OK friends....tell us what is "different" about this rendition....(Hint: Get a pitchpipe.)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

Another Callas' clip for her birthday.This was from one of the last recitals (with Di Stefano).Note she has to sing more chest voice...It is so sad...One of the greats at the end, but the feeling will never fade!!!!!.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm EDT

  What is left to say about this legend? Yes, we know all about her flaws, personal difficulties, but what remains forever is a legacy of a phenomenal contribution that will never be forgotten. Here is the first of a series of clips for your personal remembrances and in tribute to her.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm EDT

Gedda is now 87...This is rather recent......Not sure when..but the man is a VOCAL GOD!!!!!

Dedicated to another ageless singer, Martha Eggerth (now 100).

Category:general -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

   Darling miraculous Magda Olivero turns 103 on March 25. She will speak in that gorgeous "verismo Italian" when I call her...Hard to imagine a world without this beautiful spirit!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:41am EDT

Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli on television in Chenier finale.(In key).

Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm EDT

 The GOD of singing in a magnificent example of the heart and soul of the great Caruso. Note the way he enters his "passaggio" on a word like "notte" and for me EVERY Caruso "vocal situation" is unique in my mind. Bless this great man!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:22pm EDT


         My very dear opera friends,

                     You may or may not understand a "crazy collector's mentality," but as I approach age 77, I look around and feel that some day I do not want my enormous collection to go into a dumpster. My joke is that when I met Anja Silja a few years agho after a Jenufa, I asked her for the Elena Makropolous formula so I could have 356 hyears more to listen to my tapes. She must have thought "who is this nutcase?"
                I have been discarding reels and cassettes (ever hear of them?), but what remains is still an enormous collection of CD's,VHS videos, and LP's, not just the items I used for a 25 year "Pirate business" but lots of commercial material. For example, do you know anyone who has over 50 Elektras or every Ring that was ever recorded?
                  I look around and wonder what I was thinking when I would visit Tower Records after a Met performance and buy something like the complete works of Heinrich Schlachenheimer (??)This is why I am so glad Tower closed because I can save a little money!
             In your travels (and I am also speaking to singers or opera-lovers who reside in other countries), you might know some younger opera lovers, similar to a 17 year old Charlie Handelman who knew every note of Zinka Milanov's repertory.(and most of the words.) Also,you may be affiliated with a school like MSM where young students can enjoy some of my enormous collection...rather than have it lay around and gather dust.
            This does not mean that I am discarding everything, but let's face it....there is just too much...and I would like to "spread the wealth" to those of you who might be interested. Of course, you would need a truck, a U-haul, or a large tenor to pick stuff up. Why should it sit around here and some day be discarded, although my executor can do what he wants with it..but it would be an enormous job.
             Well, that is where I am at the moment, and please feel free to write or phone me if you have any ideas..but do not give anything to anyone who never heard of Claudia Muzio!
                                                     Love  Charlie  Placido21@aol.com

Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT

  I have spoken often of the old La Puma Co.and have played you scenes. TELL ME...could any of you sit there and not have a serious accident in your.....They finally threw us out one night...we could not stop laughing..I miss them so..but at least we have the Met.....

Category:general -- posted at: 12:54am EDT

 When many opera singers attempt "crossover," they fall on their face..no names mentioned....but when Sumi Jo sings "Send in the Clowns" with such beauty and style, it is indeed a pleasure.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:38am EDT

Los Twinkies no van a morir!!!!!

  Who cares about the U.S.Financial crisis, problems in the Mideast, will Angela Gheorghiu show up, and all the other pressing problems in this world? The most important news of the day is that it looks like the Hostess company, maker of Twinkies, and other high cholesterol snacks, will be SAVED!

    So many of us who were about to commit "Suicidio" feel that life is worth living again. Thanks the Lord for bringing us out of this potentially disastrous situation!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

  Ruby Helder, Female Tenor!!!!!!!!

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

    The two girls teach you what  exciting singing is about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Another "innovative' production of La Boheme,from Salzburg 2012.This is coming out next month on DVD and Blue Ray. It features two of the greatest artists of today, Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala. I think you might consider purchasing it ,unless you are a purist.(I used to be.)

Category:general -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

  My darling friend, Marisa Galvany, lost her husband, George Kornbluth last week. In his memory,I would like to present this video, thinking that wherever dear George is, he is recalling all the beautiful days with Marisa and all who loved him. He was a wonderful man, and we shall miss him.

Sincerely,

Charlie


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

Even in concert, the remarkable Leonie manages one of her famous GESCHREIS!!!! Did you know the union of stage hands got mad because they could not get any overtime;this is because Leonie rolled around in the dust, and they were not needed!! (Well,figuratively, anyway.)

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

On her birthday, let us remember the sensational Leonie Rysanek, one of the greatest artists in opera history. Yes, she had her flaws, especially in Italian repertory, but she made roles like Senta,the Empress, Sieglinde,etc. totally unforgettable. We will not see her like again!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

Wanna hear great singing?????   My old buddy Sam Ramey(hates the wig), Luciano, and a singer I always adored, Lauren Flanigan, in the Lombardi Trio.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

   Born November 7, 1926, Joan Sutherland has been one of the greatest singers in opera history. She earned the name "La Stupenda." Note her wild ending of the aria..Count the number of high C's!!!

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

Born Nov.8 , 1921...Hines' last appearance..Really amazing!!!!!! A stalwart basso for so many years!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

 I want the ones with the high D flat, and the best for me is the first one..Sondra Radvanovsky..some sopranos do not (or cannot) take the note.

In order we have:

    Sondra Radvanovsky, Mariella Devia, Christine Weidinger, Dimitra Theodossiou.Darina Takova, Mariella Devia again, Katia Ricciarelli, Lucia D'Anselmo, Nelly Miricioiu, Joan Sutherland twice, and Vasso Papantoniou.

     I just love these comparisons!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

   We ancient collectors are so STARVED for Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs style of singing..Brilliant tone,warmth of emotion, GREAT LOW NOTES, wonderful easy top range...and what I call "authoritative glottal attacks' on certain phrases.   She is my new "find."

Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm EDT

Let's face it!!! When I get started on a new diva, I get CRAZY!!!!! However, you already know about what I love...and this is the kind of singing I DIE FOR!!!!! This is my all-time favorite aria, and she is absolutely magnificent.!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:04pm EDT

   I just discovered a diva who reminds true opera lovers of the kind of singing so badly missing today...Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs lets it all "hang out" like a Caterina Mancini,Marisa Galvany, Maria Callas.   I went nuts!

   She is also a Facebook friend, and a sweetheart!!!! More to come!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

In my efforts to keep you entertained, I mix audio and video clips along with my podcasts. I consider the Lehmann aria here as one of my top favorite commercial recordings of all time!!!

The final passages send me to heaven!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Edita Gruberova has a kind of "eccentric' vocal approach..but so exciting..and the way she goes up to the top (scooooops) is a thrill.  I really love her.... WE NEED HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

   I am sure that wherever you reside, you have experienced tragedies owing to Mother Nature, as we have this week on the Eastern Seaboard, owing to Sandy, a devastating example of what weather patterns can cause.

    I wish to express my sincere best wishes for anyone in my area, or in any land where you have suffered such tragedies. This is not the time to "Esultate" after a storm, but to reflect on how people must work with each other and come together, even in the face of such devastation.

    How unimportant our "trivial pursuits" appear, in the face of real tragedy, and I hope we will all pull together whenever we face such a heartbreaking situation, no matter where we live.

   Sincerely,   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

 Born October 29, 1926, Vickers in some roles was absolutely a SENSATION. I was not a fan of his in Italian opera, but in Wagner,Grimes, and a few other roles he was one of the greatest singing artists EVER! I hear he is not well!!!! Bless a man who can achieve this incredible career!

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

  How fitting that the Met is presenting Ades' opera "The Tempest," when the East Coast is suffering in the midst of "Sandy," a horrendous storm. 

 For soprano Audrey Luna, her role makes the Queen of the Night seem like Sarastro by comparison.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT

  In 1972, after a Sills/Galvany Maria Stuarda, one of the greatest shows I ever saw, we went back to Ramey's house to hear my tape(I am the "bravoer.") We were hysterical counting how many measures Marisa held the E flat in the trio. Beverly was also phenomenal in music that you would not associate with her. The two ladies performed that Confrontation Scene like two madwomen, and the audience went ballistic!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

 The ever-jaded crabby Charlie loves to go to the opera, BUT what you see here from dear Diana Soviero is a totally lost art...Like Carteri,Zeani,Scotto,Muzio,Favero,etc..THIS is the kind of emotional delivery that we collectors adore. When I fell out of the balcony on Mar.13, 1977 (OUCH!!) at her Mimi, and we became buddies for life...I thought Tebaldi was cloned. She did tell me Tebaldi once kissed her as a little girl...so it must have rubbed off!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:05am EDT

 Dmitri Hvorostovsky told me how he adored Pavel Lisitsian,and he did know him personally. I always found Lisitsian,born Oct.24, 1911, to have an absolutely gorgeous voice, like Dmitri.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:45am EDT

  Should I be ashamed that I "enjoy" crazy productions????  The singing is usually fine, and some ideas sort of work...but maybe I am so caught up in the craziness, I forget that many new directors  do have some novel ideas, but I am conflicted because I am "enjoying" this stuff...but not sure WHY!!!!

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

   How can singers participate in stuff like this??? Imagine Callas,Corelli,Melba,MOI, involved in this Eurotrash..some modern productions are quite interesting, but to me, this is a joke!!!!!

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

  Look..the poor kid loses a brother, a baby, and has the devil after her. Don't you think that would make anyone a nutcase??????

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

  For my darling friend and great artist, Virginia Zeani, I wish a most happy birthday (Oct.21). I have known many artists over the years, but I must say that Virginia (along with Tebaldi) has made my life so happy. I hope you will be listening to many Youtube features, and I know you will enjoy them.  Bless you, my darling Virginia!!

Zeani was born Virginia Zehan, in Solovăstru, Romania. She studied first in Bucarest, with Lucia Anghel, then with famed coloratura soprano Lydia Lipkowska. Her singing for the Italian Cultural Society in Bucarest so impressed the Italian Ambassador, the Consul and the Press Attaché that they quickly arranged for her to study in Italy, and in March 1947 she travelled to Milan to work with the great tenor Aureliano Pertile.

Early career in Italy

With no previous stage experience, in May 1948 she made her professional debut in Bologna, deputising at short notice for Margherita Carosio as Violetta in La traviata, and was immediately offered a tour of thirty more performances. Violetta was a role she would sing an estimated 648 times around the world, during her career. Her partner that evening was tenor Arrigo Pola (Alfredo), the voice teacher of Luciano Pavarotti.

Her career was at first primarily focused in Italy, where she sang in many of the regional opera houses. She describes these years as "making the bones", singing many performances of big roles in smaller houses to gain strength and experience.

National and international recognition

In January 1950 she was invited to star in a three month "tournee", or season, in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt, singing Violetta, Nedda, Michaela and most significantly Adina in L'elisir d'amore opposite the great Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli. She was 24, he was 60.

In 1952 came an important step when, again at short notice, conductor Tullio Serafin chose her to replace Maria Callas as Elvira in i Puritani in the Teatro Communale in Florence. Soon her growing reputation led to invitations to many of the major opera houses of Europe, and Violetta was her debut role in Vienna, and Paris. She made her debut at La Scala, Milan in 1956, as (Cleopatra) in Handel's Giulio Cesare, opposite Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, whom she married shortly afterwards.

Despite having appeared in several successful tours of Great Britain she had yet to appear at Covent Garden. Her debut eventually came in 1960, once again as an emergency replacement, but this time for the indisposed Joan Sutherland. She recalls arriving at the Royal Opera House at 4pm, after a sleepless night and flights from Vienna via Frankfurt. There was just time for costume fittings and a brief rest before she walked, for the very first time, onto the Covent Garden stage. She had never before met any of the cast and had to ask "Which one is my Alfredo?" That remarkable performance was broadcast world-wide and has been preserved on disc. Zeani also appeared in Barcelona, Leningrad, Moscow, Philadelphia, Bucharest etc. and eventually in New York's Metropolitan Opera, as Violetta, in 1966.

Repertoire

In her early career she won considerable success in bel canto roles such as Lucia di Lammermoor, (Gilda) in Rigoletto, (Elvira) in I Puritani, and the title role in Linda di Chamounix, and lighter lyric roles such as Massenet's ("Manon") and (Marguerite) in Gounod's Faust. As her voice matured she gradually turned to more dramatic roles including Puccini's Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly and Tosca, and verismo operas including Fedora and Adriana Lecouvreur. She tackled more Verdi roles including (Aida), (Desdemona), (Elisabetta), (Alzira) and (Lina) in Stiffelio, as well as two Wagnerian heroines, (Elsa) in Lohengrin and (Senta) in The Flying Dutchman.

She created the role of (Blanche) in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites in 1957 at La Scala, later performing his solo masterpiece for soprano La Voix Humaine.

In 1972 she enjoyed one of her greatest successes as Magda in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul.

In all she sang some 69 major roles and only ever cancelled two performances.

She sang with many famous colleagues including tenors Beniamino Gigli, Mario Filippeschi, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Carlo Bergonzi, Nicolai Gedda, Alfredo Kraus, Jon Vickers, Luciano Pavarotti, and Plácido Domingo, mezzo sopranos Giulietta Simionato, Fedora Barbieri, Shirley Verrett, Lili Chookasian, Grace Bumbry, baritones Gino Bechi, Tito Gobbi. Nicolae Herlea and basses Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Boris Christoff, etc. A warm-voiced singer with stunning looks and an affecting stage presence, she made few commercial recordings, but many of her live performances exist as bootleg recordings and YouTube postings.

Teaching

Virginia Zeani, "Teacher of the Year 2010" at home in her music room in Florida

Zeani retired from the operatic stage in 1982, but, together with her husband, Nicola Rossi Lemeni, in 1980 began to teach singing at the music school in Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The couple were later both honored as "Distinguished Professors". After her husband's death in 1991 she taught at IU for many more years before moving to Florida where she continues to teach talented young singers, In 2010, having now taught for thirty years, the magazine Classical Singer named her Teacher of the Year.

Amongst Zeani's most famous pupils are Sylvia McNair, Susan Patterson, Angela Brown, Stephen Mark Brown, Elizabeth Futral, Marilyn Mims, Vivica Genaux, Mark Nicolson, Heidi Klassen, James Valenti Elīna Garanča and Ailyn Perez.

Awards

She was the recipient of many major awards including Commendatore of the Italian Republic. In 2010, King Michael of Romania awarded her his highest honour, "Nihil sine Deo",[1] and in May 2011 she travelled to the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest where he invested her with the award.

References

Category:general -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT

  Since my adopted sister Virginia Zeani celebrates a birthday (87) on October 21, I am starting early to give you some samples of her greatness. I have told you enough about her and you know what I feel for her as both singer and friend.Here is the first one.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Callas did it...Galvany did it..Guleghina did it....and NOW...Dimitra Theodossiou takes the fabulous interpolated high E flat at the end of the Nabucco duet w.Nucci.

  But the Met probably would not like her..too exciting!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT

  Not the typical Lucia voice (like Callas), but very exciting!!!!!  By the way, anyone who can guess all her fake names and the real one, I will send you all my Maria Malibran tapes.(WHO???)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:21am EDT

 Oslo Norway recent La Boheme.....Do not ask what it means!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Good singers anyway,but.......)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:42am EDT

FINALMENTE!!!!

OK......My buddy James Jorden (La Cieca) repaired the podcast problem, and they will be back tomorrow..Thanks for your patience!!!!!  I will still provide video clips as a bonus!!!!

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

One of my favorite operas. King is superb here, and I recommend this opera to all.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:20am EDT

Funny joke on Birgit Nilsson during the Solti Gotterdamerung recording session....From the documentary,"The Golden Ring."

Category:general -- posted at: 1:01am EDT

Anna has such a great personality, to accompany a fabulous voice. How many singers today would be great in any era? LUV HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

In the event you are new to this site, here is a repeat of the wildest stage happening we ever taped. I think it might have been a jealous diva, since it took place at Ashley Putnam's City Opera debut in 1977. When I told the tenor, Henry Price, that I was there,he said, "So was I!!!"...How did he go on?????

   There were many rumors, but we really never found out what this was all about,but at least we have this for posterity. I covered some music classes once, and the kids made me play this every day!!!!!!

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

Born October 12, 1935, Pavarotti remains as one of the greatest singers in opera history. Yes, the "hype' could be a bit much, but let us remember the sensational voice!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm EDT

   Glorious Elisir tonight.....How often do we have FOUR singers of top quality all together??They rarely can do it with Verdi, but the cast tonight was simply a delight. Polenzani,Netrebko, Kwiecen, Maestri.    I had a ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (but did not see the Yankees win)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45am EDT

 The gorgeous basso voice of Met basso Morris Robinson. I saw him last night in Trovatore, and he was superb. Do not ever mess with him, as he is an ex-football star!!!!!!

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

In blessed memory of the great Leyla Gencer, born October 10, 1928.How we adored her...she sang a HUGE repertory.Yes,she could sometimes be variable, but in all, one of the greats. I always said that if there was no Callas, "She would be Callas."

Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT

Echoes of Cornell MacNeil!!! Fabulous sound last night as De Luna..What a true Verdi baritone, and you know jaded me!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

Nice to make new diva discoveries!!  Last night Mme.Giannasstasio  sang a superb Leonora. It is a big,opulent tone and she was superb in her fioratura. I would like more chest voice (You know me.) I really loved her and hope we  hear more of her!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Hi again,

     In my effort to acquaint you with some of the special voices in the history of the vocal art, especially until my podcasts return, I am presenting one of the most remarkable voices, Eva Turner.This legendary soprano had a steely voice that could probably be heard across the English Channel.   Enjoy!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:46am EDT

 Imagine being able to sing this aria (1993) at 83....One of the most incredible artists in opera history.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT

 My  darling friend of over 35 years and the last of the great Verismo sopranos gives a New York Master Class Wednesday at the Manhatten School of Music. Diana's classes are so interesting and vibrant. I have rarely seen singers in my life I love more.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:32pm EDT

  I was in the Met lobby last week, and i heard this SOUND!!! I got so upset, thinking someone was being murdered....and look what happened to me.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

NO MEZZO I ever heard thrills me more than the sensational Ebe Stignani, who sings the Don Fatale in a live 1938 San Francisco broadcast..and she never came to the Met...Well,what else is new??Want a list???

Category:general -- posted at: 1:22am EDT

A sample of the Borgia I just reviewed. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

  I showed you Elizabeth DeShong in my review page of the Borgia. Here is the young marvelous tenor, Michael Fabiano, whom I mentioned in my review. He is truly superb!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

  Dear buddies and buddiettes,

    I wish to review the SF Lucrezia Borgia broadcast, although as I have said a few times (??),it was on RADIO,not in my physical presence. The most telling element was that I made three marvelous discoveries in one show, Vitalij Kowaljow,Michael Fabiano, and Elizabeth DeShong.
     Fabiano,who appeared in the telecast called "The Audition," has a gorgeous lyric tenor voice. His style reminds me of Alfredo Kraus, but with a more glowing tone. I look forward to his Cassio, and hopefully a lot more. His Gennaro (here comes the pun) was not "generic" as many singers today seem to be.
    Elizabeth DeShong, in the lower register (my favorite area of the female voice), reminded me of a kind of  a lyric "Clara Butt" or maybe a lyric Obratsova. The voice is so exciting, and she gets up to high C easily.
     Vitalij Kowaljow was the STAR, as far as I believe; his is a gorgeous bass-baritone voice, and I also liked the decorations in the repeat of the Act One cabaletta. (unlike Chaliapin, who sings the most eccentric descending phrases imaginable in "La mia vendetta."), Did he not appear as Wotan in the Kirov visit?
       Renee has always posed an enigma for me; in music with "quiet orchestration" as in Arabella act one or Traviata act two, the lady is sublime. Today,had I been there as i was at Carnegie several years ago for Borgia, I would not have been as impressed, since her voice lacks enough squillo to rise over an orchestra. On the broadcast she was thrilling, and at least there is ONE diva around today who is not afraid to sound like Lina Bruna Rasa in the low register.(well,sort of.). Although she avoided taking a high E flat in the final cabaletta, she sang beautifully and with her usual enthusiasm. I only  wish she was more than a "radio voice" in the Met.
        I hope to hear more of my three "discoveries' real soon. I feel warm and fuzzy when I realize that there are still some fine artists with us who can excite jaded old me.                     
                                                               Lovingly,   Charlie

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

I wish the Met would be able to stage the Gotterdamerung finale as beautifully as this from Valencia under Zubin Mehta....yes, I know, her costume is not really flattering (She is Jennifer Wilson.)..but look, who said you need Lindsay Lohan as Brunnhilde...who would probably steal the Ring anyway.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am EDT

Here is more of Marco Berti. Please remember that you must BE THERE to totally appreciate what SQUILLO is. I almost fell out of my seat last night... I think Berti is now the ONLY "heroic tenor" for Manrico,Radames,Calaf, etc. You know how fussy I am....but I really found him special.(and just spent money on Amazon.)

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

Not since the old "Corelli days" have I been as thrilled as I was last evening when Marco Berti sang Calaf in the Turandot. The voice is brilliant from middle to top;the SQUILLO in that tone made me CWAZY!! I also so much appreciate what he wrote to me after i wrote to him.(Below). We need him so much!!!!

Mio caro signore....BRAVISSSSSIMO per Calaf.... Ho visto Corelli......ma non importa Lei e MAGNIFICO...Io gridava molto ieri sera..Carlo Handelman Lei segue la tradizioni dei tenori SQUILLANTI!!!!!!!

Marco Berti
7 hours ago
Marco Berti

Dear Charles, I was very touched to read his words, I have always tried in all the years of his career to give my best and my best, sometimes I could sometimes not. What you are saying is the culmination of a lot of sacrifices and hard work, Thank you very much for giving me understood and supported. Grazie davvero. Marco

Category:general -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

I think this will amuse you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

I know this is not operatic (unless it is two tenors fighting over a cab ride to the Met), but I wanted you who live in so many countries to understand the great maturity and kindness that New York businessmen exhibit.

However, do not let this clip prevent you from visiting our beautiful city..just wear armor!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:41am EDT

He left us too soon. Wunderlich, born Sept.26, 1930 was to have made Met debut, but tragically died, and we are still not totally sure of the circumstances. This was a great man and we treasure his memory;no wonder Piotr Beczala loves him...there are many similarities.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:14pm EDT

Until I get those delightful podcasts going again, I am giving you some special material most of you have heard, but it is worth a repeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

 This familiar clip of my all-time favorite singer is re-played for anyone who might have been living on another planet, where they never heard of a pianissimo!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

Opening Met Elisir tonight with the great Annna Netrebko. I know it will be a great success.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

 This GREAT singer can do comedy as well sing some of the most difficult opera roles!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm EDT

Those of you who do not see some of the "innovative" productions of operas might be shocked at this Calixto Bieito concept of Parsifal. I wonder if I "enjoy" some of these productions because of  sheer "entertainment" or do I find some real value in the concept. Some of what we call "Eurotrash" can be quite interesting, but some of the productions are so bizarre, I cannot understand what the director is doing.

   The excellent tenor, Andrew Richards, makes his Met debut this season as Don Jose. I wrote him that I enjoyed his Parsifal a lot, even the singing.(gggg).

NOTE: Some NUDITY AT THE END!!!! ( Andrew's END)

Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm EDT

JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    This is the La Puma Opera and now you know why we ppppp'd in our pantaloni..Note the tenor does not know how to sing the vowel "A" but instead sings " IIIII". Is there anyone out there who would be able to contain their laughter???Note,whoever was taping had trouble not getting totally hysterical. I must say, we did have fun, in a sick way, but remember, they were SERIOUS!!!!!

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

   For me, the most gorgeous voice in the middle register I EVER heard, was Daniele Barioni. He did not last long, but he thrilled us from his debut in 1957 in Tosca,Boheme, Butterfly,Fanciulla,Traviata,etc. In Rondine, he is joined by PRIME Anna Moffo, who is simply exquisite here. This music is some of Puccini's greatest.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:06pm EDT

The audience was so ASTOUNDED at Cornell MacNeil's last note of the Ernani aria, they screamed before it ended. It was awesome.He was born on Sept.24, 1922, and we lost him recently. I always thought Warren's top was huge...MacNeil's top was SCARY!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

How sad that Ettore Bastianini, born September 24, 1922, passed away of throat cancer so young. He had a fabulous,dark voice and was a premiere baritone in opera history.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

You do not have to sing Otello to be a great great tenor.Born Sept.24, 1927, Kraus is a perfect example of "How to sing." This is an adored man!!!!!   Una leyenda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

My dear ma used to love Nicolai Gedda's rendition of "Dein ist mein ganzes herz," so at a little party, accompanied by my dear late buddy,Bob Fazio, I decided to try it..with a really inappropriate high A flat at the end.(but look, I am a big HAM!). This is several eons ago, but you know it is still there...but I do not intend to make a comeback.  BE KIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:54pm EDT

This was the very first Met telecast, and Scotto was on the "chubby" side(she didn't like that)..but who cared??? She was treated badly at times, but as we listen to her and what she does with words, coloring the voice,etc...she emerges as one of the very last of the "verismo" sopranos.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

Yes, he was a nervous wreck(with that wife!!!!) and could drive us crazy..but NO ONE could thrill more than this man!!!! I saw him 40 times and I will never forget him.Rest in Peace, Franco!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

 My latest discovery!! How does he do it??? Really an  amazing talent, and when you have an artist like this, opera companies can revive rare works!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

A DISCOVERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Michael Spyres has a range from low N to high Z......I will put a few more clips on of this amazing man!!!! They should revive operas just for him!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

 Sometimes a singer comes along who reminds you of the great artists you have heard for so many years. Such an artist is the Polish tenor, Piotr Beczala (pronounced "Bechawa"). I have already played material with Piotr, one of the sweetest guys you could meet, but I wanted to show you something I treasure in the "Nicolai Gedda' tradition. Piotr also loves Gedda, and there are some elements of Gedda, and another tenor Piotr admired, Fritz Wunderlich in his voice, but he is still a totally unique artist.

     I note that at this moment,there are 2454 downloads from Poland, and I am sure he is a celebrity there, as he is throughout the opera world. I hope you enjoy my 2012 favorite singer.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

A Curator?????

When I told a friend I do not always know what you might enjoy, he told me that since there is so much out there, I am a kind of "curator" as if I decided to show various paintings in a museum. However, you can still send me comments and suggestions to: Placido21@aol.com. Hopefully, the regular podcasts will return soon, but meanwhile, I seem to be able to discover (by racking my brain), what might please you.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:55pm EDT

Anyone living in a country where they never heard of the great hilarious Anna Russell, I present her phenomenal Ring Analysis...The best line is, "I'm not making this up,you know." She is a LEGEND!!!!

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

    I bet you thought you would get away without hearing my darling Marisa Galvany in the Bolena. This is 1974 from City Opera, but when we did it she held the last E flat for about an hour.

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

Since I am the only one here who "knows where to go" to find things you will love, especially until the podcasts return, here is another treat for you. This is one of my favorite scenes, and I am very nostalgic about it, since I sang Rochefort in Bolena with Marisa Galvany and Sam Ramey.To rehearse with Galvany and look down her throat as those fabulous D's and E Flats came forth was a thrill for me.  Have fun..but do not try this at home!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

In the temporary absence of my podcasts, I offer you some repeats of the favorite selections you have enjoyed.This Lotte Lehmann recording makes me CRAZY!!! I rank it way up there with the most ravishing recordings i ever heard. ENJOY!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

One of the VERY FEW divas who "lets it all hang out" is Lauren Flanigan, one of the most exciting and dedicated artists. She not only a great artist, but does amazing charity work for the poor, and I just wish I had seen her even more in her great City Opera days; however,I did happily catch her in Macbeth, Mother of us All, Atilla, Vanessa, and Tote Stadt, and was always thrilled with her total committment to the role. Here is a scene from Nabucco, and I know you will like it.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

 Despite all my stupid and often insulting Rita Hunter jokes, she was one of my favorite singers..Brilliant tone, great feeling, pianissimi,chest voice..Last wonderful Aida and Brunnhilde i saw. I really recommend the ENOC Ring, if you can take Goodall's slow slow tempi.  She died really too soon.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:46pm EDT

Her famous long hair once got caught in Del Monaco's boot in Samson et Delilah..We loved dear Blanche!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT

Blanche Thebom (September 19, 1915 – March 23, 2010[1]) was an American operatic mezzo-soprano, voice teacher, and opera director. She was part of the first wave of American opera singers that had highly successful international careers.[2] In her own country she had a long association with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City which lasted 22 years. Opera News stated, "An ambitious beauty with a velvety, even-grained dramatic mezzo, Thebom was a natural for opera: she commanded the stage with the elegantly disciplined hauteur of an old-school diva, relishing the opportunity to play femmes du monde such as Marina in Boris Godunov, Herodias and Dalila."[3]

While Thebom sang a broad repertoire which encompassed everything from Handel and Mozart to Verdi and Debussy, she was best known for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner. Two Wagner roles with which she was particularly associated were Fricka in Die Walküre and Brangaene in Tristan und Isolde.[4] She notably sang the latter role in a famous 1952 recording made in London with Kirsten Flagstad, Ludwig Suthaus, and conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. In addition to several other recordings, she also appeared in two feature films during her career: Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944) and, with Mario Lanza, The Great Caruso (1951).[5]

After retiring from the stage in 1967, Thebom worked as an opera director in Atlanta for 6 years. She then taught singing both privately and on the music faculties of the University of Arkansas and San Francisco State University. She also co-founded the Opera Arts Training Program of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and served on the board of the Metropolitan Opera for nearly four decades.[3]

We LOVED HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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

There are examples of either arias, phrases, or even a single WORD that exemplify the great talent of an artist; note the way Mme.Malfitano PLUNGES into this music.There are so few today who can do this. Lauren Flanigan, Renata Scotto, Diana Soviero,etc.KNEW how to do this..I love this scene!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

 I guess that I am guilty, on the Jewish New Year, for posting this, but look....I did light a candle for Sue's voice. You know I have posted her great high E flat in the Aida I was in, but did not realize what a GESCHREI it was until I saw the tape. I was too busy singing the RE to pay attention.

    If you happen to be one of those people who are not into S/M, do NOT listen!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

  HEY!!! Despite his not being at the Met this year... I will attend Joe Calleja's recital at the New York Winery on Oct.11 at 8 P.M.  I am glad to see Joe..he is missed...but he is singing 67 Otellos in Italy so he has no time for us.....Look forward to this with our great guy!!!!!   Here is the song from his new album..If only Lanza had his style!!!!

Still awaiting new software to get those podcasts back. Thanks for your patience.(I have lost mine!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

  In my efforts to select material that is special to me (and to you), while the podcasts have to be delayed a while longer, I am selecting some material you will like (and in some cases have heard). Remember that I seem to know what you like, no matter if you have Youtube or not, with its jillions of videos.

    I am sure that you have thought of certain "moments' that sum up the greatness of a particular artist, and here is my "Franco moment," with the fabulous High C on the "Eh" vowel which drives me (and the Scala audience) totally crazy!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm EDT

  The magnificent Tatiana Troyanos, who passed away too soon. She was one of the truly great singers.Born Sept.12, 1938, she will always be missed, but never forgotten.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

My  friend is off to La Fenice to hear what Verdi originally wrote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Yma Sumac had a range of 587 octaves..well,almost....She was born on Sept.10, 1927...she gets MADDDDDD here!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm EDT

A very happy birthday (Sept.8) to dear Linda Strummer, wife of another darling person, Peter Strummer.  I wish we had her around today!!!!!!!!! (well,she is "around' on Facebook)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EDT

TRAGIC death at only age 33, Seinemeyer was a great singer and was born on September 5, 1895. What a loss to opera!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:38pm EDT

Catching up on birthdays...The GREAT Rene Pape, born September 4, 1964. I hope someday he will do Wotan.This man is absolutely a sensation!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT


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