Die Meistersinger from Vienna, 1955

Scenes from a wonderful 1955 Meistersinger under Fritz Reiner. The cast includes Paul Schoeffler, Irmgard Seefried, Gottlob Frick, Hans Beirer, and Erich Kunz.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Meist.1955.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

Walkure from Buenos Aires 1940, act Three

Act Three of the aforementioned Buenos Aires 1940 Walkure. (57 min.)

Direct download: Walk.B.A.-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

Die Walkure from Buenos Aires, Part One.

Highlights from acts and ond two from a historical 1940 Buenos Aires Walkure under Erich Kleiber. The cast includes Marjorie Lawrence, Irene Jessner, Rene Maison, Herbert Janssen, Emanuel List, and,in a rare early performance of Fricka near the start of her illustrious career, Rise Stevens as Fricka. ( 71 min. )

Direct download: Walk.B.A.-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Giulietta in Favorita

EXCITING STUFF!   Naples, 1963 Favorita under Fernando Previtali, with Giulietta Simionato, Gianni Raimondi, Mario Zanasi, and Nicola Zaccaria.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Fav.Simionato.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

In Memory of Leonard Warren

Leonard Warren was born on April 21, 1911. He was a sensational singer, up to the moment,on March 4, 1960 that he died on stage before our eyes. I present this 1945 Rigoletto in his memory.

  The cast also includes Jussi Bjoerling, Bidu Sayao, and William Hargrave, conducted by Cesare Sodero.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Warren_1945_Rig..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

The Opera Debut of the Great Astrid Varnay

 A fascinating event, as the great soprano Astrid Varnay makes her Met debut as Sieglinde,replacing Lotte Lehmann, on the Dec.6 Walkure broadcast...her Met debut, (with no rehearsals) AND the first time she EVER sang on ANY stage. This must go down in opera history as one of the great events.

   In the cast are Lauritz Melchior,Helen Traubel,Friedrich Schorr, and Alexander Kipnis, under Erich Leinsdorf. (68 min.)

  I must also make mention of  Donald Collup,former singer and pianist, who interviewed Mme.Varnay in her later years, and produced a magnificent  documentary of her  fabulous career. Mr.Collup's fascinating home page can be found at: http://www.collup.com. I must also mention that his remarkable collection can be found at his store at: http://www.collup.com/dczcdz.html.


Direct download: Varnay_Debut.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

 Die Piraten!!!!

  Gilbert und Sullivan in DEUTSCH?????   Why not??? It features my beloived Martha Moedl, the late great Arlene Auger, Gerd Nienstedt,Alexander Malta, and tenor Peter Bahrig.   This is from 1968 WDR radio. The conductor is Franz Marszalek. (60 min.)

    It's hard enough to sing "patter" in English....well, this should be fun!!!!

Direct download: Piraten.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27am EDT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DEAR APRILE MILLO

Geee.It is "Aprile in Aprile."  Happy birthday, April 14, to a dear lady and great singer. She is a sweetheart and I have always felt she was a kind of "spirit" for me personally since we first met.

                          Love from Charlie

Aprile Millo was born on April 14, 1958, in New York City. She was the daughter of Margherita Ghirosi and tenor Giovanni Millo, the first American hired by La Scala after World War II. She developed an early interest in music, and after graduating from high school in 1977, she was chosen to be one of the first eight apprentices at the San Diego Opera Center. A string of vocal awards followed, including the Geraldine Farrar Award, the Montserrat Caballé Award in Barcelona, and first prize in the Concorso Internazionale di Voci Verdiane in Bussetto, Italy.

Upon her return to the United States, Millo joined the Utah Opera Company in Salt Lake City. It was in Salt Lake City that she made her professional stage debut with the Utah Opera in the title role of Verdi's Aïda in 1980. The following year, she travelled to New York to attend the Metropolitan Opera's open-call auditions, where she was invited to take part in the company's Young Artists Development Program. The next several years were spent learning roles, refining her acting style, and perfecting her vocal technique. During this time, she made her La Scala debut replacing Mirella Freni as Elvira in Ernani on January 4, 1983.

In 1984, Aprile Millo was signed to a three-year contract by the Met that called for her to work primarily as an understudy. On December 3, 1984, she made her Metropolitan debut replacing Anna Tomowa-Sintow as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, which critics described as "a blazing success". Three weeks later, on December 22, she performed the same role in her originally scheduled Met debut. The next year, in 1985, Millo took first prize in the Richard Tucker Competition.

On January 19, 1986, Millo made her Carnegie Hall debut in a concert version of Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima Crociata. That year, she also achieved success in the role of Aïda, singing the role in New York, as well as all over Europe and South America. It was as Aïda that she opened the 1989-90 Met season in an Emmy-winning production that was also telecast internationally.

During her career, Millo has made several recordings, including a debut CD of Verdi arias called Presenting Aprile Millo which was released by Angel Records in 1986. She also recorded the singing voice for Elisabeth Taylor in Zeffirelli's film, "The Young Toscanini". She has an extensive Met repertoire, including the Verdi heroines she is famous for (including Desdemona, Luisa Miller, Leonora in Il Trovatore) as well as some Puccini roles, including Liù in Turandot and as Tosca, a role she sang at the Met in the 98/99 season.


Go to my Soprano Bios

Category:general -- posted at: 12:17am EDT

Un Ballo in Maschera w.Ljuba Welitsch

The marvelous Ljuba Welitsch as Amelia in Ballo from 1949 Edinbugh under Vittorio Gui. The cast includes Mirto Picchi, Alda Noni, Paolo Silveri, Jean Watson.(Ulrica), Ian Wallace (Sam), and Hervey Alan (Tom).    (65 min.)

Direct download: Ballo_Wel..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

Farewelll,my Zinka

    Zinka's sad farewell,on Apr.13, 1966, was the 88th and last time I heard that incredible voice live...but it will always be with me...forever. You know that when you are a teen and are turned on to a special artist,entertainer,sports figure,etc...that stays with you all your life.

    The greatest voice I ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo:  Booohooo.I was once cute!!!!!

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

Barbro Ericson

The superb mezzo from Sweden, land of fabulous artists, Barbro Ericson, in selections from the Verdi Requiem,Don Carlo, Ballo, Pique Dame, Boris, Aida, Das Rheingold, Lohengrin, and Saul and David. (68 min.)

Barbro Ericson Hederén Helen Augusta, born April 2 1930 in Halmstad , is a Swedish opera singer ( mezzo-soprano and alto ).

Ericson was educated at the College of Music and Opera School in Stockholm . After debuting at the Opera in 1956 she was employed there in 1958 . She came to portray over 100 roles, mainly in the major mezzo roles in works by Wagner , Verdi and Strauss . She has also made ​​more modern roles such as Mother Goose and Baba in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress , Mescalina in Ligeti's The Great bern wife , Marie in Berg's Wozzeck , and Madame de Croissy in Poulenc's Karmelitsystrarna . Ericsson has also appeared in several scenes in foreign countries such as Bayreuth , Salzburg , Metropolitan , Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, La Scala and Covent Garden .

Her records span from Gluck's Orpheus to Carmen and the high soprano role of Santuzza in Mascagnis In Sicily . Two of her biggest successes was in 1975 as Amman in Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten and previously as Klyteimnestra the same composer's Elektra .

Ericson was awarded a scholarship from the Set Svaneholms Memorial Fund in 1967 . She was appointed to the Royal Court Singer in 1968 and received Litteris et Artibus 1978th

Direct download: Ericson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

Rest in Peace, Lili Chookasian

So sorry to hear of the passing of a great singer. Rest in Peace,beloved lady!!!

Lili Chookasian (born August 1, 1921; died April 9, 2012) is an American contralto who has appeared with many of the world's major symphony orchestras and opera houses. She began her career in the 1940s as a concert singer but did not draw wider acclaim until she began singing opera in her late thirties. She arose as one of the world's leading contraltos during the 1960s and 1970s, and notably had a long and celebrated career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1962 through 1986. She was admired for her sonorous, focused tone as well as her excellent musicianship. She often chose, against tradition, to sing oratorios from memory.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

Manon from 1969, La Scala

Never mind the "wrong language." I adore French, but Freni and Pavarotti are in such glorious form, I had to do this one. Rolando Panerai is Lescaut,Antonio Zerbini is the Count, and Franco Ricciardi is De Bretigny. Conducted by Peter Maag. (71 min.)

Direct download: Manon_Pav.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:55pm EDT

GOD BLESS YOU,FRANCO CORELLI

  What more can we say,as we remember Franco's birthday,on April 8, 1921! I saw him 40 times, and although there were times we wanted to shoot him (well,married to Loretta was not easy), he was ADORED!!!!!     God bless him forever!!

With a rich and ringing spinto tenor voice and movie-star good looks, Corelli won a wide public following from early on his career. However, while the public was enthralled with the tenor, music critics were divided, with some complaining about what they perceived as self-indulgence of phrasing and expression. During the 1960s the anti-Corelli sentiment among critics was epitomized by Alan Rich of the The New York Herald Tribune in a 1966 article which, while acknowledged the vibrancy and white heat of his singing, considered Corelli a throwback to an earlier era when, from Mr. Rich's perspective, musical compromises were common and stylistic refinement lacking. Rich said that, Corelli is "not employed by an opera, but employs it to serve purposes it was not meant to serve."[2] Also, many critics did not look favourably on his performances in French opera, owing to the tenor’s exotic French diction and style.[1] However, Corelli also had his admirers among several highly respected and notable critics, including Harold C. Schonberg of The New York Times, who once defended the expressive liberties taken by Corelli as possessing "its own kind of logic".[2]

Category:general -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana en Francais

An interesting  1934 recording of Cavalleria Rusticana in French,under Gustave Cloez. In the cast are Germaine Cernay, Gaston Micheletti, and Arthur Endreze, with Cernay singing also arias from Le Cid and Samson et Delilah.  (52 min.)

Born: April 28, 1900 - Le Havre, France
Died: 1943 - Paris, France

The French mezzo-soprano, Germaine Cernay (born: Pointu), studied piano and solfeggio when still a child. She joined the Conservatoire of Paris taking singing lessons with Albers and Engel.

Germaine Cernay she made her debut in 1925 at the Paris Opéra as Euryclée in Fauré’s Pénélope but she eventually appeared most of her career at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart), where she made her debut in 1927 in Alfano’s Risurrezione opposite Mary Garden. After a number of small parts she sang roles such as Mallika (Lakmé), Suzuki, Mignon, Geneviève, Carmen and Charlotte, among many others. She was also a star at the La Monnaie of Brussels and at a number of provincial French opera houses. She toured North Africa, England, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. In a broadcast she tried to sing Mélisande (a soprano role). Without neglecting the stage, her mind continuosly changed to sing melodies and oratorios. She was a famous interpreter of Bach. Germaine believed deeply in God and intended to spend her life in a cloister, but she died before having fulfilled her wish.

Direct download: Cavall.French.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

VIVA VERDI!!!!!!!

Decca,Phillips, and DGG put out a special commemorative cd set for the Verdi year,remembering the great man's death in 1901. How could anyone accomplish what he did?????

 I announce all selections and casts and I know you will enjoy the variety. (67 min.)

Direct download: Verdi_Commem..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EDT

Medea in Corinto

Giovanni Simone Mayr's rarely heard "Medea in Corinto" under Newell Jenkins.

The Medea is Marisa Galvany (play the high E natural 10 times),Joan Patenaude-Yarnell as Creusa, Allen Cathcart as Jason, Robert White as Aegeus, Thomas Palmer as Creonte, and Molly Stark as Ismene.  (72 min.)

(Our photo from the live perf. Galvany is the one with the makeup.)

Direct download: Corinto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

Parsifal Act 3 for Good Friday

An almost complete Act 3 1956 Parsifal from Rome under Eugen Jochum, with Wolfgang Windgassen, Ferdinand Frantz, and Ludwig Weber (my personal favorite Gurnemanz.)  (61 min.)

Direct download: Pars.1956.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:54pm EDT

Lauritz Melchior in Wagner

In London in 1926 and 1929, the phenomenal Lauritz Melchior made some recordings under the direction of Albert Coates. I know you will agree with most critics that Melchior was a "one-of-a-kind" artist. He sings the Tannhauser Rome Narrative, and then scenes from Siegfried with Rudolf Bockelman, Albert Reiss, and Norah Gruhn as the Forest Bird.   (58 min.)

   ...and speaking of a "one-of-a-kind Wagner singer, I have seen a few Wagnerian tenors who surely were "one-of-a-kind".....but I won't mention their names.

Direct download: Melchior_Coates.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Send me all names and address and I will send you as a gift, Justin Bieber and Sarah Palin in the new Ring DVD which was just released on the  AIUTO.....SOCCORSO>>>>>>HILFE!!!!! label.

Now,Charlie...Is that nice???????????????????????????????

Sorry..It is 2 A.M. NY Time.....I have had some depression lately..and you brought me out of it..so I do not have to call Anna Netrebko to come over.


Look...I am not perfect...I would admit my faults .....if I had any........


Category:general -- posted at: 1:43am EDT

A SUPERB RIGOLETTO

Conductor Rico Saccani seems to fancy himself the reincarnation of Toscanini,(look at his site) but he does have some superb recordings,mostly from Budapest. Unfortunately,he lists only the principals of this Rigoletto,Leo Nucci, Marcello Giordani, and Mariella Devia. (67 min.)

   Nucci is still singing and we sadly only had him briefly at the Met;likewise Devia, a great diva. Marcello takes a wild high D natural at the end of "Possente Amor" which made me CWAZY! Have fun!!!

Direct download: Saccani_Rigoletto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

The Great Ljuba Welitsch as Salome

  Ljuba Welitsch made a sensational debut as Salome at the Met. Here is a 1952 perf.under Fritz Reiner, with Elizabeth Hoengen,Set Svanholm, Hans Hotter, and Brian Sullivan. (65 min.)

Direct download: Welitsch_1952_Salome.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

Walkure Exc.from Buenos Aires, 1960

 Only portions of this Walkure from 1960 Buenos Aires under Ferdinand Leitner exist, and nothing of act three, but there are some exciting moments for you to enjoy. The cast includes Martha Moedl, Hans Hotter, Gre Brouwenstijn, and Hans Beirer.   (58 min.).

   As I remarked on my narration, Martha Moedl's "Hojotojo" might be termed "OH LORD!" by most of you;we felt that way in 1957 when we first saw her. However, you know how I am crazy for her, and well...how many singers do we know who "let it all hang out?" The lady is still for me and for so many one of the greatest singers ever..as long as you do not expect an easy top. We could use more singers today with such "abandon." Well, not too much!

(Photo:Gre Brouwenstijn.)

Direct download: Walk.Leitner.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:03pm EDT

Rosa Ponselle in Popular Music, 1925-1950

21 popular selections (announced) by the sensational Rosa Ponselle. Unimaginable how she sounded live.  (65 min.)  Bio follows:

Legendary Operatic Diva, Rosa Ponselle, was discovered at age 21, while singing in vaudeville, by Enrico Caruso who brought her to the Met to appear opposite him as the "Leonora" in the 1918 Metropolitan Opera premiere performance of Verdi's La FORZA del DESTINO. She became the first American-born artist to sing a major role at the Met without the benefit of prior European training or experience, and is credited with opening the doors of the Met to the American-trained singer. Most remarkable about Ponselle is that she had no vocal training prior to her operatic debut. Born with a natural gift for singing and acting, she was a true Dramatic Soprano having many revivals done for her. For the 19 seasons that she sang with the Met, she was considered its reigning queen, and was dubbed by Huneker as "The Caruso in Petticoats". Geraldine Farrar is reported to have said when discussing singers, "There are two you must put aside, one is Enrico Caruso, the other is Rosa Ponselle. Then you may begin to discuss all the others." Leonard Bernstein, who credited Ponselle with changing the direction of his young life, wrote in a letter to her, "Yours is the first operatic voice I ever heard, at age eight, on an old Columbia 78, singing 'Suicido'. Even through all the scratchiness and surface noise, that voice rang through in such glory that it made me a music-lover forever. I thank you every day of my life." is is ultimate perfection.'"f us all."  Legendary Operatic Diva, Rosa Ponselle, was discovered at age 21, while singing in vaudeville, by Enrico Caruso who brought her to the Met to appear opposite him as the "Leonora" in the 1918 Metropolitan Opera premiere performance of Verdi's La FORZA del DESTINO. She became the first American-born artist to sing a major role at the Met without the benefit of prior European training or experience, and is credited with opening the doors of the Met to the American-trained singer. Most remarkable about Ponselle is that she had no vocal training prior to her operatic debut. Born with a natural gift for singing and acting, she was a true Dramatic Soprano having many revivals done for her. For the 19 seasons that she sang with the Met, she was considered its reigning queen, and was dubbed by Huneker as "The Caruso in Petticoats". Geraldine Farrar is reported to have said when discussing singers, "There are two you must put aside, one is Enrico Caruso, the other is Rosa Ponselle. Then you may begin to discuss all the others." Leonard Bernstein, who credited Ponselle with changing the direction of his young life, wrote in a letter to her, "Yours is the first operatic voice I ever heard, at age eight, on an old Columbia 78, singing 'Suicido'. Even through all the scratchiness and surface noise, that voice rang through in such glory that it made me a music-lover forever. I

Direct download: Ponselle_Pop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT

Happy No. 70 to my dear Sam Ramey

   Around 1970, after our "first premier basso" Paul Plishka, had already established himself as one of the fine bassos in opera, there arrived from Kansas a young man named Sam Ramey, and as part of the Paterson,New Jersey Company, under the marvelous Armen Boyajian, we began to sing many operas with Sam as the lead.

   It was my pleasure to sing in Anna Bolena,Boheme,Tales of Hoffmann, and Barbiere with Sam. We knew he had great talent, but as we know, he has had one of the great opera careers, and on this March 28, I wish him a happy birthday.

      Sam!!! Put your shirt on...you DEVIL!!!!!     Love   Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 10:11pm EDT

Georges Thill- Volume 2

A very great tenor,Georges Thill ,in arias from Herodiade, Aida, La Juive, Alceste, Le Cid, Les Huguenots, Pagliacci, Lohengrin, Traviata,Wm.Tell, Joseph (Mehul), Sapho (Massenet), Romeo et Juliette, Fortunio (Messager), L'Attaque du Moulin (Bruneau), and Parsifal.    (67 min.)

Direct download: Thill-vol._2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

Happy Number 60,my beloved Dolora Zajick

A FORCE OF NATURE!!!!  I always told Dolora we need to clone her...because there is NO ONE ELSE these days who sings like the "old-timers." 

                                               LOVE  from Charlie

                                                

Category:general -- posted at: 8:53pm EDT

HAPPY 102nd BIRTHDAY TO BELOVED MAGDA OLIVERO

    Bless the great lady who reaches 102 on Mar.25. She is a miracle in the world of music, and in her honor here are scenes from the Fanciulla del West from Venice, 1967 under Oliviero de Fabritiis, with Daniele Barioni and Giangiacomo Guelfi.  (70 min>).

    Words always fail me when I speak of this beloved lady, and i know she will express her usual greeting to you all in our yearly phone conversation.  I do not imagine a world without her.

                                                       Love to you, my dear Magda.

P.S.   Called her Monday and she sounds like a KID!!! Her voice is so clear, and that "Verismo Italiano" is something I treasure.She sends you all her love, knowing how many people appreciate her.

Direct download: Magda_Fanc.102.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT

MARTHA MODEL AT 100 !!!!!

In my opera-going experience, I cannot say any singer touched my heart more than the lady who would be 100 years old this day, March 22, 2012. This 1964 scene from Elektra tells only a tiny fraction of what she was onstage. It had nothing to do with a pure vocal tone, but it was a "total package" of beauty and excitement that opera lovers will remember if they were able to witness at least some of her career, as I did.

    I behold her right now, from 55 years ago, as Isolde, and the Brunnhildes, and will never forget her.   (19 min.)

Direct download: Moedl_100.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:17pm EDT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY "MIMI"

 In honor of my dear Diana Soviero's 21st birthday, I present highlights from a 1980 Los Angeles Boheme under John Mauceri. This was the opera (in 1977) in which I first heard this very great artist, and you know the rest.

     In the cast are Riccardo Calleo, Frederick Burchinall, Robert McFarland (Schaunard),Stephanie Sundine, and Robert Hale.   (71 min.)

I follow this with the letter I wrote to everyone on this day.

                                                   She means so much to me.    Charlie

  Hello everyone,

                Every March 19 I celebrate the birthdays of two of the greatest divas in my life,those of Diana Soviero, and my ma. Ma didn't have much chest,but she could kick up  storm in the Follies in the 1920's. 
 
   I will never forget the first time (Mar.13, 1977) that I heard that glorious Soviero voice as Mimi ,and,coupled with the depth of emotion, the attention to phrase, the combination of what we term "Kunsst/Stimm divas (both voice and art divas). I wish my darlings,one in my memory forever, and one who has always been so appreciated by directors,colleagues,audiences and of course her students all my best on this day.
       Anyone who does not know her worth, just go to Youtube with 5 Pavarotti towels, and watch her Suor Angelica finale,which is an example of the kind of verismo singing you hear from Muzio,Favero, and Zeani,and does not exist today.

                                                  All my love to my two girls.

                                                                         Charlie

Direct download: Boheme_Soviero_1980_Birth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT

A Brilliant 1970 Scala Vespri

This is a magnificent Vespri Sicilani from Scala 1970 under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. It features Renata Scotto, Piero Cappuccilli, Ruggero and Gianni Raimondi (no relations) and I know you will enjoy it. The more I hear Scotto, the more I am captivated by her feeling for the line and the style.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Vespri_Scala_1970.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

The Great Norman Treigle, Born 3/6/23

Treigle was born in New Orleans, the fifth and final child of a poor carpenter and his wife. Following his 1946 marriage to the former Loraine Siegel, the bass-baritone began vocal studies with the contralto Elisabeth Wood. In 1947, he made his operatic debut with the New Orleans Opera Association, as the Duke of Verona in Roméo et Juliette.

Between 1949 and 1951, he attended Loyola University of the South's College of Music, while performing various roles with the local opera company.

In 1953, Treigle made his New York City Opera debut, as Colline in La bohème. Three years later, the bass-baritone scored his first significant success, as the tormented Reverend Olin Blitch, in the New York premiere of Floyd's Susannah. He made his European debut in this same opera, at the Brussels World's Fair, in 1958.

In succeeding seasons, Treigle became one of the top bass-baritones in North America, and was acclaimed as one of the world's foremost singing-actors. He sang in many experimental productions and participated in several important premieres, in operas by Einem, Copland, Moore, Floyd, Orff, Dallapiccola and Ward (The Crucible). Perhaps his greatest roles were in Faust (as Méphistophélès), Carmen (as Escamillo), Susannah, Il prigioniero, Les contes d'Hoffmann (the four Villains), Boris Godunov and, especially, Mefistofele.

Strange Child of Chaos: Norman Treigle.

In the autumn of 1974, Treigle made his London debut at Covent Garden in a new production of Faust. On February 16, 1975, Treigle was found dead in his New Orleans apartment. He had been diagnosed as a chronic insomniac and it was determined that he had consumed an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. By his first wife, he had a son (who died in 1993) and a daughter, Phyllis. He had also adopted the daughter of his second wife, from whom he was separated at the time of his death.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am EDT

Saving $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ at the Met

Mr.Gelb MUST cut corners at the Met since he spent 500 zillion dollars on the new Ring...so he has to cut down on the chorus...He will therefore use a new chorus for some spectacles.

Will the audience know??????

Direct download: Bad_Puma.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

VIVA LATONIA!!!!!

So,we had the Talmud, the Koran, War and Peace, Don Quijote (I had to read ALL of it), but now comes my review of the wonderful Latonia Moore's Met debut!!! (Do not worry,it will be somewhat shorter than the above.).For me, the most important element of the Aida was that the DUMB theory, totally dispelled by the marvelous low register of Latonia, that you cannot sing chest because "it shortens the top range."  Just take the phrase in act three " O patria,patria,quando mi costi,etc.) or the opening of "Ritorna Vincitor" where unlike every Aida I have heard in recent years cannot say "parola" like a true Italian. (Sweet said, "parowwwwwlah).
           Will Gelb understand the importance of someone who today joined "minor" artists like Varnay,Flagstad, and te Kanawa in making a fabulous debut on the eadio? Is it possible that perhaps he will decide that this was a special event and do some cast changing for next season?
            Latonia has a luscious voice, with all the elements of a great soprano, as I thought years ago at the "Elgar" performance at Carnegie. I am so happy for her...and did you ever hear such a prolonged ovation after "Ritorna Vincitor," which was in some ways "Zeani-like" in temperament and the lower register (and Virginia loved it, by the way.)
              Blythe sang magnificently, but I hate when Armiliato rushes the very end of the Judgement Scene, not allowing the kind of thrills that,for example, Antonino Votto gives with Simionato. Morris is getting on,but he surely has paid his dues. Ataneli sounded excellent with Madama Moore in the duet, and of course Marcello sang as brilliantly as always, with the "squillante" sound I love so.
                 So you see, the review was not as long as you thought,but at least I expressed what I felt about the "new star" who might end up as famous as that guy on the Knicks...that could be very Linteresting.

                                                                    VIVA LATONIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                       Chesty Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

Latonia Moore to make Met debut as Aida

        At a Licia Albanese gala years ago, and then in the complete Puccini  "Edgar" at Carnegie Hall, I heard the magnificent voice of Latonia Moore,who brought the house down, and when I met this sweet and lovely lady, I threatened to picket the Met if they didn't grab her up!!!!
         Well, now she joins Astrid Varnay,Kirsten Flagstad, Kiri te Kanawa and others I cannot think of now, making a Met debut on a broadcast (March 3). I am wishing this superb lady all my best for the Aida, and hope and pray the Met will learn something and give her more material over the years.
         I have some arthritis these days, so I am glad I do not have to walk around at Lincoln Center with my "Latonia Belongs at the Met" sign.
          I wish this beautiful diva all my best!!!!!!!!!!
     
                                                       Sincerely,

                                                                    Charlie

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

Rigoletto with Alfredo Kraus

This is the Met debut (1966) of the fabulous Alfredo Kraus (including a D natural). Francesco Molinari-Pradelli conducts, with Cornell MacNeil, Roberta Peters, and Ruza Baldani. (71 min.)

Direct download: Rig.Kraus_deb..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

The Art of Geraldine Farrar

One of the world's most popular divas was Geraldine Farrar  (1882-1967). I present highlights from La Boheme, Mme.Butterfly, Tosca, and Il Segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari). In the duets we have Enrico Caruso, and in the Boheme quartet we have Caruso,  Antonio Scotti, and Gina Viafora

(55 min.)

Direct download: Farrar.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LUCINE!!!

  As Lucine Amara celebrates birthday no.87 on March 1, I tell you that the voice is STILL as luscious and clear as on my 1948 audition tapes....No kidding!!!!! I give you the Youtube link below......and,trust me, she has never lost that sound!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Lucine+Amara&oq=Lucine+Amara&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=12&gs_upl=0l0l0l118139l0l0l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0l0

Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm EDT

Enrico Caruso Birthday

http://www.henryrosner.org/caruso/

The above link will take you to the GOD of opera, Enrico Caruso, born Feb.23, 1873.

Bless his memory forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Medea with Magda Olivero

 A most exciting performnce of Cherubini's "Medea," from Dallas, 1967 under Nicola Rescigno. Magda Olivero makes a rare appearance in this opera, with Bruno Prevedi, Nicola Zaccaria, and Biancamaria Casoni.   

(64 min.)

Direct download: Medea_Olivero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

Walkure Act Three under Wilhelm Furtwaengler

From Covent Garden, 1937, a live performance of the third act of Die Walkure under Wilhelm Furtwaengler, featuring Kirsten Flagstad, Maria Muller, and Rudolf Bockelman.  (64 glorious minutes)

Direct download: Walkure_CG_Furt..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

Cesare Siepi as Gurnemanz

We rarely have heard the great Cesare Siepi in German opera. Here is act three of Parsifal from 1971 with Sandor Konya and Thomas Stewart. The conductor is Leopold Luwig. This is what we call "pure velvet." A great man!!!   (74 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal2_Siepi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm EDT

Tales of Hoffmann with Zeani, Part Two

Here is part Two of the Tales of Hoffmann from 1966, Geneva  (61 min.)

Direct download: Hoff.Zeani_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

Tales of Hoffmann from Geneva,Part One

Virginia Zeani sings the three Hoffmann heroines from a Geneva 1966 perf.  Her husband,Nicola Rossi-Lemeni sings the villains, and Jon Crain is the Hoffmann. (Part One-28 min.)

Direct download: Hoff.Zeani_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EDT

OTELLO, Covent Garden 1962

 A most exciting Otello from Covent Garden under Sir Georg Solti. Mario del Monaco,Tito Gobbi, and Raina Kabaiwanska are the featured artists, supported by Josephine Veasey and John Lanigan. 

(70 min.)

Direct download: Otello_Kab.2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

Rest in Peace, dear Charles Anthony

Maybe he did not want to use his name "Caruso," but those who loved him thought he EARNED IT!!!!!!!!

Bless his memory.!!!!!!

Anthony was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the child of immigrants from Sicily. He studied music at Loyola University New Orleans, where he studied under Dorothy Hulse, also the teacher of Audrey Schuh and Harry Theyard, from where he graduated in 1951. The tenor sang the role of the Messenger in Il trovatore, at the New Orleans Opera Association, in 1947. At the age of twenty-two, he auditioned under his birth name for the Metropolitan Opera's Auditions of the Air. He won the auditions, but Sir Rudolf Bing convinced him to drop his surname, saying that it would invite comparisons with Enrico Caruso.

[edit] At the Metropolitan

Anthony made his debut at the Metropolitan on March 6, 1954, playing the role of the Simpleton in Boris Godunov. Critics were impressed; The New York Times wrote, "Mr Anthony had better be careful. If he does other bit parts so vividly, he'll be stamped as a character singer for life." In the event, this proved true; although Anthony performed some larger roles early in his career (including Don Ottavio, to the Donna Anna of Herva Nelli, in Don Giovanni), he made his mark as a comprimario singer.

On February 17, 1992, following Act II of a performance of Puccini's Tosca, Anthony was honored in an onstage ceremony on the occasion of his breaking the record of George Cehanovsky for most appearances by an artist at the Metropolitan Opera. By the time of his retirement, Anthony had performed 2,928 times with the company, over fifty-six seasons.[2]

Anthony is an honorary member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) Local One in New York City.

He

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

"My song goes round the world."

   In the words of that famous Josef Schmidt film, we are getting close to one million "songs" (downloads) and it is a great pleasure for me to spread the word and share with you the treasures that have enriched my life.

     When we reach a million, we will have to do something special.(Any ideas??). perhaps a Lady Gaga orJustin Bieber podcast.(For those in far-off lands, look them up on Wackypedia.).

         Thanks again for all your support.

                   As ever Carlo Magno (I just saw Ernani)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:48am EDT

The Great Cesare Siepi, Born 2/10/. 1923

GREATEST BASSO IN MY LIFE>>>Pure Velvet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

His international reputation was established in 1950, when Sir Rudolf Bing brought him to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to open the 1950 season as King Philip II in Don Carlo. He was to remain principal bass at the Met until 1974, adding roles such as Boris Godunov (in English) and Gurnemanz in Parsifal (in German), and singing all the major roles of the bass repertoire.

His debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was in 1950, and he appeared there regularly until the mid 1970s.

In 1953, Siepi debuted at the Salzburg Festival with a legendary production of Don Giovanni conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, staged by Herbert Graf, and designed by Clemens Holzmeister. He made an immediate impact in the title role of Don Giovanni which became perhaps his best known role, as it had been for the most famous Italian bass of the generation before, Ezio Pinza. This performance has been released on CD, and a 1954 mounting of this production was filmed in color and released in 1955.

Siepi was a frequent guest at the Vienna State Opera. In 43 performances he sang Don Giovanni, more often than any other singer in modern times except for Eberhard Wächter. In 1967 Siepi was Don Giovanni in a controversially received production staged by Otto Schenk and designed by Luciano Damiani that showed Mozart's masterpiece in the light of the commedia dell'arte, emphasizing the comic and ironic elements of this opera (conductor Josef Krips strongly opposed this production's concept). In Vienna he also sang Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Colline (La bohème), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino 1974 in a new production conducted by Riccardo Muti), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Méphistophélès (Faust), Filippo II (Don Carlos), and Ramphis (Aida). His final performance at Vienna was in Norma (Oroveso) at the Austria Center Vienna in 1994.

He was a particularly fine recital artist, especially in Community Concerts under Columbia Artist Management, and a sensitive interpreter of German Lieder. He married Met ballerina Luellen Sibley and they had two children.

Siepi enjoyed a long career, and performed regularly until the 1980s, including lead roles in the ill-fated Broadway musicals Bravo Giovanni and Carmelina. In addition to his studio recordings, there are also many live recordings of performances of his major roles.

Siepi's formal farewell to the operatic stage occurred at the Teatro Carani in Sassuolo on 21 April 1989. Indeed, Capon's List shows live recordings made as late as 1988.

Siepi's last studio recording was as the old King Archibaldo in RCA's 1976 taping of Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re, with Anna Moffo and Plácido Domingo in the cast.

Siepi died at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on July 5, 2010 after suffering a stroke more than a week earlier.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm EDT

Elektra with Astrid Varnay

A brilliant Elektra with Astrid Varnay, Leonie Rysanek, Hans Hotter, and Res Fischer from 1953 under Richard Kraus.   (71 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, who interviewed her, 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.

Direct download: Elektra_Varnay.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:18am EDT

Rest in Peace, dear Camilla Williams

Camilla Williams, emerita professor of music

WilliamsThe NAACP's Roy Wilkins had asked her to sing a spiritual at the August 1963 civil rights rally in Washington, D.C. But Camilla Williams ended up singing The Star Spangled Banner as well.

Williams recalled that another singer on the program was caught in traffic, and Wilkins needed someone to sing the national anthem. (Contralto Marian Anderson was stuck in traffic.)

"I ran up all the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and was out of breath when I got to the microphone," she said. But she sang to the 200,000 gathered there and the next year, after King won the Nobel Peace Prize, she sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic for a gathering of dignitaries and friends of the civil rights leader. "I was honored to know Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta," she told the audience.

Williams was the first black singer on contract to appear with the New York City Opera. She premiered in 1946 as Cio Cio San in Madame Butterfly, and she was the IU School of Music's first black professor of voice.

   I spoke to her only recently...I am so sad...She was so kind and I reminded her she was my first ever Butterfly.Sadly, the racism in music prevented her from coming to the Met.  Bless her memory. (She was 92)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:13am EDT

My Memories of Renata Tebaldi

Ciao a tutti,

 

                 When we gathered outside the Met stage door on Feb.1, 1956, after Tebaldi's debut as Desdemona (we lost our voices for weeks), we were unaware that it was her 34th birthday. As usual, she signed every program in the freezing cold, and that was our first encounter with the lady who made our lives so happy, on and off stage. She would be 90 this day, and let me remember some of my personal tales of this beloved lady:
                   Those of us who heard her live do not believe that there was EVER any soprano who combined a phenomenally gorgeous quality and  Brunnhilde-like volume. Imagine a Gioconda duet withe two of them..get the earplugs!
                    I am following this with a few anecdotes from my personal experience, just to give you a more personal view of her personality:

 

    1. She did not like to fly,  and one Tuesday night, when she was off to sing in Philadelphia (The Met went there regularly), we were seeing off and she was standing in the last (open) car of the train;the baggage handler opened the door and she said, "Spoletta,chiudi!"
     2. She did another Tosca thing at one of our huge hotel parties, as she cut the cake, waving the knife with a hearty, "Questo e il bacio di Tosca."
     3. Every Met  Tebaldi evening ended with us nutcases chasing the limo up 40th Street and her yelling "Ciao" out the window.Once I did not notice a fire plug and almost became the world's last castrato.
   4.   As she came out at Carnegie (Bell Tel.Hr.) for the "Inflammatus" in 1955, she saw the "gang" in the first row, winked down at us and then launched into that great piece. We felt she was performing it for us. I do not think I ever really lost that "groupie mentality."

 

    5. After my dad died, I took my mom, a former Follies girl, to see her in Traviata.She took mom's hand backstage, and every time I saw her years after, she always asked, "Com'e la mamma?"
              Well,basta for all that....Just remember how thrilling it was for teens to find themselves close with a lady who filled the hearts of opera lovers everywhere with her great voice and her undying love. (Ooops..I almost wet the keyboard.).

 

                               On your 90th,dear Renata, thanks for all you were in life to so many who will never forget you.
                                                           Charlie
    

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

Renata Tebaldi's 90th Birthday Tribute

   Here are arias and scenes from earlier Tebaldi performances, commercial and live. Included are: Boheme,Butterfly, Adriana, Louise, Giovanna D'Arco, Andrea Chenier,The Verdi Requiem and also a "Vissi d'arte' as sung by her teacher, Carmen Melis.   (68 min.).

      May my darling Renata never be forgotten!

Direct download: Tebaldi_90th.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT

TRIBUTE TO FOLLOW

 She said, "Dammi il braccio,mio piccinO" and I,knowing Boheme at 19 (with hair), responded, "Obbedisco,SignorA."   SNAP!!!!! This photo will forver remain in my heart.

  

Direct download: Renata_and_I.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

Fedora Highlights with Beniamino Gigli

  We begin with some scenes from a 1951 Rio de Janeiro Fedora with Beniamino Gigli (born 1890) and Elena Nicolai, conducted by Nino Sanzogno. Also included are three arias from Fedora with Gigli.   (44 min.)

Direct download: Fedora_Gigli.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Gotterdamerung from 1936

Here we present highlights from a superb Gotterdamerung under Artur Bodansky. Despite the transcription disc sounds, one can understand what great Wagnerian artists existed in that era. Marjorie Lawrence, Lauritz Melchior, Friedrich Schorr, Ludwig Hoffman, Kathryn Meisle and Dorothee Manski (Gutrune) are the artists.  (63 min.)

Direct download: Gott.Lawrence.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:45pm EDT

A little more about Paul...

   I also wanted to mention that the "kid" at around age 20 was the Guardiano in our Forza del Destino in Paterson, New Jersey, under the brilliant leadership of Paul's teacher and coach, Armen Boyajian.  I also want to express my deep affection for Paul, and wish him all the best. He has always been a wonderful artist and a fine human being.

                                                Love from Melitone

Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

Bless you,Paul Plishka, as you bid farewell to the Met

Paul Plishka (born August 28, 1941) is a Ukrainian-American bass opera singer.

Mr Plishka comes from Old Forge, Pennsylvania and Paterson, New Jersey; his parents were American-born children of Ukrainian immigrants. He studied at Montclair State College and with Armen Boyajian (also the pedagogue of Marisa Galvany and fellow basso Samuel Ramey), and made his operatic debut with the Paterson Lyric Opera, in 1961.

Plishka made his formal debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Monk in La Gioconda, in 1967. He became one of the company's leading basses, and has appeared in many other theatres, including the Teatro alla Scala (debut in La damnation de Faust, 1974) and the New York City Opera (I puritani, 1981).

The bass sang over 1,600 performances with the Met, placing him at Number 10 on their official list of most-frequent performers, which dates back to the company's inception in 1883. On January 10, 2012, bid Farewell to the company, as the Sacristan in Tosca, opposite Patricia Racette and Roberto Alagna.

He is a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity. [1]

Paul Plishka's artistry was recognized in 1992 when he received the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and when, several years earlier, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great American Opera Singers in a celebration at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Phil.

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

NEW STYLE FOR "Mr.Friend of Opera."

   I think you will like the new style of my VIDEO site...so check it out...

http://www.youtube.com/user/MrFriendofopera

Category:general -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT

BUON COMPLEANNO, MARCELLO GIORDANI!!

  The happiest of birthdays to the great Marcello Giordani as I present five beautiful Italian songs from his album, "Ti voglio tanto bene." Marcello is a very great artist and a lovable human being as well.  Bravo al MAESTRO MARCELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                          Con affetto,

                                                                  Charlie

 

Direct download: Giordani_Birth_2012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

Rest in Peace, Rita Gorr

Dear Rita Gorr just passed away. She would have turned 86 in February.I saw her Met debut as Delilah, and her Amneris matched Birgit in size of voice....A wonderful artist.

  Rest in Peace.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

ROMEO ET JULIETTE 1935

Highlights from a rare 1935 performance of Romeo et Juliette, conducted by Louis Hasselmans. It features Eide Norena, Charles Hackett, Giuseppe de Luca, Leon Rothier, and Gladys Swarthout. The sound is not great,owing to the original transcription discs, but it is quite acceptable. (71 min.)

Direct download: Romeo_1935.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

Coming up on Renata Tebaldi's 90th birthday.

On a freezing morning on Jan.31, 1955, I awoke at 4:30 to get to the Met standee line to wait all day for the debut of the lady whose 90th birthday comes on Feb.1.Therefore when we met her outside for the first time, it was her 34th birthday(born Feb.1, 1922.) She was the most beloved artist one could imagine and we became close, as did many others, because she was our (mommy." I called her for many years on her birthday and to this day, that 19 year old kid never quite recuperated from knowing this loving lady and one of the greatest sopranos in opera history. Can we do any special kind of tribute here on Feb.1 in her memory???It would be nice, especially for the younger fans of opera who never saw her.?? I have some cute stories to tell and many things about her singing only those who saw her could explain.  No one who knew her on and off stage will EVER forget what she meant to us.

    If you have any requests for lives arias/scenes, e-mail me at Placido21@aol.com

Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

REMINDER OF MY OLD GOOGLE VIDEOS

Just to remind you of my Google Videos (168 of them) at:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Handelmania&hl=en&tbs=vid:1

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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Jan.22) to dear Joseph Calleja

I have met many singers, and they are usually sweethearts...but dear Joe is so special to all who know him on and off stage. May I wish him a wonderful birthday and may he continue to thrill audiences all over the globe.   

The three arias are from the new album, "The Maltese Tenor."

Direct download: Calleja_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

Bless Rosa Ponselle!!

 Born on Jan.22, 1897, Rosa Ponselle was considered my many to have had the most gorgeous voice EVER!  Unfortunately she retired in her late thirties, but at least we do have her Villa Pace recordings, and the voice was still remarkable. Imagine a "kid" making a debut with Caruso in Forza at the Met!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

I did have hair and freckles once!!!!!!

When I think of that "other' Spanish speaking dude with whom I share a birthday, I often look back on my youth, and remember someone I resembled. Of course, as I compare us two, I do feel slighted, since he has sung more roles than I, I take the train and he has a jet, and I may own 250 Toscas, but he owns Madrid.

Love to a great icon in the world of music (Not me!!!)

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

Born: January 21, 1941 - Madrid, Spain

The famous Spanish tenor and able conductor, Plácido Domingo, was born to zarzuela singers. After a tour of Mexico, they settled there and gave performances with their own company. Placido joined his parents in Mexico at the age of 7 and began appearing with them in various productions while still a child. He also studied piano with Manuel Barajas in Mexico City and voice with Carlo Morelli at the National Conservatory there (1955-1957).

Plácido Domingo made his operatic debut in the tenor role of Borsa in Rigoletto with the National Opera in Mexico City in 1959. His first major role was as Alfredo in La Traviata in Monterrey in 1961. That same year he made his USA debut as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Dallas Civic Opera. Then he was a member of the Hebrew National Opera in Tel Aviv (1962-1964). He made his first appearance with the New York City Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly in October 1965. In August 1966, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Turiddu in a concert performance of Cavalleria rusticana at New York's Lewisohn Stadium. His formal debut on the stage of the Metropolitan followed in September 1968, when he essayed the role of Maurice de Saxe in Adriana Lecouvreur, establishing himself as one of its principal members. He also sang regularly at the Vienna State Opera (from 1967), Milan's La Scala (from 1969), and London's Covent Garden (from 1971). His travels took him to all the major operatic centers of the world, and he also sang for recordings, films, and television.

Plácido Domingo also pursued conducting. He made his formal debut as an opera conductor with La Traviata at the New York City Opera in October 1973, and in October 1984, he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, conducting La Boheme. He commissioned Menotti's opera Goya and sang the title role at its premiere in Washington, D.C, in November 1986. In 1987 he sang Otello at the 100th anniversary performances at La Scala. On New Year's Eve 1988 he appeared as a soloist with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a gala concert televised live to millions, during which he also conducted the orchestra in the overture to Die Fledermaus. In July 1990, he participated in a celebrated concert with fellow tenors Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti in Rome, with Zubin Mehta conducting. The concert was telecast live to the world and subsequently became a best-selling video and compact disc. In 1992 he appeared at the opening gala ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. In 1993 he sang Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival with extraordinary success.

Plácido Domingo celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera singing Siegmund in Act 1 of Die Walküre in a performance broadcast live on radio throughout the world in September 1993. In July 1994, he again appeared in concert with Carreras, Pavarotti, and Zubin Mehta in Los Angeles, which spectacle was telecast live to the world. In 1994 he was named principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. In 1996 he assumed the position of artistic director of the Washington (D.C.) Opera.

One of the best-known lyric tenors of his era, Plácido Domingo has gained international renown for his portrayals of such roles as Cavaradossi, Des Grieux, Radames, Don Carlo, Otello, Don Jose, Hoffmann, Canio, and Samson.

He published an autobiography, Plácido Domingo: My First Forty Years (New York, 1983).

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

Joseph Calleja and Tatiana Lisnic Concert

 Joseph Calleja and Tatiana Lisnic sing a concert in Regensburg, 2004 under conductor Alex Kober               (65 min.)

Direct download: Calleja_Regens..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

Reminder for you!

    Reminder: Especially our new members, that since we had to remove the "Comments' section from this site, since I was getting tons of unwanted ads, you need to write me at Placido21@aol.com if you have any comments or suggestions.

        Also, I invite young artists to make private requests for special podcasts that might help you with your repertory. For example, when I did a "Handelmanian Master Class' for Dolora Zajick's students, I did make some podcasts for some of them according to what they were studying.(e.g. 10 Vissi d'artes,etc.). So feel free to make such a request.

          In addition, if I say something mean about one of your favorite singers, I will not be offended, since I have done that for years!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

The WORLD of Opera

    When I look at the statistics on this site, I am absolutely delighted at the incredible interest in opera all over the globe. From Albania to Zanzibar,etc...and maybe because of my teaching Romance Languages, I got a special thrill out of the fact that Venezuela ranks numero SEIS!!!!.

          I also want you to read the interesting Wikipidia site (on the blog) that lists various opera singers from many countries in the history of opera.

     By the way,since we have now so many stars from Latin-America, I did make a list of them, but whatever country you are from (even Brooklyn), you can find some of your fellow countrymen who made it BIG!

                           Love to you all,

                                     Charlie

(Why did the Wikipedia site come out twice?????????)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Opera_singers_by_nationality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Opera_singers_by_nationality


Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Don Carlo La Scala 1977, Part Two

Here is part two of this superb La Scala Don Carlo.  Enjoy!!!!   (70 min.).

What a fabulous cast!!!!


Direct download: Don_Carlo_Scala-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:27pm EDT

Don Carlo from 1977 La Scala Part One

What a cast!!! This is part one of the five act version of Don Carlo from La Scala, 1977, under Claudio Abbado. The stellar cast features Jose Carreras, Mirella Freni, Elena Obratsova, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicolai Ghiaurov, and Evgenyi Nesterenko (Inquisitor)      ( 66 min.)

Direct download: Don_Carlo_Scala-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

An Exciting Samson et Delilah

From 1964,am under Jean Fournet, I bring you highlights from Samson et Delilah with Oralia Dominguez (should be more appreciated), Jon Vickers, and Ernest Blanc. (69 min.)

  (I wonder if Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature could sing!!)

Direct download: Samson_Dominguez..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

VIL BASTARDA!!!

  Compilation of various Confrontation Scenes from Maria Stuarda of Donizetti.I know you will enjoy the various sopranos/mezzos in this act one finale. The pairs (in order) are:

Carmela Remigio/Sona Ganassi   Janet Baker/Pauline Tinsley (In English,in mezzo key),

Giusy Devinu/Enkelejada Shkosa     Monserrat Caballe/ Shirley Verret

Edita Gruberova/ Carmen Oprisanu     Ruth Ann Swenson/ Lauren Flanigan

Leyla Gencer/ Shirley Verret                 Beverly Sills/ Marisa Galvany

                                         (64 exciting minutes)

Direct download: Stuarda_Confron..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:36pm EDT

Early Studio Recordings of Franco Corelli

Here are the earliest reordings (1956-1959) by Franco Corelli.They originally were on the Cetra label. The arias are from:

I Lombardi, Otello, Tosca, Turandot, Cavalleria, Fedora,Mme.Butterfly, Adriana Lecouvreur, Fanciulla, Andrea Chenier,  Lodoletta, Mefistofele, Pagliacci, and Werther.  (66 min.)

  How we miss him!!!!!!!!

Direct download: Corelli_Early.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:27pm EDT

Un Ballo in Maschera from Scala, 1956

What a great cast (except Oscar) in this La Scala 1956 Ballo under Gianandrea Gavazzeni.It features Antonietta Stella, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Ebe Stignani, Ettore Bastianini, Eugenia Ratti, Silvio Maionica (Sam), and Nicola Zaccaria (Tom.)    (68 glorious minutes)

Direct download: Ballo_Stignani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT

The Magnificent Ailyn Perez

   I have a dear buddy who turns off any Violetta who can not show the kind of pure JOY that Mme.Perez exhibits. This is her Covent Garden debut, and i will post more (if she approves.) I met her before she became the wife of the equally endearing Steven Costello,but I only heard her today, and went NUTS./.Crabby Charlie...Listen to the way she sings just these lines on the order of Callas, Soviero, and one of her teachers, Virginia Zeani, for whom I played this part on the phone.

  Destined for STARDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More later...   Charlie

Enclosure
Category:general -- posted at: 1:11pm EDT

La Sonnambula with Virginia Zeani

From Naples, 1959, under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, here is a fine performance of Bellini's "La Sonnambula." It features Virginia Zeani, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, and Nicola Monti (70 min.)

  The photo shows Virginia being honored last year in Bucarest.

HAPPY 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Direct download: Zeani_Sonn..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRACE BUMBRY

 January 4 is the birthday of a great artist, Mme.Grace Bumbry,pictured here as a former Kennedy Center Honoree. A happy birthday and all our love for a great career!!!!!

 You will find a lot of material on Youtube, so go there and enjoy her magnificent talent.

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


More Great Music

June 2012
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