Hi all,
         On Tuesday, August 28, we will celebrate the birthday of my all-time favorite tenor of those whom I saw live..Richard Tucker, born in 1913, 99 years ago.  Yes, I loved the excitement of Corelli and del Monaco, but like caruso, Tucker could excell in both lyric and dramatic roles, and he was one of the most consistent performers in my experience. Quoting Regina Resnik in an Opera News article, "He left his blood all over the stage!"
          When Tucker "hooked' into his passaggio, the effect was absolutely amazing;he had a ringing top that echoed throughout the house, and once Carreras was heard to have remarked, regarding the B flat in Ballo before the last scene,that "the note remained on stage even when he left it."
       We know of the negative criticism of Tucker, as he could chop a phrase, let out a Cantorial sob (Gigli sobbed also), and sometimes he might be considered 'over the top"( something we WISH FOR today), but who is perfect? Also,some people do not realize that he could sing a gorgeous legato line (one of my examples is Act two Chenier at "Credo al destino.")
          As Alvaro in Forza, at the end of the "Sleale" duet, he would drop the sword, come to the prompter's box, and let out a mighty high B natural that I can still hear in my ear!  He was a moving Samson, a cute Ferrando, a brilliant Dick Johnson, and had he not passed away too soon, he would have lasted for many more years. His heart condition did not stop him for giving 1000% every night, and I recall how George Jellinek wrote him that he should ease up, but that was NOT what Tucker was all about.
            On his birthday, let us remember one of the greatest singers in opera history and a beloved family man as well.



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

What words  are adequate to describe the remarkable genius, Leonard Bernstein, born Aug. 25, 1918?  Yes, sometimes he needed to be "choreographed."  A good friend of mine worked with him (I did not say "under"),and said that he would be conducting "even if the roof fell in," such was his involvement in the music. He surely contributed so much to the world of music!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

 August 25, 1940 was the birthday of one of the GREATEST artists I have ever heard!! Jose Van Dam for me is an ICON in the music world.

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

  How about a little "goo," as Dmitri and Jonas sing this gorgeous Pearl Fishers duet!!!  Nice to know there are still singers like this around today!

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

  If I had to choose ONE commercial recording in my experience that thrills me the most, it is the Lotte Lehmann "Ich ging zu ihm" from Korngolds' "Die Wunder der Heliane."

    I recall that Rise Stevens, at one of our club meetings, described how she as a young student saw Lehmann as Eva in Die Meistersinger. It seemed that Rise was almost in a kind of trance over what she beheld. How wonderful that she became Octavian to Lehmann's Marshallin!

    As I have said, in the absence of my podcasts for now, I will regale you with some treasured material. I thank you for your patience!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

You have heard me praise my friend Ta'u Pupu'a whom I "discovered" when we sang in Rigoletto together several years ago;as good as he sounds here, he has come along to the point where is has been engaged for difficult roles like Bacchus in Ariadne,Radames,etc....and you already have heard samples of his work. Since Saturday, Aug.25 is his birthday, I wanted to present this clip.It is my pleasure to know this great guy.

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

Here is Schubert's "An die Musik," as sung by the magnificent Janet Baker, born August 21, 1933. I heartily recommend you purchase her recording of Elgar's "Sea Pictures," which ranks so very high in my "desert island" collection.  I regret I never saw her live, because she is a sublime artist.

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

 To keep you all interested while I await my repairman to fix my podcasts, I have been sending you some videos that you may enjoy. You would not normally know what to look for on Youtube, but since I have some ideas as to what you might enjoy, I can pick items.

   Handelman is the King on the left of the group. I was so busy singing my part that I did not realize, until I saw the tape, that the great diva Sue Hassell thought she was Maria Callas, and hit an E flat that might cause all animals in the neighborhood to come running. It is what we call in Italian a "GESCHREI!!"

    Make sure no little animals or small children are in the room when you play this. I have a few other "Perle Nere," which is the Italian expression (Black Pearls) for opera disasters. I sincerely hope you enjoy (??) some of my selections in the meantime.

    Do not forget that many small groups have some fine singers..but not this one.(Except of course, ME!)

Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm EDT

How wonderful to see dear Piotr Beczala on the cover of the new Opera News, with a beautiful article about his career...not to be missed by those who appreciate what great artistry and of course beautiful singing is all about. I have been singing his praises ever since I first heard him at the Met, and I am glad they chose to highlight his career which is surely becoming one of the most successful in the opera world.

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

InIn anticipation of Regina Resnik's 90th birthday on August 30, I present her hilarious take-off on Orlovsky's aria, which brought down the house at the Farewell Gala of Rudolf Bing. There are some "private references" that you might not understand, but really the audience just cracked up. My favorite moment is the way she says ,"But ask Corelli TWWWWWice!."

     A friend and I ,who know Regina for over 50 years, spent the day yesterday with her, and it was a joyous reunion. You will hear much more on her birthday.

I hope these videos are pleasant until I get the podcast problem solved.!

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

Let us celebrate the birthday of Miliza Korjus on Aug.18 (1907.) This is a perfect example of "vocal camp" and be sure no little children or animals are near the speakers at the end, and you will see why!!! She made films and was a well-known personality, but no one ever told her what "vibrato" was. I must tell you that most people crack up at the end!!!!!

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

  I never know what videos on Youtube you have seen, but I hope that perhaps some of my videos are new to you...and as entertaining as this one.  Birgit enjoyed it!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:18am EDT

Born August 16, 1951 , Rolandi STEALS THE SHOW at a City Opera Cenerentola, when they added an aria we never hear. It is a RIOT!!!!!

  Remember, until the podcasts are repaired, you will get some videos to entertain you..besides, I can rest my voice.(Aren't you lucky!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 1:02am EDT

Yes, I love to go to the opera..BUT I do know what we will never experience again. (This is in the regular key,by the way).    LORD!!!!! Do not tell me there is anything like this today!!!!!

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

The dear unforgettable Renata Tebaldi, who filled our young lives on and off stage with the most beautiful loving personality and great artistry one could imagine. I miss her so!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

Carmen Melis, teacher of Renata Tebaldi, was born Aug.16, 1885. Here is an example of her work, and she certainly had a fabulous pupil.

  I am having some upload problems, so until I have solved them, I will regale you with some videos to keep you out of trouble.

Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT


The first commercial recording of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, featuring Camilla Williams and  Lawrence Winters in the title roles, with Avon Long as Sportin' Life, Inez Matthews as Serena, June McMechen as Clara, and Warren Coleman as Crown. The conductor is Lehman Engel. (60 min.)

Direct download: Porgy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:11pm EDT

The "Tackle Tenor."

  My dear friend Ta'u Pupu'a, a native of Tonga, and former pro-football player. He "tackles" opera like the star he was at the sport. His career is blossoming, and here are some rehearsal excerpts from Tosca,Carmen, Turandot, and the terribly difficult Mahler "Das Lied von der Erde." We wish him the best as he embarks on an exciting career.(and I knew him "when.)   (18 min.)

Direct download: Tau_Reh..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

Leontyne Price's Opera Debut as Tosca

The opera debut, on NBC TV in 1955, of Leontyne Price, in an abridged English version of Tosca. This historic performance features David Poleri, Josh Wheeler, and a newcomer named Thomas Stewart as Angelotti. The conductor is Peter Herman Adler.    (72 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Price_TV.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

Il Tabarro

An Exciting Il Tabarro from 1946 under Cesare Sodero, with Licia Albanese, Lawrence Tibbett, Frederick Jagel, Margaret Harshaw, Alessio de Paolis, and Virgilio Lazzari. This is followed by some 1970 scenes from Il Tabarro from Florence, with Magda Olivero, Aldo Bottion, and Giulio Fioravanti,under the direction of Gaetano Delogu.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Tabarro_Licia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:22am EDT

A Thrilling Rigoletto

From 1967 under Lamberto Gardelli, a wonderful Rigoletto starring Cornell MacNeil,Nicolai Gedda, Roberta Peters, Bonaldo Giaiotti, and Belen Amparan. You will love this!! (72 min.)

Direct download: Rigoletto_1967_Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

  You know by now what I think of Piotr Beczala and Anna Netrebko, artists who would be accepted as magnificent in ANY opera era. I just wanted to show anyone who may not have seen today's telecast of Manon why my eyes filled with tears!!!! To my "jaded' ears, this was a great triumph, and I hope you enjoy it.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

ELEKTRA Hamburg/Rome

  The sound track of the 1969 Hamburg Elektra film under Leopold Ludwig, featuring Gladys Kuchta, Regina Resnik, Ingrid Bjoerner, and Hans Sotin. This is followed by the Elektra/Klytaemnestra scene with Martha Moedl and inge Borkh from Rome 1965, under Antal Dorati (71 min.)

Direct download: Elektra_Kuchta.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

Remember VHS???

 You know how much stuff I have laying around, including about 2000 VHS tapes.(Mostly opera). If anyone wishes to receive my free VHS catalogues, let me know at Placido21@aol.com and include name and address.

  I would say $ 3.00 each, but you must be able to pick them up by car or bring a heavy diva to carry them, and you probably would be living in or near New York City.

 What a shame these things are just vegetating, but that's technology!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT


My dear friends,

        At this juncture I feel that the fact we had to omit the comment section,owing to a large number of annoying ads, is really detrimental. Therefore if you wish to comment on any podcast and/or make suggestions for future ones, please E-mail me at Placido21@aol.com.

Ustedes pueden escribir en espanol.

Vous pouvez ecrire en francais.

Voi potete scrivere in italiano.

   (But that is all I can handle and forget Latin because I forgot it all.)

                                    I really want your feedback!!!!       


Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm EDT

  I almost weep every time I think of what this great man was to music. He was only 48 at his passing. He was born with the kind of heart and soul that one cannot obtain. Every breath he takes thrills me to death,and let us bless his memory.

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

Il Trovatore from Paris, 2003

A thrilling Trovatore from Paris 2003 under Maurizio Benini. Featured are Roberto Alagna, Sondra Radvanovsky,Dolora Zajick, Stefano Antonuccci, and Orlin Anastassov (Ferrando.) ( 71 min.)

  Just a little postscript:

        I used to tell Mme.Zajick that is so RARE in our usually "pretty" approach to opera, and that she is a throwback to a Stignani, a Barbieri,etc. She seemed to understand my feelings in regard to what she does want of her own students, and had me do a "Handelmanian Master Class" in which I played recordings illustrating style,emotion, etc.....I cudda beena star!! (But I cannot read music.)

Direct download: Trovatore_Radvan..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm EDT

Giuseppe Taddei in Simon Boccanegra

A truly glorious Simon Boccanegra from Monaco, 1966, featuring the kind of singing we adore. Giuseppe Taddei, Giorgio Tozzi, Antonietta Stella (Toni Starr), Gianfranco Cecchele, and Ivan Sardi. The conductor is Giuseppe Patane.    (66 min.)

Direct download: Boccanegra_Taddei.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

Get out your Pavarotti towels!!!!! Diana is absolutely remarkable here. This is the kind of singing  and emotion that a Muzio, a Favero, a Zeani, a Scotto expressed.

 I assume that most of you get Youtube in your country, but I can pick out certain videos that I think special. Did you know that Youtube now is able to show you complete operas????

  If you have any comments, requests,etc,please E-mail me at Placido21@aol.comand I will try to make you happy.   

As ever your friend Charlie

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

Young Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu (Met Traviata this coming season) sounds beautiful..Funny..he just did COSI..where an Albanian is disguised as an Albanian...!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

July 27, 1915. Mario was the first singer i ever saw (Aida) when I was 15.My first impression was a set of white teeth coming toward me before "Celeste Aida." He gave 1000% of himself and we miss this brand of singing!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:09pm EDT

Anyone who has been living on another planet and never saw Mari Lyn can "enjoy" this example of her great art. Note that the Act Four letter is a perfect example of verismo Italian. Before I showed this to Diana Soviero, I told her, "You will never see anything like this." She replied, "Oh,maybe she can study with me!" Then I played Mari and Diana almost fell off my couch!!!!

     We love Mari Lyn and if you go to Youtube you will be able to sample  more of her great art, but keep small children and animals away from the screen, lest they become traumatized forever. NOTE: Great Italian translations!!!!

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

Turandot from La Scala, 1964

There is just nothing that compares to  Nilsson/Corelli in Turandot. I saw several and as I say "the applause and cheers never stopped in 50 years." This is from 1964 La Scala under Gianandrea Gavazzeni with Gallina Vishnevskaya and Nicola Zaccaria. ( 71 min.)

Direct download: Turandot_Scala_1964.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

La Rondine with Virginia Zeani

A tender performance of Puccini's "La Rondine" with Virginia Zeani, Luciano Saldari, Gabriella Ravazzi, Angelo Marchiandi (Prunier), and Angelo Romero (Rambaldo.) This is from Lucca in 1971 under Nino Verchi.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Rondine_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Olivia Stapp in Cavalleria Rusticana

Another  of my "diva buddies," Olivia Stapp, mezzo-turned-soprano, in a Cavalleria from 1978, with Giorgio Merighi and Matteo Manuguerra, under Riccardo Chailly. You know by now that I try to introduce people to singers who did not make 100 recordings!!!!  (65 min.)

Direct download: Cav_Stapp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

  The new Opera News features bios of young artists, and one is the magnificent Latonia Moore, who stepped in last year and made her Met debut as Aida on the broadcast. She brought down the house at Carnegie in Puccini's "Edgar" two years ago, and just go to Youtube to sample more of her art, and remember that I have heard them all!  ((I even dated Melba.)

Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

   Even in 1973 we can tell what a fabulous voice this was. "Pippo" was born on July 24, 1921 and as I have stated many times, he destroyed a fabulous voice by singing heavier repertory and forgetting what a passaggio is. However, perhaps in the history of tenor singing, he would rank way up there for an incredibly gorgeous natural voice.  Rest in Peace!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm EDT

  My darling "big sister," Virginia Zeani, one of the greatest sopranos...70 plus roles...and a legend!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:38am EDT

  Piotr is much more than a "singer." He has the depth of emotion, the love of the vocal line, and all the elements that constitute great singing!!!!!

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

  Susan Graham, one of opera's finest artists, celebrates her birthday on July23. Here is Mme.Graham in a scene from a modern production of Ariadne. Happy birthday to a great star!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

 Diana Soviero in a scene from Act Two of mme.Butterfly. She combines the great voice with the kind of emotion of a Muzio, a Zeani, an Albanese. Enjoy!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

Luisa Miller from Turino

An exciting Luisa Miller featuring the young Jose Carreras and the young Katia Ricciarelli from Turino in the 1970's. The conductor is Fernando Previtali and the great Renato Bruson is Miller. Count Walter is sung by Mario Rinaudo and Federica is sung by Stella Silva. (72 min.)

Direct download: Luisa_Miller_Turino.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

Il Trittico with Beverly Sills

From 1967, the only time Beverly Sills sang the Puccini Trittico. In Tabarro she is joined by a young Placido Domingo and Seymour Schwartzman; in Suor Angelica the wonderful Frances Bible is the Principessa.(Another superb artist who never got to the Met);In Gianni Schicchi we hear Norman Treigle,one of the greatest singers I ever heard, and Salvator Novoa. Julius Rudel is the conductor.

Even in 1967, there were decent tape recorders to preserve performances like this and we must be grateful to whomever recorded the one Sills Trittico.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Sills_Trittico.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:48pm EDT

Licia Albanese, a living legend, turns 103 on July 22, 2012. Last time we met, I walked (slowly) with her (she is tiny) and reminded her of how I loved her Boheme with Gigli. I don't meet legends every day!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

   "Novun can compare vith me,you know!!"  (and she vas right!!)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

Zinka Milanov in Song

  My most beloved favorite singer, Zinka Milanov, sings songs by Strauss,Schumann, Giordani,Bozidar Kunc (her brother and accompanist), Brahms, Hageman ,Bersa, and Pavcic.These are from 1955; following these are six Croatian songs, recorded in 1943.

  As a bonus, we hear the incredible rendition of the Trovatore aria, "D'amor sull'ali rosee," which got me hooked on Zinka at around age 14. I know you will enjoy these selections. (70 min.)

Direct download: Milanov_Songs.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

What can I tell you??? The Wagner grandaughters are directing these new productions of poor Richard, who might be revived and say, "Gee, I never thought of that!!" As I say, on a certain "level"  (Twilight Zone??), the productions are entertaining, although I need someone to tell me what is going on and why???? I leave it to you to enjoy these productions in some way or totally get sick.  Have fun!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

Don Carlo with Eleanor Steber

In loving tribute to Eleanor Steber, one of opera's finest artists, I present a 1955 Don Carlo with Steber (Born July 17, 1914) and featuring Richard Tucker, Ettore Bastianini, Blanche Thebom, and Jerome Hines, under the direction of Kurt Adler  (72 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Steber.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

  I just realized that to see past podcasts,you look at the calendar on the right, and click on a date that is in blue. Otherwise you can scroll down only to a limited number of posts. I do hope you enjoy the new videos (even me)..Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT

 The magnificent Eleanor Steber was born on July 17, 1914. The performances I saw with her were unforgettable. Here is but one sample and I hope you think of her as affectionately as I do.

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

  If I may, here is my Alvise with Jennifer Zarchy as Laura. It was a few years ago. I am NOT a bass, but considering I cannot read music..not too bad. If you want me to delete myself, let me know. If you are nice to me, I may someday put up my Monterone..Minestrone..MELITONE...  BE KIND!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT

 See how nice it is to give you a video sample after an audio podcast???? I hope you enjoy it and can hear that fabulous middle voice of Di Stefano (1975, Tokyo.)  Enjoy!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm EDT

Pippo sings Puccini

  Here are early recordings by the great Giuseppe "Pippo" Di Stefano from various Puccini operas, live and commercial. You know how angry I become when i hear how phenomenal he sounded and how he just let it all deteriorate. However, aside from that, this is glorious singing.  (65 min.)

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

  Next year the Met sets their Rigoletto in 1960 La Vegas.(Piotr...you may be Frank Sinatra), so you see this stuff is coming over the ocean. I do not say it is not "fun" on one level, but do you approve of this new kind of "interpretation?" If you turned the sound off, could you recognize the opera????

Category:general -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

COME T'AMO!!!!!!

OK...This is all for tonight, but I had to practice doing this. I have heard Zinka's "note" 1000 times plus, and i still cannot believe it!!!!!

                                                         (I once had hair)

Category:general -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

 Before I fully matured (like now), I made up a scream tape to be played at parties. If you can guess most of them I will give you all my Andrea Bocelli tapes.  Have fun..but keep little kids and animals away when you play this!!!

                                          Addio, senza rancor.

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


Hello all,

     Many of us have known individuals who have changed our lives for the better, and, as we note on this site, I can be of some benefit to others, as a result of my buddy,James Jorden (La Cieca) helping me to create a site where opera lovers around the world can enjoy the great treasures that opera holds. 

     Today Mr.Jorden (in photo) helped me to add two new features. One is the ability to post videos directly from Youtube, and the other is to set up a hyperlink, so that on occasion you click a URL and go directly to other videos.  I hope this adds to your enjoyment of these podcasts, and if you have any special comments or requests, write me at Placido21@aol.com.

                                                My best


Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

The great Nicolai Gedda.

  NOTE: I now can put videos on this site!!!  Aren't you happy????????????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 3:08pm EDT

In memory of the late Charles Anthony, on his birthday, July 15, here is a sample of one of his master classes.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm EDT

Carlo Bergonzi sings his farewell at Carnegie Hall.

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

Falstaff Rehearsals under Toscanini

From 1950, I bring you some rehearsal excerpts from Falstaff Act 2 under the great Arturo Toscanini. The cast includes Giuseppe Valdengo,Frank Guarrera,Theresa Stich-Randall, Cloe Elmo, Nan Merriman, Virgilio Assandri, and Norman Scott   (62 min.)

Direct download: Falstaff_Tosc.Reh.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

Magda Olivero sing Poulenc, etc.

The beloved Magda Olivero, now 102 years young, sings first Poulenc's "La Voix Humaine" from 1970 in Venice under Nicola Rescigno. This will be followed by a series of Ave Marias from several years:

Schubert( 1978), Bracesso ( 1979), Luzzi (1981), Saint-Saens (1985), and Leoncavallo ( 1987). The podcast concludes with a special arrangement,in 1994 (she was only 84), of an Ave Maria that is based on the Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo.  (72 min.) 

Magda is one of the great miracles of opera and when I speak to her every birthday and when friends of mine visit her in Milan, she speaks that gorgeous "Verism0" Italian, and is even more lucid than I am.

Magda Olivero (née Maria Maddalena Olivero, 25 March 1910) is a soprano of the verismo-school of singing. She was born in Saluzzo, Italy.

Olivero made her operatic debut in 1932 on Turin radio in Nino Cattozzo's (1886–1961) oratorio I misteri dolorosi.[1] She performed widely and increasingly successfully until 1941, when she married and retired from performing. She returned to the stage ten years later, at the request of Francesco Cilea, who asked her to sing the title role in his opera Adriana Lecouvreur.[2][3]

From 1951 until her final retirement, Olivero sang in opera houses around the world. Among her most renowned interpretations were the leading parts in Adriana Lecouvreur, Iris, Fedora, La bohème, La fanciulla del West, La traviata, La Wally, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Mefistofele, and Turandot (as Liù.)

She sang in Cherubini's Médée in Dallas in 1967 and in Kansas City in 1968.[4] In 1975, already an international star for four decades, she made her début at the Metropolitan Opera House in Tosca. Her last performances on stage were in March 1981 in the one-woman opera, La voix humaine by Poulenc.[5] Thus, her stage career ended at age 71 and spanned nearly 50 years. She continued to sing church music locally and, well into her eighties, made a recording of several arias. Recordings exist of many of her great performances of both full operas and arias and scenes.

Among her studio recordings are Turandot (as Liù, with Gina Cigna, for Cetra, 1938), Fedora (with Mario Del Monaco and Tito Gobbi, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli, for Decca, 1969) and highlights from Francesca da Rimini (with Del Monaco, conducted by Nicola Rescigno, for Decca, 1969). In 1993, she recorded, with piano accompaniment, Adriana Lecouvreur (with Marta Moretto as the Princesse de Bouillon); excerpts from this recording were published on the Bongiovanni label. At age 86, she performed Adriana's monologue in Jan Schmidt-Garre's film Opera Fanatic. She made occasional singing appearances into her nineties. Olivero celebrated her 102nd birthday on 25 March 2012.

Direct download: Olivero_Voix-Aves.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:08pm EDT

For Carlo Bergonzi at 88!!  ERNANI

 In honor of the 88th birthday (July 13, 2012) of the great Carlo Bergonzi, one of the greatest singers of all-time, I present a 1962 Ernani with Leontyne Price, Cornell MacNeil, and Giorgio Tozzi, under Thomas Schippers. I could entitle Bergonzi's long career as "How to sing!!   68 min.

Direct download: Ernani_Bergonzi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48am EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana w.Elizabeth Rethberg

 From 1937, I bring you a Cavalleria Rusticana under Gennaro Papi, featuring the legendary Elizabeth Rethberg, Sydney Rayner, Carlo Morelli, Anna Kaskas (Mamma Lucia), and Irra Petina (Lola.). This is followed by commercial recordings of "Vissi d'arte" and "O Patria mia."  What a great artist she was!    (70 min.)

Direct download: Cavall.Reth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:02pm EDT

I Puritani With Virginia Zeani

  I never get to hear my own collection, so,for a change, I decided to listen to this wonderful 1957 Trieste Puritani under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli with Virginia Zeani, Mario Filippeschi, Aldo Protti, and Andrea Mongelli.

    I was "weaned" on those old Cetra operas with Filippeschi in some of them, and despite a voice that is not gorgeous, it sounds like ten trumpets. Virginia said it was not that big, but the top was sensational. I also add as a bonus, Elvira's aria and cabaletta from a 1956 Florence Puritani with Virginia.  Have fun!!  (72 min.)

Direct download: Puritani_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

Kirsten Flagstad in Die Walkure on her birthday, 2012.

  The miraculous Kirsten Flagstad, born July 11, 1895, is heard in her debut as Sieglinde with Paul Althouse (1935) and then in a scene from 1937 with Marjorie Lawrence as Brunnhilde in act three. Both are conducted by Arthur Bodansky. We then move to her Brunnhilde in 1940, with Lawrence as the Sieglinde, Lauritz Melchior and Julius Huehn, under Erich Leinsdorf.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Flagstad_Walk.Birth.2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

Ebe Stignani, Born July 11, 1903..The GREATEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have played you a lot of my all-time favorite mezzo,Ebe Stignani.Here on her July 11 birthday, is some info.on her great career. Much adored in opera circles.

Born in Naples in 1903[1] (some sources cite her year of birth as 1904[2]), Ebe Stignani studied music for five years at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples, including piano and composition as well as singing. The date of her singing début is usually said to have been in 1925 at the San Carlo opera house in Naples, in the role of Amneris in Verdi's Aida, but there is evidence that she may have sung a number of roles in the previous year. In 1926, she was invited to La Scala Milan by Arturo Toscanini to sing the part of Princess Eboli in Verdi's Don Carlo, and Milan continued to be a principal stage for her during the rest of her career. She sang all of the major Italian mezzo-soprano roles, but also tackled Wagner's Ortrud (Lohengrin) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde), and Saint-Saëns's Dalila (Samson et Dalila) conducted by Victor de Sabata.

She appeared with the San Francisco Opera in 1938 and again in 1948 but never at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She toured extensively in North America in the years after World War II. Her first appearance at Covent Garden was in 1937, as Amneris, and she returned to London a number of times, notably in the role of Adalgisa in partnership with Maria Callas's Norma in 1952 and 1957. In the second of the two 1957 performances the thunderous and sustained applause after the duet Mira O Norma led conductor John Pritchard to encore that last part, apparently the only time she ever sang an encore in opera in her career. She also appeared frequently in South America, including the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and in many other European cities outside Italy including Paris, Madrid, and Berlin (where she sang in 1933, 1937 and 1941). Among the new roles which she created during her career were Cathos in Felice Lattuada's Le preziose ridicole (1929), and La Voce in Respighi's Lucrezia (1937).

She retired from the stage in 1958 after appearances in London (as Azucena) and in Dublin (as Amneris). Thereafter, she lived quietly in retirement at her home in Imola. She had married in 1941 and given birth to a son in 1944.

Stignani's voice was large and rich in tone, if sometimes hard-edged, and evenly balanced throughout its considerable range (extending from a low F to a high C). It had sufficient flexibility for her to undertake such roles as Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, but it was in noble, dramatic parts that she was heard to greatest effect. Critics often referred to the grandeur of her performances. By her own account, she was short and plump, and she admitted her shortcomings as an actress, but she achieved dramatic power and characterization through the quality of her voice and technique. She knew her priorities: speaking to Lanfranco Rasponi, she said, "I was given a magnificent gift, and in a way I am like a priestess, for I feel that it is my responsibility to keep the flame lit in the best possible manner... I am Stignani because of my voice". She was highly disciplined in her choice of roles and in the number of appearances she made, refusing to take assignments which she felt were not right for her voice, and this no doubt contributed to the longevity of her career at the highest level.

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


 In celebration of the 87th birthday of the remarkable Nicolai Gedda,on July 11, 2012, I present a Boheme with Scotto,Guarrera,Boky,Flagello, and Goodloe completing the excellent cast under Henry Lewis from 1972. Gedda has been one of the great operatic ICONS and is beloved in the music world for his artistry, musicianship, versatility, and of course that fabulous voice. (72 min.)

  I have added the last act aria from William Tell on the commercial recording as a bonus. (Count the high C's!!)


Direct download: Boheme_Gedda_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

Aida From Mexico, 1950

 One of the legendary Maria Callas Mexico performances.This is Aida under Guido Picco from 1950. She is joined by Giulietta Simionato, Robert Weede, and our dear buddy Kurt Baum (well, if you had to see him as much as we did,you would probably agree that he was no Tucker,Corelli, or Del Monaco...and I do not want to hear that "today he would be famous".Nicola Moscona as Ramfis and Ignacio Ruffino as the King complete the cast.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Aida_Mex.1950.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

Simone Boccanegra, 1960

 A stellar cast in this 1960 Simone Boccanegra under Dimitri Mitropolous, featuring Frank Guarrera,Zinka Milanov, Carlo Bergonzi, Giorgio Tozzi, and Ezio Flagello. (73 min.). Yes, I was there and the show was unforgettable!!!!

Direct download: Boccanegra_1960.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

Dorothy Kirsten's Birthday,2012

  She sang magnificently into her 70's  ( as we discovered after her passing), we offer a July 6, birthday tribute to her. (1910-1992). Included are Gershwin songs (She knew how to sing pop, a rarity among opera divas), arias/scenes from La Rondine,Gianni Schicchi, Tosca, and Thais (with Robert Merrill), and some Louise scenes with Norman Treigle. We also include some Butterfly scenes when she was almost 65, with Russell Christopher and Nedda Casei. Kirsten was one of our finest American artists and we treasure her memory.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Kirsten_Birth.2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:57pm EDT


  Hello all,

      Every time I read the stats and see what interest you have in these podcasts,I am truly happy I can contribute to your pleasure. After all, I was turned on to opera by others, and so I am thankful to them that I can return the favor to you. I thank you again for all your sincere interest.

                                                As ever,

                                                     Carlo Magno, traditore(???)

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

Macbeth, 1847 Version

 Scenes from the 1847 version of Verdi's Macbeth, from Royal Al;bert Hall in London, 1978 under John Matheson. The wonderful Rita Hunter, one of my favorite artists is the Lady Macbeth, with Peter Glossop, Jenneth Collins, and Richard Greager (Malcolm.) I did not include John Tomlinson,who played Banquo, in these scenes.  (68 min)

One of the beautiful elements of this podcast site is to behold the incredible number of countries that participate. When I listened back to my dialogue, dopey Charlie spoke of July 4th as if it were a "global" holiday. I apologize, since each country has its own special day. I think the excessive New York heat got to me.(if that is a good excuse)

Direct download: Macbeth_1847.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Caballe sings Donizetti

Scenes from two operas that featured Montserrat Caballe at her greatest!  First we have Maria Stuarda from Barcelona, 1969 under Reynald Giovaninetti, with Ina Delcampo,Pierre Duval, and John Darrenkamp, followed by a New York 1965 Roberto Devereux under Carlo Felice Cillario, with Lili Chookasian, Juan Oncina, Walter Alberti, and Ted Lambrinos. You will need a watch with a second hand at times to count how incredible is her breath control, especially in the Stuarda act two prayer.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Cab.Stu-Dever..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

La Fille du Reggiment, 1973

  The glorious 1973 Fille du Reggiment under Richard Bonynge with the great Joan Sutherland, Luciano (9 high C's) Pavarotti, and Regina Resnik.  Fernando Corena and Jean Kraft complete the cast, which brought audiences to their FEET!!!!   (68 min.)

Direct download: Fille_Suth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Fedora from Montreal

   Another example of the great singing and emotional delivery of Diana Soviero in this 1995 Montreal performance of Giordano's Fedora,under Alfredo Silipigni. Ermanno Mauro and Gaetan Leperriere complete the cast, and I am sure you will enjoy it.  (71 min.)

P.S. Again, I thank you for your interest. At this rate,we may reach TWO million downloads before Domingo retires. (probably more like five million.)

Direct download: Fedora_Soviero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

All-star Huguenots

   Reminding us of the olden days when they had the "Night of the Seven stars,"this Scala 1962 Huguenots under Gianandrea Gavazzeni features the voices of Corelli,Sutherland,Simionato,Ghiaurov,Tozzi, Cossotto, and Ganzarolli.  (73 min.)

Les Huguenots was chosen to open the present building of the Covent Garden Theatre in 1858. During the 1890s, when it was performed at the Metropolitan Opera, it was often called 'the night of the seven stars', as the cast would include Lillian Nordica, Nellie Melba, Sofia Scalchi, Jean de Reszke, Édouard de Reszke, Victor Maurel and Pol Plançon.

Direct download: Huguenots_Corelli.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:15pm EDT

Mefistofele from La Scala

 Scenes from a most exciting 1964 Scala performance of Boito's "Mefistofele," featuring Nicolai Ghiaurov, Carlo Bergonzi, and Raina Kabaiwanska, under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. (70 min.)

Direct download: Mef.Ghiaur.Scala.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT


Wait till you hear this superb performance of Nabucco.It is from San Francisco, 1982 under Kurt Herbert Adler, and it features two artists I cherish personally as well as vocally. Olivia Stapp is a marvelous Abigaille.Today she would eclipse everyone!! Paul Plishka, recently retired from opera after a 45 years plus fabulous career, Matteo Manuguerra, a baritone who should have been better recognized, tenor Gordon Greer as Ismaele, and Susan Quittmeyer as Fenena. This will thrill you!   (69 min.)

Direct download: Nabucco_Stapp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Carmen with Regina Resnik

   I am especially nostalgic in presenting to you a beautiful 1969 Carmen under Zubin Mehta, featuring a great artist I have known and loved for over 50 years. Regina Resnik has been one of opera's icons, not only in her vocal careers as soprano and mezzo, but as director, producer,filmmaker, coach, and teacher. This Carmen features the magnificent Richard Tucker, Justino Diaz, and Judith Raskin, and i know you will truly enjoy it.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Carmen_Resnik_1969.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:35pm EDT

An Exciting La Gioconda

  I present an exciting La Gioconda from Chicago, 1966 under Nino Sanzogno. The cast is headed by Elena Suliotis, and features Renato Cioni, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Ivo Vinco, and Elena Zilio.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Gioconda_Suliotis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A Fine Faust

   From 1949 under Wilfred Pelletier, here are scenes from Gounod's Faust, featuring Giuseppe Di Stefano, Dorothy Kirsten, Leonard Warren, Italo Tajo, and Dorothea Manski.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Faust_1949_Met.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:56am EDT


  The happiest of birthdays to my beloved Marisa Galvany (June 19), one of the most exciting singers in my many years of opera-going. I present scenes from Ballo, Aida, Traviata, Attila, and Il Trovatore. (72 min.)

   The photo of the Nabucco scene is to remind you to go to Youtube, if you never have, and you will be amazed at the  high E flat at the end of the Nabucco duet which she takes "out of the air." It is another thrilling Galvany moment.

Love from Charlie

Direct download: Galvany_Birthday_2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:13am EDT


 A fine Bolshoi Theatre radio performance of Eugene Onegin, featuring Gallina Vishnevskaya, Sergei Lemeshev, Eugene Belov, Ivan Petrov (Gremin), and Larissa Avdeyeva (Olga.) The conductor is Boris Khiakin and the performance dates approximately from the 1960's. )71 min.)

Direct download: Onegin_Vish..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:01pm EDT

   I was told..and correctly, that the Rigoletto debut was Joe Calleja....I can KILL the person who labelled it wrong..Maybe I need to listen to my own podcasts, and now i have to write Piotr and apologize.........

Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

Four of the Greats!!

   Arias and scenes as sung by four of the great singers of the last opera era: Nicolai Gedda, Gundula Janowitz, the late Arlene Auger and the late Tatiana Troyanos. I am sure you will treasure their great artistry.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Jan.Aug.Ged.Troy..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT


 A most exciting performance (highlights, as always) of Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda," from a 1971 La Scala performance under Carlo Felice Cillario. The cast features Montserrat Caballe, Shirley Verrett, Ottavio Garaventa, Giulio Fioravanti, and Rafael Arie   (64 min.)

Direct download: Stuarda_Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Fidelio from Cologne

A 1956 Fidelio under Erich Kleiber from Cologne,Germany. Featured are Birgit Nilsson, Hans Hopf, Paul Schoeffler, Gottlob Frick, Hans Braun (Don Fernando), Gerhard Unger (Jacquino), and Ingeborg Wenglor (Marzelline.)     (73 min.)

Direct download: Fidelio_Cologne.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:39pm EDT

Norma From La Scala 1955

  A dream cast in Bellini's "Norma" from La Scala 1955 under Antonino Votto,featuring Maria Callas, Giulietta Simionato, Mario Del Monaco, and Nicola Zaccaria. (70 min.)

Direct download: Norma_Scala_55.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

More Rise Stevens and a "friend."

  This was at our last club meeting in 1960 out at Rise's home on Long Island. The guy next to her did have hair at the time but look, time marches on!! How can I ever forget her?

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


  How can I forget the very first opera star I ever met, and then we went to her apt.every year for the music club,and it was a joyful afternoon. In honor of her 99th birthday on June 11,2012, I present highlights from a 1939 Rosenkavalier with her idol, Lotte Lehmann, Emmanuel List, and Marita Farell. Bless her forever in my heart.   (70 min.)

Direct download: Rise_Rosen..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:58am EDT

The Pearl Fishers

  A superb rendition of Bizet's "Pearl Fishers" (Highlights, of course) from Los Angeles, 1980 under Calvin Simmons. We lost him and tenor Barry McCauley so young. Diana Soviero, Dominic Cossa, and John Seabury (Nourabad) complete the excellent cast  (72 min.)

Direct download: Pearl_Fishers_LA.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36am EDT


Highlights from a RAI Rome 1973 Arabella under Wolfgang Rennert, with Montserrat Caballe, Siegmund Nimsgern, Oliviera Miljakovic (Zdenka), and Jeanette Scovotti (Fiakermilli.)  (67 min.)

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

Thais from Trieste

An Italian Thais that features the great voice of Ettore Bastianini. Thais is sung by Fiorella Carmen Forti, and the Nicias is Glauco Scarlini. This is from Trieste, 1954, under Luigi Toffolo  (71 min.)

Direct download: Thais_Bastianini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm EDT


  As I indicated on the podcast narration, EVEN I never heard of some of these singers, and I am ashamed...but look, you need to live 5 lifetimes to even scratch the surface of what is out there. Here are the singers' names, in order of appearance: (like the podcast, 5 at a time.)    (72 min.)

Jose Garcia, Julius Lieban, Gertrude Forstel, Elisa Petri, Paul Payan

Riccardo Stracciari, Florence Smithson, Barbara Kemp, Heinrich Schlusnus, Umberto Urbano

Anne Roselle (In photo), Adamo Didur, Tinka Vesel-Polla, Karl Schmidt Walter, Alexander Sved,

Christina Maristany, Pierre Bernac and Leila Ben Sedira, Louis Orlac, Friedl Beckmann, and Margarita Carosio.

Direct download: Connoisseur-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:07am EDT

Piccolo Marat

  We know how marvelous an opera Cavalleria Rusticana is, but Mascagni wrote other operas with truly glorious music. One of them is "Piccolo Marat" (I can't find the plot anywhere so far.) You will hear Virginia Zeani as Mariella, Umberto Borso as Piccolo Marat, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni as L'Orco, Afro Poli as Il Carpentiere, and the coinductor is Oliviero de Fabrittis in a live performance from Livorno in 1961.

The audience goes wild after their duet,and demands an encore!!!!!!   (72 min.)

Direct download: Marat_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm EDT

Birgit Nilsson and Hans Hotter Sing Wagner

 Two of the greatest singers of Wagner, Birgit Nilsson and Hans Hotter,perform scenes from Die Walkure and the Flying Dutchman,plus a bonus of Hotter singing Schubert's "An die Musik" and "Meeresstille" accompanied by Gerald Moore.  (67 min.)

Direct download: Nilsson-Hotter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37am EDT

Otello by Rossini

What a shame that I did not know who Virginia Zeani was, when in 1968 the Rome opera brought Otello by Rossini to the Met. Well,at least we have this document featuring one of our favorite sopranos. This is from 1960 Rome under Fernando Previtali, and also features Agostino Lazzari as Otello, Giuseppe Baratti as Iago,Franco Ventriglia as Elmiro, and Anna Reynolds as Emilia. Look for the plot on Wikepedia or other sites. (70 min.)

Direct download: Otello_Rossini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT

In Loving Memory of Shirley Verrett

Born on May 31, 1931, I have always felt that Shirley Verrett ranks way up there with Simionato,Cossotto,etc. She was a marvelous singer, who blew the roof off with a magnificent voice, and I will never forget her. We lost her in 2010, but her memory lives on.

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

In memory of George London on his birthday.

 In memory of the marvelous George London, on his May 30th birthday, we shall hear duets  from Eugen Onegin (with Valerie Bak), Aida (with Astrid Varnay, Arabella (with Eleanor Steber, arias from Prince Igor,Flying Dutchman, and a scene from act one of Parsifal. Also included,from a live recital, are the Mussorgsky "Songs and Dances of Death." We pay tribute to this glorious artist.   (71 min.)

Direct download: London_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

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