that voice last evening had to be the most glamorous since my olden "Antonietta Stella' days.
    Mme.Radvanovsky has grown into one of the most brilliant sopranos in my memory, and the tone just cuts through in middle,upper middle, and top (enormous up there) that is so thrilling you sit there in amazement;this from the supposed jaded Charlie,who has seen a few good Toscas over 60 years.
    If you take a section beginning "L'innamorata Tosca e prigioniera" in act one, where the tone just radiates through the house, or the end of the Vissi d'arte, which often kills a soprano, with remarkable control, you realize that there is an effortless stream of sound that is worthy of the ovation she received, and remember, I am the guy who usually says, "that audience knows nothing."
     When Tosca kills Scarpia in this staging, she stabs him over and over on each "muori," causing me to think of a certain soprano named Vera at a company called "Gran Scena" who does a bit more stabbing. Radvanovsky was on fire here, and let go with some angry outbursts (also as in "sogghigno di demone," and later "Aiuto!" as Scarpia is on top of poor Tosca on the floor.
  In sum, she was fabulous, even after all the superb Toscas you know I have seen!!!
   Marcello Giordani was his usual brilliant self, singing top notes ("La vita mi costasse' and "Vittoria" reminiscent of a Corellian brilliance, and he sings the "E lucevan" with some beautiful pianissimi and amazing breath control. I am glad he will do Radames next season and thankfully in act two,unlike Mr.Alagna, he WILL sing the top notes. I found it lots of fun that when the two of them sang the B on "diffonderem!" in act three, the two voices were so equally brilliant that I long for the two of them in the Andrea Chenier act four final duet.
    Mr.Gagnidze was a very exciting Scarpia,singing and acting with great emotion and power;it is not a great voice, but in this role he was able to sustain the level of "evil" and he was extremely effective, especially dancing with the three hookers.
     I find it an extra blessing that the Met uses  John Del Carlo (not a buffo voice) as the Sacristan, Eduardo Valdes, a bright-voiced tenor, as Spoletta, and Richard Bernstein,who should be elevated to larger roles, as Angelotti.
Thankfully, the olden days of having so-called "voiceless comprimarios" is gone,  and even in smallish roles, these artists make a mark.
        So you see, even after having heard some of the truly great Toscas, I was thrilled that I could enjoy an evening where i could resonant with many bravoes for a fine cast.    GREAT NIGHT!!!!      As ever,  Il puzzo del giardino.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

  My review follows.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

 Who said that first come Caruso and Ponselle and THEN come singers??? This is from 1951..She retired in 1937...she had "issues." LORD, this is from heaven!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT

VAT?????? You seeeng my aria like theees??You may be cuter, but vat are you doink to my best aria??? EEf I vas not ded, I vud come and keeeel you!!!!!!!

   I am glad I am retired.......     ZM


Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm EDT

Yesterday those jerks at Scala booed Beczala at opening Traviata. The tradition of the "Loggionisti' is a disgrace and Piotr has received an incredible amount of praise.

   Those "Italian traditions" to many of us are just disgusting..but he has received a tremendous amount of support and his own posts show he is a gentleman..well,they booed Callas and Freni and Pavarotti,so he is in great company!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT

Born Dec.9, 1895 and sadly died so young in childbirth. One of the most charming singers with the "smile' in the voice; however, not easy to accept the "goat-like' vibrato. You have to accept the "whole package."

Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Compilation No.3

Another fun-filled compilation of arias and scenes for you pleasure.I announced the selections, but here again are the artists (in order):

Ews Podles, Sam Ramey, Regina Resnik, Helge Roswaenge, Cesare Siepi, Leo Slezak, Hina Spani, Eleanor Steber, Diana Soviero, Conchita Supervia, Francesco Tamagno, Renata Tebaldi, Norman Treigle, Richard Tucker, and Francisco Vignas   (73 min.)

Direct download: Compilation_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

 On Dec.7, the 150th birthday of Pietro Mascagni, here is an example of his wonderful music, other than Cavalleria Rusticana, as Virginia Zeani, Umberto Borso, and a loud prompter sing this duet from Piccolo Marat,which they ENCORE!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

Franco Corelli Early Records, Part Two

More Franco: Werther,Mefistofele,Pagliacci, Cavalleria, Lodoletta, Andrea Chenier,Fedora, Mme. Butterfly, and I threw in a live PIRA!!!!!    (36 min.)

Direct download: Franco2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:28am EDT

Franco Corelli Early Recordings, Part One

The amazing Franco Corelli is heard in his early (1955-1958) recordings of arias from:

Fanciulla,Turandot,Adriana, Favorita, Werther (with his wife Loretta di Lelio), Trovatore, Otello, I Lombardi, and Un Ballo in Maschera   (35 min.)

Direct download: Franco_One.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03am EDT

Set Svanholm Live

The great Swedish tenor, Set Svanholm, sings scenes from Die Meistersinger (1939 Stockholm), Aida (1939 Stockholm), and Die Gotterdamerung act three (1942 Bayreuth).  (50 min.)

Direct download: Svanholm_Live.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm EDT

Sometimes someone comes along that enriches your life. Piotr to me is the guy who has made going to the opera a delight...and it is also my pleasure to bring him good tenor stuff from my collection. He is a great artist and a sweet guy..

Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Dec.5, 1946 this great tenor was born. He did get into heavy repertory which shortened his career,even before the illness. However, he raised 750 million dollars for Leukemia, and that alone was a fabulous achievement. Bless him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Here she is again!!!!!! That is some talent...and the F is so solid/ What I like is that she is not a"chirpy" coluratura. Bless her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:25pm EDT

  Tell me she will have a HUGE career!!!!!!!! Only THIRD prize in Operalia competition. This is specikal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT

Luisa Miller with Antonietta Stella

A glorious Luisa Miller from Palermo, 1963 under Nino Sanzogno. In the cast we have Antonietta Stella, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Cornell MacNeil (high A flat to DIE FOR!), Oralia Dominguez, Raffaele Arie (Walter), and Enrico Campi (Wurm)  (approx.73 min.)

I am doing so many of these this week, I forgot to eat,clean the house or myself, but look, it is a pleasure to serve you. Remember, any suggestions for future podcasts (and that includes anything that might help a young artist with a career), send to Placido21@aol.com

Direct download: Luisa_Stella.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13pm EDT

Otello en Francais

Highlights from a 1948 Radio Paris recording under Jules Gressier featuring Jose Luccioni, Maria Vitale, and Charles Gambon  (65 min.approx.)

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

A Virginia Zeani Festival

 More material from Virginia Zeani's career. I present two scenes from Eugene Onegin, the second with her husband, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni. This is followed ny arias from The Consul, Der Freischutz, Aida, Assassino nel Catedrale (Pizzetti), Forza, and a brief interview concludes the program (73 min.)

Direct download: Virginia_exc.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

I Lombardi

A performance of I Lombardi from 1980's at Carnegie Hall under Eve Queler. The three stars are Aprile Millo, Carlo Bergonzi, and Paul Plishka. (74 min.)

Direct download: Lombardi_Millo.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:23pm EDT

 The 66 year old Edita Gruberova is one if the most exciting, if a big eccentric in vocal production, artists in the universe. I love especially the way she usually "swoooops' up to the top;not here, but she is so involved and people travel all over the globe to see her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am EDT

  As a language teacher,I always had aspirations of learning and performing this. Ruggero Raimondi is absolutely BREATHTAKING in this Viaggio a Rheims aria!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am EDT

How to sing Verdi!!

This brilliantly exciting Rigoletto from Buenos Aires 1961 under Argeo Quadri features Leyla Gencer, Cornell MacNeil, and Gianni Raimondi. I think it is THRILLING!  (73 min.)

Direct download: Rigoletto_Gencer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT

A Tosca for the Ages!!

This podcast is designed to instruct any singers who wish to sing Tosca exactly what the correct approach to this most difficult role. I sincerely hope that Mme.Petrova will serve as an important model for future generations, especially if they are deaf.

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

I present another selection by the "new discovery" (for me),Turkish tenor, Bulent Bezduz. After Leyla, I never thought I would find another wonderful singer from his land.  Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EDT

 "Una furtiva lagrima"' featuring the beautiful Turkish tenor voice of Bulent Bezduz. Like the ending?????????????????

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

 One of my new "Met Opera buddies" is the fine  Czech basso,Stefan Kocan, acclaimed last season for the Sparafucile in the new Rigoletto. I am happy to bring him some cd's of famous bassos,etc. so I can have some room in my house! Here is the great scene from Don Carlo with Rene Pape.

It is gratifying to me when a present-day artist takes interest in the treasures of the past, and I am happy to be of help in this regard. Tomorrow (Dec.2) I see Stefan as Gremin in Eugene Onegin, and I know it will be a fine performance.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

La Fille du Reggiment with Beverly Sills

A superb 1969 concert performance of La Fille du Reggiment from Carnegie Hall under Roland Gagnon with Beverly Sills,Grayson Hirst,Fernando Corena, and Muriel Greenspon  (73 min.)

Direct download: Fille_Sills.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:55pm EDT

Supposedly Beverly Sills once said she would rather have five years like Callas instead of 25 years of her...Callas 1949-1955 could never be bettered!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:51pm EDT

  Dec.2 (1923) is the birthday of Maria Callas. What more can anyone say???????????

Category:general -- posted at: 7:48pm EDT


More Great Music

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