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


 For May 30, we wish the marvelous mezzo,turned soprano,Olivia Stapp, a very happy birthday. She has been one of our finest artists, and you will hear scenes from Elektra, Macbeth, Anna Bolena (as both Seymour and Anna), and Tosca (with Nicolai Gedda).    (60 min.)

Direct download: Stapp_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm EDT


Highlights from an Italian version of Berlioz's "Les Troyens" from La Scala, 1960 under Rafael Kubelik. Mario del Monaco,Giulietta Simionato(Dido),Nell Rankin (Cassandra). and Nicola Zaccaria (Narbal) are in the cast.    (67 min.)

Direct download: Troj.Del_Mon..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:20am EDT

Forza del Destino, 1953

An all-star Forza from New Orleans, 1953 under Walter Herbert. In the cast are Zinka Milanov, Mario del Monaco, Leonard Warren, William Wilderman, and Norman Treigle (Marchese). Need I say more???   (72 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Orleans.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:49am EDT

An All-star Simone Boccanegra

  Yes, they did once make them like this:  A brilliant Scala 1972 Simone Boccanegra which features Piero Cappuccilli,Mirella Freni,Nicolai Ghiaurov, Gianni Raimondi, and Felice Schiavi (Paolo). The conductor is Claudio Abbado. (and stop telling me I only like dead and retired singers!!!)  (72 min.)

Direct download: Simone_Capp..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

Happy Birthday, Teresa Stratas

  "My aunt sings opera," said a kid in my Spanish class one day. I thought to myself, "Big deal!." I was polite..."What is her name???"   TERESA STRATAS!!!!!!

Born May 26, 1938, she has had many emotional problems,but who can doubt her great artistry...Best to her!!!

Born: May 26, 1938 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre: Opera

Stratas is one of the controversial stars of the latter half of the twentieth century, and one whose personality and life, like that of Callas, another great soprano of Greek descent, are inextricably linked with her performances in the minds of many members of the public. Also like Callas, she had a special magnetism as a performer, due to her dramatic intensity and exceptional physical beauty. Her top became weak during her middle and late career and she lost some focus in the middle of her voice, which sometimes caused her to force. However, her performances on stage and on film were so riveting that most were willing to forgive those vocal flaws, and even her habit of canceling, usually due to nerves.

She grew up in Toronto and began singing in nightclubs and in her father's restaurant when she was twelve. Encouraged by her successes, including radio performances, and after being given a free ticket to La Traviata, an experience which she said overwhelmed her with the concept of what the human voice can do, she auditioned for the Opera School at the Royal College of Music in Toronto in 1954. She had never studied voice, knew opera only from that one performance, and brought Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as her audition piece, but her personality and potential talent were so impressive that she was admitted, and was such a quick learner that she made her debut with the Canadian Opera as Mimi in 1958, and won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air the next year, making her debut as Pousette in Manon the next year. In 1960, she created the title role of Glanville-Hicks' Nausicaa at the Athens Festival. Her Covent Garden debut was again as Mimi in 1961, and in 1962, she made her La Scala debut as Isabella in de Falla's Atlantida. In 1974, she came to international fame with her appearance as Salome on a television production of Salome, considered one of the very few singers in living memory who could convincingly portray Salome's transformation from naive teenager to depraved woman. In 1979, she sang the title role of the first performance of the three-act version of Berg's Lulu at the Paris Opera.

In the 1980s, she almost completely withdrew from the operatic stage, though she made notable recordings of Weill songs, and appeared in films of La Traviata and Amahl and the Night Visitors. She also explored Broadway, earning a Tony Award for best actress for her performance in Rags in 1986, and recorded Julie in Showboat. In 1981, she backpacked through India, where among other activities, she volunteered for Mother Teresa's projects in the poorest areas of the cities. In 1988, she returned to the Met to create the role of Marie Antoinette in Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

Remembering "Bubbles."

   Let us remember the great Beverly Sills, born on May 25, 1929. She was an amazing artist, and was able to take a basically light coluratura voice, and often turn it into a voice that thrilled even in more dramatic roles. Rest in Peace.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

Francesca da Rimini w.Olivero,Del Monaco

 From Scala,1959 under Gianandrea Gavazzeni, highlights from Zabdonai's exciting opera, Francesca da Rimini, featuring Magda Olivero, Mario del Monaco, Gianpiero Malaspina (Gianciotto), Piero de Palma (Malatestino), etc.   (68 min.)

Direct download: Francesca_Magda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:01pm EDT

An All-star Falstaff

 From 1958 Chicago under Tullio Serafin, here is a really fabulous cast in Verdi's "Falstaff," with Tito Gobbi,Cornell MacNeil,Renata Tebaldi,Giulietta Simionato,Anna Moffo,Alvino Misciano, and Anna Maria Canali.  (62 min.)

Direct download: Falstaff_Gobbi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:38pm EDT


 Most of the early Verdi opera "Alzira," from Rome 1967, under Franco Capuana. The cast features Virginia Zeani (Alzira), Cornell MacNeil (Gusmano), Gianfranco Cecchele (Zamoro), and Carlo Cava (Alvaro).      (72 minutes)

Direct download: Alzira.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

Medea with Leonie Rysanek

Highlights from a live 1972 Vienna Medea under Horst Stein. The remarkable Leonie Rysanek is the Medea, with Bruno Prevedi, Lucia Popp, and Nicolai Ghiuselev completing the cast.  (54 min.)

Direct download: Medea_Rysanek.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm EDT

Waltraute in Gotterdamerung

 A comparison of six marvelous mezzos in the Act One Waltraute Monologue from Die Gotterdamerung.  In order they are:

   Rosette Anday, Elizabeth Hoengen, Margarete Klose, Hanna Schwarz, Christa Ludwig, and Martha Moedl (who was a mezzo at the start and end of her career.).

  I wish to call your attention to the magnificent Youtube rendition by Katharine Goeldner, if you wish to go there. It is surely as fine a rendition as the above.  (62 min.)

Direct download: Waltraute.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38pm EDT

Very Loud tenors

 A pot-pourri of tenors from the earlier part of the 20th century who excelled in a very bright and powerful top range for the most part. Those included (in order on the podcast) are:

Leonce Escalais, Bernardo de Muro, Eduardo Garbin, Mario Gillion, Aristodemi Giorgini, Icilio Calleja, Giovanni Zenatello, Antonio Paoli, Dimitri Smirnov, Leonid Sobinov, and (in photo), John O'Sullivan. (68 min.)

Direct download: Loud_tenors.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

Birgit Nilsson's Birthday

 Someone must have done something right on May 17, because both Zinka Milanov and Birgit Nilsson were born.(Nilsson in 1918, Zinka in 1906). Anyone here who never saw Nilsson live would need OXYGEN if they heard what that was like in live performance. She was an absolute MIRACLE in opera history, and beloved lady to all.

Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson was born on May 17, 1918 in the town of Vastra Karup in the province of Skane (Scania) in southern Sweden. She married Bertil Niklasson, a veterinary student she met on a train, on September 10, 1948.

Miss Nilsson made her operatic debut on October 9, 1946 as Agathe in Der Freischütz with only 3 days notice. Her debut came shortly after she had joined the Swedish Opera School. After her brief stint as Agathe, Miss Nilsson made her breakthrough performance as Lady Macbeth in 1947 at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.

Miss Nilsson attained international stardom after a performance as Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on December 18, 1959. She says, though, that the single biggest event in her life was when she was asked to perform at the opening of the 370th season at La Scala as Turandot on December 7, 1958.

In 1966, Miss Nilsson was asked to appear in a rather unusual performance at the Metropolitan Opera. During a showing of Tannhäuser, she was asked to sing the parts of both Venus and Elisabeth. They did not appear on stage at the same time, of course!

Birgit Nilsson is probably best known for her portrayals of Turandot in Turandot, Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen (a role with which she made her La Scala debut in 1958), Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, and Elektra in Elektra. Miss Nilsson is also known for her interesting relationship with Rudolf Bing. When Bing was asked if Birgit was difficult, he replied, "Not at all, you put enough money in and a glorious voice comes out." When preparing her taxes Miss Nilsson was asked if she had any dependents. "Yes," she said, "Rudolf Bing." Miss Nilsson retired from opera in 1984.

Comments? E-mail me here! (Please note: I am NOT Birgit Nilsson! I am just the person who made this page.)

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

God bless my Zinka!!!

 For May 17, Zinka's birthday (1906).No one thrilled me more from my first opera experiences and she became my favorite singer. Was I cute at 19? (Don't answer that!!!)   Never to be forgotten!!!!!

Born in Zagreb, Croatia as Zinka Kunc (pronounced [zîːŋka kûnt͡s]), she studied with the Wagnerian soprano Milka Ternina and her assistant Marija Kostrenčić. She also studied in Milan with Campi and in Vienna with Stickgolt. On October 29, 1927, she made her operatic debut as Leonora in Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at the young age of 21. Her debut in her native Croatia, at the National Theatre in Zagreb, took place five weeks later as Marguerite in Charles Gounod's Faust

After an early debut in Dresden (November 5, 1928, also as Leonora), her teacher, Ternina, was not pleased and much work commenced to perfect her technique. She performed in Zagreb and Ljubljana almost exclusively for the next six years. Later she became a member of the New German Theatre in Prague, where all performances were sung in German. She was discovered there by Bruno Walter, who recommended her to Arturo Toscanini for a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Salzburg.

In 1937, the soprano made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, once again as Leonora. At that time she adopted the name Milanov, which was the stage name of her second husband, an actor. According to Milanov herself, "Kunc" wasn't "glamorous" enough for the Metropolitan Opera. In the article "Zinka Takes Off" (Opera News, November 2004, vol 69, no. 5), it is stated that the name change was deemed necessary since the gentlemen at the Met feared the "implications inherent in what they predicted would be the standard American mispronunciation — but they were never forthright with her about it".[citation needed] On November 8, 1937, Erich Simon, who was in charge of engaging Milanov, cabled Edward Ziegler, the assistant manager of the Met, "Mme Zinka KUNZ-MARCOVIC has informed me that she wishes to perform under her husband's stage name, MILANOV."[citation needed]

She was in romantic relationship with Marshal of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito, before he married Jovanka Broz. In 1947, she left the Met when she married, for the third time, to Yugoslav general and diplomat Ljubomir Ilić, and returned to live in Yugoslavia.[citation needed] She was at the peak of her artistic and vocal powers when she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Tosca in 1950. Milanov returned to the Metropolitan Opera the same year, invited by Rudolf Bing in his first year there as general manager.[citation needed]

She gave her final performance in 1966 at the closing night of the old Metropolitan Opera House. Having worked as a voice teacher while still performing, Milanov devoted herself to teaching after her retirement. Among her pupils were Betty Allen, Grace Bumbry, Christa Ludwig, , Dubravka Zubovic and Milka Stojanovic. She recorded prolifically from the 1940s through to the 1960s. Her voice was well-suited to Italian operas such as those of Verdi, Ponchielli, Puccini and the verismo composers. She died in New York City, aged 83.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

Elisir D'amore with Freni/Gedda

From 1965, highlights from a delightful "Elisir d'Amore" with Nicolai Gedda,Mirella Freni,Fernando Corena, and Mario Sereni under Thomas Schippers.   (71 min.)

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

L'Amico Fritz

A beautiful performance of Mascagni's "L'Amico Fritz," one of the operas that they ought to perform more often.This is from Milano, 1953 under Vittorio Gui, and features Cesare Valletti, Rosanna Carteri, Carlo Tagliabue, and Rina Corsi. (65 min.)

Direct download: Fritz_Carteri.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Tannhauser from 1955

  A fine live performance of Tannhauser under Rudolf Kempe from 1955. The cast includes Ramon Vinay,Astrid Varnay,George London, Blanche Thebom, and Jerome Hines. (69 min.)

Direct download: Tannh.1955.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33pm EDT

More of the superb soprano, Marisa Galvany

 You all know of my great praise for dear Marisa Galvany, and you have responded with praise to my podcasts of her material. Here is another selection of her material, with some repeats, but sometimes it is more valuable to hear a compilation.  Included are scenes and arias from Ernani,Traviata, Cavalleria (with Domingo), and Aida (as Aida and Amneris.)  (58 min.)

Galvany studied primarily under Armen Boyajian (also the teacher of Paul Plishka and Samuel Ramey). She made her professional opera debut at the Seattle Opera in 1968 in the title role of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca. The following year, she portrayed the title heroine in Simon Mayr's Medea in Corinto in New York City, a performance which was recorded for Vanguard. She made her first international appearance in 1972 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in the title role of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida.

In 1972 Galvany was offered a contract to join the roster of principal singers at New York City Opera by Julius Rudel. She accepted, making her debut with the company later that year as Elisabetta in Gaetano Donizetti's Maria Stuarda opposite Beverly Sills in the title role. She continued to sing regularly with that company through 1983, portraying such roles as Abigaille in Nabucco, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, , Odabella in Attila, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Violetta in La traviata, and the title roles in Anna Bolena and Luigi Cherubini's Médée. She also sang in several different productions of Tosca where she partnered such tenors as José Carreras and Harry Theyard.

In 1973, Galvany filmed her acclaimed Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, for the Canadian Broadcasting Company, opposite Louis Quilico. That same year she made her first appearance with the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company as Aida with Pier Miranda Ferraro as Radamès, Joann Grillo as Amneris, and Gianfranco Rivoli conducting. In 1974 she made her first appearance at the New Orleans Opera opening the 1974-1975 season as Rachel in Fromental Halévy's La Juive with Richard Tucker as Eléazar. She returned to open the company's next two consecutive seasons as Aida and Valentin in Les Huguenots, the latter production with Rita Shane and Susanne Marsee. She later returned to New Orleans to sing Salomé in Jules Massenet's Hérodiade.

Galvany made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1979, in the title role of Norma. In 1985, the singing-actress sang Gertrud in Hänsel und Gretel and Ortrud in Lohengrin on tour with the company, then the Kostelnička in Jenůfa during the Fall Season in the theatre. At the Cincinnati Opera, she appeared in Turandot (with Harry Theyard) and Salome (with Ticho Parly as Herod).

During the mid 1980s, Galvany began to add mezzo-soprano roles to her repertoire. She sang Amneris in Aida at the Cincinnati Opera in 1985. In 1992 she sang the title role in Bizet's Carmen with the New York Grand Opera. (NYGO) She performed frequently with the NYGO up into the early 2000s.

On the international stage Galvany has appeared at the Opern- und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt, the Liceu, the Great Theatre, Warsaw, the National Theatre in Prague, and the National Theatre in Belgrade among others. She has also sang in operas in Brazil and Venezuela.


Direct download: Galvany4-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

The Superb Soprano, Rosanna Carteri

Rosanna Carteri is, for me, an example of a "lost art" in opera. She possesses the emotion, the attention to word and phrase, the beauty of voice, and all the elements that I honestly feel are so rare in these days. I am not intending to denigrate anyone, but you "cognoscenti" by now (with slight prejudice from me)  might understand what I mean. I hope you enjoy this soprano as I do  (71 min.)

Rosanna Carteri (born 14 December 1930) was an Italian soprano primarily active in the 1950s through the mid-1960s.

Rosanna Carteri was born in Verona but was raised in Padua. She studied with Cusinati and started singing in concert at the age of twelve. She won a RAI singing contest in 1948 which led to her operatic debut at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome as Elsa in Lohengrin in 1949, aged only 19. She made her La Scala debut in 1951. Other debuts were at the Salzburg Festival as Desdemona in Otello in 1952 under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwängler, San Francisco as Mimi in La Bohème in 1954, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Marguerite in Faust in 1955, the Arena di Verona as Mimi in 1958, Covent Garden as Tosca in 1960, Opéra de Paris in 1961 as Violetta in La Traviata.

Carteri made a few recordings for Cetra early in her career, in such operas as Guglielmo Tell, La Bohème and Suor Angelica. She recorded La Traviata for RCA Victor with Cesare Valletti and Leonard Warren under the direction of Pierre Monteux. She participated in several television productions for RAI such as Le nozze di Figaro, La Traviata, Otello, and Falstaff.

Carteri also participated in the creation of some contemporary works such as Ifegenia by Ildebrando Pizzetti in 1950, Proserpine e le straniero by Juan José Castro in 1952, Calzare d'argento again by Pizzetti in 1961 and Il mercante di Venizia by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco also in 1961.


Carteri decided to retire from singing in the mid-1960s while still only in her thirties to devote herself to her family.

Direct download: Carteri.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:27pm EDT

Don Carlo 1980, Part two

 The second part of the 1980 Five Act Don Carlo.   (69 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Cruz-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

Don Carlo 1980, Part One

Part one of highlights from a wonderful 1980 Don Carlo under James Levine. The cast features Giuseppe Giacomini, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Tatiana Troyanos, Sherrill Milnes, Paul Plishka, and Jerome Hines.   (66 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Cruz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Il Pirata w.Caballe

A most exciting reading of Bellini's "Il Pirata" (highlights) with Montserrat Caballe, Flaviano Labo, and Piero Cappuccilli under Franco Cap[uana from Florence, 1967 (68 min.)

Direct download: Pirata_Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

...and you thought there were no more Toscas.....


The link is long..Instead of copying it,go directly to Youtube  VASSILKA PETROVA, but be careful you do not eat,drink, or have any small animals near the computer....

Category:general -- posted at: 12:26am EDT

Boris Godunov with Hans Hotter

A most exciting performance of Boris Godunov (In German), featuring Hans Hotter, Hans Hopf, Martha Moedl,Lorenz Fehenberger, Kurt Boehme (Varlaam), Kim Borg (Pimen), under Eugen Jochum. Munich 1957  (65 min.)

Direct download: Boris_Hotter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

A Superb Lohengrin

Here are highlights from a marvelous Lohengrin from Berlin Radio 1942, under Robert Heger. The cast features two of my all-time favorites, Margarete Klose and Franz Voelker, and stars Maria Muller, Jaro Prohaska, and Ludwig Hofmann(the King.)  (71 min.)

Direct download: Loheng.Voelker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

Reminder of Mr.Friend of Opera Videos

Remember that there are 1240 wonderful videos on my "Mrfriendofpera" site."  Have fun!!


Go to Mr.Friend of opera site and click Zinka's photo at upper right.Then you see, and upper left the "Favorites".....Then scroll for what you want.

Here is the easiest way to access the site:


Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT

Maria Callas in I Puritani

Another of the great Callas Mexico performances,a Puritani under Guido Picco from 1952. Although the sound is not the greatest, we can judge how phenomenal Callas was in those historic Mexico performances. The cast includes Giuseppe Di Stefano, Piero Campolonghi, and Roberto Silva. (72 min.)

Direct download: Callas_Purit..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40am EDT

A Superb Mefistofele from 1965

   This wonderful work is performed by the Chicago Opera, 1965, under  Nino Sanzogno, and features Nicolai Ghiaurov,Renata Tebaldi, Alfredo Kraus, and Elena Suliotis.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Mef.Ghiaurov.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm EDT

Celebrating Astrid Varnay on her birthday

The great Astrid Varnay was born on April 25, 1918. Let us celebrate the memory of this legendary soprano with highlights from her illustrious career. All selections are from the 1950's and they include scenes from Parsifal, Tannhauser (Venus and Elizabeth),Tristan und Isolde, Flying Dutchman (with Hans Hotter),Elektra (w.Hoengen and Schoeffler, and concluding with the Gotterdmaerung Immolation Scene.  (68 min.)

She made her sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera on 6 December 1941 in a broadcast performance singing Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre, substituting for the indisposed Lotte Lehmann with almost no rehearsal. This was her first appearance in a leading role, and it was a triumph. Six days later she replaced the ailing Helen Traubel as Brünnhilde in the same opera. Varnay and Weigert became closer and were married in 1944. It was also at this time that she had lessons with former Metropolitan Opera tenor, Paul Althouse.

In 1948 she made her debut at Covent Garden and in 1951 in Florence as Lady Macbeth. In that year she also made her debut at Bayreuth after Flagstad, who had declined the invitation to Bayreuth, recommended that Wieland Wagner engage Varnay. She sang at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years, and appeared regularly at the Metropolitan until 1956.

She left when it was clear that the Met director Rudolf Bing did not appreciate her, and went on to become a mainstay of the world's other great opera houses, especially in Germany, in Wagner and Strauss but also several Verdi and other roles. She had already made Munich her home, where audiences considered her a goddess.

In 1969 she gave up her repertoire of heavy dramatic soprano roles and began a new career singing mezzo roles. After being the world's leading Elektra for over twenty years, she now established herself as a great interpreter of Klytemnestra. The role of Herodias in Salome became her most often-performed role: 236 performances. She returned to the Metropolitan in 1974 and last appeared there in Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in 1979.

In the mid-1980s, character roles now became Varnay's metier. Her last appearance on stage was in Munich in 1995, fifty-five years after her Metropolitan debut. In 1998 she published her autobiography Fifty-Five Years in Five Acts: My Life in Opera, written with Donald Arthur (German title is Hab'mir's gelobt).

In 2004, a documentary about her life and first New York career entitled Never Before, produced by Donald Collup, received acclaim in the USA. Her recordings of Strauss heroines such as Elektra and Salome along with the Wagnerian roles are among the treasures of the medium, while transcriptions of broadcast performances of her great roles document her art in sound, and a few video recordings of her late career preserve evidence of her acting ability. Astrid Varnay died in Munich on 4 September 2006, aged 88.

Selected recordings

Direct download: Varnay_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT

Some of the best!!

12 selections featuring live performances by some of opera's greatest singers.Included are:

Renata Tebaldi,Leonie Rysanek,Leontyne Price, Zinka Milanov, Eleanor Steber, Birgit Nilsson, Kiri Te Kanawa,Kirsten Flagstad, Hilde Gueden, Judith Blegen, Renata Scotto, Tatiana Troyanos, Placido Domingo, Jon Vickers, Luciano Pavarotti, Franco Corelli, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Lauritz Melchior  (70 min.)

Direct download: Met_125.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

More Great Music

June 2012
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