Feb.22, 1927 was the birthday of one of the greatest sopranos ever,Regine Crespin. It was an amazing voice, and here she sings the aria from The Damnation of Faust.She will never be forgotten!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT

The finale of an unusual production of one of the greatest operas,Die Frau Ohne Schatten. It is available on DVD complete (Salzburg 2011).Look it up on Amazon..It is totally UNCUT and takes place in a studio...this is the staging..but the singing is truly remarkable.

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

Yes,she had her flaws...but LORD,Leonie Rysanek remains in our hearts one of the most exciting singers EVER!!! Here is the duet from "Aegyptische Helena" with Bernd Aldenhoff.

Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

She just continues to thrill me NO END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT

Have you all seen this wonderful scene from the Video "The Golden Ring?" Birgit enjoyed the joke!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Category:general -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993)[1] was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. Music critic Alan Blyth said "Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty."[2] Most of her singing career was spent performing in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965. Although offered roles with many important European opera companies, Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred to perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.[2]

Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Her performance as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Met was the only time she sang an opera role on stage.

Anderson worked for several years as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a "goodwill ambassadress" for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

I was there and saw her debut.A historic occasion,paving the way for so many wonderful Afro-American artists.Sad so many suffered under the prejudice of others, but at least she made it.I was there!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm EDT

 Rigoletto on radio today from the Met. They no longer allow the Rigoletto to sing "AVRAIIIIIII".Instead,he says "avrai" and then the duet..and is thre anything like this????Leyla's glottal attacks and a fabulous ending.......

Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm EDT

  I love compilations like this. If you like high notes...have fun!!!!!  I hope the podcast glitches are fixed soon. Thanks for your patience.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT

Placido...es Verdad?????

   I have been informed that since Placido has nothing much else to do these days, he will probably be taking over the Pope's job, and besides, he LOVES the costume. Unfortunately, he will have to sell Madrid (es propietario de la ciudad) and as far as Marta goes...well,look, you can't have everything!!!   Buena Suerte, Placido!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

  May I wish you all a most happy Valentine's Day. Ella Fitzgerald has the kind of style in pop that many of our great opera stars possess in their fach. (Skip the AD!!)

                                          My best wishes to all of you....Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm EDT

ANOTHER great voice for Wagner, although it was Farrell's decision not to sing a complete Wagner opera..Preferred JAZZ...well, in opera,one of the great voices of all time, and a very funny lady!!!

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

 I just LOVED this lady....Magnificent voice..Born Feb.13, 1938. She should be more noticed. I saw her in Tosca, Ariadne,etc. She would be the GREAT Wagnerian of today!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:50am EDT

Born Feb.12, 1940, Gilda Cruz-Romo today would be QUEEN of the dramatic sopranos!!!!!!What a marvelous,exciting artist!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

  In 1967,Beverly Sills was "discovered" in this role..but she was always wonderful. We came close to falling out of the balcony at the way she sang this music!!!!!

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

Magda Olivero and Richard Tucker in Manon Lescaut,Act 4. Just phenomenal!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EDT

 This is not my week..Another Libsyn glitch..so meanwhile,I will give you some videos..PACENZA!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

 One of the joys of my life is when a marvelous artist shows such a lovely personality, and also is interested in singers of the past, and even visits this site. Stefan Kocan, a Slovak bass,currently at the Met as a sleazy Sparafucile in the Las Vegas Rigoletto. Stefan is not just a fine artist, but a "regular guy" and i am so happy to have met him and enjoy his amiable personality.

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

In 1965, we did Tchaikowsky's beautiful and less-known "Iolantha." This was when I met Marisa Galvany, since I was her doctor (we did it in English.) The Met will do it in a few years, with these two great singers, Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala, LOVE THEM!!!!!!

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

 In my effort to please you all, I was told I could make my podcasts longer;however, if you only want the podcasts shorter than 74 min.because you want to burn them to a CD, I will keep the format the same. Please write me at Placido21@aol.com if you feel I should NOT lengthen the podcasts. I will then keep everything the same.

                                         As ever    Charlie

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

 Do we know of any Violettas who can conclude "Sempre Libera' like this??All she had to do was take a high E flat..Well,what more can we ask of this great lady???

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

  Several years ago,I sang the Sacristan in a Tosca with a superb artist, Dorothy Bishop. Since then, Dorothy, one of the sweetest and most talented individuals I have ever met, has been a HUGE hit all over the globe.This is from Helsinki,Finland. How many Toscas do you know who can belt out pop songs, hilariously imitate some of our personalities (She did Sarah Palin BETTER than Sarah Palin), and hit high D's????

Category:general -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

  Have you ever wanted to yell at some idiot(s) at the opera who talk,eat,text, and annoy you? I am happy Patti blasted this guy for taking a FLASH photo!

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

Turandot  Rome 1985

Turandot from 1985, Rome with Gwyneth Jones,Diana Soviero, Nicola Martinucci, Alessandro Corbelli. Great Performance!! (72 min)

Podcasts have returned!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Direct download: jones_turandot.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

Leonie Rysanek tears up the stage in a scene from act two Jenufa...There cannot today EXIST anything of this nature!!!!! LORD! How we miss her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

 This is why Dolora Zajick is so UNIQUE these days.Even at 60, and with Asthma, she drives us NUTS with that fabulous voice, a throwback to the "biggies" I used to hear. She has FUN!!!!

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

Here is the Comte D'Ory aria sung by our newest discovery, Pretty Yende. She has thrilled NY audiences these weeks.!!!

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

Our new sensation from S.Afrika..Pretty Yende, who replaced Nino Machaidze on short notice in the Met "Comte D'Ory." What a wonderful lady!!!!! a true STAR!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

Could we cast my favorite film as an OPERA?? Every time Madeline LeBeau utters the words, "Mugir ces feroces soldats," with the tears streaming down her face, it gets to me...every time...

Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm EDT

  Still some glitches on the podcast site....I will "entertain" you meanwhile with some more videos..Thanks for your patience.


Category:general -- posted at: 8:32pm EDT

Now LOOK, it is nice to have some smaller opera groups perform for an audience. I think Mr.Gelb should give serious consideration to changing the new Ballo to this cast and production. Note how the Riccardo cannot get the papers out of his pocket..that is even funnier than his singing..I think!)

I know..I am mean!  However, this just made my day!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

                             Sweet memories of Funny Renata "Tosca Quotes"

       Renata was so funny and I recall some of her humorous quotes, both from Tosca:

1. At a big hotel party, she grabbed the knife to cut the cake and exclaimed,    

"Questo il bacio di Tosca!!"

2. When we saw her off on the train to Philly.(The Met went there on Tuesdays), the baggage handler opened the door of the open last car where she stood, and she said, "Spoleta,CHIUDI!"

      I will add that when us kiddies sat in the first row at Carnegie for a Bell Tel.Hr. appearance, she looked down at us, winked, and then DESTROYED the place by starting the "Inflammatus!" We felt the show was just for us.

  This act two Fanciulla scene in 1970 caused us to tear programs and throw them down!!!!!

     So how can anyone not think of her the way we all did..and still do????

Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

For Renata Tebaldi on her Birthday

                            Do we need more words to describe the great Renata Tebaldi, on her birthday,Feb.1? Little did us "kids" know, when we first met her,on the occasion of her Met debut,Jan.31, 1955 as Desdemona, that she was celebrating her 33rd birthday. Her performances were "events" and the love she brought across the footlights and after the show was something that has remained with me all these years.
                             On this day,let us all remember one of the most treasured singers in opera history. Your friend "Carlos" remembers you. (When I met her, her English was bad, as was my Italian, so I spoke in Spanish and thus,she called me "CarloS."
                                                               With all my love,


Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

More of our Feb. 1 birthday girl, the sensational Renata Tebaldi. I guess singers today would be scared of using chest voice...That is why so many are boring!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

We miss the late Cornell MacNeil.He had the HUGEST baritone voice I ever heard,even bigger than Warren. This is an Example of how he ROCKED the Met!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT

For Renata's birthday on Feb.1, I present an example of the most phenomenal voice imaginable..A Wagner-like sound,with the greatest beauty you can imagine...and as lovable offstage as anyone could be. More coming!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:06pm EDT

 Even if you are not Italian, you will enjoy (?) Mari Lyn's wonderful Trovatore aria. (with interesting titles.)  Be warned!  I do not advise eating or drinking before watching this.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:57am EDT

   I have just been in contact with Met head Peter Gelb, who watched the travesty of Beyonce lipsynching the National Anthem. He agreed with me that some singers,who were contracted several years ago, and who cannot sing, should be allowed to do a "Beyonce" in a few cases.

    I am not going to mention any names,because you know how tasteful I am, but the thought of a Milanov/Tucker Chenier next season might be a revelation. Also, I would like to have Justin Bieber appear as Norma, with Maria doing the voice.

    By the way, the Rondine this week, except for the glorious Kristine Opolais, should have had the rest of the cast miked. Do NOT believe the coming broadcast. It LIES!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Virginia Zeani may not hit the E flat here, but she did on the phone on my birthday!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

  How come all the great stars celebrate birthdays this week? Marcello celebrates on Jan.25 (b.1963), and we had Joe Calleja on the 22nd and what's his name and me on the 21st.

   We love Marcello, possessor of a brilliant voice, fine technique, and one of opera's favorites. I hope he has a great day and many,many more!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm EDT

  You all know when I get started on a great new voice, I inundate you with clips...Why not? This is a truly gorgeous voice and I hope you love it as much as i do.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:39am EDT

   I am always so happy to "discover" new divas.You all know I have seen the greats, and so when someone like Mme.Opolais comes along, I am so thrilled. She not only has the voice, but she has the kind of depth of emotion that is so important in opera.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:28am EDT

   I have just returned from La Rondine at the Met with the Latvian soprano, Kristine Opolais, as Magda. What a wonderful treat to add another superb diva to our array of wonderful sopranos.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

   What a gorgeous rendition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Talk about "nice guys!!" Joseph Calleja,born Jan.22, 1978, is one of our finest tenors. His voice in some ways harkens back to the style of De Lucia,Bonci,Anselmi. He is a great artist, and one of the most "regular dudes" one could know. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

  I know I kid the Placido fans a lot, but who can ever deny his remarkable accomplishments in the world of music. I wish him all my best, but hope he remembers that he did promise me ESPANA for my birthday tomorrow. Amazing man at 72!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

 Un poco temprano (a little early)for Jan.21 birthday,but Placido has had an amazing career and he will always remain an icon in the field of music. I hope he remembers his pledge to me and gives me Madrid on Monday,since we share the same birthday.  Feliz Cumpleanos,Placido!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:21am EDT

A bit ahead of time.

  On Monday,January 21,the opera world will celebrate (see photo) the birthdays of two individuals: One is one of the LEGENDS in the opera world, a great artist, a revered musical aficionado, and person of worldwide fame. The other person has a nice beard.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

SUPERB Manrico tonight, and had seen him also in Turandot..Voice even from bottom to top, and plenty of SQUILLO!!!!! Best dramatic tenor around today......I hope you like the clip!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:20am EDT

Need we say more about one of the greatest singers in opera history, especially in the bel canto repertory. She turns 84 on Jan.16 and has won the battle against cancer. BLESS HER!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:34am EDT

  You know how much of a pain I am about singers, so when a special one comes along, I am so thrilled, and i am not alone about what Michael Fabiano has already accomplished. Next season at the Met he will do Alfred in Fledermaus, and as in the Jan Kiepura film, "So ends our night," I hope he will sing the PIRA in act three in jail, plus a lot of other arias!

    Signor Fabiano is a welcome addition to a fine array of tenors that regale us with their superb talents these days. In "my day' we had a few great ones, but also..well,you know who.....

Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

Der Rosenkavalier from Naples, 1971

 Under the leadership of conductor Georges Pretre, here are three lovely ladies in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. They are Gundula Janowitz,Brigitte Fassbaender, and Ileana Cotrubas, with Karl Ridderbusch as Baron Ochs.   (69 min.)

Direct download: Rosenk.Janowitz.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

...and why not???It makes my life so full, and this one from Valencia is stunning!!!!!! Now you see why I am poor!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:51am EDT

Well,now you are united with dear Franco, but PLEASE, be nice to him...

Category:general -- posted at: 1:08am EDT

Tosca with Olive Middleton

 A few lowlights from a 1965 Tosca with the famous cult figure Olive Middleton. She truly endeared herself to opera lovers and even in her 70's, she managed to exhibit some sense of emotion and even a few high C's, although most of her singing was closer to Berg than to Puccini. We all loved her and even some Met singers attended her performances. She is currently coaching with Maria Jeritza and Frances Alda. (31 min.)

Direct download: 14_-_Tosca_Puma_4.wav
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

An All-star Verdi Requiem

 From La SCala 1967 under Herbert von Karajan, here are highlights from the Verdi Requiem featuring Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, Fiorenza Cossotto, and Nicolai Ghiaurov.  (67 min.)

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

   Although it was not "official," Sam Ramey did tell me that the Timur in Turandot last night would be his last Met appearance. Sam and I go back 42  years, we sang in Anna Bolena and other operas. We always knew Sam had the goods, and the great career he had is surely appreciated by countless opera lovers all over the globe. Now Sam has even more time to annoy people on Facebook!! Love to my old buddy , who did last night tell us that his days of taking off his shirt as he does in this Attila clip are a thing of the past!!!

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

I had HAIR!!!!!!!

That SNEAKY James Jorden gave you a new photo on the top of the podcast site. Well, I must say it brings back memories of the old Met, where we LIVED in the standing room.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

We are BLESSED these days with a wonderful group of tenors, and here is still another,Matthew Polenzani!!!!!  I have been pleased to have heard him now in Seraglio,Don Pasquale, Elisir, and last night's Maria Stuarda!!! Great guy!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Here is a glorious sample of what I saw last night at the Met. It was a great evening, and I wish there would be more like this. In your city, you may be seeing this in the theatres on Jan.19. It was superb!!!!

   BUT the best thing is that since Mme.Van der Heever shaved her head for real, I told her I was happy at least I have more hair than SOMEBODY!!!!

    Joyce di Donato continues to give a "Master Class" in singing every time she appears!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm EDT

 In recent weeks New York opera audiences have thrilled to the magnificent (SQUILLANTE) voice of tenor Bryan Hymel, heard in the Troyens, and also seen in theatres around the globe. You know how many fine tenors I have heard, and he surely belongs with them, and he is destined for a brilliant career.(He surely picks easy arias!!).  All our best to him!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:03am EDT

La Figlia Del Reggimento

In Italiano, we present Donizetti's delightful opera,starring Mirella Freni, Alfredo Kraus, Vladimiro Ganzarolli, and Anna Di Stasio, from 1975, under Nino Sanzogno. (71 min.)

Direct download: Fille_Freni.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

  I have spoken often about the great "Verismo" sopranos, and when I think of Favero on her Jan.6 birthday (born in1903), I am filled with great emotion, but at the same time I am so sorry that this style of singing is just not in vogue today....So when I make podcasts involving Muzio,Zeani,Soviero,etc..you know I am trying to spread the word as to the kind of emotional singing of a Favero,etc.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

One of my all-time thrills was to be onstage when Marisa Galvany sang the Bolena, and especially this great scene. I hope you enjoy the various divas!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:43am EDT

Semiramide, the Joy of Bel Canto

From 1980 Aix-en-Provence under Jesus Lopez-Cobos, we bring you an example of remarkable Bel Canto singing. The cast includes Montserrat Caballe, Marilyn Horne,Samuel Ramey, and Francisco Araiza  (72 min.)

Direct download: Semiram.Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:35am EDT

For Grace Bumbry, born Jan.4, 1937, I present this example of her great singing. She now resides in Salzburg and we often communicate. I bet she can still sound gorgeous!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm EDT

Jaded Charlie sees the Met new Maria Stuarda next week.I hope it is wonderful, BUT listen to a scene with Galvany and Sills that caused INSANITY in the audience!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

In honor of the first time the Met opera is presenting Maria Stuarda....here are some
"Vil bastarda" scenes..but for me the best was Sills/Galvany...LOVE THIS!!!!!

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

She is 66. One of the most amazing singers..OK,the last note is a bit "under' but who cares. This is the brand of singing VE RBOTEN at the Met...TRUST ME!!!!!

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

More Great Music

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