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

Compilation No.2

 This is the second compilation from early files. You might use them for an opera party, in which you give out cheap gifts to the winner(s). ENJOY!  (app.70 min.)

1. Grace Bumbry          Turandot:  "In questa reggia"

2. Fiorenza Cossotto   Trovatore:  "Condotta"  (Sounded "miked' in the theatre. An amazing singer.)

3. Nadezda Kniplova    Walkure:    "Hojotoho"

4. Cornell MacNeil/Renata Scotto   Rigoletto: "Si vendetta"  (WOW!!)

5. Lina Bruna Rasa      Andrea Chenier : " La mamma morta." (An example of over-done chest voice. She supposedly dived into the orchestra pit!!!)

6. Aprile Millo                Ernani:  "Ernani involami."

7.  Maxim Mironov      L'Italiana in Algeri:  Fabulous rendition of Lindoro's Aria.

8.  Elena Nikolaidi        Semiramide:       "Bel raggio"

9. Birgit Nilsson/Richard Tucker    Ballo in Maschera:  Love duet

10. Eugenia Burzio      Saffo aria  (less-known wonderful soprano.)

11. Piotr Beczala          Land of Smiles:  "Dein ist mein ganzes herz."  (His new album of operetta  arias just received a big prize, and deservedly so.)

12. Giuseppe Di Stefano   Faust:  The legendary "Salut demeure" with the phenomenal high C dimuendo.

Direct download: Compilation_Two.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:33pm EDT

The ONLY live video footage of Zinka!!!!!!!!  Can you understand why I went nuts...88 times......

Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am EDT

SO..you vant to know vy Charlie Handelman vent NUTS at every Chenier? Leesen to the reprise of the "Ora soave" ven I do a double attack in ppp and seeng "O-Ora soave." Also leesen to my friend Bergonzi ven he starts his own "Or soave" in pianissimo. Thanks to God it vas not Meester Baum!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:23am EDT

  It may be distant, but Nelly Miricioiu shows us what an exciting Norma is!!!!! I am just discovering her...well,there is so much material. She is wonderful and has an enormous repertory. Check her out!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:55pm EDT

  After the fabulous Mexico Aida in 1972, my dear maestro Armen Boyajian accompanies Marisa Galvany in the Vespri aria!!!!  High EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:16pm EDT

WHY I think Virginia Zeani is the greatest!!!!! She is also for me the only link to singers of the past, and she still has E flats (on the phone).She is "family."

Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm EDT

The Solti Ring

The first complete commercial Ring of the Nibelung was presented over several years. Georg Solti conducted a cast of absolutely phenomenal singers, and I thought those of you not acquainted with the set, or with Wagner's masterpiece in general, might enjoy some samples. The artists include:

Birgit Nilsson,Regine Crespin,Christa Ludwig, Gottlob Frick, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Gunther),George London, Hans Hotter and Eberhard Waechter (Donner.).

NOTE: When you arrive at the Donner hammer blow near the end of the Rheingold, be sure to warn your family and neighbors that no one killed anyone.

Direct download: Solti_Ring.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

  Too exciting for the Met..CHEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She is wonderful!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm EDT

The guy is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Turkish tenor with a superb voice. Look at Youtube for many selections. Jose Cura, thankfully, only conducts.

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

La Juive with Richard Tucker

From 1973 under Anton Guadagno, the great tenor Richard Tucker sings Eleazar in Halevy's "La Juive." The cast includes Yasuko Hayashi, David Gwynne, Michelle le Bris, and Juan Sabate.  (73 min.).

  Please note that I had,in error, published this podcast as a wave file, and have corrected it to the proper mp3 file.

Direct download: Juive_Tucker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:52pm EDT

Compilation No.1

  As I indicated in the narration, I have an incredible number of files from all the podcasts I have done, and I have decided, on occasion, to put together some of the selections for your listening enjoyment. The singers in this compilation,in order are:

Giuseppe Anselmi, Janet Baker, Daniele Barioni, Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Mario Del Monaco, Barbro Ericson,Ellen Faull,Marisa Galvany, Nicolai Gedda, Renata Tebaldi and Rosalind Elias, Hans Hotter, Alexander Kipnis, Dorothy Kirsten, and Lotte Lehmann.  I hope you enjoy this new feature.   (73 min.

Direct download: Compilation-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:19pm EDT

Paris Fonotipia Records 1904-5

 A compilation of some rare selections from volume 21 of the superb David Wayne Collection, featuring French artists of the period 1904-5. I announce the selections, but here are the artists:

Jean-Francois Delmas, Ernest van Dyck, Leon David, Victor Capoul, Marie de Reszke, and Pedro Gailhard.     (40 min.)

Direct download: Paris_Fonotipia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT

Pique Dame from Munich, 1984

From Munich in 1984 Algis Shuraitis conducts Pique Dame with the following cast:

Vladimir Atlantov-Herman

Julia Varady-Lisa

Elena Obratsova-Countess

Bodo Brinkman-Yeletsky

Alexander Woroschilo-Tomsky

       (73 min.)

Direct download: Pique_Dame_Varady.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:42pm EDT

Montserrat Caballe Recital from 1978

 A recital by Mme.Caballe from Carnegie Hall on Mar.19, 1978 acc.by Miguel Zanetti. The selections (announced) include arias by Handel,Vivaldi, and Donizetti with songs by De Falla, Granados, Vives, Chapi, and Nieto/Jimenez plus 7 encores.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Caballe_1978.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

Die Frau Ohne Schatten from Munich

  Rudolf Kempe conducts highlights from one of my favorite works, "Die Frau Ohne Schatten." The cast features Leonie Rysanek as the Empress, Hans Hopf as the Emperor, Josef Metternich as Barak, Marianne Schech as the Dyer's Wife, Lilian Benningsen as the Amme, and Kurt Boehme as the Spirit Messenger   (73 min.)

Direct download: Frau_1954_Kempe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:50pm EDT

The Great Emmy Destinn

 One of the most treasured sopranos in opera history. Czech soprano Emmy Destinn (1878-1930), recorded over 200 arias and songs and I present some to you for your enjoyment.  I have announced the selections. (approx.73 min.)


Direct download: Destinn.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm EDT


  This is my first miscellaneous podcast, so there may be a repeat of one selection;I also am not sure if the narration came out, so I will give you the information here. Edoardo Sanzogno was a publisher who was instrumental in getting many operas brought before the public, especially verismo works.Here are scenes from some of them:

Cavalleria: Serenata (Caruso);Voi lo sapete (Bruna Rasa)

Pagliacci: Nedda/Tonio sc. (Pampanini and Galeffi); No,Pagliaccio non son (Caruso)

Boheme (Leoncavallo): Mimi Pinson (Storchio)

Zaza:  Buona Zaza  (Sammarco)

Andrea Chenier:  Improvisso (Pertile); Nemico della patria (Ruffo);La mamma morta (Cigna)

Fedora: O grandi occhi (Della Rizza);Amor ti Vieta (Gigli-to die for!!!!)

Siberia (Giordano): Qual vergogna (Caniglia)

Marcella (Giordano): Dolce notte misteriosa (Schipa)

L'Arlesiana: Lamento di Federico  (Tagliavini)

Adriana: Io son l'umile ancella (Olivero-who will be 105 in March.);Acerbe Volutta (Elmo);Poveri fiori (Muzio)

Sly (Wolf-Ferrari): Un orso in musoliera (Piccaluga)    (approx.65 min.)

Direct download: Sanzogno.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:54pm EDT

 I saw Erin Morley the other night as Sophie in Rosenkavalier at the Met. She was radiant, but here she shows off high G!!!!!!!!!  If only one of these girls could sing Gioconda!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

I have a lot to be thankful for

  Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, it is still a time for me to give MY personal thanks to all of you for your continued support and interest and patience when there is a glitch. My life has been enriched so much by being able to spread the word to you about what opera means to me and to all of you, and to present great treasures of the past.  I wish you all my best!!  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

Dear Elizabeth Carron

   My dear friend, Elizabeth Carron sings scenes from a New York City Opera Suor Angelica and a Mme.Butterfly.(1973). She is a sweet lady with a personality as beautiful as her voice.  (30 min.)

  This is a new system, so I did not get the audio intro.but I will fix this in the future. Glad to be back!!!!!!!!

Direct download: Carron_Suor-Butt.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT

I am really so tired of being Galvany's unpaid agent...but i guess it is worth it,knowing how people adore her most remarkable singing. I think this is a sensational example of vocal technique.

  I think Zinka said, "The girl vill not last!!!!!!!"

Category:general -- posted at: 2:36pm EDT

NOTE: Use of chest voice (the word"muoja") and some "authoritative"attacks on certain phrases. This is a special artist for me, and I am so happy to have heard heard. We wish her the best!!!!

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

After the great Gilda of Mme.Lungu, I went to Youtube and was ASTOUNDED that this "little Gilda' was able to became a totally different soprano,according to this music...great low notes, much dramatic thrust..How many singers can adapt this way to various vocal challenges????

  She was also as lovable backstage as anyone can be!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:03pm EDT

 How thrilling to discover a new voice. Irina Lungu's Gilda was so gorgeous, and as a person she is as radiant as her voice...I hope she does more and more here because we NEED her brand of soprano....LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

From 1969..I never knew about this....I thought i knew of every BREATH she took...Imagine the chest voice and then the e flat.......

Category:general -- posted at: 10:35pm EDT

 Guardian of the fountain in last night's FRAU...He is a Met audition winner..He hit one top note that made me feel he would major talent!!!!!

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


  Hi all,

     Still have a few glitches, although not quite as bad as our Healthcare computer site, but i will send you some nice videos to keep you busy until I resolve this. I do not want to lose my fan club!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am EDT

Diana Soviero in Opera News

       It was the greatest delight for me this evening to open up Opera News and read this article about Diana Soviero, who has been a friend since 1977, when I was astounded at her Mimi, and felt she was a rare throwback to the days of Albanese,Tebaldi,De Los Angeles,etc. When I asked her something like, "Who are you?" and mentioned that I had not heard a soprano who combined the finest elements of both Stimme and Kunst divas, and who made me think of Tebaldi, she told me how Tebaldi has kissed her when she was a young lady. THAT FIGURED!!
       All you need to do is go to Youtube and watch her final scene from Suor Angelica and you will best understand, as it mentions in the article, that she falls into the Zeani,Scotto, Olivero, Freni mold. I know people who have told me that a regular sized hanky is not enough for them, and they needed more of a large towel to catch the tears!
           I have always believed that it is a rare trait of Diana to be able to sing so beautifully, with lush tone, great range, and CHEST VOICE (which practically no one uses today) and at the same time emote with the kind of depth that more often a "flawed" diva possesses, but she also sings so flawlessly, and does not have to "compensate' in any way.
          In the article she speaks of singing sick, and that reminds me of the "Bronchial Violetta" at City opera, where I did not know she was ill, and we were literally banging on the proscenium to witness a Violetta for the ages.
            Another very special element in Diana's art is the way she uses even one WORD to express a certain emotion, as for example the "Lui" in act one Tosca in the phrase, "Ed io veniva a LUI tutto dogliosa." It is an example of how she uses a single word to bring out the depth of emotion. (cf.Magda Olivero's career.)
         I am so happy for her, and for all of her many students who will be able to learn so much of what she has to offer, but as you well know, I am still waiting for another such diva, but perhaps she can produce some as a result of her amazing ability to convey emotion,while improving vocal technique.
          So tell us,O Charlie, what you think of her?       Best always, Charlie      

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

What opera should be (and mostly AIN'T these days), when the PRODUCTION counts more than the artists!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

This Rysanek Met farewell in Pique Dame will illustrate the adoration we all felt for her, born Nov.14, 1926. She knew of her prognosis at the time of her farewell, a courageous woman. Yes, she had vocal flaws, and went through a bad period in the early 1960's, but NO ONE was more committed to the stage in our experience, and she "owned" roles like the Frau Empress and Senta in the Flying Dutchman. She will remain forever in our hearts.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

 We first heard Latonia in the beautiful aria from Puccini's "Edgar" and she brought the Carnegie Hall house down with that fabulous voice. However, our beloved Met head, Mr.Gelb, gives her nothing.  Note the last notes (Like Tebaldi!!!)

  She is also a "fun" person...see Facebook!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

This weeks marks a year that dear Marisa lost her dear husband, but she is starting to do some small recitals and Master Classes in Raleigh,N.Carolina. I hope she does well...she has so much to give, and we know that when we lose a loved one,we must be strong and go on.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:44pm EDT

Anyone who knows the work of dear Joyce di Donato will tell you that she has been one of the greatest singers and most darling people you might know.

   I still think of the first time I met her and told her my name and she said,"OH..you are famous on the internet" and I said "I think maybe more INFAMOUS!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:21am EDT

 Born Nov.9, 1929.The great man sings high B flats. A legendary singer!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:48pm EDT

Born Nov.9, 1885, Pertile was the very first tenor I ever heard, when at age 14, I lugged the 78 r.p.m. set (remember 78's???) of Aida to my home. The man was one of the greats. Zeani told me she worked with him and adored him.....

Category:general -- posted at: 8:45pm EDT

Born Nov. 8, 1921..Here is the great Jerome Hines in his last perf.at 80...He was a STALWART FORCE in opera!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

IL GLITCHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Sorry!!! Some computer problems (again) and will solve them and be back soon..Meanwhile,enjoy the videos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm EDT

Her debut season was not very good. I was there...but you do find the greatness in the woman.She returned in 1958 and was much better...but the great years were 1949-1955. Still, this is a great document.

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

Great man..Jon Vickers, born Oct. 29, 1926...You told them that "Tristan" is not "DRISTAN"  (a cough formula.)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm EDT

LOVE the ascending decoration at the end of the duet, but Frizza does not allow Meade and Barton to hold the B flat...but glorious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:51pm EDT

MY NEW LOVE !!  As Adalgisa in Norma last night, she showed that she will be a great star in the near future..Magnificent,rich voice with brilliant tops (easy C's) and lush lows. This is someone who will shortly "take over' the mezzo fach in the opera world!!!!  (and a sweet person)

Category:general -- posted at: 4:31pm EDT

I understand you are tired of my Marisa Galvany posts,.....SO WHAT!!!!!!!! Let's face it..This is an example of sensational singing..fearless...and the chest NEVER hurt her voice......but today this would be called "vulgar." She  says she still can get up to a D!!! She is currently giving some master classes in Raleigh,North Carolina. Maybe she can show the kiddies that chest does not hurt the voice if you know how to sing!!


Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

  All of us here in New York, and I am sure throughout the entire operatic world, feel that Joyce di Donato is one of the most extraordinary artists in our memory, an artist who would be considered magnificent in ANY opera era. It is not simply "una voce" (poco fa) but a special talent, a personality, a loving lady who can thrill us by virtue of her sincerity in all she accomplishes. I hope you enjoy this clip.

By the way,slight delay in podcasts, as i found a slight glitch. PIACENZA!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:03pm EDT

   We hear so much about Simionato, Cossotto, etc.BUT I place Verrett up there with the all-time greatest..maybe for me THE GREATEST!!!! That B natural at the beginning was as loud as any Nilsson note. It was a gorgeous,lush voice with phenomenal top and remarkable chest voice. Adored her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

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