Rossini's rarely heard opera "Zelmira," from San Carlo 1965 under Carlo Franci. The cast is as follows:

   Virginia Zeani (Zelmira), Gastone Limarilli (Antenore), Nicola Tagger (Ilo), Anna Maria Rota (Emma), and Paolo Washington (Polidoro.)   (69 min.)

The Mytilene warriors are mourning the death of Azor. Antenore, with the help of Leucippo, plots to take over the throne of Lesbos by trying to incriminate Zelmira in the deaths of Azor and her father. At first, even Emma, Zelmira's confidante, believes the accusations. Fearing for the safety of her young son, Zelmira reveals to Emma that her father is still alive and asks her to take the child into hiding. Prince Ilo returns to the island. Zelmira is afraid to tell him of the accusations against her or to defend herself. Instead, Prince Ilo hears only Antenore's version of the story. Antenore is crowned King of Lesbos. Leucippo attempts to murder Ilo, but is stopped by Zelmira. Found with the dagger in her hand, Zelmira is now also accused of attempting to murder her husband and is imprisoned.

Act 2

Leucippo intercepts a letter from Zelmira to Ilo in which she tells him that her father is still alive and that the accusations against her are false. He and Antenore temporarily free her from prison and trick her into revealing her father's hiding place. Both father and daughter are recaptured and await their deaths at the hands of the plotters. Meanwhile, Prince Ilo is distraught at what he believes to be the death of Polidoro and the unhappy end to his marriage. Emma appears and tells Prince Ilo the truth about Zelmira. He and his men rescue Zelmira and Polidoro. Zelmira is happily reunited with her husband and child, while both Antenore and Leucippo are led off in chains.[3]

Direct download: Zelmira.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40am EST

Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs New Album

 Here are three exquisite selections from the new album with songs by Donaudy entitled "Vaghissima Sembianza" on the La Sirena Label. The selections are "Vaghissima Sembianza,"Tempo alfin di muover guerra," and "Oh del mio amato ben."

I am sure you will agree with me that Mme.Blancke-Biggs is one of our finest artists.

Direct download: Blancke-Biggs1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:14am EST

The James Levine 25th Anniversary Gala

Highlights from James Levine's 25th Anniversary Gala in 1996. All selections are announced.

  We all will welcome the maestro as he returns to the Met in Cosi Fan Tutte on Sept.24, 2013.

(68 min.)

Direct download: Levine_Gala.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:40am EST

Giuseppe Taddei in Il Trittico

The superb baritone,Giuseppe Taddei, appears as Michele in "Il Tabarro." This is from Venice, 1969 under Oliviero de Fabritiis. Angelo Mori is Luigi, Jolanda Michieli sings Giorgetta, and Anna Di Stasio is La Frugola.

    This is followed by some scenes from Gianni Schicchi with Taddei, Adriana Martino (Lauretta), Luciano Saldari (Rinuccio), and Mafalda Masini (Zita.)     (69 min.)

Direct download: Tabarro_Taddei.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:18pm EST

Tosca with Birgit Nilsson

 From Philadelphia in 1963 under Carlo Moresco, here is an exciting Tosca, despite a somewhat distant sound. The cast includes Ferruccio Tagliavini and in a baritone role toward the end of his career, the famous Ramon Vinay. (70 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Phil.1963.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:20am EST

Fernando Portari

  ANOTHER superb young tenor...Go to YOUTUBE and see the clips of Fernando Portari.  I discovered him on the Rondine video w.Cedolins.That last scene breaks your heart!!! I highly recommend him, and you know I have seen good tenors....

Category:general -- posted at: 1:14am EST

An Andrea Chenier for the Ages

  Tears came to my ancient eyes this morning as I made this 1966 Andrea Chenier podcast.  It brought back so many memories of my misspent youth and what Renata Tebaldi meant to us personally, and even though I go faithfully to the Met, they do not scream and carry on like this, because the "bigger-than-life" sounds of Tebaldi and Corelli just do not exist. Anselmo Colzani is the Gerard, with Raymond Michalski as Mathieu, William Walker as Roucher, and Andrea Velis as Incredibile. Lamberto Gardelli  conducts. (73 min.)

Ovations are cut on this tape, but I have heard it uncut and they go on forever!!!

Direct download: Chenier_1966.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:03am EST

Beniamino Gigli in Manon Lescaut

  The great tenor (at 60) Beniamino Gigli in highlights from Manon Lescaut from RAi Milano,1950 under Alfredo Simonetto. Adriana Guerrini is the Manon,with Mario Boriello as Lescaut.

This is followed by Carmen highlights (in Italian) from 1949 under Vincenzo Belleza with daughter Rina and Ebe Stignani.  (66 min.)

Direct download: Lescaut_Gigli.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:44pm EST

MANON LESCAUT with Diana Soviero

Highlights from a 1990 Manon Lescaut under Nello Santi from the Bastille,Paris. Diana Soviero is joined by tenor Vasile Moldoveanu.   (40 min.)

Direct download: Lescaut_Soviero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:14am EST

Ailyn Perez Album

Here are two excerpts from the beautiful new album recorded by Ailyn Perez, one of the finest young sopranos in the world of opera. She sings the song "Del cabello mas sutil" and the Manon aria "Adieu,notre petite table." I highly recommend this album to opera lovers everywhere.  (8 min.)

Direct download: Perez.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13pm EST


From La Scala, 1953, under Carlo Maria Giulini, we hear Catalani's "La Wally" with Renata Tebaldi in the title role, Mario del Monaco as Hagenbach, Renata Scotto as Walter, Giangiacomo Guelfi as Gellner, and Giorgio Tozzi as Stromminger.  (73 min.)

The story is set in the Austrian Tyrol where the free-spirited but vulnerable Wally is in love with the handsome Giuseppe Hagenbach, the son of her father's implacable enemy. This leads to the inevitable disastrous conclusion.

Act 1

The village of Hochstoff

A shooting contest is being held in celebration of the 70th birthday of Wally's father, Stromminger. A hunting party arrives from the nearby village of Sölden led by Hagenbach. Old enmities quickly surface and a quarrel develops between Stromminger and Hagenbach, who trade threats and insults before Hagenbach is drawn away by his companions.

Vincenzo Gellner has his own heart set on Wally and is quick to notice that during the quarrel she is clearly infatuated with her father's enemy. When left alone with Stromminger, he tells the old man of his suspicions. Recognising that Gellner is in love with his daughter, he insists that Wally agrees to marry him within a month or else leave his house forever. Wally retorts that she would rather take her chances in the Alpine snows than marry Gellner.

Act 2

The Eagle Tavern at Sölden

A year has passed; Stromminger has died and Wally has inherited his fortune. However, Hagenbach has become engaged to Afra, the landlady of the Eagle Tavern, and is apparently not interested in Wally.

A festival is taking place in Sölden and Wally is drawn to the tavern knowing that Hagenbach will be there. Hagenbach is persuaded to accept a challenge to try to win a kiss from Wally. What begins as a game quickly develops into something more serious, and Hagenbach easily wins his wager. When Wally realises she has been the victim of a cynical bet, her jealousy and fury boil over. She turns to Gellner, who is also at the festival, and insists that if he loves her he must kill Hagenbach.

Act 3

A ravine

La Wally returns to her home. The anger she felt has now subsided and she wishes she could take back her words. At that moment there is a knock at her door. It is Gellner, who describes how under cover of darkness he was able to set upon Hagenbach and hurl him into a deep ravine.

Wally is horrified and hurries to the ravine in the hope of saving Hagenbach, even though she believes he loves Afra. She herself goes down a rope to rescue him and successfully raises his unconscious body back to the surface.

Act 4

High in the Alps

Lonely and depressed, Wally has climbed into the mountains above the village. Her only friend, Walter, has followed and urges her to come down for the Christmas festivities and reminds her of the dangers of avalanches. She sends him away and contemplates her imminent death.

Wally hears another voice. It is Hagenbach, who has recovered from his injuries and come to confess his love. The lovers are reconciled and Hagenbach goes to find a safe path back down the mountain. He shouts up to Wally, but the noise of his call sets off an avalanche which carries him away. Wally stands for a moment on the edge of the precipice before hurling herself down to her death.

Direct download: Wally.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:51am EST


From the Vienna Stadhalle in 2011 under Marco Armiliato, we present a superb concert that features Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott (Mr.Netrebko!), and Jonas Kaufmann, The selections are announced. (70 min.)

Direct download: Net-Kauf-Schr..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30pm EST

Olga Peretyatko's New Album

   Opera lovers are looking forward to the Met debut of lovely soprano Olga Peretyatko in "I Puritani' next season. Here are two arias from her new album entitled, "La Bellezza del Canto." They are from Les Contes D'Hoffman and La Rondine. I am sure you will enjoy this fine young artist.  (10 min.)

Direct download: Peretyatko.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

Fedora with Virginia Zeani

In a performance from Teatro Verdi, Padova in 1974, Virginia Zeani sings the role of Fedora, with Aldo Bottion as Loris, Elena Baggiore as Olga, and Guido Mazzini as De Sirieux. The conductor is Francesco Maria Martini. It is a performance recorded live in the theatre, so some of it is a bit distant, but it does capture the wonderful performance   (68 min.)

Direct download: Fedora_Zeani.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:43am EST

A Golden Age Richard Strauss Compilation

  A compilation of arias and scenes from Richard Strauss operas.(announced). Included are such artists as:  Lotte Lehmann, Maria Ivogun, Rose Pauly, Charles Kullmann, Barbara Kemp, Richard Mayr, Tiana Lemnitz, Viorica Ursuleac, Erna Berger, Margarete Teschemacher, and Gerhard Husch. (68 min.)

Direct download: Strauss_Compil..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:21am EST

La Traviata with Beverly Sills

  I recently found out that the San Carlo,Naples audience carried on so much after Sills' "Amami,Alfredo" that she had to return to the stage for a bow after she had gone into her dressing room. Sills gives her usual heart-wrenching performance and she is joined by Alfredo Kraus and Mario Zanasi. The conductor in this 1970 performance is Aldo Ceccato.  (73 min.)

Just a little aside from me: The many times I saw Sills, I always said that she was "better than the sum of her parts." One would not think of her in the Bolena or the Roberto Devereux, or even as Violetta with an essentially "coloratura" voice that excelled in operas such as Le Coq D'Or and Julius Caesar. However, what emerged was a phenomenal career and I am so thanksful  I saw her in just about all her roles.

Direct download: Traviata_Sills.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:55am EST

Fabulous Forza!!!

From 1956 Florence under Gabriele Santini we present an all-star Forza del Destino, with Renata Tebaldi in glorious voice, Giuseppe Di Stefano,Giulio Neri, and Giangiacomo Guelfi. (74 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Tebaldi_1956.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:43pm EST

More Divas of the era from 1906-1935

  A collection of arias as sung by some of the great divas of the past. The selections are announced but the list (in proper order) is as follows:

Luisa Tetrazzini, Nelly Melba, Adelina Patti, Frieda Hempel, Amelita Galli-Curci, Rosa Ponselle, Lotte Lehmann, Eva Turner, Nina Koshetz, Eide Norena, Maria Nemeth, and Claudia Muzio  (69 min.)

Direct download: Divas2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:50am EST

Les Contes D'Hoffmann, 1955

Pierre Monteux conducts Offenbach's opera from 1955 with a cast headed by Richard Tucker and including Martial Singher, Roberta Peters, Rise Stevens, Lucine Amara,Mildred Miller, Norman Scott (Crespel), Alessio de Paolis (comic tenor roles), Clifford Harvuot (Schlemil), and Sandra Warfield (Mother's voice.)

Direct download: Hoffman_Tucker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:06am EST

Two Pearl Fishers

Scenes from two performances of Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers." The first,in Italian,is from Milano under Armando LaRosa Parodi in 1960, featuring Alfredo Kraus,Giuseppe Taddei, and Pina Margarini.

The second performance is from French Radio under Manuel Rosenthal in 1959 with Alain Vanzo, Gabriel Bacquier, and Janine Micheau.   (69 min.)

Direct download: Pearl_F.Kraus-Vanzo.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:20pm EST

  This absolutely divine lady was born on June 20, 1892..Just the way she sings, "Oh Signor" is worth everything when you are so STARVED for this kind of singing..totally absent today.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am EST

Susannah by  Carlisle Floyd

An exciting performance of Floyd's "Susannah" from 1999 under James Conlon with Renee Fleming, Samuel Ramey, Jerry Hadley, and John McVeigh. This has become one of the most famous of American operas.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Susannah.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:39pm EST

Tristan und Isolde from 1955

  A superb Tristan und Isolde from 1955 under Rudolf Kempe with a great cast that features Astrid Varnay, Set Svanholm, Josef Metternich,Blanche Thebom, and Jerome Hines   (69 min.)

Direct download: Tristan_1955.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33pm EST

Happy Birthday,Odabella

 To honor my dear Maria Galvany on her June 19th birthday, I present an Attila from 1979 featuring Justino Diaz, Enrico Di Giuseppe, and Cornelius Opthof from Cincinatti, conducted by Anton Coppola. This is a thrilling performance and we all wish Mme.Galvany a very happy birthday!! (68 min.)

Direct download: Attila_Galvny.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:08pm EST

Orfeo with Fedora Barbieri

  The luscious organ-like voice of Fedora Barbieri is heard in this La Scala 1950 Orfeo under Wilhelm Furtwaengler. Hilde Gueden is Euridice and Magda Gabory is Amor.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Orfeo_Barbieri1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:10am EST

     Just enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:31am EST


  To all you daddies out there...Have a GREAT DAY!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:57pm EST

Happy Fathers' Day!!!!!! Sorry that Rigoletto and Gilda were not in a particularly good mood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:51pm EST

  I have posted this before..but we have new members..or old members who want to sample the greatness of Mari Lyn..WITH TITLES!!!!!  I sent this to Joyce di Donato...I hope she will still talk to me....

Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EST


  One can love Cesare Valletti or Irmgard Seefried, but what is wrong with also loving a BIG VOICE???? Some crabs frown on my saying that a certain voice "blew the roof off the theatre." Maybe they want to have everyone sound as if they are singing the Dichterliebe instead of Norma?
    What singers knocked you out in your life?  For ancient me, it was Nilsson,Tebaldi,Verrett,Corelli,MacNeil,Del Monaco..and other "provincial"(doity woid) singers like Lando Bartolini, Nicola Martinucci,Gino Penno,Caterina Mancini (I assume Mancini) who thrilled the hell out of us.
    Recently a singer said to me, "They don't like SQUILLO." Well, tough!!!!
No one should ever have to be apologetic for loving singers who made you feel as if the roof was shaking. In contrast, some voices cannot project at all,and despite their artistry and perhaps nice vocal quality, they cannot get the voice over the orchestra (and I assume not even with water running in my bathroom.)
       Just sit back and revel in the BIG NOISES...do we have any today???? Zajick is a rarity....I guess teachers are afraid to produce Nilssons and Corellis, and that is why a  lot of the dramatic moments in opera go for naught. Also, you could turn up a Niilsson or a Corelli recording to ear-splitting volume, and you still would not know what the artist sounded live...but you are all young and will have to accept what is there.
                                                                                    Charlie  (Guleghina fan)

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

Rise Stevens' Birthday

  Sad day for me, remembering dear Rise and that she would have turned 100 today. The photo you see is a young me with Rise at our last music club gathering, and I feel so fortunate to have known her for those years. She is the first singer I ever met, and to this day,I can "feel" the handshake and the greasepaint when I first met her after a Met Carmen. I was 16, but the memories are so vivid.

    As we go on in life, there are some people who will forever remain in our hearts, and Rise was one of them

Category:general -- posted at: 2:23pm EST

Hello, WORLD!!!!!

   After all these years, I just noticed that I can trace your downloads in some countries to the extent that I can see,for example, what individual provinces of China (my second most popular nation for downloads). I therefore LEARN the names of the various areas of certain countries..not all. This is very interesting, and as always I am so happy to see that these podcasts go to so many parts of the world.(nothing yet in Greenland..why?)

   As always,I thank you for your support.We are at about one million two hundred thousand "hits" in six years. What did I do when I was teaching and there was no internet?

   I thank you for your continued support. So far I have not run out of material. Again,if you have any special requests, e-mail me at Placido21@aol.com. Placido..oh yeah..he is singing all the unborn kids in Frau next season!! (Just kidding...i think.)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EST

Der Rosenkavalier Act 3 from SF

  The beloved Rise Stevens would be 100 on June 11, the exact same day as Richard Strauss was born in 1864. How appropriate that a great Octavian would share this day with the composer of this great work, a work in which Rise excelled. George Sebastian in San Francisco, 1945, conducts the third act of Rosenkavalier, with Rise, Lotte Lehmann, Lorenzo Alvary, Nadine Conner, Herta Glaz and Allesio de Paolis (Valzacchi and Annina), and Walter Olitzki (Faninal.)   (52 min.)

Direct download: Rosenk.act_3_SF.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:51pm EST

How appropriate that Rise Stevens,who would have been 100 on June 11, was born on the same day as Richard Strauss (1864). He would be PROUD!!!!

 Bless my dear Rise forever in my heart!!!!!

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

Mefistofele, 1967 From Carnegie Hall

 An all-star cast in Boito's Mefistofele under Lamberto Gardelli. Renata Tebaldi, Carlo Bergonzi, and Nicolai Ghiaurov make this a marvelous performance.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Mef.NY_Tebaldi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:54pm EST

Elisir D'Amore from Florence, 1967

 A veritable LESSON in singing by the legendary Carlo Bergonzi, the Nemorino on this 1967 Elisir under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. In addition, Renata Scotto, Giuseppe Taddei, and Ivo Vinco perform magnificently and show what proper Italianate style is all about .  (73 min.)

Direct download: Elisir_Bergonzi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:58am EST

La Forza del Destino from 1943

  Under the legendary Bruno Walter, here are scenes from a most exciting "Forza del Destino" featuring Stella Roman, Ezio Pinza, Lawrence Tibbett, Frederick Jagel, and Salvatore Baccaloni. We were most fortunate that during World War Two we were still able to assemble a great cast, lacking some artists unable to come here. It is a wonderful era in opera history, and I think this performance exemplifies the period.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Roman.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:40pm EST

  Countertenor???????  I think his mommy played Tebaldi when she was pregnant.

GREAT!!!! Not a countertenor in my view...but a male soprano.....amazing!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:10am EST


Highlights from a 1938 Berlin performance of Strauss' "A Night in Venice," featuring the superb Marcel Wittrisch as Caramello and a cast including Karl Schmitt-Walter (Herzog), Carla Spletter (Anna), Rosl Seegers (Ciboletta), and Margarethe Arndt-Ober ( Agricola). The conductor is Heinrich Steiner.   (64 min.)

Direct download: Night_in_Venice.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:25am EST

Should I laugh or cry???

Teresa Stich-Randall had an illustrious career, and I am sure she did some fine singing, but these arias from Puritani,Ernani, and Traviata always were part of what we called a "party tape." I guess it is the lack of vibrato that drives us to hysteria...but you figure it out. i just do not understand it. (25 min.)

Direct download: Stich-Randall.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:11am EST

Fedora Part Two

  Act three of the Freni/Domingo Fedora, followed by some scenes featuring Ferruccio Tagliavini and Pia Tassinari. This is such beautiful and emotional music.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Fedora_Freni_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17pm EST

Fedora part One

The first part of the Freni/Domingo Fedora and then highlights from a commercial recording of the opera with Gilda Dalla Rizza (pictured) and Antonio Melandri.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Fedora_Freni-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31am EST

  I CRY my eyes out!!!! One of the greatest singers I ever heard!!!!! The beloved Shirley Verrett.

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

Heart's Delight  samples

Three samples from Piotr Beczala's new album!!!!

Direct download: Piotr_Tauber.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:42pm EST

   A  preview pf the beautiful album "Heart's Delight," that honors the great Richard Tauber, who would be thrilled to have the wonderful Piotr Beczala sing his material. I just received this album, and I sincerely recommend it to you. Piotr is fast becoming one of our "opera icons," and he is to be highly praised.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

  You never know when the emotion will strike you;I just played this Arabella scene, perhaps George London's greatest role as Mandryka. My eyes just did fill up with tears, thinking of this great man, who might have had a longer career.

  There is a foundation for young artists in his name. The man will never be forgotten.

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

Born May 30, 1919, George London was one of opera's greatest stars. His career was somewhat shortened by a herniated vocal chord, but he had a fabulous career.On stage he was a true DYNAMO!!!!!! We adored him!!!

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

Mme.Calabro is pretty good for over 80......

Category:general -- posted at: 10:14am EST

You sopranos out there....Watch out or you may end up like this...and of course,you can learn good Italian from Mari.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:41pm EST

  DEAR lady and great singer...Olivia Stapp.born May 29, 1940. We became friends over the years, and tell me if ANY dramatic soprano today compares....Love her.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:55pm EST

Del Monaco holds it 5 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am EST


Category:general -- posted at: 1:48am EST

 Maxim Mironov sings the Barbiere aria. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

Odabella's Aria from Attila

I hope you like this compilation of 10 sopranos singing Odabella's entrance aria and cabaletta from Verdi's "Attila."In order,they are:

Antonietta Stella, Dimitra Theodossiou, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Mara Zampieri, Marie Krikorian, Caterina Mancini, Marilyn Zschau, Angeles Gulin, Linda Strummer, and Marisa Galvany.   (67 min.)

Direct download: Odabella_Comp..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:03am EST

 One might wonder how an essentially "lyric coluratura" could pull this off, and it was one of the great deats of singing/acting in our experience.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:28pm EST

Not just the voice..but the LOVE of the vocal line!!!!!!!!! Bless her memory!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm EST

   May 15, 1929 is the birthday of this 'kid" who surely made so many opera lovers out of people,owing to her infectuous personality and he great voice and stage presence.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm EST

Mario Del Monaco's First Otello

 The great Mario del Monaco sang his first Otello in Buenos Aires in 1952.The conductor is Antonino Votto. The late Delia Rigal sings Desdemona, and the role of Iago (who became an Otello years later) is sung by Carlos Guichandut. The Cassio is Eugenio Valori and the Emilia is Emma Brizzio.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Otello_Mario_First.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48am EST

Tosca With Maria Callas from Mexico

One of the legendary Maria Callas performances. This Tosca from Mexico 1952 is conducted by Guido Picco. Giuseppe Di Stefano is the Cavaradossi and Piero Campolonghi is the Scarpia   (72 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Callas_Mexico.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm EST

Leonie Rysanek and George London in the terrifying finale of the Flying Dutchman. You have no idea what that was like..her FEROCIOUS attacks on the top notes..the acting by both of them.It was stupendous!!!!

   Happy 200th, great man!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:30pm EST

Alexander Kipnis, a superb basso

 This is SOME VOICE!!!! Kipnis sings scenes from  Seraglio, Simon Boccanegra, Don Carlo, Meistersinger, Parsifal (with Fritz Wolff) and then three Russian folk songs,followed by the Brahms "Vier ernste Gesange" and then Brahms' "Von ewige liebe" and finally Schubert's "Erlkonig" "Heidenroslein" and "Ungeduld."     (72 minutes)

Direct download: Kipnis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:35am EST

Richard Wagner's 200th Birthday Tribute

 How do you do full justice to one of the greatest geniuses in all music? On May 22, we celebrate the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner. We know from various sources that he was not exactly a Teddybear, but most of us who appreciate opera, treasure his work, separately from any personality characteristics;in fact, if we delved into the lives of many composers, we might not find everyone as lovable as we might want. Who cares?

   Here are some scenes from his operas with the Vienna Philharmonic under Hans Knappertsbusch:

Gotterdamerung: Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey and Funeral Music

Parsifal: "Ich sah das Kind" sung by Kirsten Flagstad

Walkure Finale sung by George London

Tristan und Isolde Prelude and Liebestod sung by Birgit Nilsson.        (63 min.)

Direct download: Wagner_2013_birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55am EST

The Old Met Closes, Part 3

The finale of the closing  of the old Met. "Auld Lang Syne" gets to me every time. Remember, I lived my youth on the old standee line, and the joys of friendship with so many other opera lovers, the fun we had, the great performances we saw (after freezing outside the Met for so many hours.) will remain in my heart forever.

Aida  Triumphal Scene:  Verna,Madeira, Baum, Sereni,Macurdy, Scott.

Cosi Fan Tutte:  Trio with Stratas, Miller, Guarrera

Magic Flute: Quintet with Pracht, Grillo, Kriese, Shirley, Uppmann

Vanessa: Quintet  with Steber, Thebom, Dunn, Alexander, Harvuot

Rosenkavalier Final Trio with Caballe, Raskin, Elias

Andrea Chenier: Final Duet with Milanov, Tucker (Zinka's very last Met appearance.)

Faust (the opera that opened the Met in 1883) Trio with Tucci, Gedda, Hines

Auld Lang Syne  (and many,many tears)          (56 min.)

Direct download: Old_Met_closes-3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:03pm EST

 The Old Met Closes, Part Two.

 Here is part two of the Met closing of April 16, 1966:

Osie Hawkins first announces some cancellations, and then the following are sung:

Forza final trio:  Rigal,Peerce,Tozzi

Gioconda Act 2 duet:  Crespin, Cvejic

Trovatore: D'amor sul'alli rosee:   Price

Manon Lescaut Act 2 Love Duet:  Tebaldi, Corelli

Die Meistersinger  Prize Song:  Sandor Konya.

Gotterdamerung Immolation Scene;  Nilsson         (48 min.)

Direct download: Old_Met_closing-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:32pm EST

A Sad Farewell to the Old Met, April 16,1966. Part 1

 Part one of the closing of the Old Met.Contents as follows:

Nat.Anthem;Lauder Greenway greeting; Tannhauser Entrance of Guests (Stokowski) and introduction of honored guests;Rudolf Bing Greeting.

Lucia Sextet: Moffo, Sergi,Walker, Diaz, Ordassy,Anthony

Ballo: Eri tu:  Merrill     Otello duet: McCracken,Colzani

Don Carlo aria: Siepi     Louise Depuis le jour: Kirsten

Carmen Quintet:  Resnik, Votipka, Baldwin, Franke, Cehanovsky

Butterfly Un Bel di:Albanese (and she kissed the stage)

Walkure: Wintersturme: Vickers

Barber of Bagdad: Heil,diesem Hause   Corena

Barbiere: Una voce poco fa    Peters

Direct download: Met_closing-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:25pm EST

I Vespri Siciliani from Palermo, 1967

  Some of my favorite singers in this Vespri Siciliani from Palermo, 1957 under Tullio Serafin. Featured are Antonietta Stella, Giuseppe taddei, Mario Filippeschi, and Bernard Ladysz.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Vespri_1957_Stella.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:56pm EST

Birgit Nilsson's Birthday,2013

  The great miracle of singing, Birgit Nilsson, was born on May 17, 1918. In tribute to her we present the following scenes:

Ariadne:Est gibt ein Reich (Stockholm, 1949) under Eugen Jochum

Die Frau Ohne Schatten: Act 2 finale (Munich 1977) w.Theo Adam under  Wolfgang Sawallisch   

Tristan act 2 sc.w.Grace Hoffman (Florence 1977) under Artur Rodzinski

Liebestod from Orange 1977 under Karl Boehm

Siegfried Final sc.w.Hans Hopf  Bayreuth 1960 under Rudolf Kempe

Gotterdamerung Immolation Scene  Bayreuth 1960 under Kempe       (71 min.)

Direct download: Nilsson_2013_Birth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:18pm EST

I LOMBARDI from 1969

An exciting performance of Verdi's "I Lombardi" from  Rome, 1969 under Gianandrea Gavazzeni, with Renata Scotto, Luciano Pavarorri, Ruggero Raimondi, Anna di Stasio (Viclinda), and Umberto Grilli (Arvino.)

Direct download: Lombardi_1969.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:16pm EST

 Marisa Galvany and I go back 45 years...Still one of the greats....and I make sure everyone knows it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:41am EST

  The OPERA GODS must have loved May 17, for they created Zinka Milanov (1906) and Birgit Nilsson (1918). Bless their memories!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Die Meistersinger under Arturo Toscanini

From Salzburg, 1937, Arturo Toscanini conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in scenes from Die Meistersinger with Hans Herman Nissen, Maria Reining, Kerstin Thorborg, Herbert Alsen (Pogner), Hermann Wiedemann (Beckmesser), Henk Noort (Walther), and Richard Sallaba (David.)  (72 min.)

Direct download: Meist.1937.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:15pm EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golden Age Artists Sing Puccini

 A beautiful compilation of famous artists of the past singing Puccini material. Arias and scenes are from Tosca,Boheme,Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Mme.Butterfly, and Manon Lescaut. All selections are announced.  (69 min.)

Direct download: Puccini_Rec..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:28pm EST

Erich Wolfgang Korngold Compilation

 A collection of music as composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The contents are as follow:

1. Der Ring Des Polykrates aria   Gundula Janowitz

2. Violantha Duet with Hans Hopf and Hildegard Hillebrecht

3. Die Tote Stadt  Act One scene including Marietta's aria  Ilona Steingruber and Anton Dermota

  and 4. the baritone aria from act 2 "Mein sehnen,mein Wehnen"   Alfred Poell

5. Das Wunder Der Heliane   "Ich ging zu ihm"   Steingruber  (also check out Lotte Lehmann's rendition on Youtube, which is one of my all-time favorite recordings.)

6. Die Kathrin   Scene w. Steingruber

7-11  songs as follows:  "Ich bin ein Liedersanger"   Janowitz and Rudolf Christ.

" Soldaten Marsch und Gebet"  Steingruber

"Szene in Nachtlokal"   Rose Schweiger and Anton Dermota

"Arie des Malignac"   Alfred Poell

"Wanderlied"  Anton Dermota

       The Austrian State radio Orchestra from Vienna, 1949   (59 min.)

Direct download: Korngold.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:35am EST


  More material from the career of 172 year old diva Olive Middleton, the cult figure of the 1960's and star of the (in) famous La Puma Opera Company. After a decent "Pace" from around 1955, Olive sings highlights from Trovatore, Gioconda,Fedora, Norma, Walkure (as Sieglinde) and I just could not resist playing you a "typical" La Puma adventure, the act two opening of Walkure. As I always warn, if you are a purist, do not listen...(I bet you can't resist!!)  (36 min.)

Direct download: OLIVE.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:43pm EST

La Boheme with Diana Soviero

 My dear Diana Soviero stars in this La Boheme from 1980, Los Angeles, under John Mauceri. The cast features Riccardo Calleo, Frederick Burchinall, Robert Hale(Colline), Robert McFarland (Schaunard), and Stephanie Sundine    (69 min.)

35 years later I am so happy I found her,one of opera's great artists and a treasure in my life.

(The photo is ancient. I had hair.)

Direct download: Boheme_Soviero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:03am EST

Beverly Sills as Louise

A mini podcast of scenes from acts 3 and 4 of Charpentier's Louise. This is 1977 under Julius Rudel and in addition to the great Beverly, one of the most beloved figures in opera, we have John Alexander,Frances Bible, and Robert Hale. The sound is a bit distant, but the voices come across pretty well. (38 min.)

Direct download: Sills_Louise_exc..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:12pm EST

Frida Leider in Wagner

Frida Leider was born at Berlin, where she studied singing while working in a bank. Her first engagements led her to opera houses in Halle, Königsberg, and Rostock. After an engagement with the Hamburg State Opera in 1923, she was hired by the Berlin State Opera as first dramatic soprano. After her retirement from the stage in 1946, she remained there as the director and manager of a studio for the rising singers of the Berlin State Opera.

Frida Leider made regular guest appearances for over 15 years at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, at La Scala in Milan, and at the State Operas of Vienna and Munich. Naturally, she also made appearances at the Bayreuth Festival, where she was the unrivaled star soprano of the 1930s. In the 1920s she alternated Wagnerian roles with Florence Austral at Covent Garden and the two recorded large parts of The Ring for HMV.

Leider married the first concert master of the Berlin State Opera, Prof. Rudolf Deman. The couple had no children. She died in her home city of Berlin.

Leider had a wonderful voice, and especially the warmth and feeling is there. We hear first two excerpts of two commercial recordings of Tristan from 1929 under Leo Blech, with Elfreide Marherr as Brangaene, and then under Sir John Barbirolli in 1931. This is followed by live Gotterdamerung  Act 2 scenes from 1936 with Herbert Janssen and Ludwig Weber, followed by a commercial recording of the Immolation Scene in 1929 under Leo Blech.

Direct download: Leider_Wagner.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:36am EST

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

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

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

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

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


 From La Scala 1969,under Thomas Schippers, we present the Rossini "L'Assedio di Corinto," featuring Beverly Sills, Marilyn Horne, Justino Diaz, and Franco Bonisolli.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Corinto_Scala.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02pm EST

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

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

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

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

Suor Angelica with Kristine Opolais

  I have previously posted,from Youtube, some material of the Latvian soprano,Kristine Opolais. I wish to present the final portion of her Suor Angelica, under Andris Nelsons, with Lloba Braun as the Zia Principessa. By now, you know I have spoken of all the great divas I have heard for over 60 years, and you do understand that when I rave, it is because I have found someone very special. New York audiences will be treated next season to her Mme.Butterfly.(You will excerpts on Youtube.)  What a revelation for the usually jaded Charlie to find such an artist among us.   (29 min.)

Direct download: Suor_Opolais.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:11pm EST

Il Flauto Magico

   The Magic Flute (in Italian) from RAI Rome 1953 under Herbert Von Karajan. In the cast are:

Nicolai Gedda,Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Giuseppe Taddei, Mario Petri, Rita Streich, and Alda Noni (Papagena)       (64 min.)

Direct download: Flute_1953.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm EST

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

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

Renata Scotto Sings :La Voix Humaine."

From Turino, 1999 under John Mauceri, the great Renata Scotto sings Poulenc's one-woman opera, La Voix Humaine. I know you will enjoy one of the very last of the great verismo divas. (50 min.)

Direct download: Scotto_Voix.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:45am EST

Piotr Beczala Sings Verdi

With permission of the star, here is a sampling of Piotr Beczala's new Verdi album.Mariusz Kwiecien joins him in the Don Carlo (with a nice interpolated high C at then end.) I think you will all love it. I get NO commision, although there are some who think I ought to be committed.

Direct download: Beczala_Verdi1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15am EST

Another ME??Lord forbid!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

More Great Music

February 2013
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