Three hours sleep (got to bed at 5) after the Butterfly at the Met...then to the Met at 9:00 for costumes,staging makeup. No one in Met history ever sang back-to-back NEW roles in the house.  She made history..and we love her so much!!!!

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

I discovered a fabulous baritone last night in Arabella. Michael Volle is just incredible.I was so thrilled!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EST

Compilation No.12

I sincerely hope you are enjoying these pot-pourris. Here is no.12. Remember, anyone who has comments or suggestions, e-mail me at I am unable to use the comments section here, because it results in outside advertisements.

1. Rysanek/London           Aida Nile duet  (in Deutsch)

2.Licia Albanese                  La Wally     "Ebben,ne andro lontana."

3.Ivar Andresen                  Gotterdamerung        Hagen's Watch

4.Agnes Baltsa                    Cenerentola Final aria

5. Piot Beczala                     I Lombardi aria    (My favorite tenor of today, as you know.)

6. Joel Berglund                   Tannhauser    "Evening star."

7.Grace Bumbry                    Andrea Chenier      "La Mamma morta."

8.Emma Calve                        Herodiade     "Il est doux."

9.Enrico Caruso                     "L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra"  (Drives me crazy!)

10.Antonietta Stella               Mme.Butterfly   "Che tua madre."

11.Franco Corelli  (Apr.8 birthday)   Favorita    "Una vergine"

12.Montserrat Caballe            Trovatore    "D'amor sull'ali rosee"

13.Mario DelMonaco                 Trovatore    "Di quella pira"

14.Fernando de Lucia                Iris     "Apri la tua finestra"

15. Nicolai Gedda                        Pearl Fishers aria  (Mio Dio!!!)

16. Marcello Giordani                  Adriana    "La dolcissima effigie."

Direct download: 12_Compil.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:09pm EST

What more can we say about the sensational Corelli, who has NEVER been replaced. This is my all-time Corelli "moment."The high C on "reeeeendero," that the Scala audience adores!

  Good friends of mine who knew him well do not share the oipinion of some that he was a difficult guy and adored him, although Loretta was no bargain. I do know one story (and it is in the Corelli book) that in a hotel in Atlanta,Georgia they had to re-decorate a room because the two of them had a "spaghetti fight."(WITH SAUCE!)

  I saw the man 40 times, from his 1961 debut, and will never forget him!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm EST

William Tell with Nicolai Gedda

From Florence, 1972 under Riccardo Muti, I bring you William Tell with the following cast:

Nicolai Gedda, Norman Mittleman, Eva Marton, Agostino Ferrin (Gualtiero), Luigi Roni (Gessler), Flora Rafanelli (Edwige), Maria Casula (Jemmy), Mario Rinaudo (Melchtal).   (70 min.)

Direct download: Tell_Gedda.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:12pm EST

   Having sung the magnificent Mme.Butterfly on Friday evening, and retiring about 5:00 A.M., Kristine Opolais was awakened at 7:30, as The Met asked her if she could replace Mme.Hartig as Mimi on the Met telecast/broadcast (aria heard here). In the history of the Met (132 years), no other singer had ever sung two role debuts back-to-back.

 Imagine her then getting to the Met at 9:00 A.M. for a staging walk-through, vocalizing while they did her makeup, and when they could not find a properly fitting black wig, they used a blond one, and she had the sense,in act two, to change "bruni" to "biondi." This is what you call a real "trouper."

  The reviews were ecstatic, and she made music history in New York with this double-triumph. I am so thrilled for her, a lovely and brilliantly talented artist, who won the hearts of so many!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 8:31pm EST

Get Crazy!!(Again??)

A conglomeration of all sorts of material, from the wonderful to the bizarre:

1.Corelli Celeste Aida B flat diminuendo. 2. Millo Aida E flat.

3.Benjamin Luxon "sings" the Cavalleria Intermezzo.  4. Zeani's fabulous Console aria.

5. Sirach Von Bodengraven again proves that there is something rotten in Denmark.(Otello)

6. Martinelli's last Otello (19470 duet w.Cesare Bardelli.

7.Crazy Bonisolli hits 4 high C's in Turandot, and then when people start to applaud, he says that there is a pause that Puccini wrote.(so you can applaud.) He gave tenors a bad name!!

8. Edita Gruberova in Roberto Devereux. "VA!!"  9. The guy singing our Nat.Anthem (to be deported).

10.Puritani duet w.Sutherland/Gedda (to die for!)   11. Tosca finale with Nilsson.

12. Zauberflote aria sung by.....Have mercy!!!   13. Stevens/DelMonaco BURN UP Carmen finale.

14. Longest held high note EVER!! Caballe Don Carlo finale.  15. Di Stefano fabulous Faust high C

16. Kraus great D flat in Favorita.      17. Zeani/Filippeschi Puritan i duet

18. De Los Angeles and Schwarzkopf in Rossini's Cat Duet      19.Rysanek Frau scene

20. Lauri-Volpi Fedora aria at 79!!!!   21. Giovanni Roberti in  puritani.(Hold your ears)

22. HILARIOUS guy named Dahlstrom in Rigoletto, with audience reaction.

Direct download: Shall_I_go_on.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm EST

My review is published.Here is what I heard last night.( This is from Covent Garden)

Category:general -- posted at: 9:45am EST

  She's a star!!! Last night at the Met was the first Mme.Butterfly of Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, and to these supposedly jaded ears, I was totally captivated by her vocalism,musicianship, stage deportment, and in total, she proved to be one of the brightest lights in the opera world today.
    The voice is rich and opulent, with an easily produced upper range (D flat in the entrance and piano B natural in "dolore' at the beginning of act three, as two examples.). In this extremely difficult role (Olivia Stapp says she finds  act two Butterfly harder the the whole of Elektra, owing to the sheer emotion involved.),
Mme.Opolais brings a vulnerable and sympathetic portrayal to the stage. She has the sense of line and phrase that is so endearing to those of us who so much appreciate an artist who can bring us to tears in so many of the glorious Puccini moments. I hope the Met will use her in many roles in future years.(Mimi next season.).  I thank her, as did the audience with its ovation, for a beautiful evening.
      Sadly, Mr.Valenti, whom I enjoyed so much at City opera, has great vocal problems;the middle is of decent, although unmemorable, quality, but th moment he reaches for high notes, the sound is totally "strangulato" and in act three, the 2 B flats were totally covered by the orchestra, since he has no trace of squillo. The act one love duet requires TWO sings to make it work, and sad to say, it did not have much effect, despite that positively riveting staging. (I got to love the production so much, even the puppet.)
     I would wonder if Dwayne Croft is not re-studying, because I found a very noticeable improvement in his vocal production,unlike recent years where I found the passaggio rather nasal and the voice not what I first loved so much;he was superb, and he and the fine Maria Zifchak (Suzuki) received well-deserved cheers, unlike the reaction to Mr.Valenti,which was "cool."(I guess the Met audience does have ears on occasion.)
    I was most impressed by Scott Scully as Goro.It is a pleasure to have a voice that is totally well-produced all through the range, and as Ialways say, Richard Bernstein is too fine a singer to be relegated to the Commissioner. Furthermore, the Bonzo of Stefan Szkafarowsky (get rid of Tanovitski) and especially the Yamadori of Jeongcheol Cha, made me hope they will graduate to larger roles some day soon.
     I noted a large group of Rochester.New York high school seniors who dressed so beautifully, that I was happy to see a group of young people not appearing like some of the slobs I have seen at the Met (even guys in shorts!).
      I see two more Butterflies, and perhaps MrValenti was ill and really is much more of what I remember, and then we have one with last year's fine Aida, Hui He, and last season's pretty dull Manrico of Gwyn Hughes-Jones, who would be better suited to Pinkerton. Marcello Giordani,where were you last night?
       If you love opera, combine Puccini's great music and Kristine Opolais' talent, and you have a mostly great evening!!      Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EST

Manon Lescaut from Buenos Aires, 1966

Despite  the sound,which can be a bit dull, Richard Tucker and Montserrat sing a magnificent Manon Lescaut under Bruno Bartoletti. Gianpiero Mastromei is the Lescaut, and Sr.Telasko is Geront (59 min.).  Note that the photo is the Richard Tucker Monument outside Lincoln Center.

Direct download: Lescaut3_Tucker.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm EST

They are all good, but i still prefer Diana Soviero to all of them.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm EST

Another remarkable interpretation of the Suor Angelica finale as sung by Catherine Malfitano.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EST

Chiara Taigi is a new discovery for me. The voice is absolutely rich and creamy,with low notes that thrill;the high notes need work,as you will obsewrve.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm EST

The last of the great verismo sopranos, Renata Scotto.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm EST

The Final Scene of Suor Angelica

A compilation of various sopranos singing the magnificent final scene of Puccini's "Suor Angelica."

This podcast will be followed by some videos of the same scene.      (51 min.)

The singers,in this order, are:

Beverly Sills (her only Trittico), Virginia Zeani, Rosanna Carteri, Gilda Cruz-Romo, Leyla Gencer, Theresa Zylis-Gara, Elizabeth Carron, Christina Gallardo-Domas, and Kristine Opolais (commercial recording.)

Direct download: Suor_finale.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:26pm EST

Here is a scene (uncut) from a Medea with a brilliant soprano,Chiara Taigi. The glottal attacks and the chest and the middle voice are brilliant. Unfortunately on other Youtube clips the very top of the voice in other material needs much work..but she is really wonderful in many ways.

  NO ONE around here sings like this..a Gencer,Galvany type..but a gorgeus middle voice...i only wish she could work on the top!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:57pm EST

 A happy birthday to our dear Facebook friend, Nelly Miricioiu, who represents a style of singing mostly absent today. She was born on Mar.31, 1952 in Roumania, which seems to be a country where the 'air" produces some of the most exciting artists(Guess who else!)

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

La Boheme  Two Debuts

On Sept.29, 1965 both Mirella Freni and Gianni Raimondi made their Met debuts in La Boheme,under Fausto Cleva. The tape is a bit distant in sound, but it was a special performance and I know that you will enjoy it. Others in the cast were as follows:

Heidi Krall             Musetta

Calvin Marsh        Marcello

John Macurdy       Colline

Clifford Harvuot    Schaunard

Lorenzo Alvary      Benoit

Andrea Velis          Alcindoro

Direct download: Boheme_Freni_deb.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:34pm EST

Frida Leider, Vol.2

More superb singing from the great Frida Leider. As I had said, sometimes a great singer "escapes" notice, owing to all there is,but here we have some more excerpts from her repertory.

1. Oberon  "Ozean,du Ungeheuer

2. The Wagner Wesendonck Songs

3. Ariadne  "Est gibt ein Reich"

4. Don Giovanni  "Or sai chi l'onore

5. Schubert: Erlkonig and Auf dem Wasser zu singen

6. Schumann   Widmung

7.Tristan und Isolde   Liebestod

Direct download: Leider2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:48pm EST

Compilation 11

I know you enjoy my pot-pourris and i hope you will appreciate this one as well:

1. Meta Seinemeyer        Tristan und Isolde        "Liebestod"    (so sad,she died at 33.)

2. Cesare Siepi                  L'Italiana in Algeri       "Le femmine d'Italia"

3. Diane Soviero                Risurrezione (Alfano)   "Giunge il treno"

4. Steber/DelMonaco       Fanciulla act two duet (with opened cut, which I love.)

5. Stella/Guelfi                   Aida Nile Duet   (They are superb)

6. Rise Stevens                   Orfeo                   "Che faro"

7. Luisa Tetrazzini              Semiramide       "Bel raggio"

8. Richard Tucker                 Andrea Chenier      "Improvisso"

9. Pavarotti/Millo                 Ballo Love duet

10.Leonard Warren              Forza Cabaletta (He was about to sing this when he died.I will never forget it.)

11. Zinka Milanov                 Forza          "La vergine degli angeli  (1965 concert.)

12.Giuseppe di Stefano       Carmen      "Flower Song"

13. Magda Olivero                Manon Lescaut      "In quelle trine morbide"

14.Titta Ruffo                         Pagliacci Prologue  (a force of nature.)

15. Beverly Sills                     Tabarro aria (her only Trittico)

16.Riccardo Stracciari           Traviata   "Di Provenza "  (Charlie's favorite baritone)

Direct download: 11th_Comp.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:43pm EST

Sergei Lemeshev 1902-1977

I love this guy!!!! He is one of my five all-time favorite tenors, of those I never saw live. I find the Russian "high vocal placement' so appealing, Here he sings (In Russian) arias from:

Fra Diavolo, Huguenots, Martha, Luisa Miller, Lohengrin, Faust, Mignon, Roussalka (Dargomijsky),

The Demon (Rubenstein), Onegin (act one), May Night (2 arias), Onegin (Kooda,kooda), Pique Dame

Here is some material I fouind interesting about "rivalry."                         (71 Min.)


Lemeshev’s talent, artistry, acting skills and conspicuous charm very quickly made him a public idol. Almost all his performances during the 1930s and 1940s were accompanied by crowds of fans followed him through the streets, spending days and nights near his house. [1]

While Lemeshev was one of the leading tenors of the Bolshoi Theatre, he was admired by female fans, who were jokingly called "lemeshistki." The theatre lobby was a venue for scuffles between the "lemeshistki" and the "kozlovityanki" (female fans of Lemeshev's rival Ivan Kozlovsky).[2]

Additionally, the film "The Musical Story" (1941) [3] in which he played the main role, brought him the Stalin prize, and even more widespread furore and fame all over the USSR.

Direct download: Lemeshev.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:49pm EST

Germaine Lubin 1890-1979

A great French soprano,who had a sad experience as to possible collaboration with the Nazis during the war, but acquitted.(I have her own words below.).

She sings arias from: Tannhauser,Siegfried,Walkure,Tristan und Isolde,Freischutz, Sigurd (Reyer), Tosca, and songs as follows:

Chopin: Tristesse     Schubert: Erlkonig      Faure:  Au bord de l'eau

Debussy:  Beau soir and Je tremble en voyant ton visage.                 (55 min.)

For her part, Lubin denied all ties to Nazi Germany, and grew deeply bitter over her treatment at the hands of the French government. She once said that

I have suffered an enormous injustice. They curtailed my career by ten years — my own people! The fact is that I knew some of the Germans when they came to Paris during the occupation. This gave my enemies the chance to satisfy their envy … If I saw the Germans in Paris —and they had been more than kind to me— it was to save my compatriots. It was my way of serving my country at that particular moment. Nobody knows how many prisoners I had released … When I spent three years in prison, they confiscated my château at Tours and my possessions. Did anyone bother to ask me why I did not accept Winifred Wagner’s invitations to sing in Germany during the occupation? But my trial was a complete vindication: I was completely cleared. Yes, they gave back most of what they had taken …[5]

Direct download: Lubin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08pm EST

Here is one of Sam's great roles!  (Sam,put a shirt on!!)

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

Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm EST

It was our first Bolena rehearsal in 1970.This young guy, born Mar.28, 1942, opened his mouth and we heard for the first time someone who would become one of the great singers of our time.Sam always spoke of Treigle,and he ended up inheriting many of his great roles. We sang in Hoffmann,Bolena,Barber,etc..and i am so happy to have known him all these years..,Bravo,Sam!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm EST

The Greatest Chenier I ever saw!!!!

Do you think it was easy spending  NINE DOLLARS on a box seat on Mar.5, 1960? Well,it turned out to be worth it, as the incredible cast of Milanov,Bergonzi,Bastianini, and our beloved contralto, Belen Amparan (Madelon) gave a sensational performance, conducted by Fausto Cleva. It was also a sad time for us, as the night before,we had witnessed the untimely stage death of Leonard Warren. At least this phenomenal performance took us temporarily out of our sadness.

Here are some special notes that might help you to pinpoint some of the reasons we were so thrilled:

1. Bergonzi's amazing sense of phrasing. The ultimate example of "slancio," where the man was a vocal GOD to us, as he has been for so long.

2. Zinka's double attack on the act two pianissimo on "ora soave" and the "U" vowel on the word "sventura"in the third act aria, which was one of the examples of her brilliant placement.

3. Bastianini's remarkable "Nemico della patria," offering us at least another great baritone sound, having sadly lost another.

4. Belen Amparan's true contralto tones. We loved her so much.

5. The stunning last act duet (in the high key) and in particular, Zinka's "Abbracciami, Baciami, AMOOOOOORE" which to this day I retain in my mind.

      Listening to this, I again told myself I am glad I was there for shows like this, and again repeat that there is NOTHING in this repertory today (at least not at the Met) that can compare.

Direct download: Chenier2_1960.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:45pm EST

  I just spoke briefly to Magda, a bit tired with all the birthday phone calls. Her "treno" arrived 104 years ago, and we are so very fortunate to have "caught her train" of love for music. Bless her forever!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm EST

Salvatore Licitra, In Memoriam

Sadly, the marvelous tenor Salvatore Licitra passed away at age 43 of a brain hemorrhage while on his motor scooter. We loved his exciting voice and in his memory, I wish to present some arias:

Cavalleria, L'Arlesiana, Andrea Chenier,Fedora, Turandot, Fanciulla, Butterfly, Macbeth, and Trovatore.

                                            May the dear man rest in peace.

Direct download: Licitra3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:39am EST

I have discussed this ad infinitum, but I was there and at 65, we just could not believe what we heard. Listen especially to the final "Rimuuuuuuneri cosiiiiiii" where she has the breath control of a 25 yr.old.....This to me was a triumph I will never forget. Listen for my "brava" at the end. Applause is went on forever.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:45pm EST

  I always call Magda on her birthday, and she was incredibly lucid all these years.Last year was less than lucid, but look, how many of us will be lucid at 104????  This clip is from 1993, when she was a baby at 83...An amazing woman, and a miracle of opera. I will call,and at least give my message to her friend and caretaker. Bless her!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EST

The "P" tenors

 It seems there is a great number of tenors whose names start with "P." I thought it might be an offbeat,but valuable podcast, and they are magnificent:

1. Antonio Paoli                   Robert Le Diable/Poliuto (w. Honoria Popovici)

2. Alfred Piccaver                Meistersinger/Turandot

3. Nino Piccaluga                 Werther/Fanciulla

4. Piero Pauli                         Walkure/Boheme (Leoncavallo)

5. Julius Patzak                    Schubert: Staendchen/Freundliche Vision

6.Tino Pattiera                      Martha/Trovatore

7.Sigismund Pilinszky          Le Prophete

8.Gotthelf Pistor                    Walkure/Parsifal

9. Giacinto Prandelli              Fedora

Direct download: P_tenors.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:12pm EST

 Sorry,folks!!!  I love to go to the opera, but I really do know the difference between most of the singers (not all) and what you see here!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am EST

When I first Met Dolora Zajick, born Mar.24, 1952, I spoke to her of the RARITY of her kind of voice…She works with young artists,trying to get some of them to sing in the “old style” if the term is valid…For me it is. She is a rarity, and I hope we have more singers of her kind.
Based on my conversations with her over the years, she had me once do a “mini-class’ for her students, illustrating the kind of singing that great singers exhibited in their recordings.
She still has plenty of voice!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:22am EST

Compilation No.10

I hope you are enjoying my compilations. I think they represent a wide variety of material.

1. Marilyn Horne           Semele            "Iris,hence away."   (Breathtaking technique)

2. Dorothy Kirsten         Mme.Butterfly  Farewell

3.   She can sing pop also, and very well.       "Embraceable you."

4. Tiana Lemnitz           Nozze di Figaro            "Porgi amor"

5. Leyla Gencer              Aida                                " O Patria Mia"

6. George London           Boris Monologue    (How we miss him!)

7. Germaine Lubin         Tannhauser                "Dich theure halle."

8. Christa Ludwig           Frau act 2 finale w.Berry,Rysanek,Dalis.  (My all-time favorite singer in a given role. It was something I cannot forget.)

9. Regina Resnik             Andrea Chenier       "La Mamma Morta" (she started as soprano.)

10.Lauritz Melchior         Pagliacci                  "Vesti la giubba"

11.Aprile Millo                  Forza                        "Pace"

12.Joan Sutherland/Sherrill Milnes   Rigoletto act three duet (WOW!!!)

13. Martha Moedl             Parsifal                     "Ich sah das Kind."

14. Edna Moser                 Zauberflote              "Der holle Rache."

15. Callas/Bechi               Nabucco  duet  (a kind of singing long absent)

16. Birgit Nilsson               Tosca                      "Vissi d'arte"

17. Rosetta Pampanini     Manon Lescaut     "In quelle trine morbide." (Another example of a lost art.)

18.   Luciano Pavarotti       NINE high C's    (Guess what opera!)

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

Mme.Butterfly with Victoria de los Angeles

From New Orleans,1954, under Walter Herbert, we present the great Victoria de los Angeles as Mme.Butterfly,with Walter Fredericks,Richard Torigi, and  Rosalind Nadell. (73 min.)

Direct download: De_Los.Butt.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:05am EST

Magda will be 104 on Mar.25

    I am writing this in advance of Magda Olivero's 104th birthday,which we will celebrate on Mar.25. Sometimes certain thoughts occur to me at a given time (like this morning), and so I feel like putting them down as I recall them clearly.
    In all the years in which I have been attracted to the vocal art, I am singling out Mme.Olivero because I have never felt that anyone has quite achieved her level of vocalism and deep-felt emotion. Imagine that someone who was once told something like "Don't quit your day job," owing to a vocal quality that surely does not possess the fullness of a Tebaldi or a Ponselle, and whose rather "wide vibrato" might not be pleasing to all ears.
     However, let us reflect on some of the so-called "Kunst divas" who made an indelible mark upon the opera scene, and who may not have necessarily produced the "golden tones" that perhaps the average opera lover appreciates, without delving into the depth of the soul of artists such as Callas, Moedl, Scotto, Jones, Albanese, Rysanek, and other so-called "flawed divas," or in the case of male artists, what a Gobbi, a Chaliapin, a Rossi-Lemeni who achieved so much more than pure vocalism, which may thrill, but which may lack the depth of emotion of artists such as the above.
      In the case of Olivero, I use my "Martha Moedl reading the Dresden telephone directory" and still be riveting to audiences for many years. Olivero has had an uncanny ability to phrase and emote in such a way as to tear at your heartstrings every time. In one of our phone calls,I asked her about  the manner in which she utters the name of "Nina Micheltorena" in Fanciulla, with a mean-spirited jealousy "between the teeth" that only a very special artist could think of. The very great interpreters "decide" what special effects they can make with merely a word or phrase. Such is Magda Olivero, who lifted me out of my seat in a Fedora with the with words,"Loris,ove sei" in her final moments.
       I will forever recall her Met debut at age 65, in which she sang the last phrases of the aria in such a way as to bring everyone to tears. Run to Youtube and find the clip, and pay attention to the final "rimuneri,cosi," where the "u" vowel is held in such a way as to produce the most devastating effect, and then a giant SWELL on the last "cosi," where most sopranos barely make it.
       These are but two examples of why I feel that "non posso imagginare un mondo senza Magda" ("I cannot immagine a world without Magda."). However, like the present generation, future generations will learn from what she has contributed as a lesson in how to combine vocalism with emotion, and if you will sample her many contributions to music in roles like Tosca,Fedora, Adriana, Minnie, etc. you may better comprehend what I and so many others feel about this "miracle' of opera.
                                                With my sincerest love for this great lady,

Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

 What a fitting day for me to have discovered this marvelous young soprano, who studies with birthday girl Diana Soviero!!!!!

   Now that I have posted clips in various places, individuals have written me that she is a rising young star , and this is a great thing. Remember that 35 years ago when I heard Soviero's Mimi, and almost fell out of the balcony, I KNEW she was special, and this young lady appears to be following in her footsteps.

   A big BRAVA to her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EST

 Gigli and Melchior celebrate today!!!!!   Imagine what a day that was for opera!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm EST

  March 20, 1890. BOTH Gigli and Melchior were born!!!!!! The GODS must have been in a good mood!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm EST

La Forza Del Destino w.Bergonzi

 The remarkable Carlo Bergonzi, whose performances have proven to be "singing lessons," appears in this Liceo,Barcelona Forza from 1971 under Ugo Savini. Raina Kabaiwanska, Nicolai Herlea, Gwynne Howell,and the young Juan Pons as the Alcalde, complete the cast.  (73 min.)

Note: I skipped the narration this week,because you wouldn't want to hear what my voice sounds like.

Direct download: Forza_Bergonzi.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:44pm EST

 I again post this ten handkerchief clip in celebration of Diana Soviero's March 19th birthday (shared with my ma). After 35 years of friendship, I still feel that she represents the most remarkable combination of vocalism and emotion imaginable. I treasure what she has meant to me, and to the opera world.

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

 What a joy!!!! However, crabby Zinka sits there as if she is the only star in the world..Just kidding!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:14pm EST

 I do not care who or what you are!!!! I ORDER you to do this....It can be in the shower, in your yard, in the car, etc..... Let me knoiw if they take you away by force!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:10pm EST

I know you just ADORE my compilations, so I present no.9,with a few choice comments. If you played any at parties, did anyone ever guess ALL of them?

1. Gigli, Rethberg, Pinza           Attila trio   (Need we say more?)

2. Carlo Bergonzi                        E lucevan le stelle  (a veritable vocal lesson)

3. Jussi Bjoerling                         Romeo 1947 ensemble. (Did the C sound like that live?)

4.  Alessandro Bonci                   Puritani aria

5.  Clara Butt                                 Lucrezia Borgia Brindisi  (they would laugh today.I adore this!)

6. Karen Branzell                          Erda Warning (Das Rheingold)

7. Olga Borodina                           La Favorite aria

8.  Montserrat Caballe                  Adriana Phedre Monologue  (Totally wild!)

9.   Piero Cappuccilli                      Luisa Miller aria  ( A very great man)

10. Irene Minghini-Cattaneo       Azucena aria   (sadly killed when Allied bomb destroyed her villa in WW II)

11. Julia Varady                              Mme.Butterfly  "Che tua madre."

12. Charles Dalmores                     Carmen Flower Song

13. Zinka Milanov  (who?)             "D'amor sull'ali rosee" (Trovatore)

14. Mario Del Monaco                     "No,pazzo son"(Manon Lescaut)   (Example of subtlety)

15. Merrill/Bjoerling                        Don Carlo duet  (pure gold)

16. Birgitte Fassbaender                "Suicidio"  ( even though she is a mezzo.)

17. Kathleen Ferrier                         "An die Musik"  (Schubert)

18.  Lauren Flanigan                         Lady Macbeth aria  (One of the singers who "takes chances" with repertory. One of my favorite ladies.)

19. Beniamino Gigli                            "Vedi,io piango'  (Fedora)

20.  Apollo Granforte                          Credo from Otello  (His name fits his voice.)

Direct download: Ninth_Compil.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm EST

Tosca With Virginia Zeani

   A commercial recording from Bucharest,Rumania under Cornel Trailescu, featuring my beloved Virginia Zeani, tenor Corneliu Fanateanu, and the recently deceased Nicolae Herlea. I feel that Virginia proves once again that she is one of our greatest artists. It is not because of our friendship because I have gotten friendly with some artists AFTER hearing them, and it is not as if I made a friend and then "liked every breath he/she took."

  What can be a problem is when a singer you know as a person sings badly, and you have to be honest (except you cannot write about it on the internet.)

Direct download: Tosca_Zeani_Rec.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:27pm EST

Have you EVER heard a rendition of this scene more exciting??? Stella loved to cry..but look, if George London was yelling at you, would you not shed a tear or two????    Zinka who????? (Sacriledge)

Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm EST

  Our dear Kurt Baum was born on Mar.15, 1900. Despite his having the ugliest voice in captivity and KILLED so many performances, mostly with Zinka.(Silent film acting with the two of them.),he had a great top register. This is an example. His Lohengrin recording with Traubel shows he should have done more German. We HATED the poor guy, but he was "reliable."

Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm EST

    When us oldies discovered that thing called "opera" (and became insane), all we had for information was the friendship of others who would play records (78's to start) and the oldtimers on the standee line, where we heard about names like Ponselle and Gigli.
     Nowadays we are lucky to have at our disposal an enormous amount of information, generated by the amazing opera forums where a number of remarkable and knowledgeable individuals afford us so much knowledge, (including lots of screaming and yelling.) We have Opera-L, founded by Bob Kosovsky, and Parterre Box, the creation of James Jorden,otherwise known as "La Cieca." James organized a successful podcast site for me personally, and I am happy to report that "from Angola to Zanzibar," I have helped to awaken interest in the vocal art.
     Recently, one of the most brilliant opera aficionados, Donald Collup, has created a site known as "" Here we are able to listen to his magnificent interviews with some of us "who were there," and are able to recall fond memories of our opera experience. The way in which Donald intersperses music with the comments in a mark of great professionalism, as he illustrates comments with vocal examples.
     Donald also has interviewed some of our living opera artists such as Lucine Amara, Olivia Stapp, Elizabeth Carron, and Virginia Zeani. From these interviews we gain a personal insight into the careers and deep-felt feelings of some of our fine artists.
      As I write this, I am listening to the most recent interview, with a fellow named Handelman, and I am amazed at the professional manner in which my comments are so well illustrated by Donald's musical examples.
       I urge you to explore this site, not because I am a participant, but because you will be thrilled at the many memories as recalled by those professional artists and by our mere mortals.
        Many thanks to you, dear Donald, for your tremendous efforts.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm EST

 Do you mean I NEVER knew of this?????? I feel so dumb...i guess it escaped me,until a friend sent it.

 Leyla had a 35 year career, and when teachers today fear the idea of chest voice, glottal attacks,etc...I get angry!!!! THIS is a lesson in how to sing with fire!!!!   Love it!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 9:49pm EST

After I did the Adriana, I thought you would like to SEE Caballe in action!!!!!

Teachers today are afraid to teach singers to use the lower register,causing a lot  of BOREDOM!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am EST

Adriana Lecouvreur from Tokyo

If you wish to hear some remarkable vocalism, listen to this 1976 Tokyo Adriana,under Gianfranco Masini, featuring prime Montserrat Cballe, Fiorenza Cossotto, Jose Carreras, and Attilio D'Orazi. Do not fail to pay special attention to the third act Phedre declamation, whish will make you almost "terrfified" in its intensity.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Adriana_Caballe.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:08pm EST

He left us far too soon. Norman Treigle, born Mar.6, 1923, was a DYNAMO onstage.For me he was one of the greatest singers  I ever heard, and I heard him live countless times. He was truly a fabulous artist, actor, vocalist, with a HUGE voice and amazing stage personality. I honor his memory!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:17pm EST


Cilea's rarely-heard "Gloria" from RAI Turino, 1969 under Fernando Previtali featuring:

Margherita Roberti (Gloria), Flaviano Labo  (Lionetto), Ferruccio Mazzoli (Aquilante), Lorenzo Testi (Bardo), Enrico Campi (Il Vescovo), Anna Maria Rota (La Senese), Alberto Albertini (Il Banditore)

(65 min.)

NOTE: I had a defective "Gloria' up there, and have deleted it.

Direct download: Gloria2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:46pm EST

We adored this "king of the comprimarios," who made the smallest role important. He was born on Mar.5, 1893 and would have sung even past his 60's, had he not died in an auto crash. One of the most delightful things he sang was the old Prisoner in Perichole, where he cracked us up with his "leeetle pen knife." He was beloved by all of us!

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

I was just directed to the Youtube clip of this escappe from a mental institution. She is all over Youtube, and when I watched the Semiramide aria, I sent it to Joyce Di Donato,who might decide to retire,since she could never equal her rendition. I tell you one advantage of this...that I never felt so NORMAL in my life after seeing this.

In your country, are there any singers .ike this?

Category:general -- posted at: 10:19pm EST

 In the event that you just joined this site, I wanted you to have an idea of what the La Puma Opera Co.was like. It was not nice for them to throw us out at a Don Giovanni..but you can get the idea. Since they performed in an elementary school auditorium, they must have used the third-graders' orchestra. The company became a kind of "cult experience" amd attracted more and more people who wanted to pppppp in their pantalones!

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

Mario del Monaco as Siegmund

 A rarity; Mario del Monaco as Siegmund in act one of a Walkure from 1966 under Ferdinand Leitner. The Sieglinde is Hildegard Hillebrecht, and the Hunding is Otto Von Rohr. The sound is on the distant side, but I think it is intersting to hear the great Del Monaco in this opera.( 60 min.)

Direct download: DelMonaco_Walk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:21am EST

 Hey!!!! Who has so much voice at 87. Lucine turns 89 on Mar.1 and she continues to sound as young and fresh as anyone could sound at her age. She saved many Met shows and retained so much of the voice. I made her tapes from 1948, and believe me, there is still that youthful quality.

Happy birthday to a fun lady!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EST

Maria Callas in Normas

Maria Callas as Norma in various performances as follows:

1. Trieste 1953 with Elena Nicolai and Franco Corelli under Antonino Votto.(Note the end of the trio has Corelli attacking a B natural and Callas' D natural, making for the kind of singing that just cannot exist today). I love to go to the opera, but they do not seem to "permit" this kind of vocalism. Perhaps singing teachers are afraid that their pupils will not last if they emit sounds like these. I disagree violently!

2. The first part of the "Mira,O Norma" scene w.Fedora Barbieri from Buenos Aires 6/17/49

3.  From a Gala in Buenos Aires from 7/9/49, the Casta Diva and cabaletta. These two Buenos Aires scenes are conducted by Tullio Serafin.

4. The Casta Diva and cabaletta from the 1958 Rome 1/2/58 performance, which she did not complete owing to illness. This was a scandal in those days. Gabriele Santini conducts. (Anita Cerquetti completed the performance.)

Direct download: Callas2_Normas.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:02pm EST

Parsifal from Buenos Aires, 1969

 Erich Leinsdorf leads a 1969 Parsifal from Buenos Aires with Wolfgang Windgassen, Regine Crespin, Franz Crass, and Theo Adam. It had taken quite a number of years for me to totally appreciate this work, but now it is a favorite.(as long as I can listen at home!)   (73 min.)

Direct download: Parsifal_Crespin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm EST

Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm EST

  If I had to pick ONE,just ONE commercial recording of ANYONE, this aria for me sung by the fabulous Lehmann,born Feb.27, 1888, would be my choice. This "Ich ging zu ihm" from Korngold's "Das Wunder der Heliane" for me is the most lasting tribute to her greatness.

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

Grace Moore in Louise

The beautiful Grace Moore sadly died in an airplane crash at age 47. She possessed a beautiful voice and was a truly glamorous artist. She is joined by Raoul Jobin, Ezio Pinza, and Doris Doe in a 1940 Louise under Ettore Panizza.  (74 min.)

Direct download: Louise_Moore.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EST

 Il Guarany (Gomes) duet with Enrico Caruso (born Feb.25 or 27) in 1873, and Emmy Destinn, born Feb.26, 1878. What more can one say????

Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

 People wonder why I am so critical of the carryings-on of Franco Bonisolli. In the words of Anna Russell, "tenors have resonance where their brains should be." Of course that is not true in general, but if you heard all the crazy speeches-to-audiences the man makes during live performances and his general conduct as a singer, you might agree that he gives tenors a very bad name!

  However, he has a lot of fun in this San Francisco Gala (wearing Errol Flynn's boots) and the C's are fabulous. He died too soon, and I am indeed sorry, but I always felt a superb talent was partly  wasted with his carryings-on.

 By the way, he always DEMANDED an encore of the aria. On a Vienna tape, he yells "Wasser' before the first high C and gets booed. I do not know if he sang it twice that night, but anyway you cannot say he was dull!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:24pm EST

Miscellaneous stuff no.8

Another of my compilations, derived from various files of the past. I am happy you enjoy this kind of post, because it allows you to play a guessing game and/or enjoy a wide variety of great singing. Here is the information:

1. Beniamino Gigli      Fedora         "Amor ti vieta"  (HONEY!!)

2. Maria Ivogun           Seraglio       "Martern aller artern"

3. Selma Kurz               Rigoletto      "Caro nome"    (Can she TRILL!)

4. Marjorie Lawrence/Lauritz Melchior   Gotterdamerung       Dawn Duet

5. Giannina Arangi-Lombardi      Aida    "O patria mia"

6. Leyla Gencer            Idomeneo           Electra's aria

7. Beverly Sills              Louise                "Depuis le jour"

8. Christa Ludwig/Sherril Milnes            Macbeth duet

9. Meta Seinemeyer     Andrea Chenier   "La mamma morta"  (Sadly,she died at 33.)

10. Nelly Melba/Enrico Caruso     La Boheme    "O soave fanciulla'  (Just her high C indicates what she was!)

11. Beverly Sills          Aida (her only one)  "Ritorna Vincitor"

12. Mark Reizen           Boris Coronation Scene  (See his Onegin aria at age 90 on Youtube.)

13.John O'Sullivan       William Tell       "O muto asil."  (He must have shaken the chandeliers.)

14. Rosetta Pampanini     Adriana Lecouvreur    "Poveri fiori"

15. Aureliano Pertile      Andrea Chenier         "Come un bel di di Maggio"

16. Ewa Podles                Rinaldo             "Or la tromba"

17. Diana Soviero/Dominic Cossa    Pearl Fishers Duet

18. Renata Tebaldi      Tristan und Isolde      "Liebestod" (In Italian)

19. Luisa Tetrazzini      La Sonnambula          "Ah non giunge"

20. Marcel Wittrisch      Paganini aria

Direct download: Eight_stuff.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13pm EST

Two Andrea Cheniers

Scenes from two brilliant Andrea Chenier performances. The first is from La Scala 1949,under Victor de Sabata, and features Renata Tebaldi,Mario del Monaco,Paolo Silveri, and Fedora Barbieri.

 This is followed by a Venice 1972 performance under Paolo Peloso, and features Carlo Bergonzi,Raina Kabaiwanska, and Aldo Protti. (The final duet, by the way, is in the high key.) (74 min.)

Please note: My computer expert has advised me that it is much easier for you to read text if I do not use colors, since many individuals listen to the podcasts on various media other than on the internet.

Direct download: Cheniers_Teb-Kab.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:26pm EST

La Fanciulla del West w.Renata Tebaldi

La Fanciulla del West from RAI Rome 1961 under Arturo Basile. The cast includes Renata Tebaldi,Daniele Barioni, Giangiacomo Guelfi, and Mario Boriello (in Sonora's final lines that make me cry every time.). As a bonus, I conclude with the 1970 Tebaldi/Colzani Card Scene that was one of the most exciting scenes in my opera life.

Direct download: Fanc.Teb.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33am EST

Georg Hann

Georg Hann (January 30, 1897 - December 9, 1950) was an Austrian operatic bass-baritone, particularly associated with the comic (singspiel) German repertory.

Born in Vienna, he studied at the Music Academy there with Theodor Lierhammer. He joined the Munich State Opera in 1927, and remained with this theatre until his death. He also appeared regularly at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival, quickly establishing himself as a leading buffo interpreter, notably in roles such as Leporello, Falstaff, Kecal, Ochs, La Roche (role he created in 1942), etc.

He made guest appearances at the Berlin State Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Paris Opéra, the Royal Opera House in London, La Scala in Milan.

He did not limit himself to comic roles but also sang Sarastro, Pizzaro, Gunther, Amfortas, Daland and tackled a few Italian roles as well notably Wurm, Alfio, Tonio, as well as Mefistophele in Gounod's Faust.

Hann died in Munich aged only 53.

   Hann sings arias and scenes from:

Zar und Zimmermann (Lortzing), Der Wildschutz (Lortzing) w. With Wolfgang Windgassen and Res Fischer, Barber of Bagdad (Cornelius), w.Lorenz Fehenberger, Nabucco, Falstaff, Gypsy Baron, Die Bettelstudent(Millocker).

Direct download: Hann.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:29am EST

What nostalgia!!!

Those of you who have ever been a part of an opera workshop will understand what goes into performing opera in the communities. Paul Plishka sent me this photo from about 55 years ago. He is the Colline and Ted Lambrinos (at right) is Marcello. At left is Dickie Boyajian and Robert Swanson (Schaunard.)

  The young guy seated is Charlie Handelman as Benoit. I also did Alcindoro, and in fact over the years I did every male role in Boheme, except Rodolfo. They would not let me do the Musetta because they said I did not have the LEGS.

Our beloved maestro was Armen Boyajian, teacher of Sam Raney,Paul,Galvany, and me. We worked hard, and it was worth it. This meant so much to me, to see Paul, who had an illustrious career, and all oif us together.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm EST

So tell me, my this not a great tenor?????? (and in high key)

Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EST

 Turkey had given us the great Leyla Gencer, and now from this land we have one of the most magnificent tenors, and this finale is so touching..but outdoors in paris it must be cold.!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm EST

Die Meistersinger, act Three

From Dresden studios in 1938, Karl Boehm leads a superb cast in act three Meistersinger (abr.).The cast includes  Hans Herman Nissen, Torsten Ralf, Margarete Teschemacher, Sven Nilsson (Pogner), Martin Kremer (David), Helene Jung (Magdalene)           (65 min.)

Direct download: Meister.Niss.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:56pm EST


  For those of you who use I-Tunes for my podcasts, there is availability for comments.I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

                                       As ever Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm EST

Lohengrin 1937 Part 2

 Here is part two of the 1937 Lohengrin. They may have made cuts, but the cast  is superb.  (51 min.)

Direct download: Lohengrin_1937-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:57pm EST

Lohengrin 1937, part One

The first part of a two-part Lohengrin from 1937 under Maurice de Abravanel. The stellar cast includes Kirsten Flagstad, Rene Maison,Karin Branzell, Julius Huehn, and Ludwig Hofmann. (71 min.)

Direct download: Lohengrin_1937-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:36pm EST

In 1971, under the great maestro Armen Boyajian, we did Anna Bolena in Paterson,New Jersey.We had a great company, but this performance means so much to me,because it was the beginning of the great career of Sam Ramey, and Galvany was incredible. The high D (held forever) comes out a bit drowned out,but you can hear it. I was the Rochefort and ran out of breath at the end of this scene.How could anyone keep up with her???

Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm EST

Imagine what we felt as the Ballo curtain rose on the debut of the great Marian Anderson, born Feb.17, 1897. So sad that bigotry prevented many fine Afro-American artists from appearing at the Met,or in some cases, on ANY opera stage. Bless her memory!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:37pm EST

  Another compilation of material from my files. I hope you enjoy the selections, and remember what "fun" you can have if you give an opera party and ask the guests to guess, giving prizes for the winners.

1.  Julia Varady             Aria from Puccini's Edgar

2. Shirley Verrett          Favorita Cabaletta (We went nuts at Carnegie Hall.)

3-4.  Leonard Warren   Ernani and Pagliacci arias

5. Ljuba Welitch             Vissi d'arte

6.Dolora Zajick                Principessa aria from Adriana

7. Milanov/Bjoerling      Ballo Love duet

8. Janet Baker                Traume

9. Alessandro Bonci       Luisa Miller aria

10. Maria Callas              Puritani  "Vieni al tempio"

11. Steber/Kullman       Carmen act one duet

12. Enrico Caruso           "Mia piccirella"  (Makes me CRAZY!)

 13. Renata Scotto          Butterfly "Che tua madre."

 14. Mario del Monaco     Otello  "Dio mi potevi"

 15. Marisa Galvany         What else but the famous Aida act 2 E flat.

 16.  Nicolai Gedda            Manon  "Ah fuyez."

  17-18   Leyla Gencer/Cornell Macneil and then Hilde Gueden/Leonard Warren in the Rigoletto  "Si,vendetta' duet.

Direct download: stuff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm EST

Marisa Galvany as Turandot

Marisa Galvany sings a magnificent Turandot from 1980 Cincinatti under Anton Coppola. Harry Theyard, Benita Valente, and James Courtney complete the cast. They just do not make them like this anymore, and she just gave a recital with plenty of voice, even at an age equivalent to mine.  (63 min.)

Direct download: Turandot_Galvany.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00pm EST

Happy Valentine's Day

 Whether or not you celebrate Valentine's Day (Feb.14), I am sending this to you because you are all so supportive of my efforts to bring opera to more and more people around the globe, and make me so very happy. Love to you all!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EST

May I extend a happy birthday to one of the great singers in my opera experience. Johanna Meier was born on Feb.13, 1938, and I was so pleased to make her some live tapes a few years ago.She was superb in operas like Ariadne,Walkure, Tosca,etc. and this Liebestod is an example of her absolutely gorgeous voice.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:48pm EST

Gianna Pederzini

Gianna Pederzini (February 10, 1900 - March 12, 1988) was an Italian mezzo-soprano.

Pederzini was born in Trento. She studied in Naples with Fernando de Lucia, and made her stage debut in Messina, as Preziosilla, in 1923. She sang widely in Italy, notably as Mignon and Carmen, and made her debut at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as Adalgisa, in 1928, and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in 1930.

Abroad, she appeared at the Royal Opera House in London in 1931, the Opéra de Paris in 1935, the Teatro Colón in 1938, and the Berlin State Opera in 1941.

She defended a wide repertoire, she took part in the 1930s in revivals of rare operas by Rossini and Donizetti, while singing the standard mezzo roles; Azucena, Ulrica, Amneris, Laura, but also a few dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza and Fedora, etc.

In the 1950s, she began concentrating on "character roles" such as the Countess in The Queen of Spades, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Madame Flora in The Medium, and took part in the creation of Dialogues of the Carmelites at La Scala, in 1957. She died, aged 88, in Rome.

Arias by this superb mezzo from: Trovatore, Carmen, Mignon, Forza, Favorita,F igaro, Italiana, Werther  (65 min.)

Direct download: Pederzini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:13am EST

Happy No.91,Elizabeth Carron, my dear friend!


"Radiantly communicative" "Singing and acting with the authority of a great artist" "A transcendental artist" Such laudatory comments from critics and public alike have followed Elisabeth Carron's appearances throughout her career. With a repertoire of astonishing versatility, this superb American-born and trained singer has captivated scores of audiences with her exceptional vocal range and theatricality.

Elisabeth Carron made her sparkling debut in the role of Cio-Cio-San in New York City Opera's Madama Butterfly in 1957, immediately establishing herself as a ranking Puccini stylist. "Visually and vocally she has made the role her own." (Musical America). Other reviewers deemed it "an exquisite performance", pointing out that "Miss Carron's voice is assured, pure and in perfect control... a poignant and utterly believable creation".

Adding the roles of Mimi, Liu and Suor Angelica to her repertoire gained further acclaim and the ringing applause of appreciative audiences. An early career highlight was her appearance as Glauce in the Dallas Civic Opera's historic production of Cherubini's Medea, co-starring Maria Callas, Jon Vickers and Teresa Berganza. Her San Francisco Opera debut was made in the demanding role of Konstanze in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio, which, coupled with a stunning first-ever performance as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata, earned her the designation of "the opera discovery of the year" and a reviewer's opinion that "She is a splendid actress, with the kind of petite, delicate, hothouse beauty that can make such a character as Camille come to life, and that she possesses an extraordinary singing voice".

Her mad scene in the title role of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor was hailed as a masterpiece of rare dramatic intensity. She received more accolades as a Strauss specialist during a string of memorable performances as Zerbinetta, Daphne and Aithra. The New Yorker magazine singled out her portrayal of Aithra, observing that she sang the "extraordinarily difficult high passages with ease and brilliance."

Miss Carron is equally at home interpreting contemporary works. She appeared in the original cast of the New York City Opera Company's revival of Marc Blitzstein's Regina in the role of Birdie Hubbard. Musical America magazine added to her laurels with verbal bouquets for her "beautiful voice and touching portrayal of Regina's poor, broken, driven-to-drink sister-in-law." Her stand-out performance is a highlight in the Columbia Records production of Regina. Raymond Ericson, the distinguished New York Times music critic, included the Columbia recording in his "Best of Opera" discography. Miss Carron also won praise for her rich evocation of Anna Maurrant in Kurt Weill's Street Scene and her sensitive interpretation of Maria Corona in Giancarlo Menotti's The Saint of Bleeker Street, another dynamic role subsequently recorded.

Miss Carron was a respected member of the Vocal Faculty of the famed Manhattan School of Music. She has been instrumental in the development of many outstanding young talents. Her students have won major singing competitions and have gone on to productive careers. She is frequently called upon to serve as a judge in prestigious vocal competitions.

Though Miss Carron's career included performances with nearly every major American opera company as well as international appearances, she is one of a generation of American singers whose artistry is not adequately documented by recordings. Elisabeth Carron - Opera Singer

Category:general -- posted at: 8:55pm EST

Arturo Toscanini in Falstaff Rehearsals

The great maestro and the NBC Symphony in 1950 Falstaff rehearsals, featuring Herva Nelli, Giuseppe Valdengo,Frank Guarrera (Ford),Cloe Elmo (Quickly), Nan Merriman, Teresa Stich-Randall, and Norman Scott.  (65 min.)

Note:The original podcast was flawed, and I am repeating it.

Direct download: Toscanini_Fal.Reh.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:52pm EST

Adelina Patti

Adelina Patti had a warm, crystalline, and very agile high soprano voice.[10] Her vocal emission was of perfect equality and her vocal range was wide, from low C to high F (C4 - F6).[10] Regarding her technique, critic Rodolfo Celletti said, "Her voice was a technical marvel. The staccatos were marvels of accuracy, even in the trickiest intervals, her legato was impressively smooth and pure; she connects the voice from note to note, phrase to phrase, lifting and gliding with an exceptional virtuosity. Her chromatic scale was deliciously sweet, and her trill was wonderful and solid."[11]


Adelina Patti 1905 recordings. A sensational singer,even at age 62.

The selections are as follows:

Voi lo sapete, Pur dicesti, Old folks at home,Batti,batti, Jewel song,Il Bacio, Last Rose of Summer, Ave maria (Bach-Gounod), Robin Adair, Home sweet home, Si vous n'avez rien a me dire, Comin' thrpugh the rye, Banks of Allen Water, On parting, 'Twas within a mile, New Year message to her hisband, Baron Rolf Cederstrom, Kathleen, La Serenata, Casta Diva, Connais tu le pays, Ah non credea.  (65 min.)

Direct download: Patti.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EST

This sensational basso was born on Feb.10, 1923. Siepi had a voice of pure velvet.I saw him countless times, and he remains one of the greatest singers EVER!!!!

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

Maria Callas as Kundry

Maria Callas as Kundry in act two of Parsifal under Vittorio Gui, Rome 1950. Africo Beldelli and Giuseppe Modesti complete the cast. Collectors all wish to have the rumored complete Tristan und Isolde, but I have added an early recording of the Liebestod  (60 min.)

Direct download: Callas_Kundry_act_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:43pm EST

Christa Ludwig Rarities

The remarkable Christa Ludwig selections from:

Cenerentola (1959) from Vienna, under Alberto Erede

Lohengrin (1967) with Ingrid Bjoener,Walter Berry, under Karl Boehm

Don Carlo (1967)  under Berislav Klobucar

Aida (1970) with Richard Tucker, under Fausto Cleva

Mahler's Kindertotenlieder (1967) under Loren Maazel

                               (73 min.)

Direct download: Ludwig_Oddities.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:18pm EST

Licia Albanese in Mme.Butterfly

The legendary Licia Albanese, now over 100 years of age, sings one of her great roles, a Mme.Butterfly from 1941 under Gennaro Papi. Completing the cast are Armand Tokatyan, Lucille Browning, John Brownlee, and Allesio de Paolis. Bless this great artist!  (73 min.)

Direct download: Butterfly2_Licia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm EST

What can be more heartwarming than to see the retirn, in Genoa, of the wonderful Aprile Millo in "Il Tabarro."?  She has retained the beauty of tone, and the kind of Italianate style that is rare today.(Not to mention the optional high C in the aria.).

 All these years,she has been so loving and kind to me and I am so happy for her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EST

Les Contes D'Hoffmann w.Simoneau

   Leopold Simoneau sang so briefly at the Met, and it is a shame,because it was a really beautiful voice. In this Hoffmann from Vienna, 1954, under Lee Schaenen, Simoneau is joined by his wife Pierette Alarie as Olympia, with Suzanne Danco as Giulietta,Antonia, and the Muse. The great George London sings the villains, with Dezso Ernster as Crespel, Renato Cesari as Schlemil, Renato Capecchi as Spalanzani, and Robert Destain in the comic roles.  (73 min.)

Direct download: Hoffmann_Simon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

   Claudia Muzio was so famous for her Traviata Letter..and to celebrate her birthday on Friday, Feb.7, we present the great Mari Lyn, who follows in her great tradition..and her TraviYENTA has caused many people to commit SUICIDIO!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm EST

 WHY do they do not do this opera?? Maybe because Virginia is not around...Note act two love is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I am upset..i never hear my own tapes!!!!

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

Act three Butterfly scenes with my darling "sister" Virginia Zeani!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm EST

Giuseppe Taddei

 That warm,emotional voice of baritone Giuseppe Taddei is heard in arias and songs. The man was a special artist, one of the greats.

Arias are from:  Favorita, Ballo, Don Carlo, Vespri, Andrea Chenier, Adriana Lecouvreur, L'Arlesiana.

The songs are: Santa Lucia Luntana, Dicitincello vuie, Voce 'e notte, Senza nisciuno, Marechiare, Napule canta, Passione, I te vurria vasa', Pecche.     (66 min.)

Direct download: Taddei.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:17pm EST

 It is most appropriate, on Martina Arroyo's birthday (Feb.2), to begin to celebrate Black History Month, and also to relate some of my past experiences with Afro-American artists.
          Sadly, not until Marian Anderson's 1955 Met debut as Ulrica (which was one of my most thrilling experiences, as that curtain rose and the audience cheered), Afro-American artists did not sing at the Met. I was able to hear Lawrence Winters, Adele Addison, and Camilla Williams at City Opera in the early 1950's, but imagine what other artists were lost to the Met earlier.
           Owing to the Marian Anderson breakthrough, Met audiences (myself included) were pleased to have heard such artists as Leontyne Price, Reri Grist, George Shirley, Gloria Davy, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Robert McFerrin, Leona Mitchell, Grace Bumbry, Simon Estes, Jessye Norman, and my all-time love, Shirley Verrett, etc.
             The unfortunate element of course, is that race prejudice denied many of the artists before Anderson an opportunity to be heard in the great Met, but at least Mr. Bing made the breakthrough, however late. We must be thankful at least for the precedent set by Mme.Anderson, and we owe much to her historic debut.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am EST

  We were ripping programs and tossing them down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm EST

  When she took the high A at the end on "AMOOOOOORE"..a friend was so aghast, he hit me in the ribs and I almost fell to the standing room floor!!!!!!! You could not imagine what it was like!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EST

Happy Birthday to Renata Tebaldi

    January 31, 1955. Weather like New York last week. A teenager wakes up at 4:00 and arrives at the Met at 6:00 for his first Otello,featuring the debut of the lady whose birthday (then unkown to us) was Feb.1. The teen enters a telephone booth (remember them?). A cop asks him what he is doing there.The guy says, "Waiting for the opera tonight." Shortly, another group of nutcases get on the standee line, to freeze until 7:00P.M..
       Feb.1, 1955..about 12:00 and out comes the lady who became our "madre" and in freezing cold weather,signed every single program, and it was her 33rd birthday!!!
  So you understand why Feb.1 means so much to me and to those who were privileged to have this incredible lady..on and off a "buddy" in our teen years.
      Bless your memory, dearest Renata Tebaldi. You will remain forever in our hearts!!                                     

Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EST

More Great Music

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