No WONDER she killed him....Just you wait!!!!!!!

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

Perhaps the most mesmerizing singing we ever heard.

Note the B flat to B of Leonie at 3:30...We got SCARED!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm EDT

  Apr.12, 1933..when she showed up, Caballe was one of the greatest singers EVER!!!!


This verges on "camp" but we adore the final B!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:17pm EDT


  Dear Aprile Millo celebrates her birthday on Apr.14.
She has been one of the last of what we call "old school" divas, respecting the art of singers such as Milanov and Tebaldi. I will always remember a statement she once made to me about my "covering an E Flat" as the Sacristan, for it showed that she understands vocal technique in great detail.

She is a dear,caring person, and those of us who know her in her operatic endeavors, as well as in a personal way, are so happy to wish her all our best wishes on this day.          
                                                                                      Sincerely,  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 7:22pm EDT

After the show, we went back to Ramey's to count how long Galvany held the E flat  (My tape.)They were sensational!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT

Here are Zinka and Tucker in clip I promised.

Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am EDT

Talk about leaving a VOID,never yet to be filled..."No vun vill take my chair.". She sure was right, as Zinka and Tucker sang a fabulous Chenier on Apr.13, 1966. She sounded as fresh as this 1954 clip...Bless her forever...she gave me a treasurable youth....


Clip coming!!!!!!

Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Sondra Radvanovsky, born Apr.11,1969, is an amazing lady. The resonance (like Cossotto) MUST be heard live;it is as if she is singing next to you, even in the most "innocent" phrases.

She has emerged as one of our most beloved divas...Happy Birthday,Sondra!!!!!

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

Another one???? I was chatting about Poliuto with Michael Fabiano,and beside Corelli, I wanted to see if anyone else sang the opera.

This "new" guy is superb!!!! I hope we get him here some day!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT



I am so SICK of the “put down” of singers,especially tenors by using the word “provincial,” as if everyone has to be Tito Schipa or Carlo Bergonzi.


having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial:

Lando Bartolini,Apr.11, 1947 is “narrow…unsophisticated???” Let us start naming the HUNDREDS of these so-called “provincial” singers… is pure snobbery to dismiss singers like Lando,Giacomini,De Muro,Masini,etc…in this negative way…..Many of these guys are much more exciting than the “biggies.”
Best to Lando on his birthday….

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

Apr.8,1921...Franco Corelli will NEVER be replaced.Friends of mine who knew him personally loved him as a sweet,caring man..although we felt he could be a "scared guy," despite the great voice and technique.

 Loretta di Lelio,his wife, was reputed to be very difficult. I do know they had to re-decorate a hotel room in Atlanta,Georgia,because the happy couple had a spaghetti fight.(with sauce!!!).

  Miss him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

HAPPY COINCIDENCE...Michael Fabiano is rehearsing Poliuto around Corelli's Apr.8 birthday!!! Here is my all-time "Corelli moment." and that attack on the "reeeeendero" high C,where the vowel "e" makes it so exciting....Michael is so talented and we know he will be a huge success..
  Franco would love it!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

I went NUTS...Just found 1984 Traviata from San Diego under Bruno Rigacci. Diana is magnificent,with Vittorio Terranova (Holds high C forever), and Bob Borowsky.


 Play "Sempre Libera" and you will see why I love her!!!!!

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

I will say forever that Diana Soviero belongs in the group of great Verismo soprnos like Muzio,Zeani,Scotto,Favero.

 I know her since 1977, where her Mimi caused me to run backstage and ask,"Who are you??? A new Tebaldi??"

Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT

  On the Met quiz Saturday,Mme.Eva Maria Westbroek gave examples of VERISMO. Go to 1:20:20 where Magda scares the pants (dress?) off you.

  She lives forever!!!!!!


Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EDT

  I once asked Virginia Zeani if the "air" in Romania was especially conducive to creating more emotion and excitement in singers.  Here are some examples.


By the way,I have been doing videos for you, since it will take a bit more time until I can sit for a longer time.My back is getting better, but it takes time.

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

   I see so much love and appreciation on Facebook,etc. for dear Renata Tebaldi, I thought I would tell you a few PERSONAL experiences with her:

      I am aware I have posted some of these previously, but I know some of you have not seen them;those who have seen them, you can see them again...

1. After she signed every program (despite the cold), she got into the limo, and as it drove her up 40th St.,she yelled "Ciao" out the window, with us "Tebaldiani" running after her. Remember, this is where little Charlie forgot there was a fire plug,and almost became the last castrato.

2. At one of huge affairs,as she cut the cake, she waved the knife and said,
"Questo e il bacio di Tosca." This might have been the same party where she said to me, "Dammi il braccio,mio piccino,and since I knew Boheme even at a tender age, I responded,"Obbedisco,signorAAA" and someone snapped the photo of us, a treasure for me. You have seen it on Facebook.
   She also sang at one of the affairs,accompanied by my "maestro" Armen Boyajian, and we sat on the floor a few feet you see why the rest of my life has been an anti-climax....well,sort of.

3.  Before she left on the ill-fated Andfea Doria, we saw her off, and then my friends gave me the London Forza, a gift to me on my 20th birthday.(She almost came to my surprise party.)

4.The Met went to Philadelphia on Tuesdays, and we saw her off on the train. She stood in the open last car,and when the baggage handler opened the door, she said, "Spoletta,chiudi."

   5. After dad died,I brought ma to her first opera, Traviata. Tebaldi held her hand backstage, and every time we met,she always asked, "Carlos, com'e  la madre?"  (The reason for the "Carlos" rather than "Carlo" is because I spoke Spanish at that time and not Italian, and her English was limited.)

7. At the Carnegie Bell Telephone Hr. around 1957 she looked down at us kiddies sitting in the first row, winked at us and then out came "Inflammatus" like a jet plane.

       O sante memorie.....Her performances were EVENTS and never could any of us forget what she meant to us in our misspent youth. Non possiamo scordare questa donna chi ha dato tanto a tutti noi e alla arte vocale.(opera Italian.....That is how I learned it....non ridere!!!! Carlos <

Category:general -- posted at: 6:59pm EDT

  Yes, I know there are subtle and calm moments in opera to be treasured, but what is wrong about being lifted out of your seat,as I was 40 times by Franco??

 Nothing today compares to this kind of singing!!!!!

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

You all know that there are so many singers,that sometimes it takes time to recognize what they have contributed. When I joined Facebook, and also at a friend’s recommendation, I discovered the Mar.31 birthday diva, Nelly Miricioiu.

She,like Leyla Gencer and a precious few other divas, lets it “all hang out,” and I once asked Zeani if the AIR in Romania causes some divas (Cotrubas,Zeani,etc.) to possess a special quality that is rare.

She also is the sweetest lady,and we love her, as evidenced by the Facebook posts.
So,a wonderful Happy Birthday to Nelly!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

OFFICIALLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DEAR SAM!!!!!! When Sam one saw Norman Treigle early on....did he dream he would someday "inherit" some of the great man's famous roles...and the Olin Blitch scene here is RIVETING and represents an incredibly great artist..Love to dear Sam on his bithday..and my best to his lovely family....


We go back 45 years to our Anna Bolena,and we sang in Barbiere,Hoffmann,etc.

LOVE to dear Sam,one of opera's greatest artists!!!!!!!!!

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

Close to 90 here!!!!!!  Magda just thrills the opera world with what she has accomplished!!!!!

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

First year I cannot "call" her on her birthday...but she will NEVER be far from me.    Imagine that breath control and all the depth of emotion...a lesson to all!

 Buon compleanno 105 al miracolo!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am EDT

At the "Loris,ove sei" near the end,I got thrills and chills..Happy birthday,dear Magda....Keep coaching those divas!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm EDT




Remember tomorrow!!! Baby Magda at 65 made her Met debut in 1975..We cried all night...I have used this clip constantly to illustrate vocal control,breath support, emotional delivery,LOVE of singing,etc....Ovation is went on forever.

No room in bathroom stalls to change tapes....

Listen to the end..Rimuuuuuuuneri cosi....Most divas cannot SWELL there.
O say that if Magda ONLY sang that....we would know what she represented.....My candle is ready..Gee.I wish I had a Menorah with 105!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

NON SCORDARE....Light your candles (even a Jewish one like mine) for Mar.25 Magda's birthday (would have been 105.)
   I once asked her about the way she says "Nina Micheltorena in act 2 of a nasty way..showing her jealousy... Only special artists make DECISIONS that are especially effective....
I also love the glottal attacks..Amazing to have what we call an "old voice" and be a miracle!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 5:58pm EDT

Over the years,I always told Zajick (born Mar.23 1952) that she was a unique throwback to the kind of “belt-it-out” voices we rarely have. I guess she realized I had fairly good taste, and invited me to do a mini-master class for her students…She has always been a “force of nature” and she feels there is nothing so rare as having a big an era where much of it is “pleasant.” Brava to her!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm EDT

Handelman has done crazy "scream tapes," but NEVER has a leading Met singer (a good one),RUIN a performance with a horrendous B natural GESCHREI as Manon dies.

Grigolo did a fine job, but suddenly he lets out this scream..Imagine what Callas,Milanov,Melba,etc..would do..He would  become a CASTRATO instantly....


How did they allow this??????????????

Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm EDT

In 1956...WHY did teenage Charlie run to NY after Queens College  classes to freeeeeze on the standee line?? Here is why....Best example of how the 50 yr.old Zinka did sound..Go from "FERMA" and tell me why I went nuts....

Mario also tries some ppp's...and this perf.(I saw all 5 of them) also with Warren, marks the HEIGHT of my great opera days.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am EDT

On her Mar.22 birthday (1912), I wish to honor one of the greatest singers in opera "flawed" as one might think, but total MAGIC!!! Yes,her scoooops in "Hojotoho" made us laugh, but by the end of the opera,we were in tears!!!!
   I always remnember Olivia Stapp telling me how once in Germany she did a "voiceless Isolde," but the audience went crazy...Moedl just had something in her heart and soul that is difficult to describe.

 I once heard Franz Mazura read some of King Lear in German on the radio..I did not understand one syllable, but it was like Moedl..who could read the Dresden Telephony directory and thrill you!

  There are singers with their "flaws' (G.Jones,Gencer,Callas,etc.)BUT they have outstanding qualities that may compensate for not having the basic voice of a Tebaldi, a Flagstad,etc.

I knew Moedl's accompanist and he said she was a dear dear lady...My most difficult choice would be whether to have seen Nilsson or Moedl..That is tough!!!!  Bless the memory of the great Martha Moedl.


P.S.It was 1957, and I can see before me, Moedl sinking into Uhde's arms at Walkure finale. No WONDER I love her so much.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EDT

Adelaide Negri,Argentinian soprano, is never boring, but she is what we call "variable." Look, she did sing 87,409 roles and so we cannot dismiss her.

You judge this yourself....

Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm EDT

This is really what the great Dane was about!! NO one could touch him!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EDT

How did little Charlie discover opera. This 1948 film Luxury Liner!!!!!  Melchior's top is squeezed, and not the best Italian,but Aida remains my all-time favorite opera.

  I was 12.....and looking back, I express, on Melchior's birthday day my thanks.....although I might have been more normal...Maybe I should have stuck to Frank Sinatra!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

I may not be a believer in Astrology, but on March 20, 1890, something special must have been "in the air," because BOTH Beniamino Gigli AND Lauritz Melchior were born. So two of the greatest tenors in opera history share this day.
       Thanks to their madres for giving us two legends on this day. They represent the greatest tenor icons in the history of the vocal art.



Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

March 19 is always a special day for me,because it marks the birthdays of my darling Diana Soviero AND mia madre!!!! Mom could dance in her youth, but Diana had more chest voice.

Love to two people who made my life so happy!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EDT

  This great lady was a miracle!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT

Darling soprano Irina Lungu posted this..Really funny!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm EDT

OK.....I give up!!!! Baum had a fabulous high C,and fine reliable technique, even though (because of Zinka) we had to hear that ugly voice so much....OK,Kurt, I am sure you two made up!!!!!

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

When Antonietta Stella stepped on the Met stage as Aida in 1956...I said,"Zinka WHO??" Imagine that!!!!> What a luscious,glamorous voice..Nar.15, 1929 is her birthday.....Imagine a season with Milanov,Stella,Tebaldi,De Los Angeles,Steber,etc...I am SPOILED!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:58pm EDT

I just had to put another Jack Swanson clip here. When I find a new young singer, I am so thrilled!!!! This is a great talent (with an interpolated B flat).

Honestly, this guy will go far, as soon as he turns 12.(kidding).

Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

  I found ANOTHER TENOR.  Mr.Swanson will surely go far and I invite you to search Youtube for more of his superb singing.

  Luciano would be proud!!!!!

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

Nothing like a "subtle" tenor, born Mar.11, 1900. I have a feeling Riccardo Muti might not appreciate this!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

How lucky we are to have one of the very few divas who recalls the kind of exciting,emotional artistry of artists like Zeani,Scotto,Callas,Olivero,Soviero,and my ex-girlfriend, Maria Jeritza!

Mme.Miricioiu could teach a good number of "generic" divas how to color the tone, make special use of the text ,exhibit inner emotions, and of course you know how I love low notes (they can be "mixed chest") and those authoritative slight glottal attacks.


 Here is the lovely lady, a Facebook STAR, just last year,in the Lady Macbeth aria.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:43pm EDT

Hi all,

  I have put videos up lately, because I had some back problems and could not sit too long at the computer to do the usual podcasts, but things are better, and I will resume as soon as possible.


Love  Charlie

Category:general -- posted at: 9:39pm EDT

The man was one of my all-time favorites. Listen to the "feeling" in the voice, and I am so sad that he left us so soon.  BUY THE BOOK!!!!!!



Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

He left us so soon. Treigle was a veritable DYNAMO on stage, with a huge voice, and a stage personality that was RIVETING!!!!!  I  will never forget him!!!!



Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

Mar.3, 1890 is the birthday of Ruby Helder, female TENOR!!!!

  This is so interesting and a rarity.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:22pm EDT

Superb tenor replacing Jonas Kaufmann this week.Jonas has the flu, but I have seen Lee in Don Carlo and he is WONDERFUL!!!!!

We are lucky to have so many great tenors...except NO RADAMESES!!!!!

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


Amara was born Lucine Armaganian in Hartford, Connecticut, of Armenian heritage, before moving to San Francisco where she was raised. She studied at the San Francisco's Community Music School under Stella Eisner-Eyn and sang in the chorus of the San Francisco Opera, 1945-46. In 1946, Amara made her concert debut at the War Memorial Opera House. Continuing her studies at the Music Academy of the West with Richard Bonelli in 1947, she won a contest to appear at the Hollywood Bowl in 1948. She continued as a student at the University of Southern California and as a soloist for the San Francisco Symphony for the following two years. Amara appeared in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos and as Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring in 1949.


Amara made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the "Voice from Heaven" in Verdi's Don Carlos, the opening night of Sir Rudolf Bing's inaugural season as general manager, on November 6, 1950. She continued at the Met over the course of 41 seasons until 1991, singing 56 roles in 882 appearances, nearly 60 of which were broadcast on radio and television. Appearing regularly as Micaëla in Carmen, Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, and Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Antonia in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Nedda in Pagliacci, Mimi in La bohème, her repertoire also included Leonora in Il trovatore and Aida.


In the mid-1970s, Amara was given only a "cover" contract - essentially a contract to be a stand-by for an indisposed singer - and was scheduled for fewer and fewer performances. In 1976 at the age of 51, she successfully sued the Met for age discrimination, but sang only sporadically with the company after that, and was absent from the roster from 1977 until 1981. In the last years of her Met career, she sang only one or two performances a season (one performance each in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991, and two in 1987; the 1985 performance took place at the Kennedy Center where the Met was on tour; the 1986 performance was presented by the Met in Brooklyn's Prospect Park). Amara did not appear with the company at its Lincoln Center home between 1983 and 1987.


Amara also performed in Europe, Asia, and South America, including at Glyndebourne (1954–55, 1957–58), the Edinburgh Festival (1954), the Vienna State Opera (1960), Russia (1965), and China (1983.)


Amara made a few recordings, notably as Musetta in La bohème, opposite Victoria de los Ángeles, Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill under Thomas Beecham, and as Elsa in Lohengrin, opposite Sandor Konya, Rita Gorr, Jerome Hines. Under Erich Leinsdorf she recorded the role of Nedda in Pagliacci twice, opposite Richard Tucker in 1951 and opposite Franco Corelli in 1960. Amara was also recorded singing the soprano solo in Verdi's Messa da Requiem. Made in 1964-65, the recording also features Maureen Forrester (Mezzo-Soprano), Richard Tucker (Tenor), George London (Bass), and the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy.


After retiring, Amara became the artistic director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo and taught master classes in the United States, Canada and Mexico. On January 23, 2005, she performed as a special guest artist with the Musica Bella Orchestra. The Times called Amara "the greatest lyric soprano of our time." Time Magazine wrote that "she brought to the stage the kind of dazzling vocal splendor that made the Met famous. In 1989 she was inducted into the Academy of Vocal Arts Hall of Fame.


Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

That gorgeous voice at 90 is still fine..although she is "more mezzo." She is lots of fun (not always PG-13).

  She was a "house soprano" because she was so ready to sing at short notice. This can be derogatory, but that is a great voice!!!!

  Bless her!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

One of the most GORGEOUS voices...and high notes that shook the chandeliers....Beautiful lady!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Feb.27, 1888….The greatest!!! Rise once sat at her desk and spoke glowingly of Lehmann’s Eva when she saw her in the 1930′s…Rise sounded as if she was “in a “trance” as she spoke of a lady who would someday sing with her in Rosenkavalier


Category:general -- posted at: 3:28pm EDT

He could sing anything and we would adore him. I love  "Send the warrrrd"...Great man!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

  • NO ONE..NO ONE thrills me more than the"miracle" of Caruso, Born Feb.25, 1873, and sadly died at 48!!!!

Born with a heart and soul no one could "acquire." I can listen to him forever!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

  •   I find it most unusual (for me,anyway) that Renata Scotto,born Feb.24, 1933 was so roundly hated and booed, and the repertory became just too heavy, but now,despite flaws (ever hear of Jones,Moedl,Rysanek??), she emerges as the LAST of the singers in the class of Muzio,Favero,Zeani,Soviero,Olivero, where the EMOTION is so riveting!!!
         Yes,the top register could cause much displeasure as the years went on, but when you take her career as a whole, you find so muchgreatnes in the woman:use of words, coloring the voice, true musicianship,etc.

      Happy birthday to Renata Scotto, who should be THE ONE to teach present-day divas what inner emotion is all about.They mostly know from nothing!!!

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

See what I mean????????

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

On Feb.25 (born 1873), we celebrate the birthday of Enrico Caruso, still the ALL-TIME GOD of singing in my opinion. He died at only 48, but thankfully we have over 200 of his recordings.
 How did he sound live?  One of my teachers, Jerry Lo Monaco,studied with Mr.Stanley, who told him we only hear 1/3 of the voice. The only lirico-dramatico tenor whom I saw who offers me a look at the Caruso talent was Richard Tucker,who could sing Cosi and La Juive, as Caruso sang Elisir and  La Juive.
  You listen to such selections as "L'alba separa dall luce l'ombra," "Angelo casto e bel,"(Duca dalba) "Io non ho che una povera stanzetta,"(Leoncavallo Boheme ) or the last session with "Deh ch'io ritorni"(L'Africaine),where you hear the dark sound that was able to sing "Vecchia Zimarra live.". Also, "Over there," where he sings "Send the WARRD" Just marvel at the glory of a man BORN with heart and soul.
Forget that awful film that is 99% fiction..just listen to the great man, and every single phrase drives me nutsy. With Caruso,and very very few others, every "vocal situation" seems to produce a "different joy." Without the basic sound,Bergonzi probably comes closest.
He left us so tragically,...we would have had about 10 more years of him,but at least we have plenty of examples of the great man. May he never be forgotten by those who understand his greatness.

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

Here is the clip of Virginia's album.

Category:general -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

Clip to follow.

Not only did I just get Virginia's 9 cd set (but she sent me NO FLORIDA WEATHER..VERGOGNA!!)but I see a glowing review in Opera News on p.48  Bonynge has good taste!!!!!!

No one deserves it more..She turns 90 Oct.21

Category:general -- posted at: 4:47pm EDT

A lost art!!!! Patti is 63 here .Remember,they sang more "staight tones" in those days. The trill alone is God-given.

 Only real flaw is that when we went to a restaurant,she refused to eat "Peaches Melba."

Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

You know I own EVERY Ring!!!! I love the Mehta/Valencia Ring...BUY IT!!!!!

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

Courageous lady!! (See film "Interrupted Melody.").Great artist,born Feb.17, 1909.


Closing night at the old Met...I see a lady in a wheelchair....I was thrilled to meet her.


Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am EDT

Feb.17, 1897 is the birthdate of the lady whose Met debut (I was there) was a huge breakthrough (finalmente) for Afro-American they missed some,like Lawrence Winters,Adele Addison, Camilla Williams (friend of Zeani and had lovely conversation with her shortly before she passed away.

Bless her memory!!!!!!!!!!...and thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am EDT

On this Valentine's Day, here is Valentine wishing you have a TRILLING Day!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

When I saw "I Lombardi" last year I was astounded at the great singing of Michael Fabiano, but Kevin Short and Angela Meade made the evening a great triumph!

   Rarely today does an audience go so ballistic!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EDT

Hey!!!! Angela has it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

One of my all-time favorite artists.Meier should be even more recognized.I loved her so much!!!!!



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

Here again is Feb.13 birthday diva,Joyce di Donato, a great singer in ANY opera era!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

What a trouper!!!!! She sang in a wheelchair after she broker her leg. Birthday is Feb.13 (1969).

  One of our great singers...and a sweetheart of a person!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

As dear Virginia approaches 90, a magnificent 9 cd set has been released,and I highly recommend it. Available from Norbeck and Peters.

Who else deserves it more, except with our New York weather, she refuses to send me weather from Florida..well,no one is PERFECT!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:19am EDT

Need I say more??????????

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

       I used to buy those expensive operas on the Nightingale label especially for the way Edita Gruberova "scooped" to the top. I also have found an "eccentric" vocal production at times. Howver, at 68 she is still an amazing lady!
        The trills(even on high passages), the accuracy,the ease of the top notes, the over-all involvement in the music, the amazing lasting power in tremendously difficult repertory have made her attain "legendary status" in the opera world.  The above URL gives you an idea of what she has accomplished, but there are very recent clips of her, and she will be "another Magda" if she continues, after 45 years before the public.

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

Antonietta Stella


When Antonietta Stella made her Met debut in 1956 Aida (also Bergonzi's debut),I felt guilty because I loved her more in this role than Zinka!!!

It was a luscious voice and onstage she was so beautiful. Here are scenes from Aida,Tosca,Butterfly, Vespri,Ernani, Trovatore.....and I hope you enjoy them.

Note: I may have repeated Tosca aria.

Direct download: Stella2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EDT

He caused a SENSATION in Les Troyens last season. The guy is the real thing......fabulous range, brilliant voice....I just pre-ordered the album.



Hymel made his professional debut in 1998 as the Philistine messenger in Samson et Dalila with the New Orleans Opera, a company where he has performed many roles, including Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Luigi in Il tabarro, and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. After his hometown debut, Hymel sang Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and the Duke in Rigoletto with Opera Grand Rapids. He made his European debut in 2007 at the Wexford Festival Opera, performing the role of the Prince in Dvorak’s Rusalka. Later that year he made his New York recital debut with Michelle DeYoung under the sponsorship of the George London Foundation.[2] He has also sung at Carnegie Hall with Opera Orchestra of New York in a gala concert honoring the 100th performance there of Eve Queler that also featured Renée Fleming, Marcello Giordani, and Dolora Zajick.[3]

In recent years Hymel has been seen in many leading opera houses in Europe as well as North and South America, performing Don José in Carmen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden,[4] the Canadian Opera Company,[5] with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas, Venezuela, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and at La Scala Milan. He has also sung the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with English National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opéra National de Bordeaux, Guido in A Florentine Tragedy and Arturo in I Puritani with Greek National Opera, Énée in Les Troyens with the Netherlands Opera, and the Prince in Rusalka with the Boston Lyric Opera. In the summer of 2011, Hymel sang the title role in Faust at The Santa Fe Opera. [6]

In July 2012, Hymel performed the role of Énée in the Covent Garden Troyens, replacing Jonas Kaufmann who was suffering from an infection.,[7] and replaced Marcello Giordani in the same role for his Metropolitan Opera debut on 26 December 2012, as well as all subsequent performances in the 2012/2013 season, including a worldwide HD telecast.

In November 2014 Hymel will sing the role of Polyeucte in a concert performance of Donizetti's 1840 opera, Les Martyrs, an adaptation into French of his 1838 Poliuto written for Naples in Italian but not performed there until 1848. It will be given by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at London's Royal Festival Hall.[8]


In 2002 Hymel was one of the winners of the Opera Lirica d’Orvieto Aria Competition in Perugia, Italy as well as the Palm Beach Opera Competition. He was the winner of the George London Award in 2007. In 2008 he had a great run of success in competitions, being named the First-Prize winner of the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition, the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition, and the Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation Competition, and in 2009 he was named Top Prize Winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition. In 2012 he won the Beverly Sills Award.


Category:general -- posted at: 8:47pm EDT

Great Compilation by Mr.Bocelli (the other one.)

Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT

 Together forever!!!!!!!!!!!

She said, "Dammi il braccio,mio PICCINO, and even at 19, I knew to answer, "Obbedisco,SignorA!!!!!!


 So happy to have this memory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

In 1970, the last time I saw Renata, we went crazy over this scene. The utterance,"Tre assi e un paio" echoed through the Met like a cannon. (I would not have wanted to play poker with HER!).

   Bless our beloved birthday lady!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

  This week I have been posting and sending clips of the beloved Renata Tebaldi, whose birthday is Feb.1 (1922). I also said (I think) that we met her coincidentally on her birthday 60 years ago,after the Met debut on 1/31/55.No one knew this...and we would have sung!!!!
   Anyone of any vintage recognizes the LEGEND of this lady, whose performances were "events," always ending with all the fun outside, and screaming (out of the limo) "Ciao"up 40th St., and us running after her....
    Tomorrow I will be thinking of all the great experiences we had with her,onstage and off.One example is seeing off on a train to Philly, and saying to the baggage handler by the door, "Spoletta,chiudi!!!" This was Renata, someone who made us so happy and who will remain forever in our hearts.
   One beautful element of the Internet is that all generations can partake to some extent of the careers of great singers. How many have been exposed to singers whom even we crazy collectors never heard of. (Meta Seinemeyer was one BIGGIE for me.).This is one of my make sure no "flame" dies, so Renata's marvelous career and personality will be remembered forever.
       Grazie, mia cara Renata, per tutto che hai fatto per opera, e per me.

                                             Carlos (She could not speak English in 1957 and I had not learned operatic Italian,so I spoke in espanol..hence the "CarloS"

Category:general -- posted at: 9:47pm EDT

What could be more fitting than to have my new "discovery," Andrew Owens sing an aria from Mitridate on Wolfgang's birthday

Category:general -- posted at: 6:07pm EDT

Another selection by a superb young tenor. I am "discovering" this briliiant talent and wish to share it with you.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am EDT

Winner of the Zarzuela prize at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, American tenor Andrew Owens has quickly built a reputation as one of the most promising singers of his generation, exhibiting a beautiful Italianate timbre, soaring top notes, and effortless agility.  In the 2014-2015 season, Andrew Owens returns to the Theater an der Wien main stage as Chevalier Léon in Milhaud’s La mere coupable.  He will also debut at Theater Magdeburg as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Camille de Rosillion in Die lustige Witwe.  The operatic season concludes with his professional lead debut in the US as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Opera Saratoga.  On the concert stage, highlights include the tenor soloist in The Genius of Mozart at the National Concert Hall, Dublin with the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra. The 2013-2014 season was Andrew Owens’ final season as a member of the Junges Ensemble at the Theater an der Wien, where he performed Don Ramiro, Tito in La clemenza di Tito (Kammeroper), Scitalce in Vinci’s Semiramide, Gastone in La Traviata, and Barbarigo in I due Foscari opposite Plácido Domingo.


You all know I have seen the greats! Here is a superb tenor who has a brilliant,easily-produced voice, and quite a range!

  I love to introduce all of you to new stars!!!!

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

I forgot this!!!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 9:33pm EDT

Love the guy!!! Jan.25, 1963...Brilliant voice....So thrilling!!!  He is a throwback to the "squillante tenors."

  He is also a sweet guy...well,all my tenors are!!!!

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

When I sang Galvany's doctor in 1965, I KNEW this was so gorgeous!!!!!

Two GREATS are singing this duet!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

Who is that guy with Charlie?

                     Happy Birthday,Jan.21 to US!!

1. We speak Spanish.

2.We love opera.

3. One of us is a baritone.

4. I rent..he owns Madrid.

5.I take the train.He has 7 Jets.

    But we have had pretty nice lives!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT

Yes, it ain't opera..But Ethel Merman,whom I saw 5 times, was born on Jan.16, 1908. She and Zinka respected each other...they were two TOUGH girls.

   Some do not like the brassy sound..This clip is a little late in her career....but on stage she was a DYNAMO!!!!

  I taught at the high school where "Ms.Zimmerman" attended..Bryant H.S.In Astoria,New York. One of my older colleagues said she was in her class, and she could belt it out at 17.

  Fantasy: Merman as Gioconda and Zinka as Dolly.




Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am EDT

Not for Marisa Galvany in Mayr's "Medea in Corinto." I think she said she still gets up to C....

Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

My girlfriend!!!

She sang, "Carlo adorato, you are a pain!!!"

Category:general -- posted at: 5:04pm EDT

Some NERVE! I just yelled (only kidding ) that Virginia did not tell me of this upcoming 9 cd set on the occasion of her 90th birthday (in October.)

 I never yelled at a diva...not that I didn't want to tell Zinka to be more like Tebaldi!!!!!


Bless of the greats!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm EDT

Kullman was born on 1/13/ 1903 and Grace Moore, sadly killed in a plane crash,was also a fine artist..They should do this opera by Montemezzi,sadly neglected ('L'amore de Tre Re.).This is so exciting!!!


P.S. Have not done some podcasts lately, but I will soon.

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

Magnificent baritone, still singing at 79..Born 1/13/36. Due Foscari for me is still the best.

He has the style,feeling,beauty of tone.....A great artist!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

  At the Met in 1976, she caused a FUROR!!!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EDT

The great powerhouse of a mezzo,Elena Obratsova, has passed away at 75. She was one of the great stars and a voice (especially in the low register) that was unforgettable.  l

Category:general -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

It took me too long not to notice the great talent of Nelly.She is a fabulous and versatile artist,who recalls a style (Gencer?) totally absent these days. She is also a lovable person  (See Facebook.)





Born in Adjud, Romania, Miricioiu started singing at 5 and was hailed as a child prodigy. At 9 she started studying piano and at 14 she won her first singing contest, "Young Talents, Great hopes". At 18 she sung in Pergolesi's La serva padrona and joined the Conservatory of Iași where she continued her studies with Tibi Popovici. In 1972 she was the youngest contestant in the Francisco Vinas Musical Competition in Barcelona and in 1975 she won the first prize at the very first Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens. More first prizes followed at competitions in Geneva, Paris, Sofia, Oostend.


Miricioiu made her operatic debut in Mozart's The Magic Flute, as the Queen of the Night at Iaşi Romanian Opera, and continued to sing at Brasov Opera House between 1975 and 1978 in roles such as Mimì in La bohème, Micaëla in Carmen and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.


In 1981, she fled the communist regime and months later she debuted in Glasgow at the Scottish Opera as Violetta in La traviata; Manon Lescaut and Tosca followed. The following year she made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London as Nedda in Pagliacci, opposite Jon Vickers, Piero Cappuccilli and Thomas Allen. She later appeared as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann and Valentine in Les Huguenots. In 1983, she made her debut at La Scala in Milan in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, and thereafter appeared at most major opera houses of Europe: Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome, Hamburg, Geneva, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, earning considerable acclaim for her interpretation of Violetta in La traviata, amongst many other roles such as Mimì in La bohème, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Silvana in Respighi's La fiamma, the title role in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur and the title role in Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini.


Miricioiu has also appeared in the United States, notably in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, and made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Mimì (La bohème) in 1989. She also appeared in South America, notably in Santiago, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.


In 1992, she sang Amenaide in Rossini's Tancredi to great acclaim in Salzburg, and then began concentrating on the bel canto repertory, singing other Rossinian heroines such as the title roles in Armida, Semiramide, Ermione, as well as Donizetti and Bellini roles, such as in Anna Bolena, Roberto Devereux, Il pirata and Norma.


In 1996, she was trusted with the revival of the infamous Tosca production for Maria Callas at the Royal Opera House.


She began an association with Opera Rara, appearing in long-forgotten works by Rossini and Donizetti but also by composers such as Pacini and Mercadante, both in concerts and recordings, notably Ricciardo e Zoraide, Rosmonda d'Inghilterra, Maria de Rudenz, Pacini's Maria, regina d'Inghilterra, and Mercadante's Orazi e Curiazi and Emma d'Antiocchia.


Her repertory also includes Verdi roles in operas such as Ernani, Luisa Miller, I vespri siciliani, Don Carlo. She has worked with some of the most prestigious conductors and directors, and opposite leading artists of the day, such as José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, José Cura, Roberto Alagna, to name but a few.




  • Puccini: Tosca, Naxos
  • Donizetti: Rosmonda d'Inghilterra, Opera Rara
  • Donizetti: Roberto Devereux, Opera Rara
  • Donizetti: Maria de Rudenz, Opera Rara
  • Rossini: Ricciardo e Zoraide, Opera Rara
  • Mercadante: Orazi e Curiazi, Opera Rara
  • Mercadante: Emma d'Antiochia, Opera Rara
  • Pacini: Maria Regina d'Inghilterra, Opera Rara
  • Respighi: La fiamma, Agora
  • Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, Chandos
  • Rossini Gala, Opera Rara
  • Mercadante Rediscovered, Opera Rara
  • Donizetti: Szenen und Ouvertüren, Opera Rara
  • La Potenza d'amore, Opera Rara
  • Mercadante – Les Soirées Italiennes, Opera Rara
  • Rossini: Three Tenors, Opera Rara
  • Nelly Miricioiu, Etcetera
  • Nelly Miricioiu – Bel Canto Portrait, Opera Rara
  • Prinsengracht Concert, Vanguard
  • Live at the Concertgebouw, Challenge
  • Recital at Wigmore Hall, Etcetera
  • Nelly Miricioiu Live in Amsterdam, Vanguard


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

Wonderful Aida today from the Met!

Mme.Wilson,the FIRST Aida in years with rich lows.(e.g.Della mia patria,degna Saro" and beautiful feeling, pianissimi, loved her in my favorite opera!!!!

Great talent!!! (and you all know how

many Aidas I have seen.)

Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm EDT





The night after we saw Warren die, Mar.5,1960,we were somewhat uplifted….and the Chenier with Zinka and Bergonzi (last duet in the high key)..Note especially Zinka’s “Abbracciami, AMAAAAANTE”which is one of her greatest moments. This is from Atlanta.but you get the idea. Compare this anything in the last years..That is like comparing me to Siepi….well,sort of…

Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EDT

The marvelous Latvian soprano,Marina Rebeka,sings "Non mi dir" from Don Giovanni. The production is not too traditional.

  It is my desire to introduce people to the "new" talent out there.....not that you are bored with Soviero,Zeani, and Zinka. 

                                     Sincerely   Charlie 

Category:general -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT


Bonisolli gave tenors a bad name.Talked to  audiences,gets booed for some antics  Calls for "Wasser"in  middle of the Pira).

 I do not recall a singer who acts as if he escaped from a mental institution. A shame..there WAS talent there, but I think he consumed lasagna laced with SPEED!!!

  Are there any normal tenors?


Category:general -- posted at: 11:37am EDT

40 years ago, Jan.8, we lost my favorite tenor (of those I saw live). I saw him over 60 times.He was a vocal GOD to me, and yes, he sometimes cried (like Gigli), and there were some exaggerated phrases, but the man sang LEGATO most of the time......Great man....We miss him!!!!  Best quote was from Regina Resnik,who said "He left his blood all over the stage!!!!!"




Category:general -- posted at: 12:49pm EDT

60 years ago tonight I was thrilled attend the historic debut of Marian Anderson,who paved the way for Afro-American a Jackie Robinson Story. When that curtain rose, it was a phenomenal reaction......Bless her!

So sad we missed out on Adele Addison, Camilla Williams, and others who were not allowed in the "big time."   At least we have had,since Anderson, Bumbry,Price,Verrett,Mitchell,Brownlee,etc......Thanks to this great lady!!

Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm EDT

What singer would you like to see do this???


I know one or two,,,,but they would have to re-inforce the stage.

Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am EDT

More Great Music

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