The Greatest Chenier I ever saw!!!!

Do you think it was easy spending  NINE DOLLARS on a box seat on Mar.5, 1960? Well,it turned out to be worth it, as the incredible cast of Milanov,Bergonzi,Bastianini, and our beloved contralto, Belen Amparan (Madelon) gave a sensational performance, conducted by Fausto Cleva. It was also a sad time for us, as the night before,we had witnessed the untimely stage death of Leonard Warren. At least this phenomenal performance took us temporarily out of our sadness.

Here are some special notes that might help you to pinpoint some of the reasons we were so thrilled:

1. Bergonzi's amazing sense of phrasing. The ultimate example of "slancio," where the man was a vocal GOD to us, as he has been for so long.

2. Zinka's double attack on the act two pianissimo on "ora soave" and the "U" vowel on the word "sventura"in the third act aria, which was one of the examples of her brilliant placement.

3. Bastianini's remarkable "Nemico della patria," offering us at least another great baritone sound, having sadly lost another.

4. Belen Amparan's true contralto tones. We loved her so much.

5. The stunning last act duet (in the high key) and in particular, Zinka's "Abbracciami, Baciami, AMOOOOOORE" which to this day I retain in my mind.

      Listening to this, I again told myself I am glad I was there for shows like this, and again repeat that there is NOTHING in this repertory today (at least not at the Met) that can compare.

Direct download: Chenier2_1960.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

  I just spoke briefly to Magda, a bit tired with all the birthday phone calls. Her "treno" arrived 104 years ago, and we are so very fortunate to have "caught her train" of love for music. Bless her forever!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

Salvatore Licitra, In Memoriam

Sadly, the marvelous tenor Salvatore Licitra passed away at age 43 of a brain hemorrhage while on his motor scooter. We loved his exciting voice and in his memory, I wish to present some arias:

Cavalleria, L'Arlesiana, Andrea Chenier,Fedora, Turandot, Fanciulla, Butterfly, Macbeth, and Trovatore.

                                            May the dear man rest in peace.

Direct download: Licitra3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:39am EDT

I have discussed this ad infinitum, but I was there and at 65, we just could not believe what we heard. Listen especially to the final "Rimuuuuuuneri cosiiiiiii" where she has the breath control of a 25 yr.old.....This to me was a triumph I will never forget. Listen for my "brava" at the end. Applause is went on forever.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

  I always call Magda on her birthday, and she was incredibly lucid all these years.Last year was less than lucid, but look, how many of us will be lucid at 104????  This clip is from 1993, when she was a baby at 83...An amazing woman, and a miracle of opera. I will call,and at least give my message to her friend and caretaker. Bless her!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT


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