Hey!!!! Who has so much voice at 87. Lucine turns 89 on Mar.1 and she continues to sound as young and fresh as anyone could sound at her age. She saved many Met shows and retained so much of the voice. I made her tapes from 1948, and believe me, there is still that youthful quality.

Happy birthday to a fun lady!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Maria Callas in Normas

Maria Callas as Norma in various performances as follows:

1. Trieste 1953 with Elena Nicolai and Franco Corelli under Antonino Votto.(Note the end of the trio has Corelli attacking a B natural and Callas' D natural, making for the kind of singing that just cannot exist today). I love to go to the opera, but they do not seem to "permit" this kind of vocalism. Perhaps singing teachers are afraid that their pupils will not last if they emit sounds like these. I disagree violently!

2. The first part of the "Mira,O Norma" scene w.Fedora Barbieri from Buenos Aires 6/17/49

3.  From a Gala in Buenos Aires from 7/9/49, the Casta Diva and cabaletta. These two Buenos Aires scenes are conducted by Tullio Serafin.

4. The Casta Diva and cabaletta from the 1958 Rome 1/2/58 performance, which she did not complete owing to illness. This was a scandal in those days. Gabriele Santini conducts. (Anita Cerquetti completed the performance.)

Direct download: Callas2_Normas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:02pm EDT

Parsifal from Buenos Aires, 1969

 Erich Leinsdorf leads a 1969 Parsifal from Buenos Aires with Wolfgang Windgassen, Regine Crespin, Franz Crass, and Theo Adam. It had taken quite a number of years for me to totally appreciate this work, but now it is a favorite.(as long as I can listen at home!)   (73 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal_Crespin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT


Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

  If I had to pick ONE,just ONE commercial recording of ANYONE, this aria for me sung by the fabulous Lehmann,born Feb.27, 1888, would be my choice. This "Ich ging zu ihm" from Korngold's "Das Wunder der Heliane" for me is the most lasting tribute to her greatness.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

Grace Moore in Louise

The beautiful Grace Moore sadly died in an airplane crash at age 47. She possessed a beautiful voice and was a truly glamorous artist. She is joined by Raoul Jobin, Ezio Pinza, and Doris Doe in a 1940 Louise under Ettore Panizza.  (74 min.)

Direct download: Louise_Moore.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

 Il Guarany (Gomes) duet with Enrico Caruso (born Feb.25 or 27) in 1873, and Emmy Destinn, born Feb.26, 1878. What more can one say????

Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

 People wonder why I am so critical of the carryings-on of Franco Bonisolli. In the words of Anna Russell, "tenors have resonance where their brains should be." Of course that is not true in general, but if you heard all the crazy speeches-to-audiences the man makes during live performances and his general conduct as a singer, you might agree that he gives tenors a very bad name!

  However, he has a lot of fun in this San Francisco Gala (wearing Errol Flynn's boots) and the C's are fabulous. He died too soon, and I am indeed sorry, but I always felt a superb talent was partly  wasted with his carryings-on.

 By the way, he always DEMANDED an encore of the aria. On a Vienna tape, he yells "Wasser' before the first high C and gets booed. I do not know if he sang it twice that night, but anyway you cannot say he was dull!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:24pm EDT

Miscellaneous stuff no.8

Another of my compilations, derived from various files of the past. I am happy you enjoy this kind of post, because it allows you to play a guessing game and/or enjoy a wide variety of great singing. Here is the information:

1. Beniamino Gigli      Fedora         "Amor ti vieta"  (HONEY!!)

2. Maria Ivogun           Seraglio       "Martern aller artern"

3. Selma Kurz               Rigoletto      "Caro nome"    (Can she TRILL!)

4. Marjorie Lawrence/Lauritz Melchior   Gotterdamerung       Dawn Duet

5. Giannina Arangi-Lombardi      Aida    "O patria mia"

6. Leyla Gencer            Idomeneo           Electra's aria

7. Beverly Sills              Louise                "Depuis le jour"

8. Christa Ludwig/Sherril Milnes            Macbeth duet

9. Meta Seinemeyer     Andrea Chenier   "La mamma morta"  (Sadly,she died at 33.)

10. Nelly Melba/Enrico Caruso     La Boheme    "O soave fanciulla'  (Just her high C indicates what she was!)

11. Beverly Sills          Aida (her only one)  "Ritorna Vincitor"

12. Mark Reizen           Boris Coronation Scene  (See his Onegin aria at age 90 on Youtube.)

13.John O'Sullivan       William Tell       "O muto asil."  (He must have shaken the chandeliers.)

14. Rosetta Pampanini     Adriana Lecouvreur    "Poveri fiori"

15. Aureliano Pertile      Andrea Chenier         "Come un bel di di Maggio"

16. Ewa Podles                Rinaldo             "Or la tromba"

17. Diana Soviero/Dominic Cossa    Pearl Fishers Duet

18. Renata Tebaldi      Tristan und Isolde      "Liebestod" (In Italian)

19. Luisa Tetrazzini      La Sonnambula          "Ah non giunge"

20. Marcel Wittrisch      Paganini aria

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

Two Andrea Cheniers

Scenes from two brilliant Andrea Chenier performances. The first is from La Scala 1949,under Victor de Sabata, and features Renata Tebaldi,Mario del Monaco,Paolo Silveri, and Fedora Barbieri.

 This is followed by a Venice 1972 performance under Paolo Peloso, and features Carlo Bergonzi,Raina Kabaiwanska, and Aldo Protti. (The final duet, by the way, is in the high key.) (74 min.)

Please note: My computer expert has advised me that it is much easier for you to read text if I do not use colors, since many individuals listen to the podcasts on various media other than on the internet.

Direct download: Cheniers_Teb-Kab.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT

La Fanciulla del West w.Renata Tebaldi

La Fanciulla del West from RAI Rome 1961 under Arturo Basile. The cast includes Renata Tebaldi,Daniele Barioni, Giangiacomo Guelfi, and Mario Boriello (in Sonora's final lines that make me cry every time.). As a bonus, I conclude with the 1970 Tebaldi/Colzani Card Scene that was one of the most exciting scenes in my opera life.

Direct download: Fanc.Teb.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33am EDT

Georg Hann

Georg Hann (January 30, 1897 - December 9, 1950) was an Austrian operatic bass-baritone, particularly associated with the comic (singspiel) German repertory.

Born in Vienna, he studied at the Music Academy there with Theodor Lierhammer. He joined the Munich State Opera in 1927, and remained with this theatre until his death. He also appeared regularly at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival, quickly establishing himself as a leading buffo interpreter, notably in roles such as Leporello, Falstaff, Kecal, Ochs, La Roche (role he created in 1942), etc.

He made guest appearances at the Berlin State Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Paris Opéra, the Royal Opera House in London, La Scala in Milan.

He did not limit himself to comic roles but also sang Sarastro, Pizzaro, Gunther, Amfortas, Daland and tackled a few Italian roles as well notably Wurm, Alfio, Tonio, as well as Mefistophele in Gounod's Faust.

Hann died in Munich aged only 53.

   Hann sings arias and scenes from:

Zar und Zimmermann (Lortzing), Der Wildschutz (Lortzing) w. With Wolfgang Windgassen and Res Fischer, Barber of Bagdad (Cornelius), w.Lorenz Fehenberger, Nabucco, Falstaff, Gypsy Baron, Die Bettelstudent(Millocker).

Direct download: Hann.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

What nostalgia!!!

Those of you who have ever been a part of an opera workshop will understand what goes into performing opera in the communities. Paul Plishka sent me this photo from about 55 years ago. He is the Colline and Ted Lambrinos (at right) is Marcello. At left is Dickie Boyajian and Robert Swanson (Schaunard.)

  The young guy seated is Charlie Handelman as Benoit. I also did Alcindoro, and in fact over the years I did every male role in Boheme, except Rodolfo. They would not let me do the Musetta because they said I did not have the LEGS.

Our beloved maestro was Armen Boyajian, teacher of Sam Raney,Paul,Galvany, and me. We worked hard, and it was worth it. This meant so much to me, to see Paul, who had an illustrious career, and all oif us together.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm EDT

So tell me, my friends...is this not a great tenor?????? (and in high key)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

 Turkey had given us the great Leyla Gencer, and now from this land we have one of the most magnificent tenors, and this finale is so touching..but outdoors in paris it must be cold.!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

Die Meistersinger, act Three

From Dresden studios in 1938, Karl Boehm leads a superb cast in act three Meistersinger (abr.).The cast includes  Hans Herman Nissen, Torsten Ralf, Margarete Teschemacher, Sven Nilsson (Pogner), Martin Kremer (David), Helene Jung (Magdalene)           (65 min.)

Direct download: Meister.Niss.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT


  For those of you who use I-Tunes for my podcasts, there is availability for comments.I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

                                       As ever Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Lohengrin 1937 Part 2

 Here is part two of the 1937 Lohengrin. They may have made cuts, but the cast  is superb.  (51 min.)

Direct download: Lohengrin_1937-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

Lohengrin 1937, part One

The first part of a two-part Lohengrin from 1937 under Maurice de Abravanel. The stellar cast includes Kirsten Flagstad, Rene Maison,Karin Branzell, Julius Huehn, and Ludwig Hofmann. (71 min.)

Direct download: Lohengrin_1937-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:36pm EDT

In 1971, under the great maestro Armen Boyajian, we did Anna Bolena in Paterson,New Jersey.We had a great company, but this performance means so much to me,because it was the beginning of the great career of Sam Ramey, and Galvany was incredible. The high D (held forever) comes out a bit drowned out,but you can hear it. I was the Rochefort and ran out of breath at the end of this scene.How could anyone keep up with her???

Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm EDT

Imagine what we felt as the Ballo curtain rose on the debut of the great Marian Anderson, born Feb.17, 1897. So sad that bigotry prevented many fine Afro-American artists from appearing at the Met,or in some cases, on ANY opera stage. Bless her memory!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

  Another compilation of material from my files. I hope you enjoy the selections, and remember what "fun" you can have if you give an opera party and ask the guests to guess, giving prizes for the winners.

1.  Julia Varady             Aria from Puccini's Edgar

2. Shirley Verrett          Favorita Cabaletta (We went nuts at Carnegie Hall.)

3-4.  Leonard Warren   Ernani and Pagliacci arias

5. Ljuba Welitch             Vissi d'arte

6.Dolora Zajick                Principessa aria from Adriana

7. Milanov/Bjoerling      Ballo Love duet

8. Janet Baker                Traume

9. Alessandro Bonci       Luisa Miller aria

10. Maria Callas              Puritani  "Vieni al tempio"

11. Steber/Kullman       Carmen act one duet

12. Enrico Caruso           "Mia piccirella"  (Makes me CRAZY!)

 13. Renata Scotto          Butterfly "Che tua madre."

 14. Mario del Monaco     Otello  "Dio mi potevi"

 15. Marisa Galvany         What else but the famous Aida act 2 E flat.

 16.  Nicolai Gedda            Manon  "Ah fuyez."

  17-18   Leyla Gencer/Cornell Macneil and then Hilde Gueden/Leonard Warren in the Rigoletto  "Si,vendetta' duet.

Direct download: stuff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm EDT

Marisa Galvany as Turandot

Marisa Galvany sings a magnificent Turandot from 1980 Cincinatti under Anton Coppola. Harry Theyard, Benita Valente, and James Courtney complete the cast. They just do not make them like this anymore, and she just gave a recital with plenty of voice, even at an age equivalent to mine.  (63 min.)

Direct download: Turandot_Galvany.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00pm EDT

Happy Valentine's Day

 Whether or not you celebrate Valentine's Day (Feb.14), I am sending this to you because you are all so supportive of my efforts to bring opera to more and more people around the globe, and make me so very happy. Love to you all!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

May I extend a happy birthday to one of the great singers in my opera experience. Johanna Meier was born on Feb.13, 1938, and I was so pleased to make her some live tapes a few years ago.She was superb in operas like Ariadne,Walkure, Tosca,etc. and this Liebestod is an example of her absolutely gorgeous voice.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:48pm EDT

Gianna Pederzini

Gianna Pederzini (February 10, 1900 - March 12, 1988) was an Italian mezzo-soprano.

Pederzini was born in Trento. She studied in Naples with Fernando de Lucia, and made her stage debut in Messina, as Preziosilla, in 1923. She sang widely in Italy, notably as Mignon and Carmen, and made her debut at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as Adalgisa, in 1928, and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in 1930.

Abroad, she appeared at the Royal Opera House in London in 1931, the Opéra de Paris in 1935, the Teatro Colón in 1938, and the Berlin State Opera in 1941.

She defended a wide repertoire, she took part in the 1930s in revivals of rare operas by Rossini and Donizetti, while singing the standard mezzo roles; Azucena, Ulrica, Amneris, Laura, but also a few dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza and Fedora, etc.

In the 1950s, she began concentrating on "character roles" such as the Countess in The Queen of Spades, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Madame Flora in The Medium, and took part in the creation of Dialogues of the Carmelites at La Scala, in 1957. She died, aged 88, in Rome.

Arias by this superb mezzo from: Trovatore, Carmen, Mignon, Forza, Favorita,F igaro, Italiana, Werther  (65 min.)

Direct download: Pederzini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

Happy No.91,Elizabeth Carron, my dear friend!


"Radiantly communicative" "Singing and acting with the authority of a great artist" "A transcendental artist" Such laudatory comments from critics and public alike have followed Elisabeth Carron's appearances throughout her career. With a repertoire of astonishing versatility, this superb American-born and trained singer has captivated scores of audiences with her exceptional vocal range and theatricality.

Elisabeth Carron made her sparkling debut in the role of Cio-Cio-San in New York City Opera's Madama Butterfly in 1957, immediately establishing herself as a ranking Puccini stylist. "Visually and vocally she has made the role her own." (Musical America). Other reviewers deemed it "an exquisite performance", pointing out that "Miss Carron's voice is assured, pure and in perfect control... a poignant and utterly believable creation".

Adding the roles of Mimi, Liu and Suor Angelica to her repertoire gained further acclaim and the ringing applause of appreciative audiences. An early career highlight was her appearance as Glauce in the Dallas Civic Opera's historic production of Cherubini's Medea, co-starring Maria Callas, Jon Vickers and Teresa Berganza. Her San Francisco Opera debut was made in the demanding role of Konstanze in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, which, coupled with a stunning first-ever performance as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata, earned her the designation of "the opera discovery of the year" and a reviewer's opinion that "She is a splendid actress, with the kind of petite, delicate, hothouse beauty that can make such a character as Camille come to life, and that she possesses an extraordinary singing voice".

Her mad scene in the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor was hailed as a masterpiece of rare dramatic intensity. She received more accolades as a Strauss specialist during a string of memorable performances as Zerbinetta, Daphne and Aithra. The New Yorker magazine singled out her portrayal of Aithra, observing that she sang the "extraordinarily difficult high passages with ease and brilliance."

Miss Carron is equally at home interpreting contemporary works. She appeared in the original cast of the New York City Opera Company's revival of Marc Blitzstein's Regina in the role of Birdie Hubbard. Musical America magazine added to her laurels with verbal bouquets for her "beautiful voice and touching portrayal of Regina's poor, broken, driven-to-drink sister-in-law." Her stand-out performance is a highlight in the Columbia Records production of Regina. Raymond Ericson, the distinguished New York Times music critic, included the Columbia recording in his "Best of Opera" discography. Miss Carron also won praise for her rich evocation of Anna Maurrant in Kurt Weill's Street Scene and her sensitive interpretation of Maria Corona in Giancarlo Menotti's The Saint of Bleeker Street, another dynamic role subsequently recorded.

Miss Carron was a respected member of the Vocal Faculty of the famed Manhattan School of Music. She has been instrumental in the development of many outstanding young talents. Her students have won major singing competitions and have gone on to productive careers. She is frequently called upon to serve as a judge in prestigious vocal competitions.

Though Miss Carron's career included performances with nearly every major American opera company as well as international appearances, she is one of a generation of American singers whose artistry is not adequately documented by recordings. Elisabeth Carron - Opera Singer

Category:general -- posted at: 8:55pm EDT

Arturo Toscanini in Falstaff Rehearsals

The great maestro and the NBC Symphony in 1950 Falstaff rehearsals, featuring Herva Nelli, Giuseppe Valdengo,Frank Guarrera (Ford),Cloe Elmo (Quickly), Nan Merriman, Teresa Stich-Randall, and Norman Scott.  (65 min.)

Note:The original podcast was flawed, and I am repeating it.

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

Adelina Patti

Adelina Patti had a warm, crystalline, and very agile high soprano voice.[10] Her vocal emission was of perfect equality and her vocal range was wide, from low C to high F (C4 - F6).[10] Regarding her technique, critic Rodolfo Celletti said, "Her voice was a technical marvel. The staccatos were marvels of accuracy, even in the trickiest intervals, her legato was impressively smooth and pure; she connects the voice from note to note, phrase to phrase, lifting and gliding with an exceptional virtuosity. Her chromatic scale was deliciously sweet, and her trill was wonderful and solid."[11]


Adelina Patti 1905 recordings. A sensational singer,even at age 62.

The selections are as follows:

Voi lo sapete, Pur dicesti, Old folks at home,Batti,batti, Jewel song,Il Bacio, Last Rose of Summer, Ave maria (Bach-Gounod), Robin Adair, Home sweet home, Si vous n'avez rien a me dire, Comin' thrpugh the rye, Banks of Allen Water, On parting, 'Twas within a mile, New Year message to her hisband, Baron Rolf Cederstrom, Kathleen, La Serenata, Casta Diva, Connais tu le pays, Ah non credea.  (65 min.)

Direct download: Patti.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

This sensational basso was born on Feb.10, 1923. Siepi had a voice of pure velvet.I saw him countless times, and he remains one of the greatest singers EVER!!!!

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

Maria Callas as Kundry

Maria Callas as Kundry in act two of Parsifal under Vittorio Gui, Rome 1950. Africo Beldelli and Giuseppe Modesti complete the cast. Collectors all wish to have the rumored complete Tristan und Isolde, but I have added an early recording of the Liebestod  (60 min.)

Direct download: Callas_Kundry_act_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

Christa Ludwig Rarities

The remarkable Christa Ludwig selections from:

Cenerentola (1959) from Vienna, under Alberto Erede

Lohengrin (1967) with Ingrid Bjoener,Walter Berry, under Karl Boehm

Don Carlo (1967)  under Berislav Klobucar

Aida (1970) with Richard Tucker, under Fausto Cleva

Mahler's Kindertotenlieder (1967) under Loren Maazel

                               (73 min.)

Direct download: Ludwig_Oddities.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:18pm EDT

Licia Albanese in Mme.Butterfly

The legendary Licia Albanese, now over 100 years of age, sings one of her great roles, a Mme.Butterfly from 1941 under Gennaro Papi. Completing the cast are Armand Tokatyan, Lucille Browning, John Brownlee, and Allesio de Paolis. Bless this great artist!  (73 min.)

Direct download: Butterfly2_Licia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm EDT

What can be more heartwarming than to see the retirn, in Genoa, of the wonderful Aprile Millo in "Il Tabarro."?  She has retained the beauty of tone, and the kind of Italianate style that is rare today.(Not to mention the optional high C in the aria.).

 All these years,she has been so loving and kind to me and I am so happy for her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EDT

Les Contes D'Hoffmann w.Simoneau

   Leopold Simoneau sang so briefly at the Met, and it is a shame,because it was a really beautiful voice. In this Hoffmann from Vienna, 1954, under Lee Schaenen, Simoneau is joined by his wife Pierette Alarie as Olympia, with Suzanne Danco as Giulietta,Antonia, and the Muse. The great George London sings the villains, with Dezso Ernster as Crespel, Renato Cesari as Schlemil, Renato Capecchi as Spalanzani, and Robert Destain in the comic roles.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Hoffmann_Simon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:34pm EDT

   Claudia Muzio was so famous for her Traviata Letter..and to celebrate her birthday on Friday, Feb.7, we present the great Mari Lyn, who follows in her great tradition..and her TraviYENTA has caused many people to commit SUICIDIO!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm EDT

 WHY do they do not do this opera?? Maybe because Virginia is not around...Note act two love duet..it is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I am upset..i never hear my own tapes!!!!

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

Act three Butterfly scenes with my darling "sister" Virginia Zeani!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT

Giuseppe Taddei

 That warm,emotional voice of baritone Giuseppe Taddei is heard in arias and songs. The man was a special artist, one of the greats.

Arias are from:  Favorita, Ballo, Don Carlo, Vespri, Andrea Chenier, Adriana Lecouvreur, L'Arlesiana.

The songs are: Santa Lucia Luntana, Dicitincello vuie, Voce 'e notte, Senza nisciuno, Marechiare, Napule canta, Passione, I te vurria vasa', Pecche.     (66 min.)

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

 It is most appropriate, on Martina Arroyo's birthday (Feb.2), to begin to celebrate Black History Month, and also to relate some of my past experiences with Afro-American artists.
          Sadly, not until Marian Anderson's 1955 Met debut as Ulrica (which was one of my most thrilling experiences, as that curtain rose and the audience cheered), Afro-American artists did not sing at the Met. I was able to hear Lawrence Winters, Adele Addison, and Camilla Williams at City Opera in the early 1950's, but imagine what other artists were lost to the Met earlier.
           Owing to the Marian Anderson breakthrough, Met audiences (myself included) were pleased to have heard such artists as Leontyne Price, Reri Grist, George Shirley, Gloria Davy, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Robert McFerrin, Leona Mitchell, Grace Bumbry, Simon Estes, Jessye Norman, and my all-time love, Shirley Verrett, etc.
             The unfortunate element of course, is that race prejudice denied many of the artists before Anderson an opportunity to be heard in the great Met, but at least Mr. Bing made the breakthrough, however late. We must be thankful at least for the precedent set by Mme.Anderson, and we owe much to her historic debut.

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


More Great Music

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