Shall I Go On?
Volume IX - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Aida thru Manon Lescaut
CD 2: Palindrom Song thru Zauberflöte
A recurring artist of the "Shall I Go On?" series is tenor robusto (that's pronounced ro-BUST-o, as in bust a cord) Sirach van Bodegrav. His intonation of "Celeste Aida" is only helped by his ability to accompany himself on an electric piano.
The aria "O patria mia" has been causing trouble for numerous Aidas, past and present. You will hear the same treacherous excerpt - the approach to that high C and to the end of the aria. First is
-------Zinka Milanov visits top not briefly, but makes up for it in spades with her signature nuance of high pianissimo.
-------Renata Tebaldi hands onto it for a bit in this 1959 Paris performance.
-------Cheryl Studer goes into a sort of whistle stopn enabling her to turn it into a long phrase.
-------Violetta Urmana has a bad afternoon, in spite of good evenings. Hei Hu shows war and tear from too many trips to Egypt.
Michael Devlin, speaking the role of the Major-domo, has a lapse of memory on February 8, 2010.
Butt-ugly voiced Manuela Trasobares gives it her all in Ulrica's aria from Un ballo in maschera.
Deanna Durbin shows versatility in Figaro's "Largo al factotum" from Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Placido Domingo and Pacido Domingo sing the Act I duet between Figaro and Almaviva from Il barbiere di Siviglia.
07 BAROQUE ARIA
A hilarious spoof on the baroque aria. RTenor Richard Croft sings "And Music Shall Untune The Sky", complete with trumpet obligato.
08 BATTLE HYMN
No, not the familiar "of the Republic" but "of the Accompanist", performed by Roger Vignoles, humble pianist to the stars.
Maybe Nicolai Gedda thought it wouldn't be a good idea to hold the high note, lest he get a place on Volume IX of "Shall I Go On?".
Who said opera isn't a spectator sport? This tenor, after his fine high C, receives major approval from his 1976 Venice audience.
The original "come scritto" maestro was Arturo Toscanini. He did, however, "fix" Signor Verdi and Puccini from time to time. In his studio recording of La boheme, he felt that Marcello'ssend-off line to Mimi ("Or rincasate... Mim“... per caritˆ, non fate scene qua!") was a bit harsh. So he took it upon himself to write a different text. As best as one can tell, he thought Marcello should say: "Tornate a casa, ed io gli parlero'... poi tutto vi diro."
The Muppets perform the Habanera frm Carmen.
While we're at it, bass Samuel Ramey belts his Toreador Song on another Muppet Show.
Days apart, Roberto Alagna demonstrates his ability to convincingly sing the end of the Flower Song from Carmen.
"Voi lo sapete" as sung by Manuela Trasobares.
On February 25, 2010, Teatro Real in Madrid almost didn't produce Andrea Chenier. Here's an account:
"Okay, here is my understanding of what happened after both listening to the broadcast and reading some of the chatter at one of the Spain opera
forums. Just after Gerard's (Marco Vratogna) first aria, some of the people
in the upper rings started yelling "quitad la
amplificacion!" ("get rid of the amplification!") and then "van a matar la
opera!" ("you're going to kill opera!"), booing and shouting "verguenza"
("Shame!") because he seemed to be mic'd and there was some sort of loud
feedback up there---he would turn around and it would sound the same as if
he was facing forward, etc, some sound coming from the left and some from
the right and it was reverberating. So they were pissed. Fiorenza Cedolins
(Maddalena) then came on in the first scene and that's when they really
started getting angry because she seemed to be mic'd, too.
They didn't stop booing, and then the conductor (Victor Pablo Perez) paused the performance and
the curtain came down. Then Cedolins herself came out and said in broken
Spanish "excuse me, we can keep going or if you'd like, we can all go home,"
and then she chatted with the conductor about what to do. There was a pause
for a few minutes, the radio host tried to kill time with the synopsis of
the first act (which he had already given...) while they tried to figure out
what was going on.
So then someone came on stage and apologized for the "technical
difficulties," said that they were going to start the performance from the
beginning, and that things were straightened out. And the performance went
on. Later, though, Marcelo Alvarez, who had already been having a rough
time in the production, pulled out after the second act and was replaced,
prompting another announcement. Quite a night at the Teatro Real..."
Make sure you listen to the very end of this excerpt from the haunting ending of Poulence's Dialogues Des Carmelites and hear something hit the straw. Paul Daniel conducts this ENO studio recording. Note to producer: that blade is either really really sharp or weighs a couple of grams.
18 DON CARLO
Grace Bumbry almost imitates Zara Doulhkanova at the end of a Paris "O don fatale" from Don Carlo. Then her personal mistress of ceremony, Queen Latiffa (she's really up on opera, you know) gives her a compliment, which she learned just for the occasion. Unfortunately, we didn't hear Ms. Melzia-Bumbry sing anything close to bravura that evening.
Erma Schluter decides to adjust the Strauss score of Elektra in this October 26, 1947 performance.
Renata Tebaldi REALLY gives it to Anselmo Colzani at the end of Act II during this Fanciulla broadcast of March 14, 1970.
21 KATHERINE JENKINS
Katherine Jenkins is interviewed about her operatic mentoring skills for pop singers. We hear Dannhy sing the Duke as an example of one of her accomplishments, with her "hands around his waist".
Al Jolson does the Act III prelude from Wagner's Lohengrin (plus a bit from the Act III postlude from Traviata ?).
23 MANON LESCAUT
As peerless as Renata Tebaldi was, sometimes even she ran into an operatic bump in the road. Here's one of those encounters during her performance of "In quelle trine morbide" in South America on August 20, 1953. .
01 PALINDROME SONG
Billed as "Weird Al Yankovic Bob", he sings, ala Bob Dylan, a lyric consisting of palindromes. This should keep you busy for a while...
Decades before Placido Domingo's Boccanegra, there was Maggie Teyte's Genevieve, Arkel, Pelléas, Golaud, Yniold, Shepherd and Mélisande. She bits from almost all of the roles in Pelléas et Mélisande for this curious pastiche.
On December 12, 2009, Katia Ricciarelli trepidatiously gets through "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess.
In this excerpt from a studio recording of "A te o cara" from I Puritani, American tenor Eugene Conley demonstrates his easy high C#.
Maria Remola interpolates a high G# above high C at the end of "Caro nome" because she can (her needle seems to get a little stuck with the staccati Bs and C#s).
In what must be one of the top 3 best selections of the "Shall I Go On?" series, soprano Sue Hassel gives Dame Joan a run for her money in the cabaletta of "Bel raggio lusinghier" from Semiramide. The final high E-something-or-other at the end is a perfect way to stop this coloraturatic calamity.
07 SUOR ANGELICA
If you think it's impossible to sing Puccini without portamenti, then listen to Mara Zampieri buzz0saw her way through "Senza mamma" from Suor Angelica.
08 THERE ARE FAIRIES
Beatrice Lillie solemnly parody the flowery performing style of earlier decades
A sleazy jazzy sloppy "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca.
In honr of (?) Grace Bumbry (?), Angela Gheorghiu sang "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca at the December 28, 2009 Kennedy Center Awqrds. She flew over from Romania jsut to sing for her friend. That probably explains her brief lapse into her native Romanian tongue on the last syllable of the last word.
Deborah Voigt gets into some trouble during this September 26, 2009 Chicago Tosca.
That doozy of a Duse, Jeanette Macdonald and Allan Jones perform the final scene ofTosca in this 1936 film.
Fearless Alexandrina Pendatchanska sings Violetta's big Act I finale from La traviata. Apparently she forgot she was only 17.
It was a perfect storm: the conductor had never led Traviata before and the soprano (for reasons known only to them) weren't present at all the rehearsals. Leonard Slatkin neglected to return to a tempo, Angela Gheorghiu came in with his wrong beat but Thomas Hampson didn't during this prima performance on March 29, 2010.
Natalia de Andrade comes out retirement again to sing her rendition of "Di tale amor from Il trovatore. Nuff said.
It was a match made in heaven: Pop star Michael Bolton teams up with Katia Ricciarelli to perform a rather pathetic crossover moment while singing "Nessun dorma" from Turandot. A downward half-step transposition was in order...
We return to "Britain's Got Talent" which proves its ability to pick a REAL talent. This contestant, hotel waiter Greg Pritchard, announces in a medium voice that he's going to sing "Nessun dorma". What comes out of his mouth is totally unexpected: he transposes up an octave. What comes out of the judges' mouths is even more astounding.
18 TV SHOW
Giorgio Longdo (yes, that's his last name) sings excerpts from his "New TV Show. He is one of many who have graduated from the Bert Lahr School of Vocal Manglement. He has definitely earned the nickname of "Canada's Mario Lanza".
Mozart would be so proud that soprano Dollie De Luxe (yes, that's right) interpolated the Queen of the Night's rage aria into the Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". Maybe this combo is appropriate for the performers...
US CUSTOMERS ONLY