What more is there to say??I have heard this live and on records over a zillion times, and the effect never ceases to be less than a MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

  When we did Anna Bolena in Paterson,New Jersey in 1970....did I think someday Sam Ramey and Marisa Galvany would be doing it at City Opera (but without me). Just to stand there (as Rochefort) and hear that final D....wow!!!! Our maestro,Armen Boyajian makes the piano sound like an orchestra!!!

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

 I wish all the mommies out there a Happy Mothers' Day, hoping it does not resemble what Marisa Galvany did.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:24am EDT

  Sayao, born may 11, 1902, DEFINED the word "beloved." She did not have to have a huge voice...but what she did (including using chest voice), was just a miracle of style and love of the phrase. She once delighted us by spening an entire Met intermission with us, answering questions, etc. She was adored!!!!

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

  I am glad my mommy never was like this.Otherwise, I might have turned out to be abnormal, when you all KNOW I am totally together....Right??????

Category:general -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

Which one would you love for your mommy????????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm EDT

  Nothing like the Roberto Devereux finale............

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

  Watching this gorgeous DVD of Tchaikowsky's "Iolantha" today and discovering yet another marvelous artist. Look,there are so many out there. Ekaterina Scherbachenko has a rich,luscious voice and I hope you enjoy the Onegin sample here.

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

  Boy,are we LUCKY that the great George Gershwin's estate included the provision that ONLY Afro-Americans could appear in "Porgy and Bess."  One thing I will say, is that Gershwin might have liked Mari Lynn's wonderful jazzy interpolation, but I guess it is just as well, because Catfish Row would never be the same with Mari......You know, I love to listen to Mari, because it makes me feel so normal..YEAH!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:37pm EDT

BUY the new Tchaikowsky Iolantha on DVD (paired with Stravinsky's "Persephone.") This is a great performance from Madrid with Ekaterina Scherbachenko and this wonderful Pavel Cernoch, seen here with my great love,Kristine Opolais.  This was a glorious afternoon for me,seeing the Iolantha!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm EDT

From the Russian Gala this week..Who would imagine this "Adina' as Lady Macbeth???Just amazing!! The delivery..the furor...the lady is an amazing artist..who continues to grow..and thrill the world!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:20pm EDT

THIS is the way they used to do it.Nowadays it is a BORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy no.83 to Roberta Peters, a fine artist and someone deserving of the best!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:59am EDT

Just returned from the Met where I heard Lisette Oropesa live for the very first time. She was one of the finest Gildas I ever heard ; the voice is so seamless in tone and she is a consummate artist in every sense of the word. This clip is a bit faded, but you hear the wonderful technique. I am so glad for her!!!!  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 1:46am EDT

...because it makes my life so treasurable...A world without the Ring for me would not be the same.Here is the great finale of the Valencia Gotterdamerung under Zubin Mehta. The entire Ring has so many wonderful effects..I recommend it...just go on food stamps like me!!!

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

Ok..now go into the shower and YOU do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Do NOT take anyone in there with you,or you might be drowned!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:41am EDT

Another ME??Lord forbid!!!

 What a joy to see that a young "kid' is so well-educated in opera that he is influencing others to enjoy his marvelous site. Here is some info..and his site may be found at: operateen.wordpress.com.I had no internet when I was his age, and what a pleasure to have someone NOT KNOW who Justin Bieber is!!!

Harry Rose, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Westchester County, says he wants to run an opera house when he grows up. For now, however, being a star among opera fans on the Internet will do just fine.

Harry is best known by his Twitter handle, Opera Teen, and his resumé also includes guest critiques for the Huffington Post, reviews for industry sites like Parterre Box, and commentary on his own Tumblr blog. This Saturday, he’ll be on the Operavore show to talk about his favorite operatic experiences. As a preview, we ask Harry about his entry into the world of opera, where audience members are typically four times his age.

First opera-going experience: A double bill of Leoncavallo's Cavalleria Rusticana and Mascagni's Pagliacci at the Metropolitan Opera in April 2009. “Even though I was only 11 at the time, I have two very clear memories of the entire evening: one was Franco Zeffirelli's magnificent production, that’s rumored to be replaced next season. The second was mezzo-soprano Ildikó Komlósi as Santuzza. Her passionate volatile mezzo stole the evening.”

Opera characters he’d invite over for dinner: I’d definitely invite Tosca, who would make for some great conversation. Also, Rusalka, a very interesting and enigmatic character. And Guillot in Massenet’s Manon. His motives are screwy but he’s just a funny, funny character.

Most Despicable opera character: Scarpia from Tosca. “He’s the playground bully of Rome. He’s mean to be mean. That’s why he’s despicable. Same thing with Iago from Otello.”

Challenges of being a teenage opera fan: The costs. Harry is too young to take advantage of student discounts at the Met. He recalls attending an opera at La Scala in Milan three years ago (age 11) and paying 110 euros to sit in the nosebleed seats.

What he’s looking forward to: Komlósi as the nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) at the Metropolitan Opera in November. “Komlósi has mostly focused her career in Europe so an appearance here is a treat.”

Fodder for great Twitter conversation: Dream casting operas with favorite singers.


Category:general -- posted at: 9:48pm EDT

DIOS MIO!!!!! I just discovered Lucrecia Garcia..She is all over Youtube...What a soprano,in the "old tradition." Check her out!!!!!!!

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

Here is Piotr Beczala as the Duke in the new Met (modernized) Rigoletto. I actually liked the production, despite some of the DUMB translations. I do not read titles, but I hear some were really silly.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am EDT

When I was young and somewhat normal.

  May I share with you (whether you care or not) one of the really delightful experiences of my early opera-going, when my friends and I had nothing to do in the summer, with no MET! A dear friend, Joan Abel, invented a take-off on the famous Monopoly game and called it "Monoperaly" Each of the players had little pieces of papers with singers names and points. We had big fistfights first when we had to decide how many points a Flagstad would get compared to a Baum.
       The concept was that if you rolled the dice (no rolling Marijuana cigarettes at that time) and landed on an OPERA (Joanie covered the usual places with names of operas, so if i landed on BORIS and could cast it with the singers in my collection (with the approval of everyone),I could OWN IT, and if you ever landed on it, I could take your singers,if they were also appropriate..so for example,if you had  London,Siepi,Hines,etc..and i could cast it with YOUR singers, I got them (like money).
     One night i landed on Siegfried, but had only people like Peters, Valletti,etc. and I could not cast it..although I did argue for a "lyric Siegfried," but was voted down!!!
 Jail was BED....GO was "Va fuggi"(like Zinka in Trovatore), and some of the Community chest cards were things like "Zinka falls on your head..go back 5 spaces," or "Pick a singer from the "bank" without looking and you have to go to BED with the singer.(I once got BAUM!!!)
     So you see how much crazy fun we had, but I was very immature then,and as you know I am now ready for more intelligent games like "Potsy" and " Kill the tenor."
     There was once an opera game called "Triviata," and i wonder if it still in existence. Maybe some of you more intelligent people could think of something (keep it clean) we could do online that might be fun for mature opera lovers..but you will NEVER match Monoperaly.
     Thanks Joanie,wherever you are!!!!! Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:50pm EDT

Anja Silja,Phillip Langridge and Roberta Alexander combine in the great finale of Janacek's Jenufa, one of the finest operas ever written.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT

  On that terribly tragic evening, March 4, 1960, we never got to hear the cabaletta to this aria, because Warren's last words were, "E salvo, o gioija." On the occasion of his birthday (Apr.21, 1911),I present the aria as he often sang it at the Met, with the fabulous ending. He was a great man and we still mourn his tragic passing.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm EDT

Met Closing, 1966

 A few years ago,I had published the final night of the old Met, Apr.16, 1966, and this week was the (sad) anniversary of the closing. I think something happened to the post, and I will do a three-part podcast fairly soon. It was a sad occasion, but I am glad I have the memories.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm EDT

The great soprano Anna Netrebko has a great time,as does the audience, in this fabulous rendition of the Giuditta Aria. I saw her do this live, and the voice is HUGE!!!!! I feel she is the greatest soprano of our time!!!!!! I think she was "with child" here.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:01am EDT

  Leonie does not care if it is concert..she still lets out her famous GESCHREI!!!!! She will never ever be replaced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

 When I first met Sam in 1970, when we were rehearsing "Anna Bolena," we all realized that some day Sam would realize his dreams, and go on to have a great career.It was NOT an "Impossible dream." Sam just did a run of "Bluebeard's Castle," which will probably be his last stage work, but not bad to have a career that spanned over 40 years. My best always to a wonderful Basilio (to my Bartolo).

Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm EDT

After the remarkable triumph of Michael Fabiano in I Lombardi last week, I want to offer another example of his art. Trust me...this is NOT souped up! He just opens his mouth and out flows tone after tone of sheer beauty and power. As long he does not listen to me, he will do the roles that are appropriate and last 25 more years.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm EDT

More brilliant tenors are coming along. Bryan has a wonderful brilliant voice, and he joins our "new crop" of tenors..We are fortunate to have him!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:25pm EDT

Callas, Negri, Galvany, and now APRILE!!!!! No one does this anymore!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:55pm EDT

Can we associate any other singer with ONE NOTE???? I just long-distance texted Zinka, and she says  she was having an "Enzo Adorato" contest with Ponselle...Who won????

Category:general -- posted at: 7:37pm EDT

So sad a day,Apr.13, 1966, when my all-time favorite singer,Zinka Milanov,retired from the Met stage. NO ONE has even touched her...and no one will!!!!!!  Sadly,today,no one has learned to kick their Tosca train like Zinka....well,you can't have it all!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:12pm EDT

 Dear Aprile Millo,one of the kindest and most loving ladies, was born in "Aprile"..On the 14th. We wish her the happiest of birthdays.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am EDT

Give me 5 minutes in a time machine and this is pick number one!!!!!!!!!!! Makes me crazy!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:42pm EDT

 Happy birthday to the famous Montserrat,who holds the record for the longest high note in Met history!!!!!!!!!!!!.   Apr.12, 1933.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:37am EDT

  Angela Meade, Michael Fabiano,Kevin Short in the Lombardi Trio from Apr.8.

This is a revelation for us in NYC.We have not been treated to this kind of singing for quite a while.   (Ever since i saw Tamagno's first Otello.)

     Michael is Fabianolous!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:16pm EDT

This will give you some idea of why the audience last night went ballistic at Michael's "La mia letizia." Still, you MUST hear him live to derive the total picture..but you can get some idea here.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm EDT

The Fabulous Fab!!!

      Pardon me as i do some unusual gushing in regard to last evening's OONY 's " I Lombardi" under Eve Queler. In the olden days, we had no Youtube and all the exposure to voices before we heard them live, and as i recall hearing voices like Antonietta Stella, Daniele Barioni, etc. the revelation was something i will never forget.
        I had only heard Micgael Fabiano live as cassio, plus some Youtube selections, but you know you MUST be there to enjoy a voice properly, and when Michael Fabiano concluded the "La mia letizia infondere,"the first live aria I ever heard from him (Cassio does not tell too much), the audience gave him one of the most prolonged and LOUDEST ovations since I attended Lillian Nordica's first performance.
           Mr.Fabiano has a positively glorious lirico-spinto voice of such glamor that you bask in every tone, something akin to early Carreras, and Fabiano's voice fills the hall with the kind of ravishing tone that makes you almost feel he has some kind of electronic device in his throat. In every vocal situation, not just when his voice goes into the passaggio, you hear true glory, and when he stood in a side box to sing the "ghost of Oronte," it was totally captivating, as the voice rang out throught the theatre. Michael is only 28, and he better not listen to me, because I already have him singing everything in the tenor repertory;however, I do hope as Alfred in Fledermaus next season, they allow at least five arias in the prison scene.
So you see, the Avery Fisher audience, offering him huge ovations, knew exactly what he is about, and on Franco's birthday, another star was born in New York.
          Angela Meade is an immensly talented singer, another star of the documenatary, "The Audition," and shge has an unusual way of sailing into these high high pianissimi, where you think the tone is soft, and gets even softer,up to high C;I believe she can probably do the same thing above a C, and for a dramatic soprano, this is most unusual. The fortes are brilliant and ride over the ensembles, and I look forward to her Norma next season.
         Where has Kevin Short been all my life? What a gorgeous,rich basso voice!! He said he has not been at the Met in many years...their big loss. In the trio (a quartet,if you count the solo violinist, he emitted such beautiful tones, and he surely belongs way up there with the finest bassos in my experience.
          Making his OONY debut was tenor  Noah Baetge, possessive of a voice of great brilliance, and thrilling us with a very long-held high C in act three. It was nice to see  Brandon Cedel, recent winner of the Met auditions (I picked him immediately) in the role of Pirro. He definitely is headed for a big career. The superb New York Choral Society added a tremendous thrill to the evening, and I really had not paid enough attention to this, Verdi's fourth opera, which should be perfomred more often.
            I want MORE of this in my life!!!!   As ever  Charlie

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

MIO DIO!!!!  I saw Franco's Romeo but do not know if he did what he does here..Mamma mia!! And he  worried about anything?????? I just went ballistic!! (Muti would kill him!!!!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 8:01pm EDT

  I attended the first Turandot in 1961 and let me tell you,it was one of the greatest things in my memory. Stokowski stopped after the "Nessun dorma," because he knew we would go nuts, and then re-started the music.

    Even without Loretta, Franco might have still been a difficult guy, but he was adored by so many, and no one..NO ONE has taken his place in this repertory!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:56am EDT

My favorite Corelli moment..The high C on the "e" vowel in the Poliuto aria....Drives me nuts!!! We miss you,Franco!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:51am EDT

It was my great pleasure last evening to hear Piotr Beczala as Faust at the Met. More and more of us are calling him the "new Gedda," although he possesses his own unique voice and style. His new Verdi and operetta CD's will be coming out soon, and I will play a few selections for you.(with his permission.)

   The unusual event last night occured when he introduced me to the son of the famous Polish tenor, Jan Kiepura, who proceeded to telephone his mother, the legendary 101 year old Martha Eggerth. This was a wonderful extra treat for me, and I must tell you that I was quite taken by the experience,especially after Piotr sang so magnificently. You know I have been around awhile and I tell you that Piotr is fast becoming a very special artist in the opera world.

Category:general -- posted at: 8:09pm EDT

Unlike Santuzza, may I wish you all a wonderful Easter Holiday!!!!!!!!

Gavazzi,Simionato,Cossotto, Troyanos,Verrett,Obratsova,W.Meier, Urmana

Category:general -- posted at: 9:29pm EDT

 85 yr.old Lauri-Volpi expounds on singing!!!   Mamma Mia!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

Born too late??????

   Had I not discovered Zinka Milanov when I was in college, I know my average would have been higher, but I cannot say I have regrets as to what opera has given me since 1953. Then, I had this fantasy about what would happen if I were born maybe 30 years earlier and saw the kind of seasons that the Met Annals reveal. I would be a triple Lois Kirschenbaum, never stay home, and probably end up dropping out of college..well,no,of course not..because it would probably go like this:

"I saw Caruso and Ponselle last week;i need not go again!!." It was much like this in 1954 because now I say things like, "I should have seen Steber, De los Angeles, etc. more," but naturally one must put things in some perspective. Just to think of a little Charlie around 1918, a typical week might go like this.(From the 1917-1918 annals.)

11/12/17   Aida   Muzio,Caruso, Matzenauer, Amato, Mardones

11/13 (In BROOKLYN)  Tosca    Farrar, Althouse (taught Tucker),Scotti

11/14    Boris    Didur, Rothier, De Segurola, Matzenauer, Althouse

11/15    Elisir     Hempel,Caruso, Scotti, Didur

11/16    Boheme    Alda, McCormack, De Luca, Didur

11/17     Faust     Farrar, Martinelli, Rothier  (Mat.)

11/17 (Eve.)   Traviata   Hempel, De Luca, Carpi (who???)

    So you see, this is IMPOSSIBLE to process, and the era was just so replete with sensational stars, and maybe a few who at that time may have not been Caruso or Ponselle, but in the cast each night usually there was at least one great star, and probably more, as you see above.
     I guess it is all right I was born later, because I would have never been a teacher, and I propably cud not spel propally anymorre.

                    Now you see why people say, "Get over it,Charlie...They're DEAD!!!"


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

 Sam once told me about that "skinny little chain-smoking" basso whom he saw in Sam's early days.It was the great Norman Treigle, a giant on the stage;Sam managed to "inherit" some of the great Treigle roles, and here is one of them. Treigle would be honored!!!

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

  One fine day (Un bel di) in 1970, we started our Anna Bolena rehearsals with Marisa Galvany, me as Rochefort, and some new young guy named Sam Ramey. Imagine suddenly hearing that great voice for the first time, and subsequently we sang in Barbiere, Boheme,Hoffmann, etc.and to this day we have kept up a friendship (He is the "King of Facebook.") and so to dear Sam, not a devil of a guy in person, we wish the happiest of birthdays!!!!

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

 Maria Aleida Rodriguez....GEE...a "G".....Phenomenal!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

 Can you spend two hours watching and listening to the GREATEST singing imaginable?????   I saw many of them!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:13pm EDT

Some people complain I love dead singers....Well,tough!!!! Can anyone these days do this?????

  Callas and Bechi in Nabucco scene.   To die for!!!!!!!!!

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

Not much left........Makes me cry...because it is a remnant of a sensational,if short, career......She uses a lot of chest...i think because she cannot do it any other way.....Such a sad end to a career.......But what she gave to music is something of a miracle,even in a short time. (56 min.)

Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am EDT

  I saw Magda as Fedora circa 1972.(She was 62)......When she uttered, "LORIS..OVE SEI????" the chills ran up the spines of everyone. Here,with the great Mario del Monaco is the Fedora finale. Again,happy 103rd,dear Magda!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:25pm EDT

As we celebrate Magda Olivero's 103rd birthday (Mar.25),just think of how we cried our eyes out...Note the last phrase,"Rimuuuuuuuuneri cosiiiii."THAT itself sums up what she was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Bless her!!!!!

   She was just a 65 year old kid here at the Met!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

  It took me time, but Parsifal grew on me and it is SUBLIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Charlie

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

Magda is a baby here at 83, but I bet she still has a lot left.I will call her tomorrow,Mar.25, as I always do......I cannot imagine a world without her. She is a MIRACLE!!!!!!

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

  Maria Malatesta Calabro..Over 80..Go to her Youtube page..There is more!!!!!!!! This is just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

   I have been waiting since Maria died for another Norma......I am so happy we found one!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

This documentary is a MUST for young singers, and having seen most of them,I tell you they are just tremendous. There is one very sad thing to say,and that is that shortly after this,tenor Ryan Smith died of cancer. Rest in peace!  If you have not seen this, it is something to treasure!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:49am EDT

Happy birthday to Dolora Zajick, who is the last of the "let it all hang out" singers..I was so happy when she had me give a demonstration lesson,with recorded examples, to her students....showing them how you need not fear to approach singing with power and strength..too few singers can do this today,.They prefer to be "safe." (Whatever that means.)

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

She was 80 here...She was the most captivating singer in my life!!!!!!! Flawed..yes...but no one could just stand there and take over the WORLD of opera!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT

My beloved Rise, rest in peace!

Through my tears, I am trying to find words to describe was Rise Stevens meant to me in my life. The first singer I ever met at 15 was Rise, and we went to her home every year in the club we had for her. She was as kind and gracious as any human being could be, and at this moment I think back to all those years, onstage and off, and the pleasure she gave to us.
         I see that Octavian as she came down the stairs with the rose for Hilde Gueden, the elegance, the beauty, the rich voice as she began the Presentation Scene; I see the gorgeous Delilah with Mario Del Monaco; I recall how we used to wonder how many times they had to sew up the curtain at the end of Carmen, where she fell and died in that production.
         But most of all, I think of the lady who was the first "star" I ever met, and i actually never forgot the "greasepaint feeling" on my palm as she shook my hand as if she always knew me
           That is all I want to say at this moment about Rise, as I try to remember more and more of the beauty of this woman, who brought many others to opera, and who will remain in my heart forever.
             Dearest Rise, rest in peace....you will never be forgotten.

                                                                         Lovingly, sadly, but happy she was a part of my life.........and that of so many.    Charlie

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

   Just watch and listen and i am sure you will understand why I have always placed Diana in the category of the greatest singers in my opera life. Muzio would approve!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:08pm EDT

 More of my beloved friend Diana Soviero, the very last of a breed.They do not like this kind of singing anymore...With Scotto, Diana constitutes a "lost art."  Happy Birthday again,Diana, and to my other beloved diva, my ma. March 19 was a great day!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm EDT

   I cannot wait for March 19!!Here is the first of the Diana Soviero clips. I have posted it before, I believe.Get your big towels ready for the most emotional singing you can imagine. I have know Diana since i almost fell out of the balcony at her Mimi in 1977, and I have not changed my mind as to her greatness as a singer..last of the verismo ladies.

     You'll get more later this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

 Zinka who????? I almost gave her up at the 1956  Antonietta Stella Met Aida debut. Luscious, sumptuous,gorgeous voice..Born Match 15, 1929..She remains for me one of the all-time greatest!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

SORRY ZINKA !! NO ONE in a given role ever thrilled me as much as Christa Ludwig in Frau. I cannot describe adequately what that was like!!!!!!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am EDT

  Claudia Novikova was born on Mar.9 ,1895. This has to be one of the most charming (and funny) renditions of ANYTHING!!!!!  La Perichole "drunk aria."

Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

  Christina is due to come to a comedy show near you!!!!!!!!   This is a riot!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm EDT

Which one do you like the best???? For me it was Del Monaco,who walked across the Met stage holding the note and we went ballistic!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:25am EDT

Gina Cigna, born March 6, 1900,lived to 100!  Here is Met 1937 broadcast with Martinelli and Castagna. Thank God,I never knew of this perf.I sang along with the Cetra,where she did not take the D..otherwise I would have ruined my voice at 16!!(What voice???)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT

Wanna laugh????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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

  I mentioned the Stella Fanciulla Poker Scene in my podcast.Here it is,with Anselmo Colzani. Note her nervousness and how she finally gets her way. Wonderful!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT

YES, Ruby Helder, born March 3, 1890, was a female TENOR!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:49am EDT

Lucine is a"baby" here at 70, but for her March 1 birthday we wish her the best, and go to Youtube to find a clip of her singing at 87! How many artists can sound youthful after over 65 years of singing? We wish her well, and trust me, she is as much fun as anyione could be.(But i will not tell you her jokes...this is a "family" site.     LOVE TO HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:36pm EDT

  One of the GIANTS of our music culture!!!!!!! Rest in peace@!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EDT

Feb.27, 1888,the great great lady was born.....If I had to see ONE diva in my life from the past..it would be this remarkable lady!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

 The very first Met telecast. Renata was a bit "chubby" here......butso what....Listen to that EMOTION!!! LOVE HER!!!!!

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

Happy Birthday to Renata Scotto

        As we celebrate the 79th birthday of Renata Scotto on Feb.24, I think back to the period when so many people (including yours truly) spent so much energy trashing her, largely owing to her essays into heavier repertory, and the extremely flawed top voice. Yes,indeed, like my beloved Martha Moedl, she was a "flawed Kunst diva," but when we stop and take note of the body of work that Scotto produced, and realize that,along with Diana Soviero, she has been the very last of the kind of "verismo sopranos" whose emotional intensity recalls the now-forgotten era of Muzio,Favero,Zeani,etc.
              There is so much more in singing than just "voice," and we can point out many artists who might be deemed "unlistenable" to those who do not delve more deeply into their over-all contribution to music. Callas would be a prime example, as would be Leyla Gencer, Gwyneth Jones,Conchita Supervia,  Magda Olivero,Raina Kabaiwanska,and others who were not simply "producers of gorgeous vocal tones," but who bring so much deep emotion to singing...the phrasing, the importance of even a single syllable, the love of the vocal line, the unforgettable "golden moments" that we may remember so well, even despite some rather "strange" sounds,like Leyla's scoops, Jones' taking three hours to get on the correct pitch of a note, Moedl's not knowing what will come out, Supervia's "goat-like' vibrato,etc.
           So we wish Mme.Scotto a very happy birthday and those of us who can shed some of the "baggage of the 1980's" must revere what she has meant to opera;sadly, there do not seem to be any singers today who can bring us the kind of depth of feeling that,for example, Muzio singing "O del mio amato ben" or just Moedl standing there as Brunnhilde without even uttering a single note, can offer.
                  Thanks to you,Mme.Scotto, and I humbly apologize for some of my rants!!!                                                    Sincerely,  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm EDT

  Why did that Parma audience go NUTS????  Here is an example!!!!!

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

 After that Parma Tosca, the audience demands an encore at end of opera...I love it!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Feb.22, 1927 was the birthday of one of the greatest sopranos ever,Regine Crespin. It was an amazing voice, and here she sings the aria from The Damnation of Faust.She will never be forgotten!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT

The finale of an unusual production of one of the greatest operas,Die Frau Ohne Schatten. It is available on DVD complete (Salzburg 2011).Look it up on Amazon..It is totally UNCUT and takes place in a studio...this is the staging..but the singing is truly remarkable.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:06am EDT

Yes,she had her flaws...but LORD,Leonie Rysanek remains in our hearts one of the most exciting singers EVER!!! Here is the duet from "Aegyptische Helena" with Bernd Aldenhoff.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

She just continues to thrill me NO END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT

Have you all seen this wonderful scene from the Video "The Golden Ring?" Birgit enjoyed the joke!!!!!!!!

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

Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993)[1] was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Music critic Alan Blyth said "Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty."[2] Most of her singing career was spent performing in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965. Although offered roles with many important European opera companies, Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred to perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.[2]

Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Her performance as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Met was the only time she sang an opera role on stage.

Anderson worked for several years as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a "goodwill ambassadress" for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

I was there and saw her debut.A historic occasion,paving the way for so many wonderful Afro-American artists.Sad so many suffered under the prejudice of others, but at least she made it.I was there!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

 Rigoletto on radio today from the Met. They no longer allow the Rigoletto to sing "AVRAIIIIIII".Instead,he says "avrai" and then the duet..and is thre anything like this????Leyla's glottal attacks and a fabulous ending.......

Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

  I love compilations like this. If you like high notes...have fun!!!!!  I hope the podcast glitches are fixed soon. Thanks for your patience.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT

Placido...es Verdad?????

   I have been informed that since Placido has nothing much else to do these days, he will probably be taking over the Pope's job, and besides, he LOVES the costume. Unfortunately, he will have to sell Madrid (es propietario de la ciudad) and as far as Marta goes...well,look, you can't have everything!!!   Buena Suerte, Placido!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

  May I wish you all a most happy Valentine's Day. Ella Fitzgerald has the kind of style in pop that many of our great opera stars possess in their fach. (Skip the AD!!)

                                          My best wishes to all of you....Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

ANOTHER great voice for Wagner, although it was Farrell's decision not to sing a complete Wagner opera..Preferred JAZZ...well, in opera,one of the great voices of all time, and a very funny lady!!!

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

 I just LOVED this lady....Magnificent voice..Born Feb.13, 1938. She should be more noticed. I saw her in Tosca, Ariadne,etc. She would be the GREAT Wagnerian of today!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:50am EDT

Born Feb.12, 1940, Gilda Cruz-Romo today would be QUEEN of the dramatic sopranos!!!!!!What a marvelous,exciting artist!!!!!

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

  In 1967,Beverly Sills was "discovered" in this role..but she was always wonderful. We came close to falling out of the balcony at the way she sang this music!!!!!

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

Magda Olivero and Richard Tucker in Manon Lescaut,Act 4. Just phenomenal!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EDT

 This is not my week..Another Libsyn glitch..so meanwhile,I will give you some videos..PACENZA!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

 One of the joys of my life is when a marvelous artist shows such a lovely personality, and also is interested in singers of the past, and even visits this site. Stefan Kocan, a Slovak bass,currently at the Met as a sleazy Sparafucile in the Las Vegas Rigoletto. Stefan is not just a fine artist, but a "regular guy" and i am so happy to have met him and enjoy his amiable personality.

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

In 1965, we did Tchaikowsky's beautiful and less-known "Iolantha." This was when I met Marisa Galvany, since I was her doctor (we did it in English.) The Met will do it in a few years, with these two great singers, Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, LOVE THEM!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:16pm EDT

 In my effort to please you all, I was told I could make my podcasts longer;however, if you only want the podcasts shorter than 74 min.because you want to burn them to a CD, I will keep the format the same. Please write me at Placido21@aol.com if you feel I should NOT lengthen the podcasts. I will then keep everything the same.

                                         As ever    Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT

 Do we know of any Violettas who can conclude "Sempre Libera' like this??All she had to do was take a high E flat..Well,what more can we ask of this great lady???

Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT

  Several years ago,I sang the Sacristan in a Tosca with a superb artist, Dorothy Bishop. Since then, Dorothy, one of the sweetest and most talented individuals I have ever met, has been a HUGE hit all over the globe.This is from Helsinki,Finland. How many Toscas do you know who can belt out pop songs, hilariously imitate some of our personalities (She did Sarah Palin BETTER than Sarah Palin), and hit high D's????

Category:general -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

More Great Music

September 2023
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