Javier Camarena in the dress rehearsal of Cenerentola last week....It caused people to demand an encore and they went totally INSANE!!! We have not experienced anything like this here since I attended Melba's debut!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT

Tristan Und Isolde from Orange

From Orange, 1971 under Karl Boehm, the great Tristan pair sing for you:John Vickers and Birgit Nilsson. Also featured are Ruth Hesse as Brangaene and Walter Berry as Kurvenal.

Direct download: Tristan_Orange.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

 Do not try this at home....or even in a mental hospital!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm EDT

Here is that "new" tenor (new to me) Dmitry Korchak in the Valencia Onegin, a very interesting producion. He sounds absolutely magnificent!!!! (Do NOT tell Piotr!)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:48pm EDT

Just watched the Valencia Onegin Video and discovered a fabulous tenor, Dmitry Korchak. He is absolutely superb!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm EDT

We do not get this kind of singing at the Met...but the other night the Met audience in Cenerentola DEMANDED an encore of Mr.Camarena.,They screamed,banged, and yelled, as if Gigli came back!!!!! People said the last high C was worthy of a "Di quella pira" tenor..and he also added some D's in the aria..not sure where. Not scheduled for next season,but future here is VERY bright!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Let us celebrate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare by watching Marisa Galvany as a fabulous Lady Macbeth!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Michael Volle sings Schubert

Met audiences were thrilled at the debut of baritone Michael Volle as Mandryka in Arabella this month. He was superb, and rumor has it he will be our next Wotan;however, he is 54 and the Ring will be revived in 5 years at the Met. We hope he can sound as fabulous as he did.

He sings the Schubert "Schwanengesang" cycle.

Direct download: Volle_Schubert.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Fonotipia 1904 Recordings

A selection of recordings by many artists in 1904 (piano acc.)

1. Maria Barrientos                            Lakme Bell Song

2. Giannina Russ/Oreste Luppi       Forza Duet in Monastery Scene

3. Riccardo Stracciari                        Rigoletto  "Deh non parlare al misero."

4. Amelie Talexis                                "Printemps nouveau (Vidal)

5. Ramon Blanchart                           L'Africaine aria

6-7.  Giuseppe Borgatti                     Lonengrin/Meistersinger arias (In Italian)

8. Adamo Didur                                   "Vivea nel tempo antico" (La Vita Brettone by Mugnone)

9. Maria De Macchi                              "Com'e bello" (Lucrezia Borgia)

10. Giovanni Zenatello                        "Cielo e mar" (Gioconda)

11.Eugenia Burzio/Elisa Petri/Zenatello    Ballo Trio

12.Maria de Macchi                                 Poliuto aria

13.Alessandro Bonci                              "Stanotte" (Tess by d'Erlanger)

14-15.Giuseppe Anselmi                       "Che gelida manina" and "Cielo e mar"

16.Emmy Destinn                                    "Aufenthalt' (from Schubert's Schwanengesang)

17.Fernanda Chiesa/Carlo Albani/Luigi Manfrini(bass)           I Lombardi Trio

Direct download: 1904_Fon0t.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

Compilation 13

Another compilation of great stuff for your pleasure:

1. Frieda Hempel                 Zauberflote aria

2. Alexander Kipnis             Death of Boris

3. Dorothy Kirsten                Fanciulla aria

4. Leyla Gencer                     Nozze di Figaro  "Dove sono?"

5. Renata Tebaldi                   "La mamma morta"  (1960 Chenier perf.)

6.Aprile Millo                            "Morro" from Un Ballo in Maschera

7. Martha Moedl                      Isolde act one Narrative

8. Magda Olivero/Giangiacomo Guelfi       Fanciulla Poker Scene

9. Magda Olivero                      Adriana Phedre Declamation

10.Bruno Prevedi                      Macbeth aria

11.Mario Filippeschi                 "Di quella Pira"  (LOUD!)

12.Regina Resnik                        Zaza aria (when she was a soprano.)

13.Paul Robeson                         "It ain't necessarily so."(Porgy and Bess)

14.Cesare Siepi                           "Wunderbar"

15.Dimitri Smirnov                      "Una furtiva lagrima"

16. Olivia Stapp                            "Vissi d'arte"

17.Eleanor Steber                          Idomeneo aria

18.Antonietta Stella                       Butterfly act 2  "Che tua madre."

19.Ebe Stignani                                La Favorita aria and cabaletta

20. Zinka Milanov                             Cavalleria "Innegiamo." (an Easter gift.)

Direct download: 13th_comp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

It was the evening of March 4, 1960. Leonard Warren,born Apr.21, 1911, said his final words in Forza.."E salvo..o gioja.." and died before our eyes on stage. He sounded as great as always and we treasure his memory...but the sadness and shock of that night will never be forgotten.He was a fabulous singer..still my all-time favorite baritone..Rest in Peace!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:39am EDT

  I have spoken previously about how I "discovered"  Ta'u when we did Rigoletto and I was so shocked he had NEVER sung a role before. Since that time,he has been doing extremely well,and recently did a Pollione;here is the aria from a concert, and I find it superb. (easy high C included.)

   Divas better treat him with respect, because this ex-football player still knows how to TACKLE!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am EDT

Lauritz Melchior in Non-Wagner

The great man sings material that we do not usually hear, since he is renowned as probably the greatest Wagnerian tenor EVER. This material is from 1946-7 and is mostly superb, with the exception of the Italian arias,which I feel do not represent the man's greatness.

Dein ist meine ganzes Herz, I det frie (children's song from Denmark), Agnus Dei (Bizet), Easy to Love, Silent Night, Cantique de Noel,The Rosary, Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod), The Kiss in your Eyes (Der Opernball), Spring came back to Vienna, Kaiserwalzer (J.Strauss), Torna a Surriento, The Song is You, Summer Moon, Mattinata, Who is Sylvia, O Promise Me, I love you truly, All mein gedanken,arias from Tosca and Pagliacci.

Direct download: Melchior_Pop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

Piotr Beczala introduced me last year to the son of Jan Kiepura and the great Martha Eggerth, and he proceeded to call "mom." We lost her this year at about 101. What a great lady she was, and here she is about 90,with the charm she exuded all her life. Apr.17, 1912 was her birthday!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

I know the wonderful tenor was born on April 17, 1940...but I wanted to give you Leonie again..and the great scream,even in concert! I celebrate his career, but let's face it, there is NO ONE like Leonie these days!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm EDT

 What a tremendous thrill it is when I discover a new voice! I had seen Michael Corvino at City Opera years ago, but now I see this magnificent rendition of the "Mamma,mamma" from "The Most Happy Fella" I am sure you will enjoy his beautiful singing, and his deep emotional involvement.

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

Gotthelf Pistor and Rome Narrative

In response to dear Mr.Jan Rouwen's request, I am making this double podcast of material as rquested:

1. Tenor Gotthelf Pistor in scenes from Siegfried, Parsifal, and Tiefland.

2. A comparison of the Tannhauser "Rome Narrative" as sung by:

Lauritz Melchior, Ramon Vinay, Rene Kollo (these three live) and Peter Seiffert and Placido Domingo (these two from commercial recordings.)

   Come on,folks, follow Mr.Rouwen's lead and send me more ideas (Placido21@aol.com)

Direct download: Pistor-Rome.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:45pm EDT

 For dear Aprile Millo,born Apr.14 (Aprile in Aprile),1958. Aprile has been one of the sweetest,nicest people I ever met..and of course she sings here  in what we call the "old style."   Love always  from Charlie.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

 People tell me they adore this "lesser-known" soprano's rendition of Butterfly's entrance. What do you think????

Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

Rita Hunter

Rita Hunter sings arias from Aida,Macbeth, Forza, Gioconda,Tosca, Fidelio, Idomeneo,Cavalleria, Schicchi (in English),  and "My Hero" (from the Chocolate Soldier), and " Tosti's "Goodbye."

Rita Hunter CBE (15 August 1933 – 29 April 2001) was a British operatic dramatic soprano.

Rita Hunter was born in Wallasey, Merseyside and lived in Limekiln Lane. During her childhood, her parents, both fans ofmusic-hall, would take Rita to many of the final tours of the last music-hall artists.[1] She studied singing in Liverpool with Edwin Francis and later in London with Redvers Llewellyn and Clive Carey. She joined the Sadler's Wells Opera Company in 1957, and sang in the chorus with them for two years before touring with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. She then obtained a grant from the Countess of Munster Trust, which made it possible for her to study for a year with Dame Eva Turner. After this she went back to the Company as a principal, where her roles included Senta in The Flying Dutchman, Musetta in La bohème, Odabella in Attila, Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Amelia in A Masked Ball, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Elizabeth in Don Carlos and Leonora in Il trovatore.

Rita Hunter will be remembered as one of the major Wagnerian sopranos of the later 20th century, especially for her performances as all three of the Brünnhildes in the Ring cycle, conducted by Reginald Goodall at the English National Opera.[2] In this production she was partnered by Alberto Remedios (who had studied singing at the same time as Hunter inLiverpool with Edwin Francis) as Siegfried, and Norman Bailey as Wotan. The recordings based on this production, with the same artists, are regarded as amongst the finest available, even though they are sung, in accordance with ENO practice, in English.

In an interview in 1979 Hunter expressed her dissatisfaction with having to sing the same part in both English and the original languages. "I find it very difficult learning a role in different languages. The phrasing is different - one has to take breath in a different place." She also recalled having to know "Santuzza in three different English translations as well as in Italian". She found Italian easier to learn and memorize than German.[1]

In the Glen Byam Shaw Ring production, the quality of Hunter's singing and interpretation enabled audiences to set aside her outsize stature (which conformed to all prejudices about Wagnerian sopranos), and few have matched her conviction as Brünnhilde. She made her debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera on December 19, 1972, in Die Walküre, with great success (conductor Erich Leinsdorf and Dame Gwyneth Jones as Sieglinde). She performed the GötterdämmerungBrünnhilde at Covent Garden, and also sang the part of Senta there at short notice. Hunter's later Metropolitan Opera performances of Die Walküre in 1975 featured Birgit Nilsson as Sieglinde and were conducted by Sixten Ehrling.

She also performed in Wagner and other operas in Munich, Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, and with the Welsh National Opera. In a memorable San Francisco season, she played the roles of Norma and Sieglinde in the same week.

Among conductors with whom she worked whom she found sympathetic to the singer, she cited Carlo Felice Cillario andRichard Bonynge.[1]

In 1980 she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

In 1981 she moved to Sydney and joined the Australian Opera. In 1986 she published her memoirs, Wait till the sun shines, Nellie. She died in Sydney in 2001, aged 67.

Direct download: Hunter3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:28pm EDT

Three hours sleep (got to bed at 5) after the Butterfly at the Met...then to the Met at 9:00 for costumes,staging makeup. No one in Met history ever sang back-to-back NEW roles in the house.  She made history..and we love her so much!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:03pm EDT

I discovered a fabulous baritone last night in Arabella. Michael Volle is just incredible.I was so thrilled!!!!!

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

Compilation No.12

I sincerely hope you are enjoying these pot-pourris. Here is no.12. Remember, anyone who has comments or suggestions, e-mail me at Placido21@aol.com. I am unable to use the comments section here, because it results in outside advertisements.

1. Rysanek/London           Aida Nile duet  (in Deutsch)

2.Licia Albanese                  La Wally     "Ebben,ne andro lontana."

3.Ivar Andresen                  Gotterdamerung        Hagen's Watch

4.Agnes Baltsa                    Cenerentola Final aria

5. Piot Beczala                     I Lombardi aria    (My favorite tenor of today, as you know.)

6. Joel Berglund                   Tannhauser    "Evening star."

7.Grace Bumbry                    Andrea Chenier      "La Mamma morta."

8.Emma Calve                        Herodiade     "Il est doux."

9.Enrico Caruso                     "L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra"  (Drives me crazy!)

10.Antonietta Stella               Mme.Butterfly   "Che tua madre."

11.Franco Corelli  (Apr.8 birthday)   Favorita    "Una vergine"

12.Montserrat Caballe            Trovatore    "D'amor sull'ali rosee"

13.Mario DelMonaco                 Trovatore    "Di quella pira"

14.Fernando de Lucia                Iris     "Apri la tua finestra"

15. Nicolai Gedda                        Pearl Fishers aria  (Mio Dio!!!)

16. Marcello Giordani                  Adriana    "La dolcissima effigie."

Direct download: 12_Compil.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:09pm EDT

What more can we say about the sensational Corelli, who has NEVER been replaced. This is my all-time Corelli "moment."The high C on "reeeeendero," that the Scala audience adores!

  Good friends of mine who knew him well do not share the oipinion of some that he was a difficult guy and adored him, although Loretta was no bargain. I do know one story (and it is in the Corelli book) that in a hotel in Atlanta,Georgia they had to re-decorate a room because the two of them had a "spaghetti fight."(WITH SAUCE!)

  I saw the man 40 times, from his 1961 debut, and will never forget him!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

William Tell with Nicolai Gedda

From Florence, 1972 under Riccardo Muti, I bring you William Tell with the following cast:

Nicolai Gedda, Norman Mittleman, Eva Marton, Agostino Ferrin (Gualtiero), Luigi Roni (Gessler), Flora Rafanelli (Edwige), Maria Casula (Jemmy), Mario Rinaudo (Melchtal).   (70 min.)

Direct download: Tell_Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:12pm EDT

   Having sung the magnificent Mme.Butterfly on Friday evening, and retiring about 5:00 A.M., Kristine Opolais was awakened at 7:30, as The Met asked her if she could replace Mme.Hartig as Mimi on the Met telecast/broadcast (aria heard here). In the history of the Met (132 years), no other singer had ever sung two role debuts back-to-back.

 Imagine her then getting to the Met at 9:00 A.M. for a staging walk-through, vocalizing while they did her makeup, and when they could not find a properly fitting black wig, they used a blond one, and she had the sense,in act two, to change "bruni" to "biondi." This is what you call a real "trouper."

  The reviews were ecstatic, and she made music history in New York with this double-triumph. I am so thrilled for her, a lovely and brilliantly talented artist, who won the hearts of so many!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 8:31pm EDT

Get Crazy!!(Again??)

A conglomeration of all sorts of material, from the wonderful to the bizarre:

1.Corelli Celeste Aida B flat diminuendo. 2. Millo Aida E flat.

3.Benjamin Luxon "sings" the Cavalleria Intermezzo.  4. Zeani's fabulous Console aria.

5. Sirach Von Bodengraven again proves that there is something rotten in Denmark.(Otello)

6. Martinelli's last Otello (19470 duet w.Cesare Bardelli.

7.Crazy Bonisolli hits 4 high C's in Turandot, and then when people start to applaud, he says that there is a pause that Puccini wrote.(so you can applaud.) He gave tenors a bad name!!

8. Edita Gruberova in Roberto Devereux. "VA!!"  9. The guy singing our Nat.Anthem (to be deported).

10.Puritani duet w.Sutherland/Gedda (to die for!)   11. Tosca finale with Nilsson.

12. Zauberflote aria sung by.....Have mercy!!!   13. Stevens/DelMonaco BURN UP Carmen finale.

14. Longest held high note EVER!! Caballe Don Carlo finale.  15. Di Stefano fabulous Faust high C

16. Kraus great D flat in Favorita.      17. Zeani/Filippeschi Puritan i duet

18. De Los Angeles and Schwarzkopf in Rossini's Cat Duet      19.Rysanek Frau scene

20. Lauri-Volpi Fedora aria at 79!!!!   21. Giovanni Roberti in  puritani.(Hold your ears)

22. HILARIOUS guy named Dahlstrom in Rigoletto, with audience reaction.

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

My review is published.Here is what I heard last night.( This is from Covent Garden)

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

  She's a star!!! Last night at the Met was the first Mme.Butterfly of Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, and to these supposedly jaded ears, I was totally captivated by her vocalism,musicianship, stage deportment, and in total, she proved to be one of the brightest lights in the opera world today.
    The voice is rich and opulent, with an easily produced upper range (D flat in the entrance and piano B natural in "dolore' at the beginning of act three, as two examples.). In this extremely difficult role (Olivia Stapp says she finds  act two Butterfly harder the the whole of Elektra, owing to the sheer emotion involved.),
Mme.Opolais brings a vulnerable and sympathetic portrayal to the stage. She has the sense of line and phrase that is so endearing to those of us who so much appreciate an artist who can bring us to tears in so many of the glorious Puccini moments. I hope the Met will use her in many roles in future years.(Mimi next season.).  I thank her, as did the audience with its ovation, for a beautiful evening.
      Sadly, Mr.Valenti, whom I enjoyed so much at City opera, has great vocal problems;the middle is of decent, although unmemorable, quality, but th moment he reaches for high notes, the sound is totally "strangulato" and in act three, the 2 B flats were totally covered by the orchestra, since he has no trace of squillo. The act one love duet requires TWO sings to make it work, and sad to say, it did not have much effect, despite that positively riveting staging. (I got to love the production so much, even the puppet.)
     I would wonder if Dwayne Croft is not re-studying, because I found a very noticeable improvement in his vocal production,unlike recent years where I found the passaggio rather nasal and the voice not what I first loved so much;he was superb, and he and the fine Maria Zifchak (Suzuki) received well-deserved cheers, unlike the reaction to Mr.Valenti,which was "cool."(I guess the Met audience does have ears on occasion.)
    I was most impressed by Scott Scully as Goro.It is a pleasure to have a voice that is totally well-produced all through the range, and as Ialways say, Richard Bernstein is too fine a singer to be relegated to the Commissioner. Furthermore, the Bonzo of Stefan Szkafarowsky (get rid of Tanovitski) and especially the Yamadori of Jeongcheol Cha, made me hope they will graduate to larger roles some day soon.
     I noted a large group of Rochester.New York high school seniors who dressed so beautifully, that I was happy to see a group of young people not appearing like some of the slobs I have seen at the Met (even guys in shorts!).
      I see two more Butterflies, and perhaps MrValenti was ill and really is much more of what I remember, and then we have one with last year's fine Aida, Hui He, and last season's pretty dull Manrico of Gwyn Hughes-Jones, who would be better suited to Pinkerton. Marcello Giordani,where were you last night?
       If you love opera, combine Puccini's great music and Kristine Opolais' talent, and you have a mostly great evening!!      Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EDT

Manon Lescaut from Buenos Aires, 1966

Despite  the sound,which can be a bit dull, Richard Tucker and Montserrat sing a magnificent Manon Lescaut under Bruno Bartoletti. Gianpiero Mastromei is the Lescaut, and Sr.Telasko is Geront (59 min.).  Note that the photo is the Richard Tucker Monument outside Lincoln Center.

Direct download: Lescaut3_Tucker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

They are all good, but i still prefer Diana Soviero to all of them.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm EDT

Another remarkable interpretation of the Suor Angelica finale as sung by Catherine Malfitano.

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

Chiara Taigi is a new discovery for me. The voice is absolutely rich and creamy,with low notes that thrill;the high notes need work,as you will obsewrve.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm EDT

The last of the great verismo sopranos, Renata Scotto.

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

The Final Scene of Suor Angelica

A compilation of various sopranos singing the magnificent final scene of Puccini's "Suor Angelica."

This podcast will be followed by some videos of the same scene.      (51 min.)

The singers,in this order, are:

Beverly Sills (her only Trittico), Virginia Zeani, Rosanna Carteri, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Leyla Gencer, Theresa Zylis-Gara, Elizabeth Carron, Christina Gallardo-Domas, and Kristine Opolais (commercial recording.)

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

Here is a scene (uncut) from a Medea with a brilliant soprano,Chiara Taigi. The glottal attacks and the chest and the middle voice are brilliant. Unfortunately on other Youtube clips the very top of the voice in other material needs much work..but she is really wonderful in many ways.

  NO ONE around here sings like this..a Gencer,Galvany type..but a gorgeus middle voice...i only wish she could work on the top!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT


More Great Music

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