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December 9th, 2011, 02:07 PM
Another classic thread.

Here we can listen to Spanish soprano Pepita Embil, singing "Madama Butterfly". She mainly sung Zarzuela, but of course is better known as Plácido Domingo's mother:



December 10th, 2011, 06:58 PM
American composer and pianist Amy Beach wrote her only opera, Cabildo, back in 1932, but it was not performed in her lifetime.

We can hear a fragment from Opera Vista:


The most popular piece ever written by Ms. Beach was this song, based on a poem by Browning:


December 11th, 2011, 06:47 PM
Roberto Devereux, one of Donizetti's Tudor trilogy, was lost to the operatic stage for almost a century, with not even a single performance until Turkish diva Leyla Gencer revived the opera in Naples, back in 1964.

Since then, there has been four outstanding Elisabettas, namely:

Gencer herself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRBL5Z6aWXI

Beverly Sills: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zaqe7dmmgo

Montserrat Caballé: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8jfGGEP81M

Edita Gruberova: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqxUHl_vH1U (complete opera, from Barcelona, 1990)

Recently, Mariella Devia premiered the role in Marseille, already in her sixties, in an incredible performance. I've bought tickets for unfortunately I was prevented to attend, due to personal reasons:


December 14th, 2011, 10:22 PM
When I found it I thought "what? he sung it? great!" but then fell into disappointment:



Since we are by this aria, I think this is remarkable example of great stage presence - perhaps he looks a bit too mature for this role but still, what an awesome truely romantic geezer appearance:


Too bad this performance is avaiable only on VHS tapes (at least that's all I've found).

About this I have nothing to say but it's so splendid that I'll post it so nobody will say YOU WERE WRITING ABOUT THAT ARIA AND FORGOT THAT PERFORMANCE NO BALANCE YOU'RE IN TRANCE:


December 15th, 2011, 05:46 AM
When I found it I thought "what? he sung it? great!" but then fell into disappointment:



Since we are by this aria, I think this is remarkable example of great stage presence - perhaps he looks a bit too mature for this role but still, what an awesome truely romantic geezer appearance:


Too bad this performance is avaiable only on VHS tapes (at least that's all I've found).

About this I have nothing to say but it's so splendid that I'll post it so nobody will say YOU WERE WRITING ABOUT THAT ARIA AND FORGOT THAT PERFORMANCE NO BALANCE YOU'RE IN TRANCE:


http://cheesebuerger.de/images/smilie/liebe/d042.gif thank you aramis for finding these

About this I have nothing to say but it's so splendid that I'll post it ....

And I have nothing (else) to say except I agree 100%

December 15th, 2011, 03:09 PM
David Devriès sing "Viens, gentille dame" from Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche.


In Devriès singing style we can find traces of something lost, mythical. This is no modern singing, but it's wonderful to hear.

December 19th, 2011, 11:18 AM
Giuseppe Anselmi was an Italian tenor, born in Sicily. In his last will, opened in 1929, he requested that his heart will be kept at the Teatro Real, in Madrid, because he was a long time favourite of the public there, and he planned to keep this love affair running for many years, despite the small obstacle of his death.

Helas!. The managers of the Teatro Real were not as enthusiastic about the idea as Anselmi, and within a few years, the heart was lost. But this was not the end of the story. It was found again, and then a decision was taken to move this memento to the Spanish National Theater Museum, in the beautiful village of Almagro.

We can hear Anselmi's voice here, singing Alfredo Germont:


December 19th, 2011, 11:24 AM

This wins the prize for most awesomely choreographed moment in oper(ett)a ever conceived.

December 20th, 2011, 02:57 PM
Placido Domingo in duet with Placido Domingo:


This must be live recording, no doubt about that.

December 20th, 2011, 10:06 PM
Maria Callas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rxLnweoHG0)

Claudia Muzio (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrNlFXLhIkQ)

Magda Olivero (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w7wf6m4moE)

December 21st, 2011, 06:46 PM
Placido Domingo in duet with Placido Domingo:

This must be live recording, no doubt about that.

I think this came from a TV special Domingo filmed in the '80s as a salute to Seville. It featured arias -- or, in this case, a duet! -- from operas with plot action set in or near that city.

December 21st, 2011, 06:51 PM
I think this came from a TV special Domingo filmed in the '80s as a salute to Seville. It featured arias -- or, in this case, a duet! -- from operas with plot action set in or near that city.

Yes, there is even film which I've found later with him, Levine and Ponnelle discussing the idea:


December 22nd, 2011, 03:05 PM
One of the most beautiful set pieces in Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda is this "Angiol di Pace", a kind of farewell prayer for the unfortunate Orombello:


Right after, we can listen to Beatrice's own farewell, in an aria 'more beautiful than the dreams themselves', this "Ah! se un'urna e a me concessa" that we can listen below in the peerless interpretation of Joan Sutherland:


The cabaletta of this aria was added in some haste by Bellini, and he just borrowed an old one from Bianca e Fernando: "Odo il tuo pianto":


When Vittorio Gui was hired to conduct a performance of Beatrice di Tenda, with Sutherland singing the role of Beatrice, he was not happy about the cabaletta. He decided to amend Bellini and change the opera finale, by reintroducing a melody based on "Angiol di Pace", in the following way:


Sutherland was very angry at this manipulation and decided to step out of the performance, being replaced by the great Turkish soprano Leyla Gencer.

December 23rd, 2011, 03:23 PM

That's really awful video. Very annoying how the "OCH GOD OCH MAN OCH GOD OCH MAN SHE SINGS OPERA AND ISN'T FAT BUT PRETTY LAALALAL" became major point of the whole reportage, says a lot about authors or even more about audience which is target of that program.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 03:54 PM
The journalists were awful, they couldn't have looked any dumber and and any more uncultured. But the images, and Anna's girlish jokes and little faces were just wonderful! [from a very unbiased observer:p]

December 23rd, 2011, 04:21 PM
Giacomo Orefice was a very modest Italian composer. He got some fame in her native Vicenza, and was able to put in stage about ten operas, with no real success.

However, in 1901, he decided to write the opera Chopin, with a libretto by the Florentine Angiolo Orvieto. It seems Orvieto took some considerable liberties while writing the 'biopic'', but the brilliant idea was Orefice's. He just used Chopin's own music for the melodies and arias of the opera, that was premiered in Milan, with the usual failure.

But we can listen to Pia Tassinari and Ferruccio Tagliavini, in Chopin: :)


December 24th, 2011, 01:23 PM
A very fine performance (Tezier) of one of greatest baritone scenes in repertoire:


December 24th, 2011, 01:29 PM
A very fine performance (Tezier) of one of greatest baritone scenes in repertoire


Thank you Aramis, I adore this

December 24th, 2011, 02:08 PM
Edoardo Mascheroni was a famed conductor (he premiered Falstaff or La Wally), that wrote also a handful of operas, with little success.

One of those operas was Lorenza, with a libretto by Luigi Illica, and we can listen to Francisco Viñas singing the beautiful aria "Ecco mia giovinezza":


December 25th, 2011, 10:48 AM
Like so many other composers at the times, Bellini wrote several songs in the "romanze da camera" style. Within the song cycle 'Sei Ariette', published by Ricordi, we can find Per pietà, bell'idol mio, completed in 1829. It's based on a poem by Metastasio, written in C minor and marked as 'allegro agitato'. Part of the material was later used in the opera Beatrice di Tenda.


Per pietà, bell'idol mio,
non mi dir ch'io sono ingrato;
infelice e sventurato
abbastanza il Ciel mi fa.

Se fedele a te son io,
se mi struggo ai tuoi bei lumi,
sallo amor, lo sanno i Numi
il mio core, il tuo lo sa.

We can compare the same poem, with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:


December 25th, 2011, 10:52 AM
La Straniera is not a frequently staged opera. However, it was very popular in Italy after its premiere in 1829 (with Henriette Méric-Lalande, Caroline Ungher, Domenico Reina and Antonio Tamburini), for more than half a century. At the end of the 19th century, it just dissapears and, except for a couple of performances at La Scala to celebrate the centenary with great singers like Gina Cigna, Mario Basiola and Francesco Merli, it was not revived.

Fortunately, Montserrat Caballé and Renata Scotto sung the opera in the 1960s, saving it for oblivion.

Henriette Méric-Lalande

The plot, quite complicated, present us a woman, Alaide, living in Brittany hiding her face (she is 'la Straniera', the Stranger). Arturo, engaged to Isoletta, is obsessed with the stranger, in spite of the warnings from his friend, Valdeburgo.

Valdeburgo, however, is no other than Alaide's brother. Alaide herself is the second wife of the bigamous King of France, and is waiting the death of the first spouse of the French sovereign.

Arturo thinks he has killed Valdeburgo in a fight, and when he reappears, he promises to finally marry Isoletta. When news of the death of the Queen of France arrives, the true identity of Alaide is unclosed and Arturo, in desperation, stabs himself.

Like always in Italian melodramma, all those vicissitudes are just the excuse to get to play the character's emotions, shaped and fostered by a wonderful music.

In La Straniera, Bellini offers us a restrained musical portrait, elegant, delicate. The long bellinian melodies are here withdrawed, almost timid, and ensemble numbers acquire an unusually strong presence.

This is a very good recording:


Though Arturo (Bellini wanted Rubini to sing the role, what he did in 1830) is the most expansive role, is Alaide who gets the most beautiful music. Let's hear the aria "Sono all'ara... Ciel Pietoso... Or sei pago, o ciel tremendo", at the end of the opera, in the voice of four great singers:





December 25th, 2011, 10:54 AM
A romanza from Spanish zarzuela.

El Huesped del Sevillano, by Jacinto Guerrero, premiered in Madrid in 1926. The romanza is "Mujer de los ojos negros", sung by one fantastic tenor from the same period of the premiere, Miguel Fleta:


December 25th, 2011, 11:03 AM
Giovanni Verga's tale Cavalleria Rusticana was adapted thrice to the operatic scene. The first one was Mala pasqua!, by Stanislao Gastaldon (the composer of the famous "Musica proibita"), and then came Mascagni's.

The last one, also entitled Cavalleria Rusticana, was composed by Domenico Monleone. Like Mascagni, Monleone tried his luck in the famous Sonzogno's competition. However, he was rejected. A Dutch impresario rescued his piece that was staged in Amsterdam alongside Mascagni's. As a double bill, both Cavallerias were performed together a few times, the last one in Turin.

After this, Sonzogno's publishing house denounced Monleone in court, arguing he did not have the rights to the novel. They were technically correct, tough Varga himself declared he was open to give Monleone a break. In this way the second Cavalleria dissapeared from Italian theaters.

Recently, there have been some attempts to introduce again Monleone's opera, like in Montepellier, the year 2001, with the following cast:

Santuzza: Denia Mazzola-Gavazzeni
Turiddu: Janez Lotric
Alfio: Jean-Philippe Lafont
Lola: Nana Kavtarashvili
Nuzia/Lucia: Elizabeth Laurence
Brasi: Giancarlo Tosi

but, at least for the moment, with a modest success.

Let's listen to the duet between Turiddu and Santuzza:


December 25th, 2011, 11:05 AM
Amor, celeste ebbrezza (Love, heavenly inebration) is a stunningly beautiful aria from Catalani's opera "Loreley".

We can hear three renditions of this aria:

Magda Olivero


Mirella Freni


Irina Lungu


December 25th, 2011, 11:06 AM
Johann Simon Mayr spent the first years of his career in Bavaria, until he arrived to Bergamo at the beginning of the 19th century, where he was the cathedral's "maestro di cappella". He was teacher of Donizetti, among others, and wrote more than seventy operas.

This is my favourite one, Ginevra di Scozia:


December 25th, 2011, 11:07 AM
This nice aria: "La dolce madre che mi benedisse" belongs to the opera Giuliano, by Riccardo Zandonai, premiered in 1928 and based on Saint Julien l'Hospitalier's legend.

There is no recording of this opera. Apart from this aria, sung by Francesco Merli, there is another one sung by Rosetta Pampanini and a duet between both singers.


December 25th, 2011, 11:08 AM

On the bright spot, it's the right vocality, and the high C is very good. Heroic aspect well served.

On the dark spot, timbre is not pleasant, when singing the "gemito" and "pianto" lines we are missing una voce cupa e terribile, and the legato could be improved on, especially in the cavatina.

December 25th, 2011, 11:09 AM
Two visions of Tancredi's cavatina. Horne's vocal exuberance versus Valentini Terrani's instrospection.

Horne's first the warrior and then the lover, versus Valentini Terrani's first the lover, and then the warrior.

Both are magnificent, and both are correct. Love between Tancredi and Amenaide is idealized, but so is the warrior in him.



December 25th, 2011, 11:11 AM
In the beggining of the 20th century, the political situation in Russia was very difficult, with the defeat to Japan, the ensuing Revolution and finally the Great War.

But, in the small world of Opera, things were much better. There were two magnificent theaters (Mariinsky in San Petersburg and Bolshoi in Moscow), and wonderful singers. In Russia, the influence of the great Italian baritone Mattia Battistini and also Italian tenor Angelo Masini, combined with the local school, gave birth to a lineage of fantastic singers that will extend up to well into the 1950s.

Coming back to the first years of the 20th century, we can hear some examples like:

Ivan Ershov


Nikolai Figner


Vasili Damaev


Andrei Labinsky


But, of course, the most important tenors of the first decades of the century were Dmitri Smirnov:


and Leonid Sobinov:


December 25th, 2011, 11:13 AM

This is a Turandot in concert, by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Romanian Radio-Television in Bucharest, in the year of 1970.

It's surprisingly good, with solid performances from Maria Slătinaru as Turandot, and Teodora Lucaciu as Liu, but the real gem is the Calaf of Ludovic Spiess. This is an extract of the performance with the "Nessun Dorma":


And also his "Celeste Aida":


December 25th, 2011, 11:14 AM

We can hear to Luciano Pavarotti singing the alternative romanza from Attila, "O dolore! Ed io vivea sol pensando alla spergiura", written by Verdi for the premiere at La Scala in December, 1846, sung by the tenor Napoleone Moriani ('Il tenore della bella morte'), and that replaces "Chi non avrebbe il misero" from the first performance at La Fenice a few months before.

There is also an alternative aria for Foresto, "Sventurato! alla mia vita", in this case written for tenor Ivanoff in a Trieste performance, that we can hear in the voice of Renato Palumbo.


December 25th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Few singers have sung both female roles in Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda.

One of those few is Bulgarian soprano Raina Kabaivanska. First, we can hear her singing Agnese in 1961, with Joan Sutherland being Beatrice:


Five years later, she is now singing Beatrice, in a cast completed by Oralia Domínguez, Giuseppe Taddei and Giorgio Casellato Lamberti:


December 25th, 2011, 11:16 AM
Who was Victor Massé?.

Today rarely performed outside France, he wrote around twenty operas and operettas. His greatest success was Les Noces de Jeannette, premiered in 1853.

Massé is also remembered by being mentioned in Proust's novel À la recherche du temps perdu, where one of the characters, Swann, is annoyed because her lover, Odette de Crécy, is dying to watch a performance of another Massé's opera: Une Nuit de Cléopâtre. Swann, with some sarcasm, remarks that after living together for six months, he has not yet been able to change Odette's enough, so she can forget her interest in Massé's music.

Let's hear the most performed piece by Massé today, the "L'Air du Rossignol" from Les Noces de Jeannette in the delightful voice of Liliane Berton:


December 25th, 2011, 11:17 AM
In the early 1830s, Louis Véron, director of the Paris Opera, went to visit an already retired Rossini and offered him the nice sum of 100,000 francs to write a new opera, based on a play in five acts by Eugène Scribe. Rossini refused, but the story will find its way into the operatic repertoire, in several adaptations. The most famous are:

GUSTAVE III (Auber, 1833)

IL REGGENTE (Mercadante, 1843)


Gustave and Amélie are in love, but they can't be together. Here below we can hear how the three composers made Amélie/Amelia express her feelings:

Auber - Air d'Amélie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndj8kEMS5t4)

Mercadante - Aria de Amelia (http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist.php?myId=11888267-69c&new_design=true&skinId=1)

Verdi - Aria de Amelia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pk5cmQEwns)

December 25th, 2011, 11:18 AM
In 1850, Giuseppe Verdi premiered Stiffelio, with a libretto by Piave based on a French play. It was troubled, as other Verdian operas, due to problems with the censorship. The plot involved a Protestant minister with an adulterous wife, and it was not a well liked subject in the Austrian Empire or in the Italian theaters. Musically, it was not among the best operas of the great Verdi.

A few years later, a revision under the name of Aroldo was staged. The plot was similar but using now a Crusader and the Middle Ages to remove any lingering modern religious overtones. More interestingly, Verdi also introduced important changes in the score.

This is the great aria of the soprano, "Ah, dagli scanni eterei". First we hear the Stiffelio version, in the voice of Dimitra Theodossiou, with the cabaletta "Perder dunque voi volete questa misera":


And now, the Aroldo version, with Montserrat Caballé, ending with the cabaletta "Ah, dal sen di quella tromba":


December 25th, 2011, 11:18 AM
March, 28th, 1969.

In the Florentine Church of San Jacopino, Magda Olivero, 59 years old, is offering a recital, accompanied by just a piano.

This was a magical evening, remembered as such by some of the members of the audience, and also recorded live. We can hear some of the pieces in youtube:

Sì, Mi chiamano Mimì (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMqvQP_CLwY)

Un bel dì vedremo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnpVr22c38k)

Signore, ascolta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9vseDqEYPE)

Vissi d'arte (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzKxtMjXIrY)

Sola, perduta, abbandonata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR4fNKyfaZA)

Poveri fiori (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12I3axf9iGc)

L'altra notte in fondo al mare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svb7V6bvY0Y)

Ebben? ne andrò lontana (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki6t6f51ztM)

December 26th, 2011, 07:50 PM
It's always nice to hear a singer that premiered a role, to sing this role in a recording.

Here we have Cesira Ferrani, that sung for the first time a couple of Puccini's operas: La Bohème and Manon Lescaut:


Cesira Ferrani - Mimi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91L2TIEP8FQ)

Cesira Ferrani - Manon Lescaut (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZtGzAUsUsY)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 08:48 AM
A very fine performance (Tezier) of one of greatest baritone scenes in repertoire:


Darn, the video is gone, do you have a different one for the same performance?

December 27th, 2011, 11:28 AM
Darn, the video is gone, do you have a different one for the same performance?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyrz8Cdssuk :distant:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 03:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyrz8Cdssuk :distant:

Nice, thanks. Oh, I actually have this blu-ray at home.

December 27th, 2011, 03:56 PM
Nice, thanks. Oh, I actually have this blu-ray at home.

Of Tezier concert or I Puritani?

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 08:34 PM
Of Tezier concert or I Puritani?

I was talking about the concert. It's this one:


I also do have I Puritani on blu-ray, Anna's version of course.

December 28th, 2011, 10:47 PM
Carlo Evasio Soliva was an Italian composer, born in Switzerland, that worked mainly in Milan. His first opera, La testa di bronzo, premiered at La Scala in 1816, was received with enthusiasm, but the rest of his operatic work was a fiasco.

With reason?.

In my view, his opera Giulia e Sesto Pompeo, written in 1818, is a neglected masterpiece. Of course, the major influence in the Italian stage those years was Rossini, and Soliva is close to Rossini's style, but even closer to La Clemenza di Tito, by Mozart.

The libretto, by Benedetto Perotti, was certainly old-fashioned and could have been signed by Metastasio himself, but was able to inspire Soliva wonderful pages like the duettos "Questo che vedi stringere" or "Di quella voce il suono", or the beatiful aria for Ottavio, "Sì miei prodi". I would heartily recommend this to all Opera lovers.


December 28th, 2011, 10:54 PM
^ why does this tenor pretend to be Domingo?

Great music anyway. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

December 29th, 2011, 12:58 AM
This is just about the funniest thing to ever come out of the world of baroque opera.


December 29th, 2011, 01:29 PM
Let's walk again a little bit out of the mainstream, and take a look at Condor, from the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Gomes.


In a unrecognizable Samarcanda, in the 17th century, queen Odalea must remain chaste. A band of robbers, the Black Horde, leaded by Condor, is ravaging Samarcanda. But then Condor meets Odalea and... yes, they fall in love. Zuleida, Odalea's mother, confess the queen Condor is no other than the lost son of sultan Amurath. Odalea promotes Condor to the exalted job of Grand Visir but the people of Samarcanda, understandably angry for this course of events, revolt. Almanzor, a wicked wizard, curse the queen and only the sacrifice of a true lover can save her. Of course, Condor volunteers and stabs himself, promptly followed by Odalea.


December 31st, 2011, 05:33 PM
Just about to complete his education at the Naples Conservatory, Bellini wrote at twenty four his first opera, the dramma semiserio Adelson e Salvini.

Using a libretto by Andrea Leone Tortola, already put on stage in 1815 by composer Valentino Fioravanti, Bellini just worked on this for a few months.

In 17th century Ireland, we are at Lord Adelson's (baritone) castle. Roman painter Salvini (tenor) is passionately in love with Adelson's fiancée, Nelly (soprano). An old enemy of the Adelson family, Struley (bass), takes advantage of this situation, and forges a letter from Adelson to a girl from London, so Salvini can convince Nelly to escape with him to Italy. Fortunately, the plot is discovered, Salvini shoots Struley, Adelson and Nelly get married and Salvini is engaged with Adelson's ward, Fanny (mezzo).

The opera was very well considered in the Conservatory, and impresario Domenico Barbaja decided to commission an opera from Bellini, the future Bianca e Gernando. Bellini even revised Adelson in 1829, for a staging that never happened. In fact, aside from the Naples conservatory performances, the opera was never staged until 1985 in Catania.

Clearly, this is not a masterpiece, but it's a good effort, and even better, in my opinion, that an Oberto or Donizetti's first operas.

Let's hear the overture. After a brief fanfare, there is a melody that Bellini will reuse in Il Pirata.


In the 1829 revised version, Bellini wrote for Salvini this delightful "Ecco, signor, la sposa", when he delivers Nelly to his fiancé, Adelson, that also inspired some music for Valdeburgo in La Straniera:


But, of course, the most interesting piece of the opera is this romanza in F minor for Nelly, "Dopo l'oscuro nembo", that will be recalled in I Capuleti e i Montecchi:


January 1st, 2012, 04:17 PM

Pauline García was the daughter of the great Spanish singer and composer Manuel García, and sister of the very famous María Malibrán. Pauline was his father's delight, and from childhood she showed a great musical talent, both as singer and composer. At 19, she married with Louis Viardot, the manager of the Parisine Théatre des Italiens, and she adopted the name by which she is better known: Pauline Viardot-García.

Unfortunately, we cannot hear any Pauline Viardot's recordings, as she died in 1910, but already 89 years old. However, we cannot miss her delightful chamber opera, Cendrillon, premiered in Paris a few years before her death:


January 2nd, 2012, 12:18 PM
I hope florezidos militia formation already eliminated author of this evil propaganda video:


January 2nd, 2012, 04:29 PM
Greek composer Spyridon Samaras (aka Spiro Samara), that wrote the Olympic anthem, lived for more than 25 years in -Italy, and was also composing some operas in the verismo style.

One of them, La Martire, premiered at Naples in 1893 with a libretto by Luici Illica, and got a modest succes.

The plot is simple: in a small Romanian village near the river Danube, Natalia lives with his husband, the longshoreman Tristano, and her daughter, that is very sick. Natalia's marriage is very unhappy, because Tristano in unfaithful, a drunkard and an abuser. After the death of the child, a desperate Natalia meets with her old fiancé, Mikael, that want to run with her and start together a new life. However Natalia can't find any strenght in her, and settles for a suicide instead.

We can watch the opera in youtube, from a performance in Corfu, the native city of the composer:


And there is some nice music to be found.

January 2nd, 2012, 10:42 PM
Really good duet and ensamble from one of less famous operas by Rossini:


As you may see in the comments, some consider it to be better that other version with Flórez, the one released on CD.

January 3rd, 2012, 03:03 PM
Seems like Flórez has luck when it comes to productions modernized in good taste (rarity). First he got La Fille updated to World War I which was actually watchable, now he got this:


Lovely duet, btw.

January 3rd, 2012, 08:08 PM
Errico Petrella

Errico Petrella was born in Palermo, and though he wrote some 25 operas, and was the most succesful of Italian composers, after Verdi, during the 1850s and 1860s, he is all but forgotten outside Italy.

His style was a little bit old-fashioned compared to Verdi's, who kind of despised Petrella's conservative ways, but there are a couple of operas that do have some merit, and can be listened with pleasure today.

The first is Jone, o L'ultimo giorno di Pompei, full of good melodies and some exciting drama.

Petrella - Jone - Overture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjxrklFPS4Y)

Petrella - Jone- Canti chi vuole (http://www.goear.com/listen/7be82a5/epji-)

Petrella - Jone - Vanne, e serba geloso l'arcano (http://www.goear.com/listen/5684282/epjii-)

Petrella - Jone - Tu sol, tu sol sacrilega (http://www.goear.com/listen/610b934/epjiii-)

And of course, his major success I Promessi Sposi:

Petrella - I promessi sposi - Fragments (http://www.goear.com/listen/871e520/i-promessi-sposi-petrella)

January 3rd, 2012, 08:16 PM

Emilio Arrieta was a Spanish composer, trained in Italy, that won in 1846 the first prize in a competition arranged by La Scala with her opera Ildegonda, with a libretto by Temistocle Solera.



Coming back to Spain, he was a favourite of Queen Isabella, that ordered a small theater to be built within the Royal Palace, and there Arrieta presented La Conquista di Granata, in 1850:



His best work is Marina, that was premiered as a zarzuela in 1855, but the composer himself adapted later as an opera, whose first performance was given at Teatro Real, in 1871:


Alfredo Kraus - Marina - A beber, a beber... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg_ukOUHf5g)

Montserrat Caballé - Marina - Pensar en él (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjGKxLNvEPs)

January 3rd, 2012, 08:18 PM
Berthold Goldschmidt was a survivor. He started to write Opera just about the time Nazi's regime came to power in Germany. Being a Jew, his work was not precisely welcome. He was fortunate to be able to flee to England (twenty members of his family died in the Holocaust), where he found a new home.


His first opera was based on Fernand Crommelynck's “Le Cocu Magnifique”, about a husband so obsessed about the fidelity of his wife, that ended up causing her to start several affairs, just to prove himself right. It was premiered in 1932, and forbidden the year after.


The last opera by Goldschmidt was Beatrice Cenci, on the interesting story of the 16th century Roman aristrocat, Francesco Cenci, that forced himself into her daughter Beatrice's intimacy, and was killed by her and other members of the family, that were later executed for the murder, and inspired Shelley to write "The Cenci: A Tragedy in Five Acts".


There are also operas on the same subject by Havergal Brian and Alberto Ginastera.


January 3rd, 2012, 08:26 PM

It was a strange life for Manfred Gurlitt.

In spite of being a good composer, with some very nice works, he is remembered today by his two 'shadow' operas. Two operas based on the same material, and with the same title, that masterpieces of the 20th century, like Wozzeck and Die Soldaten.

Gurlitt's Wozzeck was premiered one year later than Berg's, and is really a nice piece, a lovely post-Romantic opera that can't resist the comparison with the great work by Berg, but it's very pleasurable on his own merit.

Ironically, Gurlitt was forced to leave Germany after being accused of Jewish ancestry and he went to... Japan, where he was very well respected as conductor and teacher.



January 3rd, 2012, 08:28 PM

Robert, le Diable is a wonderful "Grand Opéra" by Meyerbeer.

In its time, it was an enormous success. However, it came out of fashion after the First World War, and given the tremendous difficulty to find an adequate singing cast, it's not performed often.

The CD above, from the Opera Garnier, in Paris, was recorded during a series of performances, in 1985. A version in VHS was also released, and it's still relatively easy to find, though image quality is very poor.

There were some good singing from all principal roles, but the queen of this recording is beyond any doubt a great June Anderson:


January 3rd, 2012, 08:32 PM

Sigurd is an opera by French composer Ernest Reyer, premiered at La Monnaie (Brussels) in 1884. The libretto is based on the familiar, for an Opera fan, legend of the Nibelungs.

This is a nice opera, one of the last Grand Opéra ever staged (even if there are only four acts), with a plot based on legends, many choruses, a Ballet, in the Second Act in Iceland we should see on stage a storm, a lake burning and a palace of fire...

An example from youtube:


January 3rd, 2012, 08:36 PM

Joaquín Rodrigo is known mainly by his piece for guitar and orchestra, El Concierto de Aranjuez.

His only incursion in the lyrical scene, El hijo fingido, based on a play by Lope de Vega, was premiered in 1964 and was a little fiasco. However, it was staged again in 2001 to celebrate the centenary of the composer (he died a couple of years before, at 98) at Teatro de la Zarzuela, in Madrid, and was something of a success. The CD above was recorded at that time.

If you like El Concierto de Aranjuez, there is a good chance you will also like this El hijo fingido.


January 3rd, 2012, 08:36 PM
Just heard this version of Königskinder, by Engelbert Humperdinck:


And it's really nice. I usually enjoy the singing of Klaus Florian Vogt, and he is fine here, but the rest of the cast are also at a good level. Ingo Metzmacher is conducting this late Romantic piece wonderfully and the sound is superb.

It's a good opportunity to enjoy this neglected opera (somewhat superior in my mind to Hänsel und Gretel), and with similar quality to the 1950s recording with Fischer-Dieskau.

Below, a youtube with the staging in Zurich, also with Metzmacher conducting, and Isabel Rey / Jonas Kaufmann singing:


January 4th, 2012, 12:48 PM
In the period of Italian Opera just before the coming of verismo, Filippo Marchetti knew some success in his times. Two of his operas were very much celebrated, though they went mostly out of the repertoire by the late 1890s. They are:

Romeo e Giulietta:


First act (http://www.goear.com/listen/5ef58a7/fmrg-)

and Ruy Blas:


Si pensi a la vendetta (http://www.goear.com/listen/436b230/fmrb-)

Grazie Signor....Io che tentai (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHW_oEaZuNg)

Both could be rewarding for the lover of Italian Romantic Opera.

January 4th, 2012, 12:57 PM
The Jesuit Missions in America used musical theatre as a tool for evangelization, during the first half of the 18th century.

Drama was usually performed in the native tongues, but also in Spanish or Italian. Opera was performed all year around, at evening, in front of the church. The actors / singers were the Indians themselves, and the plot contained sacred stories, but also elements of the Indians everyday's world.

We have fragments of three Jesuit Missions Operas, all of them from Chiquitos, in eastern Bolivia. They are San Ignacio (in Spanish), San Francisco Xavier (in Chiquitan) and El Justo y el Pastor (in Chiquitan).

There is a CD with material from these operas:


And we can listen to San Francisco Xavier, in youtube:


January 4th, 2012, 01:40 PM

Contrary to the legend, English Opera between the times of Haendel and those of Britten is not a blank page.

Here we have a very nice 'opera seria', sung in english, that was also a big hit in the 18th century.

We can hear Joan Sutherland's version of "The Soldier Tir'd":


But from the recording above, that is quite good, a couple of examples:

Amid a Thousand Racking Woes (http://www.goear.com/listen/cca3464/taai-)

O Let the Danger of a Son (http://www.goear.com/listen/0e7e9b3/taaii-)

January 4th, 2012, 01:47 PM
When composer Niccolò Piccinni arrived to Paris, at the request of Queen Marie Antoinette, Glück was already there and enjoying great success.

The premiere of Glück's Iphigénie en Tauride, in 1779, followed by Piccinni's own Iphigénie in 1781, was one of the high points in their rivalry, supported by two bitter antagonist parties, carrying on a kind of war, to the point of physical aggresion in the streets of Paris.

Today, while Glück's operas are widely performed, those by Piccinni have been almost forgotten. And in the case of his Iphigénie, perhaps rightly so:


However, Piccinni was a great composer in the field of opera buffa. His masterpiece La Cecchina, ossia la buona Figliuola enjoyed enormous success in his time, and is comparable to the best pieces of the period.

Furia di donna irata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqw0XTBkrmI)

Infelici, pover'uomini (http://www.goear.com/listen/b6c6446/npdvi-)

Per esempio, se il nemico (http://www.goear.com/listen/bb5a5d1/npdvii-)

January 5th, 2012, 08:50 AM
Renato Bruson sings the wonderful Camoëns aria, "O Lisbona, alfin ti miro" from Donizetti's Don Sebastiano.


January 5th, 2012, 09:02 PM
From Silvesterkonzert in Dresden 2011 (Christian Thielemann, Piotr Beczala, Angela Denoke):



January 6th, 2012, 02:19 PM
If you have ever wondered how real female fan sounds like when her favourite tenor starts to sing one of his trademarks, see 0:08:


January 6th, 2012, 09:59 PM
Here is something for those that wondered why it was Italian that became internationally musical language, not Hungarian:


January 6th, 2012, 10:14 PM
Who is the best Norma today, at the beginning of 2012?

We can hear below some fragments of singers that have tackled the complete roles in the last three years.

Fiorenza Cedolins - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsWTYqPVGLs)

Patricia Andress - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGfU4XrIQmA)

Kelly Cae Hogan - Mira, O Norma (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xPCHrEIFss)

Edita Gruberova - Fine al rito.... Ah Bello a me ritorna... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm5tRYWXPv8)

Angela Meade - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QMwJgWZSh0)

June Anderson - Oh, Rimembranza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcwl6S2sfFg)

Hasmik Papian - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HujSLaSAKRQ)

Rossella Ragatzu - Fine al rito.... Ah Bello a me ritorna... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18fQ6v4Mea4)

Dimitra Theodossiou - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uKQ_88XN7s)

Violeta Urmana - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZaTMbHRbYs)

Elena Mosuc - Qual cor tradisti... Deh ! Non volerli vittime... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGQKa3Ukp_s)

Cecilia Bartoli - In mia man alfin tu sei (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtFccQJZnyw)

This is a very difficult role, and some renditions are not really memorable. Among recent performers, my favourite is Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiou.

January 7th, 2012, 07:59 PM
Many opera lovers know Franco Alfano either for completing Puccini's Turandot, or composing Cyrano.

However, perhaps his best opera is Risurrezione, premiered at the beginning of the 20th century, based on Tolstoi's novel. It was a great success, especially in Italy. The role of Katiusha is really nice, and can be very exciting with the right singer performing. The music is impetuous and sentimental.

Katiusha's aria, "Dio pietoso":


Duet between Katiusha end Dimitri:


Simonson's (the baritone) aria:


This version in CD, with Magda Olivero, is good enough:


January 7th, 2012, 08:16 PM
A bit of fun from the ebullient Miss Petibon (Emmanuelle Haïm is having a ball too)


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 8th, 2012, 04:20 AM
Dimitra Theodossiou - Casta Diva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uKQ_88XN7s)

This is a very difficult role, and some renditions are not really memorable. Among recent performers, my favourite is Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiou.

Dimitra is a great soprano, but this conductor impacted such a slow tempo that it completely ruined it for me.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 8th, 2012, 04:29 AM
Patricia Petibon is always lots of fun. I really like her.

January 9th, 2012, 03:44 PM
Mario Ancona was one of those singers from the Italian Golden Age of Baritones. It's difficult to hear a voice that is at the same time so warm, so velvety and so virile.

However, the singing itself is a little bit monotonous, as we can confirm in this wonderful aria from Puritani, that sounds more to a vocalize exercise, than to a lament for lost love:


January 9th, 2012, 10:07 PM
"He is teddy bear!":


January 10th, 2012, 09:57 AM
Italo Montemezzi was an Italian composer, influenced not only by traditional Italian opera, but also by Wagner, whose style and convictions he tried to adapt. His most popular work was L'amore dei tre re, premiered at La Scala in 1913 with a splendid cast: Nazzareno de Angelis as Archibaldo, Carlo Galeffi as Manfredo, Edoardo Ferrari Fontana as Avito and Luisa Villani as Fiora, with Tullio Serafin conducting.

It was also a big success in the US, and especially at the MET, until the Second World War.

This is the great aria of the bass, Archibaldo, "Italia, Italia, è tutto il mio ricordo!", sung by Cesare Siepi:


January 10th, 2012, 10:54 AM
Interesting attempt to "sing along" at 1:19-21


January 12th, 2012, 01:13 PM
Baldasare Galuppi was an 18th century Venetian composer, devoted mainly to the opera buffa genre. Perhaps his best achievement was Il filosofo di campagna, with a libretto by Carlo Goldoni.

This is an aria from the first act, "Son pien di giubilo", in a performance with Sonia Prina (Lena), Patrizia Cigna (Lesbina), Giorgio Gatti (Tritemio) and Alessandro Calamai (Nardo).


The tenor aria: "Anima vile, ingrata":


And Eugenia's aria in second act:


January 13th, 2012, 10:51 PM
While singing Pollione's cavatina, many singers avoid the C4 in the repetition of "sensi":

Meco all'altar di Venere
era Adalgisa in Roma,
cinta di bende candide,
sparsa di fior la chioma;
udia d'Imene i cantici,
vedea fumar gl'incensi,
eran rapiti i sensi
di voluttade e amor

Other singers don't, but they change the order in voluttade because it' easier than giving the high note in the "i". Bellini himself approved all these alternatives.

Mario Filippeschi is singing the C4 in "sensi"


Lauri-Volpi produces the C4 in "voluttade":


and Gianni Raimondi just forget about the C4:


January 14th, 2012, 10:44 AM

This opera was written in 1912 (though it was not premiered until 1920, in Rome), by Domenico Alaleona, an Italian musicologist and composer, close friend of Arturo Toscanini. It was his only opera.

The libretto is based in a 18th century's drama, by Count Alfieri, and also inspired in Latin poetry by Ovidio.

Mirra (sopran), is the daughter of Cyprus' king, Cirino (baryton), and she is engaged to prince Pereo (tenor). However, the young Mirra is looking haggard, not your typical bride to be. Finally, she refuses to be married to Cirino, and discuss with her mother Cecri (mezzo), accusing her of being the origin of all her woes.

Cirino faces Mirra and, to his horror and surprise, discovers that her daughter is desperately in love with him, to the point of taking her own life, so she can renounce her guilty passion.

There is some good music inside this plot, just take a look at the 'Intermezzo' (something inescapable in Italian opera at the time), and the lovely duet between father and daughter:

Intermezzo (http://www.goear.com/listen/1e9317c/mirra-alaleona)

Cirino and Mirra (http://www.goear.com/listen/cd7791b/mirra-alaleona)

January 15th, 2012, 07:39 PM

Mattia Battistini was named "the King of baritones, and the baritone of Kings".

Here we can listen a recording of 1907, when he was already a veteran singer (his début was in 1878), that is among his best renditions, "A tanto amor", from Donizetti's La Favorita:


January 16th, 2012, 11:44 AM
It's true the plot of Richard Strauss' Die ägyptische Helena is convoluted, and detracts from the opera, but there is some great music waiting to be discovered. For instance, this "Zweite Brautnacht!", that is one of my favorite Strauss' pieces for soprano, along with the monologue of the Countess in Capriccio or Ariadne's "Es gibt ein Reich".

This is a wonderful version with Rose Pauly:


or more recently with Renée Fleming and Anna Tomowa-Sintow:



January 16th, 2012, 02:48 PM
There is quite a mess with studio recordings by Franco Corelli. It seems like he made something with conductor called Franco Ferraris - you may find couple of arias from that cooperation on YouTube. But you can't find CD with the whole thing, these arias are thrown all around on various EMI releases like The Very Best of Franco Corelli - unless they recorded only those two-three arias (but that would be rather odd?).

Here you have true pearl, very good quality and his voice at it's best:


January 16th, 2012, 11:30 PM
Im enamoured with 1:31-1:44 part here:


I find it magnificent how by the "tu sei regina" part he suddenly changes the expression (at least that's how I perceive it) at "sei" to a strong, powerful one - it's all-lyrical aria and most contemporary tenors would sound like mawkish fops, but Del Monaco comes out with more manly singing and exclaims his thoughts like enraptured hero without loosing anything from aria's character. It's extraordinary and I love it.

January 17th, 2012, 11:25 AM
Tenor Marcello Giordani is promoting a Foundation, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to assist and support promising young opera singers.

To raise funds, he offered this recital in Manhattan along with soprano Angela Meade and some of those young singers. The most interesting youtubes:

Angela Meade singing Adriana Lecouvreur (definitely not Angela Leade singing Adriana Mecrouveur :))


Giordiani himself, singing "Celeste Aida":


Taylor Staton, singing "Pour mon ame", a little bit à la Giordiani:


An interesting tenor, Salvo Guastella, singing Verdi:


Zachary Nelson, of good and incisive phrasing, in this "Nemico della Patria":


And two powerful, though not Beauty Queens in the making, sopranos:

Audrey Dubois ("Vissi d'arte"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7nNde9OFo


Seda Ortek ("Anch'io dischiuso un giorno"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvsB2Pa91fM

January 17th, 2012, 01:25 PM
Interesting oper-air performane of Le Zanzarone, very nice program and musical quality, too bad that reocrding itself is a bit less than good (or is it uploader to blame?):


January 18th, 2012, 11:48 AM
"Bella Nice, che d'amore" is a lovely song composed by Vincenzo Bellini, in 1829, as part of the cycle Sei Ariette.

Let's hear Luciano Pavarotti singing this song:


Bella Nice, che d'amore
desti il fremito e il desir,
Bella Nice, del mio core
dolce speme e sol sospir,

Ahi! verrà, né sì lontano,
forse a me quel giorno è già,
che di morte l'empia mano
il mio stame troncherà.

Quando in grembo al feral nido
peso, ahi! misero, io sarò,
deh, rammenta quanto fido
questo cor ognor t'amò.

Sul mio cenere tacente
se tu spargi allora un fior,
Bella Nice, men dolente
dell'avel mi fia l'orror.

Non ti chiedo che di pianto
venga l'urna mia a bagnar,
se sperar potess'io tanto,
vorrei subito spirar.

The attentive listener will notice an uncanny resemblance to the Pollione-Adalgisa duet "Sol promessa al Dio tu fosti"...

January 18th, 2012, 02:03 PM
This is the Third Act ending of Lulu, only available since Friedrich Cerha just put together all of Berg's notes and musical ideas.

Lulu and Jack the Ripper strike a deal, while the Countess sings a beautiful monologue. We heard the voice of Lulu: “Nein! Nein!”, a tutti in the orchestra, Lulu is dead and Jack stabs the Countess. While Jack exits, a melody sounds in the violins, up and down like the dying breath of Geschwitz:

“Lulu! Mein Engel! Lass dich noch einmal sehn! Ich bin dir nah! Bleibe dir nah! In Ewigkeit!”

Lulu, Angel of Mine!. Wish I could see you once more! … I'm at your side!. I will remain at your side!. For Eternity!.

Here we can see Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (Countess Geschwitz), Patricia Petibon (Lulu) and Michael Volle (Jack), in a nice production at Szalburg:


January 18th, 2012, 02:07 PM
It could be said that Turandot hates Men, as a category. However, she loves Calaf, as a man, and that redeems her. This is in Puccini's opera, and also in Schiller's play.

However, other operatic adaptations, like Busoni's Turandot, are more related to a pantomime, to Gozzi's original 'Commedia dell'arte'. I wish we could also hear someday the German versions from Danzi and Reissiger, or the Turanda from Bazzini.

I find irresistible this "Signore Ascolta", sung by Magda Olivero, in a wonderful recording with Gina Cigna and Francesco Merli, in 1937:


January 18th, 2012, 02:09 PM
Elvira's mad scene in I Puritani is a fantastic achievement by Bellini, and when it's sung with such abandonment like in this Callas version... operatic magic:


January 18th, 2012, 02:11 PM
With Tancredi, written while still a very young man, Rossini is able to transmit in music the message of Tancrède, and even to go beyond Voltaire's original: candor, purity, valour, the willing sacrifice of a hero, ... an ideal, a character that transcends reality. Capable of love more as an abstract emotion, than as a carnal instinct.

In this youtube we can listen to Marilyn Horne as Tancredi, and Enedina Lloris as Amenaide, in a pleasant production at Liceu, Barcelona, back in 1989:


January 18th, 2012, 10:16 PM

Haha, this is hilarious. Not only the broken English he speaks but his extremely short answers, "all Verdi's operas" <silence> ...

And that strange impression that he had his answers written down and just did read them for this recording.

"My favorit part are to Andrea Chenier because itise romanticly"

January 19th, 2012, 09:45 PM
Enjoy two clips from (relatively) recent productions of L'elisir d'Amore with Giuseppe Filianoti as Nemorino and really great singers in secondary roles:



January 20th, 2012, 01:11 PM
Rosa Raisa had a big sized voice, one of the biggest ever by a soprano, and was able to sing up to D5 with ease. She was a great artist, and was absolutely revered at Chicago, where she was the best paid opera singer.

Unfortunately, this big voice of hers was not captured well on record, with the technology of the early 20th century (she was said to cry while listening to some of those recordings). However, we can hear a couple of very good renditions of her signature role, Aida:



January 21st, 2012, 09:25 AM
Polish alto Ewa Podles has always received mixed reviews. On one side, there have been objections to the homogeneity of her voice... I think this is unfair. When you are singing more than three octaves, it's almost impossible to get a fully homogeneous voice.

On the other hand, she has also been accused of artificially darkening her low notes, and make them sound louder. There is some truth to this claim.

However, I remember one night many years ago, still in the 20th century, when she did just marvelous singing in Madrid, performing Tancredi. Her best role in my view, along with this Arsace:


January 21st, 2012, 05:28 PM
As we would discuss soon, there is not only zarzuela in Spain, but also in many Latin America countries.

One of them is Cuba. From the zarzuela by Jorge Lecuona, Rosa la China, this is a nice romanza sung by the famous Cuban soprano Hortensia Coalla:


January 22nd, 2012, 11:15 AM

Claudia Muzio, La Divina, was adored in Buenos Aires, and in the big Opera House there, Teatro Colón.

We can read this from "El Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires: 1908-2008", by Mr. Blas Matamoro:

If we talkk about divas, the older subscribers simply said: "Claudia", and we all knew they were just referring, like she was a member of the family, to Muzio.

No Raisa, Leider, Nilsson, Tebaldi, Callas, Milanov, Cigna, Caniglia... No: Claudia. And old friend told me: "When Claudia died in the Fourth Act of Traviata, the smallest part of her chemise died with her". And then my mother: "Claudia, in the Third Act of La Bohème, under the snow, made you feel so cold"

Once, queuing to buy a ticket, an unknown man passed besides us. Someone murmured; "This man watched Claudia perform". To me, he became The Man that Watched Claudia Perform.

In the opening evening of Teatro Colón's 1986 season, there was a homage to Muzio, in the fiftieth anniversary of her death. All the lights of the big theather were out, and from the stage came the voice of Claudia Muzio singing this:


January 23rd, 2012, 11:37 AM
Today, Alexander Serov is best remembered outside Russia for his opera Judith.

Based on the Old Testament story of the Jewish heroine that saved her people by beheading Holofernes, the general of King Nebuchadnezzar, this was a very popular work since the 1860s, and the Tsar himself granted Serov a royal pension.


Natalija Ermolenko was one of the biggest stars of the Russian operatic stage in the first decades of the 20th century. Arguably her most succesful roles was precisely Judith. We can hear Natalija singing an aria from Judith in 1909:


However, arguably the best piece from the opera is this beautiful aria by Bogoas, the harem's keeper, that we can hear in the unforgettable voice of Sergei Lemeshev:


January 23rd, 2012, 10:03 PM
Don Carlo


January 24th, 2012, 10:39 AM
American composer Edward J. Collins, once an assistant conductor at the Bayreuth's Festival before the Great War, wrote only one opera, Daughter of the South, completed in 1939, about the love story of a Southern girl, living in a plantation of all places, and a Northern guy, at the times of the Civil War.

The plot won't be a candidate for an Originality Award, but the music is considerably better, comparable at his best to Charles Ives' or Gershwin's. Starting from a fragmented score, composer Daron Hagen recreated the one act opera.


January 25th, 2012, 08:01 PM

Jewish singer Joseph Schmidt was of diminutive stature, he was scarcely 150 centimeters tall. Due to this, it was very difficult for him to enjoy a singing career on the stage, but he was very succesful in radio broadcasts, and also in movies, were his shortness could be better addressed than in live theater.

His was an excellent tenor voice, with limpid top notes and easy coloratura.

He was pursued by the Nazis, and died at a refugee camp in Switzerland, still only 38 years old.


January 26th, 2012, 06:32 PM
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's last work for the stage was not an opera, but an operetta.

In 1954, three years before his death, there was the German premiere of Die stumme Serenade. This is not the best Korngold, not even a great Korngold, but it's a very nice piece nonetheless. Like all the other works written by the late Korngold, this was a big failure. The Austrian composer will die convinced that his music was doomed to be forgotten. Fortunately, he was very wrong:


January 27th, 2012, 08:49 PM
Gaetano Latilla was an Italian composer of the 18th century. Born at Bari, he was the uncle of the more famous Niccolò Piccinni, and the author of almost fifty operas.

His major successes were in the field of opera buffa, like in this La finta cameriera, based on a libretto by Giovanni Barloccio, of which we can hear this nice aria "Agitato il mio cor si confonde", sung by Roberta Invernizzi:


January 28th, 2012, 10:21 AM
This gem has less than 1000 views so I assume some of you could not see it. Well, do it now, you won't regret:


I wish Carreras made more recordings of earlier XIXth century operas. But wait, I still didn't listen to Lucrezia Borgia with him so why complain.

January 29th, 2012, 10:01 PM
Though Nicolae Bretan's operas were written in the 20th century (he was born in Romania, the year 1887), his soul and his compositions were that of a 19th century man.

Some of those operas, notably the first two, Luceafarul and Golem Lázadása are quite nice to the ear, concentrating basically on singing and melody. We can hear the prelude to Lueceafarul:


January 29th, 2012, 10:57 PM

part between 3:04 - 3:10 is absolute eye-opener, it makes you understand everything in couple of seconds. I though I know something about bel canto but after seeing this part I felt like I just discovered it and in flash of sudden enlightement I understood it's aesthetic and all magnificence. It was experience after which noone will ever listen to Bellini, Donizetti or Rossini the same way as before.

January 31st, 2012, 02:36 PM
American composer Dominick Argento wrote about a dozen operas, but perhaps the more succesful was The Aspern Papers. Based on Henry James's novella, Argento changed a book about a writer into an opera about a composer.

The premiere took place in Dallas, in 1988, with some big names like Elisabeth Sönderström or Frederica von Stade:



February 2nd, 2012, 10:58 AM
Between Glinka and the composers born in the 1830s and 1840s (Borodin, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky,..), there was in Russian opera the figure of Alexander Dargomizhsky.

One of his operas is Rusalka, this water spirit of Slavic mithology, that was also used, famously, by Dvorak, though the sources are fully different. Dargomizhsky's Rusalka is based on Pushkin.



February 3rd, 2012, 01:23 PM
Richard Strauss was attending a performance of one of his operas abroad, when another composer, Vittorio Gnecchi, presented himself and gave Strauss the piano reduction of the score of his last piece, to ask for his opinion.

Four years later, both Strauss's Elektra and Gnecchi's Cassandra were performed. It's clear that both works share many features. When Gnecchi was accused of plagiarism, he argued his piece was written four years before. Meanwhile, Strauss kept his mouth shut. With time, Gnecchi's opera was forgotten, while Strauss's opera is still celebrated as a masterpiece.

Recently, both pieces were given together in a double bill, in Berlin. We can hear Cassandra complete in youtube:


February 4th, 2012, 03:22 AM
While we wait for a DVD...


February 4th, 2012, 04:50 PM
Héctor (Ettore) Panizza was not Italian, but Argentinean, though his parents were indeed from Italy.

He was one of the most popular conductors of his time, being the one leading the orchestra to the first complete performance of Turandot, with Alfano's ending. He was a regular at Teatro Colón, that was opened with one of his operas, Aurora, back in 1908. The libretto, by Luigi Illica and Héctor Quesada, was written in Italian, but the piece, a typical verismo opera, had been given more often in Spanish.

In the premiere, Amadeo Bassi encored the aria "El himno a la bandera", that is now, in the Spanish version, a kind of unofficial national anthem in Argentina.

This is Bassi singing in 1912 the original in Italian:


February 6th, 2012, 09:01 AM
In 1991, MELODRAM published a Norma, with the following cast:

María Callas, Elena Nicolai, Franco Corelli, Boris Christof, Antonio Votto - Trieste 1953 (Live) MELODRAM

However, it was soon discovered that there was no such a complete recording, and it was a mix of several Callas performances:

Buenos Aires, 1949 (Callas, Barbieri, Vela, Rossi-Lemeni, Serafin)
Trieste 1953, with the above cast, containing most of the material
RAI 1955, the famous Callas, Stignani, Del Monaco recording
Roma 1958, (Callas, Corelli, Pirazzini, Neri, Santini)

Given the scandal, MELODRAM retired the recording from the market, and then published this CD:


that it's quite interesting to understand the evolution of the role in the voice of Callas. With the passing of time, this CD was also released:


but now clearly stating there were only 'excerpts'.

Let's hear Callas and Barbieri, singing 'Oh, Rimembranza' from Buenos Aires, in 1949:


February 8th, 2012, 08:14 PM
While we wait for a DVD...

Sorry, no DVD this time ... :(

February 8th, 2012, 09:02 PM
If Meyerbeer was the father of the Grand Opéra, Fromental Halévy was its uncle.

Apart from writing one of the major works of the style, La Juive, and other pieces, he was also an official figure helping other composers.

After La Juive, he was not able to repeat such a success, but some of his other operas were indeed quite nice, and received a warm welcome of the audience. One of those is Charles Vi, premiered in Paris, the year 1843.

Charles VI - baritone
Le Duc de Beford - baritone
Le Dauphin - tenor
Isabelle de Bavière - soprano
Odette - mezzo
Raymond - bass

The story is about the events in France, during the 15th century, after the French Army defeat at Agincourt. King Charles is insane, and the French resistance turns around the young Odette, the King's lover, and her father Raymond, around the Queen, the refined Isabelle, around the Dauphin...

Halévy wrote for the best French voices of the time: Barroilhet, Duprez, Dorus-Gras, Stoltz,.... and it was a success, with more than one hundred performances in Paris until the end of the 19th century, as well as others around France. But in a few years, it just dissapeared from the repertoire, after a performance at Marseille, the year 1901.

There is no commercial recording, but it's easy to find a take from a performance at Compiègne, a few years ago. For instance, this is Marie-Nicole Lemieux singing "Sous leur Sceptre":


and this is the beginning of each of the Five customary Acts of a Grand Opéra:

Act I (http://www.goear.com/listen/f5ddb58/c1-halevy)

Act II (http://www.goear.com/listen/8323e53/c2-halevy)

Act III (http://www.goear.com/listen/b47a1ac/c3-halevy)

Act IV (http://www.goear.com/listen/b5c4f0c/c4-halevy)

Act V (http://www.goear.com/listen/8e3f412/c5-halevy)

February 9th, 2012, 08:37 PM
The priest Licinio Refice wrote this beautiful song, "Ombra di nube", for his friend, Claudia Muzio, in 1935:


One year before, she had premiered Cecilia, an opera by Refice, in Rome. With this opera Muzio also sung her last performance at Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires. We can hear two harrowing arias from Cecilia, sung by the great Renata Tebaldi:



Margherita da Cortona, Refice's second opera, was premiered at La Scala, in 1938, with Augusta Oltrabella and Tancredi Pasero. Here is the beginning of the opera:

Margherita - Beginning (http://www.divshare.com/download/14591066-786)

Refice was working in a third opera, Il Mago, when he died in the 1950s.

February 10th, 2012, 10:26 PM
Verismo was never the critics's darling. But the degoratory remarks are coming usually from outside Italy. However, this was not always the case. Even in Italy, and in the 1910s, there were composers that considered Verismo a deadlock for Italian Opera.


This was the opinion of Francesco Balilla Pratella, the author of the manifesto "Musica Futurista", in 1911:


Pratella praised composers like Strauss or Wagner, while deploring Italian music's degeneration, unable to produce anything apart from "cheap melodrama". He was very aggressive against, for instance, Umberto Giordano whose music was "full of coarse melodies, and atrocious singing", but also attacked Puccini himself.

The only Italian composer he respected was his teacher, Mascagni, that was commended by providing the orchestra with a strong personality, challenging the unbridled voices of verismo singers.

Some of his recommendations:

Take the young Italian composers out of the Conservatories, that had became mausoleums.

An opera composer must write his own librettos (regrettably, this advice was very succesful, and not only in Italy)

Make the singers another part of the orchestral tapestry

Let's check the result of these theoretical points, hearing Balilla Pratella's opera, L'Aviatore Dro:


February 11th, 2012, 02:23 AM
While we wait for a DVD...

Great cast. But just from seeing that clip, I'm not sure how interested I would be in the DVD. :(

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 11th, 2012, 02:30 AM
Great cast. But just from seeing that clip, I'm not sure how interested I would be in the DVD. :(

Why not? I didn't watch the entire clip, just a few segments, but it seems good to me. Dark, yes, but this is the scene that is supposed to happen in the crypt.

February 11th, 2012, 07:13 PM
Viorica Cortez........Stride La Vampa (Il Trovatore)


I was mesmorized by this performance, cannot find a DVD of it but did track down this CD for cheap used:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/613UoT%2B-vIL._SL500_AA300_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000009I00/ref=dp_image_z_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music)

February 11th, 2012, 08:02 PM
Perhaps the best moment in Massenet's Don Quichotte is the death of the Knight of the Doleful Countenance. It's a closed number, with a plain, but beautiful, melody, that requires a measured performance from the bass:


February 12th, 2012, 10:24 AM
Why not? I didn't watch the entire clip, just a few segments, but it seems good to me. Dark, yes, but this is the scene that is supposed to happen in the crypt.

Quality really isn't good enough for DVD. In first scene they were blue as E.T. :)
Anyway, despite bad quality, I want DVD! But there's no hope, because Bayerische Staatsoper said it will be no DVD.
You can check other performance clips:



February 12th, 2012, 01:07 PM
The first cut is the deepest?... Not for me, at least not in Opera.

Most of the operas I know more than one version of it, my preferred one is not the first I heard. There are exceptions, though, and one of them is I Puritani. This was my first exposure to Bellini's masterpiece:


And to this day, I think this incredible mad scene is one of the top recorded operatic fragments of all time:


February 13th, 2012, 06:06 PM

On top of being a trailblazer composer, Arnold Schönberg was also a good amateur painter. The above is one of his self-portraits.

However, his greatest artistic contribution was in music, and his opera Moses und Aron, in spite of being incomplete, one of his best efforts.

Arguably, the best rendition ever is from Hermann Scherchen, with Josef Greindl as Moses.


but we can also watch a complete staging in youtube:


February 14th, 2012, 01:13 PM
Ruggero Leoncavallo's Chatterton was one of the first operas to be recorded in its entirety.


It was in 1908, conducted by Leoncavallo himself, with the logical problems of the early recording period, and with Granados and Signorini singing the protagonist's role.

There is another, much more recent, recording, from Bongiovanni, that's nice, but without a stellar cast:


Leoncavallo also wrote the libretto, adapting a play by Alfred de Vigny about English poet Thomas Chatterton, that killed himself at eighteen years old. It was also the first opera of Leoncavallo, and was premiered in 1896, after the success of Pagliacci, but it never entered into the repertoire.

A couple of examples:



February 15th, 2012, 02:46 PM
Massenet wrote one version of Werther, with the title role being adapted for baritone, rather than tenor.

This was done for the great Italian baritone Mattia Battistini, that sung then the opera in Warsaw, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rome, ... It was well received by the audiences, but it has been performed rarely since the early 20th century.

Battistini recorded two arias in 1911, singing in Italian:



February 15th, 2012, 03:07 PM
Listen to him singing in the first 60 second and then suddenly switch to 2:16 where he starts to talk with his speaking voice:


February 16th, 2012, 08:04 AM
If I was to choose one single tenor to listen to for the rest of my life, little Giuiseppe Giacomini would be it. What's interesting is that when you mention Giacomini to other singers, they'll go gooey-eyed and wholeheartedly agree that he's a genius - but mention it to a great proportion of opera listeners and the arguments against that very statement can sometimes be enormous. I've heard all the arguments; it sounds unnatural, he uses the 'lowered larynx technique' which gives him too dark a sound (funny, cause when I mention this phrase to singers, most of'em haven't even heard of it...!), he doesn't have an exciting top... What?!

Admittedly, in his 60s and now 70s he's developed a power-wobble - but look at Sir John Tomlinson. He's had a wobble for the best part of ten years and yet it's the elephant in the room nobody talks about (or rather, don't care about). :sarcastic:

Giacomini, age 54, giving it all.


February 16th, 2012, 10:34 PM
One of the highlights in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda is the confrontation scene between Elisabetta and Maria herself.

This recent high wattage scene between Mariella Devia and Anna Caterina Antonacci:


that we can compare with the one between Edita Gruberova and Agnes Baltsa:


or between two great artists like Leyla Gencer and Shirley Verrett:


February 17th, 2012, 12:14 AM
Curiosity - a male Cherubino:


February 17th, 2012, 07:50 PM
A few singers that started in vaudeville or Broadway, were later also performing Opera. Of course, the biggest start among them was Rosa Ponselle, but in this post we are going to write about Grace Moore.

Moore was singing in Broadway in the early 1920s, and after undergoing training in France, she sung Mimi in a performance of La Bohème, in Paris. She was also hired by the MET, and she sung there during sixteen seasons.

On top of that, she was also a Hollywood actress, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, in the 1934 movie "One Night of Love".


As an opera singer, her most celebrated roles were Tosca and Louise:



Her last role in the MET was precisely Tosca, and she died little after in a plane crash near Copenhagen.

February 17th, 2012, 10:33 PM
Some people think that best movie usage of Wagner's Ride of Valkyries was in that American war movie where they played it from attacking helicopters... well, just to let them know, here (starting on 2:02) is the real winner surpassing all other scenes with it's dramatic strenght and beauty:


February 18th, 2012, 03:34 PM
La Magicienne was Fromental Halévy’s sixth and last opera. It was an unabashedly Grand Opéra, with the five acts, and the ballet.

It's was loosely based on the medieval legend of Melusine, but in Halévy's opera the heroine, through a pact with Satan, gains an irresistible seductive power in return for pledging her soul. But in the end, she is repentant, professes to be a Christian and dies.

The premiere was a success, and there were some further 45 performances in 1858 and 1859, but later the opera dissapeared from the repertoire, until it was rescued recently in Montpellier, from where we can hear the aria of the protagonist in the Second Act, "Celui de qui je tiens mon pouvoir infernal":

Melusine's aria (http://www.goear.com/listen/43b7f6d/celui-de-qui-je-tiens-mon-pouvoir-infernal-f)

February 18th, 2012, 09:31 PM
Callas had so many vocal abilities that some still remain unknown. Here (between 6:55 and 7:00) you can hear fascinating and unique way of singing in low register of great dramatic strenght, which she - unfortunately - never used on stage or in studio:


With this technique she could make great duet with Flórez: they would play Pagapeno and Papagena transformed, for this particular adaptation, to Zanzarone and Zanzarona.

February 19th, 2012, 12:41 PM
Simon Boccanegra was premiered in 1857, and was considered by Verdi as one of the great fiascos of his career.

The composer was, however, really fond of many passages, and he was blaming a big part of the failure on Piave's libretto. When the occasion presented itself to review the score, he started the cooperation with Arrigo Boito, that will be continued in Otello and Falstaff, and they presented at La Scala, in 1881, the revised version of the Boccanegra, that was a success, and with three legendary singers in the cast: Victor Maurel, Francesco Tamagno and Edouard de Reszke.

Most of the changes in the score will come in the First Act, and one of them was to rewrite Amelia's cavatina "Come in quest'ora bruna" with a different orchestration and less high-pitched notes. Also, the corresponding cabaletta was removed.

This is how the 1857 version of the aria looks like:


February 20th, 2012, 10:34 AM
William Walton's Troilus and Cressida was premiered at Covent Garden, on 1954. It was not a success, but the opera was performed later in San Francisco, New York and even Milan. To no avail.

A couple of revisions made in the 1960s and 1970s were again frostily received. Originally, Walton wrote the part of Cressida for Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, that however did not premiered the role (though she recorded some excerpts), and for the last revision he converted Cressida in mezzo, for Janet Baker to sing, and cut some 30 minutes. A CD was recorded:


However, the intention of Walton was all the time to write a Post-Romantic opera, and he was indeed succesful at that. Of course, for many critics this was the right thing to do in the 1920s, but not in the 1950s or later.

Let's hear the fist intended Cressida, Ms. Schwarzkopf:


February 20th, 2012, 02:57 PM
Another rare pearl from Carreras:


February 21st, 2012, 02:35 PM
Sometimes two relevant historical singers of a given character perform together, but one of them in a still minor role.

Perhaps the best known example is the 1952 Covent Garden Norma, with Maria Callas as Norma, and Joan Sutherland as Clotilde:


But in this post, I would like rather to comment on Traviata, and a performance in Vienna, back in 1971, with Ileana Cotrubas being Violetta, and Edita Gruberova singing Flora.

This is a moving performance by Cotrubas, with all her strengths and weaknesses as Violetta, somewhat superior to her later studio recording with Kleiber and Domingo, in my view. A couple of examples:



Funny enough, neither Sutherland would sing years later Norma in a way resembling Callas (but both were great), nor Gruberova will take anything from Cotrubas's Violetta (though both were very good, but not great, Violettas):


February 23rd, 2012, 03:51 PM
Sometimes a not-so-great singer achieves such a rapport with a particular role, that it becomes his signature, and indeed the cornerstone of his career.

Ljuba Welitsch was also praised for her singing as Donna Anna or Minnie, but her dream role, one in which she certainly could compete with any other soprano, was of course Salome, that she rehearsed with Strauss himself in the mid 1940s.

Let's enjoy this superb singing:


February 23rd, 2012, 05:13 PM
Here's a charming little ditty from Offenbach's La belle Helene. Also - Boobies.


February 24th, 2012, 08:43 PM
Franco Margola was an Italian composer, disciple of Pizzetti and Casella, that composed a couple of operas just before the Second World War. This Il Mito di Caino was succesful, it's a nice piece, and we can watch it in youtube:


February 25th, 2012, 03:37 PM
It's difficult for a succesful soundtrack composer, get the same recognition when writing opera. One of the few exceptions to this rule is perhaps Nino Rota, widely regarded as one of the best soundtrack composers of all times (I vitelloni, La Strada, Otto e Mezzo, Giulietta degli Spiriti, War and Peace, The Godfather,...) and also the author of ten operas, one of them the delightful Il Cappello di Paglia di Firenze.

Premiered in Palermo, back in 1955, this is a brilliant comedy, an Italian opera buffa just in the middle of the 20th century.

We can watch it complete in youtube, with a young Juan Diego Flórez in the cast:


February 27th, 2012, 07:12 PM
Italian tenor Dano Raffanti made a good career in the 1980s, when he was sometimes on the verge of stardom, but finally he never achieved lasting fame and success.

However, some of the roles he sung, were well served by Raffanti. Perhaps the best example is Rodrigo, from Rossini's La Donna del Lago:


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 28th, 2012, 06:00 AM
he started the cooperation with Arrigo Boito, that will be continued in Otello and Falstaff

I believe that their work on Otello had already started (although it was very preliminary and was going very slowly thanks to an unconvinced Verdi) when they revised Simon, which was then how Verdi got finally convinced that Boito was suitable to the task of doing Otello, no?

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 28th, 2012, 07:24 AM
Here's a charming little ditty from Offenbach's La belle Helene. Also - Boobies.


Not to forget some very beautiful legs. Me. Like. Me do!:love2:

February 28th, 2012, 07:08 PM
Il vero melomane è colui che, udendo una donna cantare in bagno, si avvicina al buco della serratura e vi pone l'orecchio.
(E. Stinchelli)

So true... :)

But, hearing this heavenly voice, singing this heavenly aria, it's easier to believe one will only approach the ear!.


February 28th, 2012, 10:19 PM
Makes me think that Callas shouldn't record only soprano parts on her studio recordings but prepare and record all characters of the opera by herself, transposed to her vocal range:


How about such cast:

Rigoletto - Callas
Duca - Callas
Gilda - Callas
Maddalena - Callas
Marullo - Callas
Monterone - Callas
Giovanna - di Stefano, to provide some diversity

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 29th, 2012, 12:11 AM
Il vero melomane è colui che, udendo una donna cantare in bagno, si avvicina al buco della serratura e vi pone l'orecchio.
(E. Stinchelli)

So true... :)

I love the quote! Maybe I should dump the Stravinsky one and adopt this one! However, I don't think that *I'd* be refraining from peeking...:o

February 29th, 2012, 12:38 PM
I believe that their work on Otello had already started (although it was very preliminary and was going very slowly thanks to an unconvinced Verdi) when they revised Simon, which was then how Verdi got finally convinced that Boito was suitable to the task of doing Otello, no?

Yes, this was the story.

Unfortunately, Boito couldn't help Verdi to write his beloved Re Lear, that will have been one of the highlights of the great composer's career.

It's not the same, but let's console ourselves hearing Aribert Reimann's Lear:


March 1st, 2012, 06:59 PM
Gian Francesco Malipiero premiered his opera-trilogy L'Orfeide in 1925.

The first part, "La morte delle maschere", is a performance in the fiction of a troupe of actors playing 'commedia dell'arte'. Orpheus, that is part of the audience, masked, denounces the performance and introduces with several chords of his lyre seven characters, that will represent Mankind...

... in the second part, "Sette canzoni". Each of those 'songs' is a miniopera, based on the seven former characters. Perhaps the best one is the third, "Il Ritorno", about an old woman that had just received news of the death of his only son. This is false, but at his return, the son finds his mother cradling a doll, insane with sadness, unreachable. This is Magda Olivero singing:


The last part, "Orfeo, ovvero L'otavva canzone", is another performance, in this case from puppets, in a medieval Court. Orfeo makes everybody sleepy with his lyre and flees with a fascinated Queen.

Complete in youtube:


March 1st, 2012, 07:08 PM
In 1982:


In 1986:


In both videos the Perduto ben... part begins precisely at 4:00, with argueable difference of less than one second. Karajan surely had his tempos precisely defined. That would explaing the story about that trick he did with his recordings (humming along with muted sound, then suddenly turning it on to find out that he is at the same place as the playback).

March 1st, 2012, 07:10 PM

Ildebrando Pizzetti, a musician belonging to the generation of Respighi or Zandonai, doesn't enjoy a great fame outside Italy. However, he was a pretty good composer for the stage.

Born in Parma, he was also a teacher and a critic during many years for the newspaper "Il Corriere della sera".


His best known opera is this Assasinio nella cattedrale, premiered at La Scala in 1958. But here we can find La Figlia di Jorio, premiered in 1954 in Naples, conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni, and with Clara Petrella. It was a 'succès d'estime', but never really made it into even the fringes of the repertory. However there is a recording:

Mila di Codro: Luisa Malagrida
Aligi: Mirto Picchi
Ornella: Miriam Funari
Candia della Leonessa: Lari Scipioni
Lazaro di Roio: Piero Guelfi

that we can listen complete in youtube.


nterestingly, there is another Figlia di Jorio, this one by Alberto Franchetti, with a libretto by Gabriele D’Annunzio, that is a really good opera, we can hear here the end of the opera:

Figlia di Jorio - Franchetti - Finale (http://www.divshare.com/download/15388132-76c)

March 2nd, 2012, 10:43 PM
A rainy version of E lucelvan le stelle:


March 4th, 2012, 06:17 PM
This is a very nice video.

Many readers will know Spanish soprano Isabel Rey that has appeared in several DVDs, and is an established member of Zurich Opera, apart from singing in some other top European venues.

When Ms. Rey was just starting her career, back in the 1980s, she attended a master class by Montserrat Caballé. Ms. Rey was requested to sing "Ah, non credea mirarti", and she produced such a powerful rendition of the aria, that Ms. Caballé was almost moved to tears, and praised her and her voice teacher (Ana Luisa Chova) a lot.


March 5th, 2012, 11:06 AM
Not exactly opera, but one of the most devastating vocal pieces ever is Giacinto Scelci's Uaxuctum.

It's a brief piece, just around twenty minutes, offered in five movements. It demands two sopranos, two tenors and chorus, while the instrumental part is based on winds, double bass, Ondes Martenot and a splendid percussion.

The intention of Scelsi was to present the end of a Mayan city, Uaxuctum, deserted by its own residents due to religious reasons. Of course, those Mayan were only inventions of Scelsi's imagination, but there is a real enough feeling of desolation, gried, the end of all living things.

The first movement, the overture, is the more relaxed and mystical, in contrast with the more dramatic second. The third is very short and gives way to the protagonism of the chorus in the fourth, and more impressive, while the final movement is a return to the mood of the first.

This is an avant-garde piece, so the more traditional readers can safely give this a miss, but for the more audacious listeners, I would recommend the full course:


March 6th, 2012, 07:24 PM

A few years ago I attended a live performance in Madrid of one of the few operas by Domenico Scarlatti, that we have the complete score preserved, Tolomeo e Alessandro.

It was performed by Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco, and now we have this recording, that could be very interesting for all Baroque fans. Let's hear Ann Hallenberg singing "Torna sol per un momento":


March 9th, 2012, 09:03 PM
Mario del Monaco kicks Callas from "most moving Violetta ever" chair at 0:33-47:


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
March 10th, 2012, 07:05 AM
Mario del Monaco kicks Callas from "most moving Violetta ever" chair at 0:33-47:


This is hilarious!!!

March 10th, 2012, 07:10 AM
I just ran across this--a clip from a movie: "Two Sisters from Boston"--evidently an opera-themed musical comedy. I was taking another look at Lauritz Melchior--inspired by our other thread on what recording quality, (or lack of it), we can tolerate.


March 10th, 2012, 07:19 PM
Maxim Mikhailov's story is certainly unusual.

He was very poor in his infancy, and was ordered as an Orthodox priest. His powerful voice of bass was very appreciated in the Eastern Church Liturgy, but at 39 years old, and with almost no real knowledge of music, he was offered the possibility of joining the Bolshoi. He took the opportunity and sang for almost twenty five years there.

His low notes were really impressive:



March 12th, 2012, 09:53 PM
I love the old machines for reproducing sound.

I own two gramophones, one a Gramola (a brand marketed by The Victor Talking Machine only for Germany) from 1925, and other a wooden trunk one, a Dulcetto from before the First World War. Both in working order. They can sound something like this:


I also own an Edison cylinder phonograph, but in this case only as an interior decoration element.

March 13th, 2012, 10:57 AM
José de Nebra was a Spanish composer from the 18th century, the author of several operas and Baroque zarzuelas.


This CD was released some years ago by Al Ayre Español, with the soprano María Bayo. We can find a presentation of the work in youtube, with English subtitles:


March 13th, 2012, 04:32 PM
Interesting fragment of old movie version of Lucia di Lammermoor with final aria modified - Edgardo stabs himself alone in Lucia's room and dies at once with second part of aria presented in purely instrumental arrangement:


I love how Edgardo manages to fight through the whole final ensamble here while singing at the same time (sometimes with his mouth shut!) - repeat it on stage, please:


Too bad Lucia is so artificial and unmoved here, very poor acting from her in this scene.

It is also avaiable in it's entire lenght:


March 14th, 2012, 02:16 PM

This is the second version of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, prepared working with Gian-Carlo Menotti after the failure of the first, premiered in 1966 at the opening gala of the new Metropolitan Opera.

We can hear an aria from that first version, sung by Leontyne Price, the original Cleopatra:


This is a seriously neglected opera, that will perhaps some day get the recognition it deserves.

March 15th, 2012, 01:42 PM
Contrary to many of his colleagues, Franz Schubert's started to write an opera without any commision, just hoping a theater will be interested enough to stage the work once completed.

This was also the case with Alfonso und Estrella, an scarcely plausible story set in the old kingdom of León. He was in for the usual dissapointment, as the opera was not performed until almost thirty years after Schubert's death. Even if this is not exactly great opera, there are some quite beautiful arias, like this "Schon, Wenn Es Begint Zu Tragen" performed by Jonas Kaufmann:


There is a DVD of this opera, with an intelligent staging by Luca Ronconi, that is a good buy:


March 15th, 2012, 03:59 PM
Contrary to many of his colleagues, Franz Schubert's started to write an opera without any commision, just hoping a theater will be interested enough to stage the work once completed. (...) He was in for the usual dissapointment, as the opera was not performed until almost thirty years after Schubert's death.

Strike, down with them; cut the villains' throats. Ah, whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with them; fleece them! Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs; I would your store were here! On, bacons on! What, ye knaves! Young men must live. You are grand-jurors, are ye? We'll jure ye, i'faith

March 15th, 2012, 05:46 PM
Strike, down with them; cut the villains' throats. Ah, whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with them; fleece them! Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs; I would your store were here! On, bacons on! What, ye knaves! Young men must live. You are grand-jurors, are ye? We'll jure ye, i'faith

It must be the Ides of March.

March 16th, 2012, 12:52 PM
Domenico Mazzocchi's La Catena d'Adone is one of those early 17th century operas that makes you wonder how close they really are under the surface to many modern pieces, with this 'recitar cantando' the mezz’arie. It was commissioned by the Aldobrandini family, one of the first operas ever sung in Rome (1626) and the only opera surviving from Mazzocchi. I was able to hear the opera (in a concert version) some years ago, just by chance, while on business visiting Belgium, and now there is a cd published.



March 18th, 2012, 11:51 AM
Here's another of my uploads, a new one. It's short prelude from opera by Feliks Nowowiejski, late romantic composer of late XIX/early XXth centuries. A skillful writer for orchestra, the opera wasn't commercialy released and this is from a radio broadcast.


March 19th, 2012, 11:59 AM
In addition to previous post, let me post aria from the same opera by recently celebrated tenor, Beczała:


And, by the way, couple of other, similiarly unheard but interesting arias I've stumbled upon by this occassion:



March 19th, 2012, 06:43 PM

Incredibly, she is almost 64!.

The strike of the orchestra in Florence was solved using a piano player... :)

March 20th, 2012, 10:16 AM
Le Marchand de Venise is an opera by French composer Reynaldo Hahn, based of course in Shakespeare, and premiered at Paris Opéra in 1935.

Though not at the same height of his unforgettable mélodies, this is a nice opera.

Some arias were recorded by French singers back in the 1930s and 1940s, as for example this 'Air de Bassano':


Though we can watch in youtube a very heavily cut version of the opera from a performance in Portland, of all places:


March 23rd, 2012, 09:21 PM
There are lots of great recordings with Carreras in great form but even after hearing much of them I'm astonished with how he sounds in this early recording - perhaps richer, more ringing tone than one may hear on his more famous recordings:


March 29th, 2012, 04:54 PM
El gato montés is an opera by Spanish composer Manuel Penella, premiered in Valencia, the year 1916.

The plot deals with the love rivalry between a bullfighter and a bandit, for the love of a gypsy (yes, sounds like Carmen all over again, but this time she loves the bandit, instead of the bullfighter). It was pretty popular for a few years, until it fell out of favor. The better known fragments are the pasodoble:


and the duet between the bullfighter and the gypsy:


April 1st, 2012, 06:23 PM
Una furtiva lagrima sung by Juan Diego Florez with encore at Metropolitan Opera. 3/31/12 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQY19jmxCvI)

April 3rd, 2012, 08:17 AM
Pomone, with a libretto by Pierre Perrin and music by Robert Cambert was one of the first French operas, as opposed to the Italianate standard of the art form.

It was premiered in Paris, back in 1671, and a great success. Later, Cambert and Perrin were removed at the head of the Académie Royale de Musique, by Lully. Perrin was imprisoned by debts and died four years later, while Cambert went to England, where he died somewhat misteriously in 1677, there were rumors that Lully was somehow involved in this death, having paid a servant to poison Cambert.

Rumors... like in the Mozart-Salieri rivalry. There are only some fragments of Pomone surviving:


April 4th, 2012, 09:23 PM
Let's hear the young Callas, in 1951:


and the same piece by her teacher, Spanish soprano Elvira de Hidalgo:


April 6th, 2012, 07:08 PM
Roberto Alagna will debut the role of Eleazar, in La Juive, during the 2013/2014 season at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Though he is at heart a lyric tenor, he could possibly be a quite good Eleazar. This is a recent performance of "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" during a piano recital:


April 11th, 2012, 05:24 PM
Another Eleazar, a historical one this time, American tenor Richard Tucker singing La Juive in late 1974, a few days before his death:


April 11th, 2012, 09:10 PM
MET Manon with Netrebko and Beczala
I hope the rest will follow!



Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
April 11th, 2012, 10:38 PM
MET Manon with Netrebko and Beczala
I hope the rest will follow!



That's what I'll be attending in person 1 hour 50 minutes from now!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
April 12th, 2012, 07:04 AM
It was great! Fabulous! Full review to follow, eventually (we've been pretty busy).

April 12th, 2012, 09:55 PM
O Contratador de diamantes (The Diamond Contractor) was the first opera written by Brazilian composer Francisco Mignone, premiered at Teatro Municipal, in Rio de Janeiro, back in 1924.

Mignone was working in the opera while completing his training at the Milan Conservatory, and the influence of Italian late Romantic style is paramount.

Let's hear a duet:


And the celebrated "Congada", an orchestral piece included in the second act, when Brazilian local musical elements are displayed:


April 13th, 2012, 07:45 PM
Giacomo Aragall was one of male tenors attempting to perform mezzo-soprano role part of Romeo from Bellini's IC&IM. I must admit that despite my general admiration for him I don't enjoy this very much because of that transposition starting at around 1:58, for me it ruins most that fading, lamenting character which makes this aria so beautiful:


Carreras did no such thing when he sung this so being tenor is no excuse.

April 14th, 2012, 07:33 PM
MET Manon with Netrebko and Beczala
I hope the rest will follow!

Yup, we have the rest:


April 14th, 2012, 10:37 PM
Let's hear some zarzuela.

Francisco Asenjo Barbieri was a well-known composer of the 19th century. One of his most popular zarzuelas (he wrote around sixty) was Jugar con Fuego (Playing with Fire), premiered at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, in the 1850s. This is one nice number for the soprano, in the voice of Mariola Cantarero:


April 17th, 2012, 11:36 AM
For those who are curious to hear pretty bad Bella Figlia:


Rigoletto's phrase at 2:48 freaks me out, was Rigoletto in this production anemic or was it attempt to be lyrical and tender?

April 19th, 2012, 02:09 PM
After many years of singing professionally, Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu debuted in Buenos Aires just a few days ago. This is part of the concert:


April 19th, 2012, 09:27 PM
In the small Italian village of Mola di Bari, we can find Teatro Van Westerhout. It was named in honour of the composer Niccolo Van Westerhout (1857-1898), that was born there. The surname came from Holland, of course, but the van Westerhout family was settled in Italy since the 17th century.

Van Westerhout wrote seven operas, and one of them was "Doña Flor”. It was a drama in one act, with libretto by Arturo Colautti (of "Adriana Lecouvreur" and "Fedora" fame). The opera was rescued in Italy back in 2007, and then recently sung in New York, in a production by the Taconic Opera, one of those small companies surviving all across the US.

A small sample:


April 20th, 2012, 09:43 PM
One hour with Gregory Kunde singing Rossini:


April 21st, 2012, 11:28 AM
Mexican composer and musical theoretician Julián Carrillo Trujillo (1875-1965) was an indefatigable researcher into the nature of sound. Going beyond the standard Western musical convention that divides an octave into twelve different pitches, he created what is called "Sonido 13" (Thirteenth Sound), an alternative way of managing microtones, and also invented a new musical notation, and some especially arranged instruments to play the sounds he devised.

However, he was also a traditional composer of sorts, as we can confirm listening to his opera Matilde, that is complete in youtube:


This is a nice aria extracted from the opera, sung by the protagonist, Matilde:

Matilde's Aria (http://www.goear.com/listen/9807ee2/jcmii-aud)

April 23rd, 2012, 01:58 PM
I was watching this backstage interviews of Met's Don Giovanni and somehow after three minutes my mind started to wander while suddenly at 3:27 I got like EEEEEEE WHAT'S GOING ON WHO'S THAT TALKING, nice surprise from him. By the way, anybody else feels like Fleming is quite atrificial in those backstage stuff? That hyper-enthusiasm after whatever she hears, sweetnes and smiles.


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
April 23rd, 2012, 03:56 PM
No, I like what Renee Fleming does. She's a classy and attractive lady, she is intelligent, loves opera, there's nothing not to like. In this capacity she is the hostess, so she *is* supposed to be cheerful and engaging.

April 27th, 2012, 06:42 PM

April 30th, 2012, 10:47 AM
Another rarity recently sung by Roberto Alagna is "Magische Töne" from Goldmark's Die Königin von Saba.


Let's hear some historical singers on this same aria:




May 1st, 2012, 10:10 AM
The veteran (76 years old) Renato Bruson singing Giorgio Germont:


May 3rd, 2012, 10:00 AM
Flórez singing "La donna è mobile" recently in Zurich


May 5th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Freni and Pavarotti singing "O soave fanciulla" in Modena, in 1965:


May 7th, 2012, 01:48 PM
This is the aria written by Richard Wagner for Pollione, performed during a production of Norma in 1837: "Norma il predisse, o Druidi", that was designed to replace "Ah! del tebro".


May 9th, 2012, 09:33 AM
Mirentxu is an opera in the Basque language, written by Jesús Guridi and premiered in Bilbao, in 1910. One hundred years later, it was performed again, with a cast including soprano María Bayo.


There is also a version in Spanish, that we can hear in a performance from 1967, at Teatro de la Zarzuela:


May 10th, 2012, 07:45 PM
Wisely, Mariella Devia had never sung Norma. This is a role that requires a vocality out of her reach (not that this fact had deterred in the past other singers, with even a less fitting vocality for Norma than Ms. Devia), but she usually sings Casta Diva in recitals. This rendition is recent, from year 2009 at Japan:


May 11th, 2012, 10:02 PM
Caballe's final note in her Don Carlo with Corelli is legendary - here one can hear much shorter but impressively ringing one by Raina Kabaivanska, also with Corelli in title role:


May 14th, 2012, 12:49 PM
The legendary Tauber-Lehmann duet "Glück, das mir verblieb" from 1924, remasterized:


May 15th, 2012, 09:23 AM
Yesterday, there was the first Adriana Lecouvreur's performance of a series running in May and June at Liceu, Barcelona. Barbara Frittoli, Daniela Dessì and Micaela Carosi will sing Adriana, while Roberto Alagna, Fabio Armiliato and Carlo Ventre will be Maurizio.

Now, Adriana has a long story back at the Barcelona's Opera House. It was offered for the first time in May, 1903, just six months after its world premiere in Milan, and with the same soprano, Angelica Pandolfini (she sang in Milan with Enrico Caruso and Giuseppe de Luca). We can hear a recording of Pandolfini as Adriana from that same year of 1903:


Since there great sopranos had also sung this role at Liceu: Mercedes Capsir, Maria Caniglia, Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, Mirella Freni,...

Let's hear Daniela Dessì:


May 16th, 2012, 08:10 PM
Lucia Aliberti and Anna Caterina Antonacci singing the two duets Norma - Adalgisa, from Catania in 1990:



May 17th, 2012, 01:38 PM
Emilio de Gogorza was an Spanish-American baritone that, being almost blind, never sang at the operatic stage, but was a frequent performer in recitals, and also a very active recording artist. He was married to the outstanding soprano Emma Eames.

Among his recordings, perhaps the most famous are the two duets singing "A la luz de la Luna" with Caruso and Schipa, but in the General sub-forum, let's hear another duet, this time with his wife, Mozart's "Là ci darem la mano":


May 18th, 2012, 10:08 PM

That's very diffrent from other renditions I've heard so far. Certainly it's from other era of singing. I'm not sure how much I like it but one thing I can say for sure: gotta love how these oldest recordings make the accompaniament sound like... no, I can't find proper word. Just hear the main rhythmic motive played by strings at the beginning.

May 23rd, 2012, 08:46 PM
The movie many people think about after watching Die Tote Stadt, is of course "Vertigo", by Alfred Hitchcock, based in a novel by the French writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac: D'entre les morts.

It was inevitable that sooner or later, an stage director would dress Marietta like Kim Novak, and Paul like James Stewart. This happened in 1988, in Düsseldorf, and it was done on Günther Kramer's watch.

Now, we have this youtube with music from the opera, and images from the movie:


May 23rd, 2012, 09:33 PM
Wait, I've written some misguided crap here before the edit but the link is awesome anyway:


May 27th, 2012, 08:49 PM
Munich Siegfried's trailer (premiered today):


June 2nd, 2012, 08:43 PM
An almost forgotten tenor, singing what was perhaps his best role.

Galliano Masini - "La dolcissima effige".

Great rendition.


June 8th, 2012, 10:26 AM
Anoush is kind of the *national* opera in Armenia. It was written by Armen Tigranian, based on a work by the same name of the Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan. It was premiered in the 1930s at the Armenian National Opera Theater, where is performed regularly.

The plot is a simple one about love, violence and death in a triangle of a peasant girl, a shepherd and the girl's brother. There are plenty of traditional Armenian melodies and flavour.


June 9th, 2012, 09:47 PM
Elizabeth Frutal is singing Saariaho's Émilie this summer at at the Lincoln Center Festival.

We can hear Karita Mattila in the same role:


June 12th, 2012, 11:51 AM
La Fanciulla del West has never been the most popular Puccini's opera, and it's not recorded often, a far cry from the big numbers of recordings of La Bohème, Butterfly or Tosca.

However, in 1958 both EMI and Decca decided to record the opera, in stereo. The Decca version was released with an spectacular cast of Renata Tebaldi (Minnie), Mario del Monaco (Dick Johnson) and Cornell MacNeil (Jack Rance).

EMI has also some big plans. They wanted to cast Maria Callas, the young Franco Corelli and the veteran baritone Tito Gobbi, with the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro all Scala of Milan, under the direction of Lovro von Matacic.

However, in the end, only la Scala and von Matacic would be available, and while the replacement for Maria Callas was indeed very good (Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson), there were two unknows for Dick Johnson and Jack Rance: João Gibin and Andrea Mongelli.

... and, you know, it wasn't such a bad recording, after all!. I do think Gibin was a suitable Johnson for such a steely Minnie, let's hear a couple of youtubes:



June 13th, 2012, 09:27 AM

Teresa Saporiti was an Italian soprano, the creator of the role of Mozart's Donna Anna. She probably holds the record for the longest living soprano, having died at the mature age of 106.

Who knows?, perhaps Magda Olivero will beat that record. She is 102 now... She was still singing a few years ago!


June 16th, 2012, 11:53 AM
A couple of versions of "La Fauvette", from Grétry's Zemire et Azor, a typical showpiece for soprano coloratura, performed by two of the most recognized singers of this fach.

Amelita Galli-Curci, in 1927:


Lily Pons, in 1949:


June 18th, 2012, 12:00 PM
An interesting pairing in Long Beach Opera: Martinu's Les larmes du couteau,


and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias,


June 21st, 2012, 09:56 AM
Debut of Gregory Kunde in the role of Riccardo (Ballo):



June 21st, 2012, 08:57 PM
Il Trovatore, Le Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, June 2012. Stage director Dmitri Tcherniakov


June 25th, 2012, 10:39 PM
I would write that it's young di Stefano there but you'll surely hear that his voice is young in this recording, ver insteresting to hear him back in 40's:


June 29th, 2012, 08:52 AM
The countertenor Marco Lazzara singing Bellini:


June 30th, 2012, 01:02 AM
Vivaldi, Farnace RV711 (1738 version)


July 5th, 2012, 06:10 PM
Arguably, the best ever vocal rendition of "Ella giammai m'amo"


July 14th, 2012, 06:36 PM
This is the wonderful quintet "To leave, to break", from Vanessa, by Samuel Barber, in its more beautiful version:


July 16th, 2012, 09:30 AM
Karen Foster - Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
Production from 2012 in Oslo.


July 17th, 2012, 10:40 AM
The Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov wrote Layla and Majnun in 1908:


July 18th, 2012, 09:50 AM
Now that Kunde is going to sing Verdi's Otello, let's hear him singing recently Rossini's, with Dmitry Korchak and Ana Caterina Antonacci:


July 18th, 2012, 10:45 PM
Let's follow with Rossini, this time with an aria sung by Maria Callas, "Non si da follia maggiore", recorded in Rome, the year 1950:


July 20th, 2012, 10:45 PM
Angela Gheorghiu singing "L'amour est enfant de bohème", the first aria composed by Bizet to introduce the character of Carmen, and that was later replaced by the very famous "Habanera":


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
July 20th, 2012, 11:14 PM
Angela Gheorghiu singing "L'amour est enfant de bohème", the first aria composed by Bizet to introduce the character of Carmen, and that was later replaced by the very famous "Habanera":


Nice, but listening to this, one understands that Bizet had a point when he decided to replace it.

July 23rd, 2012, 12:05 AM
Well, those of you who follow Seattle Opera know we are about to start a summer run of "Turandot". This afternoon I saw a public library's lecture preview of "Turandot", can I say his name? I think I will. It's Norm Hollingshead's lecture series. He's a great guy and I've convinced Almaviva to support him in Opera Lively, in the hopes that Norm will become a member and advertise for us.

In the course of this lecture, we heard "Nessun Dorma" sung by no less than four tenors. I'm kind of on "Nessun Dorma" overload. Here is Rudolph Schock singing "Nessun Dorma" in German: HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLoSpTS-21w)

July 26th, 2012, 09:42 PM
Angela Meade singing recently Leonora (Trovatore) in Spain:


July 26th, 2012, 09:45 PM
Elīna Garanča singing "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix", for her new album, Romantique:


July 26th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Elīna Garanča singing "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix", for her new album, Romantique:


I quite simply cannot get over the utter cheesiness of that video. Whoever decided opera music videos was a good idea has some splainin to do.

July 28th, 2012, 08:40 AM
This was surely a Norma for the ages:


Unfortunately, there are no surviving recordings.

But we can at least hear the principals singing Bellini's masterpiece:

Lauri-Volpi / Meco all'altar di Venere (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLaXTF2J6PM)

Ponselle & Telva / Mira, o Norma (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf97ztkARXw)

Pinza / Ah! Del tebro al giogo indegno (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb0vd2yjIRo)

July 28th, 2012, 02:22 PM

I particularly enjoyed this exchange of arguments under the video:

Bringbackbelcanto: she isn't a classical singer... which is the point and singing with her is selling out. It's not being snobbish. It's giving respect to the few who study for decades and learn the languages and the techniques, over those who have a great PR team, a fake boob job and can't sing on pitch.

herby0518: get lost

July 29th, 2012, 09:36 AM
Bringbackbelcanto: she isn't a classical singer... which is the point and singing with her is selling out. It's not being snobbish. It's giving respect to the few who study for decades and learn the languages and the techniques, over those who have a great PR team, a fake boob job and can't sing on pitch.

herby0518: get lost

Well, it is Katherine Jenkins they are talking about, so I won't say I disagree with them.

July 29th, 2012, 09:17 PM
More Mozart in Hungarian (dangerous stuff):


July 30th, 2012, 04:07 AM
Let's follow with Rossini, this time with an aria sung by Maria Callas, "Non si da follia maggiore", recorded in Rome, the year 1950:


I had to listen in amazement to that improvised final run at 3:45 a few times, thank the opera gods we have some record of the great ones! :curtain_call:

July 30th, 2012, 07:50 AM
This is the reference of the recording (it's in Italian, but it's easy to understand, I think):

Quest´aria di Fiorilla fu registrata il 19 ottobre 1950 in collegamento diretto col teatro Eliseo di Roma, ove si svolgeva una parte della stagione lirica della RAI che comprese ben quattro rappresentazioni de´Il turco in Italia. Otro che dalla Callas, il cast era composto da Anna Maria Canali, Cesare Valletti, Mariano Stabile, Sesto Bruscantini e Giorgio Calabrese, con la concetezione e direzione d´orchestra (della RAI) di Gianandrea Gavazzeni.

La Callas canterà ancora quest´opera: tra el 31 agosto e l´8 settembre del 1954 per la registrazione discografica effettuata per la Columbia al teatro alla Scala, e poi ed infine dal 15 aprile 1955 per le ben nota cinque rappresentazioni scaligere: il cast vedrà la sostituzione della Canali con collega Jolanda Gardino e di Bruscantini con Nicola Rossi Lemeni, mentre Valletti sarà sostituito da Nicolai Gedda solo nella registrazione. L´unica testimonianza fotografica della recite all´Eliseo (da noi pubblicata in copertina) la si deve a Oscar Coltellaci di Roma, prima di tutto caro amico e po callassiano "del primo minuto" ( tutti gli altri infatti da considerarsi "della prima ora" ) e collezionista.

July 30th, 2012, 11:03 AM
Magda Olivero debut at Met happened only in 1975 ( and only thanks to Marilyn Horne ).
She was 65 at the time.


July 30th, 2012, 11:11 AM
Indeed. We have just talked about her debut a little bit at the Tosca in-depth thread... :)

July 30th, 2012, 11:21 AM
Indeed. We have just talked about her debut a little bit at the Tosca in-depth thread... :)
Must have miss it ( or forget).

July 30th, 2012, 11:23 AM
No problem, we can talk about it as many times as we want. It was just to let you know in case you wanted to take a look. :)

July 30th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Charles Simon Catel wrote in 1810 Les bayadères, based on Voltaire. We can hear the beautiful aria "Sans détourner les yeux", performed by Mireille Delunsch:


July 30th, 2012, 03:51 PM
An exquisite aria indeed.
First time I've heard something by Charles Simon Catel too.

July 31st, 2012, 03:07 PM
Der Geduldige Socrates (1721) is a comic opera in three acts by Georg Philipp Telemann. We can hear the quintet from the First Act, "Weg, weg, Müßiggang":


August 1st, 2012, 07:56 PM
Edita Gruberova - La Straniera:


August 3rd, 2012, 11:40 AM
A duodrama (spoken dialogue between two actors, with accompanying music) by Bohemian composer Jiří Antonín Benda, Ariadne auf Naxos, premiered in 1775:


August 4th, 2012, 08:53 AM
Maritana was the first, and more succesful, opera by William Vincent Wallace.

John McCormack, the legendary Irish tenor, sings below "There is a flower that bloometh", from Maritana, recorded in 1912:


August 5th, 2012, 03:15 PM
Inge Borkh sang several times the role of Verdi's Lady Macbeth on stage.

However, in this clip we can watch her singing the same role, but in the version of Ernest Bloch: