Der Rosenkavalier from 1949

Under the direction of the legendary Fritz Reiner, we present an all-star Rosenkavalier featuring the beloved late Rise Stevens, Eleanor Steber, Erna Berger, Emanuel List, Martha Lipton, and Giuseppe Di Stefano. The only time in all my opera-going in which I totally "lost it," was at the finale of the trio. Many people have considered the Rosenkavalier trio as the most sublime moment in ALL opera. I surely agree.  (70 min.)

Direct download: Rosenkavalier_1949.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

When I was young and somewhat normal.

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

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

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

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

La Forza Del Destino from 1957

 You know by now how much I loved the beloved Leyla Gencer, sometimes flawed, but nevertheless,one of the most important sopranos. Here are excerpts from a 1957  la Scala Forza under Antonino Votto, with Giuseppe di Stefano,Cesare Siepi,Aldo Protti, and Franco Calabrese (Marchese).  (73 min.)

Direct download: Forza_Leyla.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm EDT

RAI Italian Artists

A compilation of some of the most important Italian artists from around the 1950-1960 period. Included are Tito Gobbi, Magda Olivero, Anita Cerquetti, Cesare Valletti, Paolo Silveri, Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi, Rosanna Carteri, Mario Filippeschi, Renata Tebaldi, Ebe Stignani, and Giuseppe Di Stefano. (70 min.)

Direct download: RAI_artists.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19pm EDT

The Pearl Fishers with Nicolai Gedda

 When do I get to hear anything? There is just too much, and I wonder whatever possessed me to have items like "The Complete Works of The Rolling Stones."(Lord Forbid!!).However, some performances stand out in one's memory, and this Carnegie Hall 1974 Pearl Fishers under Eve Queler, with Nicolai Gedda (the GOD of the tenor voice), Renato Bruson (still active at 77), and Christiane Eda-Pierre is special to me. Especially thrilling is the version of the final trio, not always perfomed these days, and of course Gedda's high C pianissimo at the end of the aria is in itelf a tremendous achievement. I know you will enjoy this. (71 min.)

Direct download: Pearl_F.Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:31pm EDT

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

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

Parsifal From Rome, 1956

 A superb Parsifal from Rome, 1956 under Eugen Jochum featuring Wolfgang Windgassen, Martha Moedl,Herman Uhde (Klingsor), Ferdinand Frantz (Amfortas), and Ludwig Weber (Gurnemanz.)  

(73 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal_Jochum.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

Ballo in Maschera from 1963

Highlights from a brilliant Ballo under Nello Santi from 1963. The cast includes Birgit Nilsson, Richard Tucker, Robert Merrill, Mattiwila Dobbs, and Jean Madeira. Note that the way it was tracked did noit allow me to include some key material.  (61 min.)

Direct download: Ballo_1963_Nilsson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:46am EDT

Met Closing, 1966

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

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

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

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

Maria Muller Sings

A compilation (announced) of material as sung by the radiant Maria Muller. This indeed is a superb voice, and I know you will enjoy her art.  (71 min.)

Direct download: Maria_Muller.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

Il Trovatore from Naples, 1951

A rather "unsubtle" but exciting Naples 1951 Trovatore, conducted by Tullio Serafin, with Maria Callas in her prime, Paolo Silveri, Cloe Elmo, and an aging Giacomo Lauri-Volpi (I think the Pira is booed). This is the kind of show we never experience today;it has its flaws, but it is really mostly quite exciting.  (72 min.)

Direct download: Callas_1951_Trov..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

Licia's Met Farewell

 The most beloved Licia Albanese in her Met farewell as Manon Lescaut. At this writing, Licia is over 100, and one of the most loved opera artists in our time. Richard Tucker and Mario Sereni complete the cast. This is a 1966 performance under Kurt Adler.   (71 min.)

Direct download: Lescaut_Licia_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:45am EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don Giovanni From TV 1960

An abridged Don Giovanni (exc.) from NBC TV in 1960, in English.It stars Cesare Siepi,Leontyne Price, Judith Raskin (Zerlina), Helen George (Elvira), Charles K.L.Davis (Ottavio), James Pease (Leporello), John Reardon (Masetto), and John Macurdy (Commendatore.) The conductor is Peter Herman Adler.   (55 min.)

Direct download: Don_G.Eng.TV.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:10pm EDT

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

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

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

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

     Michael is Fabianolous!!!!!!

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

Das Rheingold from 1952

A NDR (German Radio) performance of highlights from a 1952 Das Rheingold under Wilhelm Schuchter. Some of the great artists of that era are heard,especially those "black voices."

Ferdinand Frantz  (Wotan)    Gottlob Frick  (Fasolt)    Josef Greindl (Fafner)

Gustav Neidlinger (Alberich)  Wolfgang Windgassen  (Loge)  Paul Kuen (Mime)

Res Fischer (Fricka and Erda)   Josef Metternich (Donner)       (72 min.)

Direct download: Rheingold_1952.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

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

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

The Fabulous Fab!!!

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

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

Franco Corelli's Birthday

For April 8, I present a tribute to Franco Corelli, Born 1921. He was one of the greatest tenors in opera history.  (Selections are announced.)  (71 min.)

Direct download: Corelli_2013_birth..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:48pm EDT

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

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

Renata Tebaldi as Mme.Butterfly

A 1958 Naples Mme.Butterfly under Angelo Questa, starring Renata Tebaldi,Giani Raimondi, Giuseppe Valdengo, and Anna Di Stasio.(72 min.). Please be aware that although the sound is superb, the prompter is rather loud.

Direct download: Butt.Tebaldi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT

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

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

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

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

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

Tannhauser 1936

Highlights from a Golden-Age-of-Wagner Tannhauser in 1936,under Artur Bodansky. It features, Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior,Lawrence Tibbett, Emmanuel List, and Margaret Halstead. In those days they did make cuts in Wagnerian performances, but I am not sure if the cuts involve this music. If you do know the opera well, you will possibly hear some cuts. I know it is a bit longer to sit through Wagner these days, BUT I hate cuts (unless everyone is terrible.)   (71 min.)

Direct download: Tannh.1936.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

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

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

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

Verdi Ballet Music

Ballet Music from Verdi Operas; Vespri, Macbeth, Trovatore, Don Carlo, Otello. Edward Downes conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra  (70 min.)  

Direct download: Verdi_Ballet.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:57pm EDT

The Magnificent Hans Hotter

A selection of arias from commercial discs, 1939-1943 by the legendary Hans Hotter.  The arias and scenes (in this order) are from Hans Heiling (Marschner),The Flying Dutchman, Die Meistersinger, Die Walkure, Aida (with Hilde Scheppan),Otello, Falstaff, and Pagliacci. All material such in German.   (68 min.)

Direct download: Hotter_Preiser.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT

Martha Moedl as Klytaemnestra

A "mini-cast" of the great Confrontation Scene in Elektra, from 1964 under Arnold Quennet, featuring the remarkable Martha Moedl and Marijke van del Lugt.   (17 min.)

Direct download: Moedl_Klyt..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:59am EDT

Siegfried Final Scene, 1972

The last scene of Siegfried from1972 under Erich Leinsdorf with the exciting Ursula Schroeder-Feinen and Helge Brilioth.  (38 min.)

Direct download: Sieg.Schroeder.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:03pm EDT

The Art of Piero Cappuccilli

  This amazing baritone was noted not only for his voice, but for his superb Italianate style, and for the amazing ability to sing notes that only a tiny number of baritones sang.(Traviata,Attila B Flats).We hear arias (in this order) from:

Puritani,Luisa Miller,Traviata.Ernani,Ballo, Faust,Forza,Il Guarany,Zaza, and Andrea Chenier. 

(68 min.)

Direct download: Cappuc..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:03pm EDT

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

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

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

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

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

Born too late??????

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

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

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

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

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

11/15    Elisir     Hempel,Caruso, Scotti, Didur

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grafin Maritza/The Land of Smiles

Highlights from Kalman's "Countess Maritza", with Sena Jurinac, Karl Terkal, Anneliese Rothenberger, and Rupert Glawitsch, followed by highlights from Lehar's "The Land of Smiles," with Charlie's favorite tenor, Piotr Beczala and Camilla Nylund..  (73 min.)

Direct download: Maritza-Smiles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:59pm EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rise Stevens Sings Popular Music

The dear late Rise Stevens sings music by Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, Cole Porter,and Irving Berlin(66 min.)  I will never forget her!

Direct download: Rise_Pop.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

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

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

La Favorita

 Another of those blazing recordings from the Cetra Soria Archives. Angelo Questa leads the Radio Turino 1955 in this Favorita with Fedora Barbieri,Gianni Raimondi,Giulio Neri, Carlo Tagliabue, Mariano Caruso, and Loretta di Lelio(Mrs.Corelli.)   (66 min.)

Direct download: Fav.Cetra.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:55am EDT

Rest in Peace, Dear Rise Stevens

   In loving memory of the late Rise Stevens, I present a podcast of arias that feature this great artist in her prime years. I have announced the selections. In tribute to my beloved Rise.  (68 min.)

Direct download: Rise_RIP.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:16pm EDT

My beloved Rise, rest in peace!

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

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

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

Lili Lehmann ( 1848-1929)

 One of the world's greatest aingers, Lilli Lehmann recorded a wide variety of material (announced) and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Remember,she was almost 60 here.  (66 min.)

Lehmann sang in the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876, singing in the first complete performances of The Ring Cycle as Woglinde and Helmwige. She performed in London in 1884, and appeared at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1885–1890. Together with her Met colleagues Fischer, Alvary, Brandt, and Seidl, she helped to popularise Wagner's music in America. By remaining in America beyond the leave granted her by the Berlin Opera, she faced a ban following her return to Germany. After the personal intervention of the Emperor, the ban was lifted.

She appeared at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1899 and sang in Paris and Vienna in 1903 and 1909 respectively. In 1905, she sang at the Salzburg Festival, later becoming the festival's artistic director. Lehmann was also renowned as a Lieder singer. She continued to give recitals until her retirement from the concert stage in the 1920s.

Her mature voice, of splendid quality and large volume, gained for her the reputation of being not only one of the greatest Wagnerian singers of her day but also an ideal interpreter of Bellini's Norma and the operatic music of Mozart. She was considered unsurpassed in the rôles of Brünnhilde and Isolde but sang an astonishingly wide array of other parts. Indeed, across the span of her career, she performed 170 different parts in a total of 119 German, Italian and French operas. She was noted not only for her rendering of the musical score, but also as a tragic actress.[1] She was also a noted voice teacher. Among her pupils were the famous sopranos Geraldine Farrar and Olive Fremstad.

In 1888, she married the tenor Paul Kalisch.

Portrait with signature, 1903

Lehmann founded the International Summer Academy at the Mozarteum in Salzburg in 1916. The academy's curriculum concentrated on voice lessons at first but it was extended later to include a wide variety of musical instruction. [2]

The Lilli Lehmann Medal is awarded by the Mozarteum in her honour. Her voice can be heard on CD reissues of the recordings which she made prior to World War I. Although past her peak as an operatic singer when she made these records, they still impress.

Direct download: Lili_Lehmann.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

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

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

Sylvia Sawyer, a model of proper Italian diction.

  Here are scenes from the ancient (1952) recording of Il Trovatore, featuring Stella Roman, Gino Sarri,Antonio Manca Serra, AND the true model of proper Italian diction, Sylvia Sawyer as Azucena. Anyone who wishes to learn Italian must use Sawyer as a MODEL, but if you follow her example and travel to Italy, someone may throw you off the leaning tower of Pizza.  (46 minuti di non so che)

Direct download: Trov.Sawyer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT

Cavalleria Rusticana with Leonie Rysanek

Here's a really exciting Cav. with Rysanek,Domingo,Benito di Bella, Ruth Falcon, and the great Astrid Varnay as Mamma Lucia. It is from Munich 1978 under Nello Santi, and i know you will enjoy it.  

(69 minutes)

Direct download: Cav_Rysanek.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm EDT

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

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

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

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

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

Renata Scotto and Carlo Bergonzi

 A 1978 Toronto,Canada recital by Renata Scotto and Carlo Bergonzi,two of the most famous artists of the past generation. (Contents announced.)     (60 min.)

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

I Puritani from Catania

From the Teatro Massimo "Bellini" in the 1990's (no date noted in my info.) we present a most exciting Puritani under Richard Bonynge, with soprano Mariella Devia, tenor William Matteuzzi (with  the high "F"), Paolo Washington (Giorgio), and Christopher Robertson (Riccardo.). (68 min.).

    I do strongly advise you not to attempt the "F" at home, unless you wish to scare someone.

Direct download: Puritani_Devia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:23pm EDT

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

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

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

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

Nicolai Gedda in Tosca

  A rare appearance by the great Gedda in Tosca.This is from Nice,France in 1987 under Tchakarov. The Tosca is Olivia Stapp and the Scarpia is Theo Adam. The performance is recorded live so there is some distance, but to hear Gedda in a rare role for him is worth it. (72 min.)

Direct download: Tosca_Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39am EDT

Hoffmanns Erzahlungen (Umlaut over the a)

An interesting German Radio (Koln) 1950 performance of Tales of Hoffmann under Eugen Szenkar with Rudolf Schock, Alexander Welitsch, Wilma Lipp, Martha Moedl, Elfriede Trotschel, Maria von Ilosvay(Niklaus), Otto Von Rohr (Crespel),  Willy Hofmann (Spalanzani), Walter Kassek (Franz and Pitichinaccio),  Marion Matthaus (Mother's voice), and Robert Blasius (Schlemil).   (73 min.)

Direct download: Hoffmann_German.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:11am EDT

Bellini's Ernani

  Beginning in 1830, Vincenzo Bellini embarked on a project to compose an Ernani, but he never got to complete it. Very few fragments remain, and we present them here, with the Oltenia Phil.Orchestra under Franco Piva. The cast is as follows:

Ernani        Patricia Morandini (a travesti role written for Giuditta Pasta)

Elvira          Rosanna Savoia

Don Carlo   (a tenor in this version)   Paolo Pellegrini

Don Sancio   (also a tenor)     Patrizio Saudelli

Ines               Nina Batatunashvili  (mezzo)

       I hope you enjoy this rare set of excerpts.          (37 min.)

Direct download: Ernani_Bellini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19am EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

Die Gotterdamerung Exc.from CG

Wilhelm Furtwaengler conducts scenes from a 1937 Covent Garden Gotterdamerung with Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior, Kerstin Thorborg, Herbert Janssen, and Ludwig Weber  (71 min.)

Direct download: Gott.CG_1937.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

Nicolai Gedda at The Met Museum

 In the 1970's (I do not have the exact date), the great tenor Nicolai Gedda gave a recital (broadcast) from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Musica Aeterna Orchestra was conducted by Frederick Waldman, and the French horn soloist was Antony Miranda (in the Britten piece.).

    Gedda  sings the Serenade for tenor, horn, and strings by Benjamin Britten, followed by arias of Rameau and Gretry.    (39 min.)

Direct download: Gedda_Museum.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

I Capuletti e i Montecchi

 A fine cast in this Scala 1968 Bellini "I Capuletti e i Montecchi" under Claudio Abbado, featuring Renata Scotto (Giulietta), Giacomo Aragall (Romeo),  Luciano Pavarotti (Tebaldo), Agostino Ferrin (Capellio), and Alfredo Giacomotti (Lorenzo.)   (72 min.)

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

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

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

A Lehar Gala

Highlights from a Dresden 2011 Gala under Christian Thielemann. It features excerpts from Lehar's Giuditta, Land Of Smiles, Paganini, and Der Zarewitsch.   (28 min.)

Direct download: Lehar_Piotr.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13pm EDT

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

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


  A not-too-well-known opera by Saverio Mercadente ( 1795-1870), "Elisa e Claudio" with the following cast:

Virginia Zeani                Elisa

Agostino Lazzari           Claudio

Domenico Trimarchi     Tricufazio

Ugo Trama                      Arnaldo

Giovanna Fioroni            Carlotta

         From San Carlo, Naples, 1971 under Ugo Rapalo                     (69 min.)

Direct download: Elisa_e_Claudio.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:03am EDT

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

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

Antonietta Stella in Verdi and Puccini

 Verdi and Puccini arias (announced) by the wonderful Antonietta Stella. I have always placed her as one of my all-time beloved divas!   (67 min.)

Direct download: Stella_Testam..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:53am EDT

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

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

German Composers of the 20th Century.

 An interesting compilation of scenes from operas of German Composers of the 20th Century.

1-2 Franz Schmidt  "Notre Dame" (w.Gwyneth Jones)

3-5  Alexander Zemlinsky  "Es War Einmal"

6.  Zemlinsky  "Der Traumgoerge"

7.  Zemlinsky   "Der Kreiderkreis."

8-9   Zemlinsky   "Der Koenig Kandaules"

10.  Franz Schreker  "Der Ferne Klang"

11. Schreker   "Der Schatzgraber"

12-14  Manfred Gurlitt  Three scenes from "Wozzeck"

Direct download: Deutsche_Op..mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:08pm EDT

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

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

Der Engel

A sample from Jonas Kaufmann's new Wagner Album. "Der Engel" from the Wesendonck Lieder. Go BUY IT!!!!!!!

Direct download: Kaufmann_Engel.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

Cetra Tosca

An exciting Tosca on Cetra (the label that I was bought upon),with Adriana Guerrini, Gianni Poggi, and Paolo Silveri under Francesco Molinari-Pradelli. (70 min.)

       PODCASTS ARE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Direct download: tosca_cetra_02_28_131.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:28pm EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday to Renata Scotto

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Great Music

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