Shall I Go On?
Volume XIII - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Aida thru Lucia
CD 2: Mad thru Vatican Rag
This seventh movement from Bach's Suite No. 2 in b minor, BWV 1067, is a showpiece for an agile flautist. The Swingle Singers make it sound easy.
02 BAGGA BAGGA BONA
From "Anna Russell's Guide To Concert Audiences", she sings this fast-clipped nonsense ditty.
03 BOY FROM IPANEMA
Sultry Evelyn Lear Lulu-ey sings "The Boy from Ipanema" (or is it Goy…)
04 CAMPBELL'S SOUTANE
Tenor Martyn Green recites the entire inventory of Campbell's Soup in the form of a patter song.
The final duet of Carmen seems to always lend itself to an outpouring of vocal emissions not written in the score. During this February 5, 1957 broadcastk Rise Stevens lets her radio know when she is stabbed by her Don Jose, Mario del Monaco.
From the same duet, this time Marilyn Horne lets go, knowing she has no more "singing" to do. The Don Jose is James McCracken. Why does he whisper "Eh bien! damnée!"?
07 DON CARLO
After retiring from the heldentenor repertoire, Chilean Ramon Vinay took on lower-voiced roles such as Scarpia and Don Basilio. This transition was the opposite of the one that took place at the very beginning of his career. It is said that he was about to sing Tonio in Pagliacci when the Canio got sick. Vinay took over on the spot the Canio and the rest is history. Here is his Grand Inquisitor from Don Carlo during a March 6, 1971 Cincinatti performance with Ezio Flagello as King Philip and James Levine on the podium.
08-09 DON CARLO
Montserrat Caballe demonstrates her phenomenal breath control at the end of "Tu che la vanita" from Don Carlo during this August 1, 1969 performance at the Arena di Verona. She receives a huge long ovation (the listener can then skip to the next rack). Caballe then literally has the last word at the end of the opera. Supposedly, Renata Tebaldi heard this broadcast and rang her up asking how she did it.
Before Giuseppe di Stefano, there was Florencio Constantino. He does a nice diminuendo on the high C at the end of Faust's aria "Salut demeure" during this April 21, 1910 recording (his Faust is from Fiesole).
After Florencio Constantino, there was Giuseppe di Stefano. He does a nice diminuendo on the high C at the end of Faust's aria "Salut demeure" during this December 31, 1949 broadcast (his Faust is from Francia).
Here's an easy high C# from Alfredo Kraus at the end of the aria "Una vergine, un angel di Dio" from La favorita. This comes from a radio concert dating from April 1, 1968 with Elena Suliotis, Arturo Basile conducting.
13 GIANNI SCHICCHI
In 1956, there was a Canadian English-language production of Gianni Schicchi starring Ezio Flagello as Schicchi. The Rinuccio was non other than tenor leggiero Jon Vickers. Notice the huge double consonant on the last word of his aria.
14 GIANNI SCHICCHI
Definitely a deluded diva, the Korean sensation named "Wing" tries unsuccessfully to sing correct I-talian in "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi.
12 GIANNI SCHICCHI
Returning to that Canadian performance Jon Vickers and Mary Morrison are heard in the brief duet at the end of Gianni Schicchi
During a special birthday recital, Olive Middleton briefly speaks to her living room audience; then we hear the final pages of "Suicidio!" from La gioconda. Her release at the end of the aria reveals her passion.
17 GUGLIELMO TELL
During this April 20, 1982 Hamburg performance of Guglielmo Tell, tenor Heinz Kruse cruises the heights during his off-stage serenade.
18 GUGLIELMO TELL
This performance also marked another onstage scandal by tenor Franco Bonisolli. Minutes into this ensemble (with Giuseppe Taddei as Tell), he walks offstage. Here's a broken-English translation of what went on:
"It gave really some trouble. Bonisolli left stage during the duet with Tell after missing some notes, Taddei finished the duet as a solo and left them two with the conductor. After a minutes the leader of the orchestra said "there will be an interval"....and then it took some more minutes when the second house director Rolf Mares came on stage telling, that Mr. Bonisooli (as he pronounced him) suffered from the dry air on stage and we should welcome him again friendly…
After some NOt very friendly reactions from the audience "He should go home" and so on, the performance started again with a bis of the duet."
19 GUGLIELMO TELL
Franco Bonisoli later redeems himself during his rousing "Guerriam!" scene.
20 HANSEL AND GRETEL
Anna Russell, as the Witch in the animated movie of Hansel and Gretel, decides to throw another operatic ride quote: Die Walkyrien Ritt.
Joshua Rifkin rearranges the Beatles hit "Help!" as a baroque aria and hires tenor Harold Brienes to sing it.
Cheryl Lee Aaron attempts "O hd I Jubal's lyre" from Handel's Joshua. If only she had the lyre...
Is it me, or do I not hear Maria Callas warming up behind the curtain before her opening scene in Lucia di Lammermoor on September 29, 1955 in Berlin?
There were two "open" aspects about the NYCO performance of Lucia di Lammermoor on Octobber 9, 1969: it was the opening night of their new production (directed by Tito Capobianco) and they opened all the cuts. Here is Beverly Sills in the finale of "Quando rapito in estasi" and she receives a prolonged ovation.
From that same NYCO performance, Sills and tenor Michele Molese sing the normally-eased cadenza during the love duet (albeit switched so that Sills takes the high Eb). Molese gets in an interpolated high Bb near the very end.
Returning back to what is known by all as the "Berlin Lucia", Maestro Herbert von Karajan decides to encore the sextet. The cast included Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Rolando Panerai, Giuseppe Modesti, Giuseppe Zampieri and Luisa Villa. That's a lotta singin' for the big dads.
Beverly Sills rips through the finale of the Mad Scene during that NYCO performance mentioned above.
Anna Russell performs her own Mad Scene on the LP "Anna Russell Sings Again?".
02 MADAMA BUTTERFLY
A disastrous yet quiet performance of the Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly. Either the orchestra thought they were being conducted in 2 or 4 or 1, or the pizzicatoing strings got lost way too easily and couldn't recover.
Her bellowing and blasting days over, Helen Traubel canons "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast" from The Mikado along with her buddy Groucho Marx.
After what appears to be lip-synching her piping high notes, Yma Sumac doesn't appreciate getting laughed at after her repeated warnings. She wanted to sing the song "Montana" but loses her patience and walks offstage during this appearance in Germany.
Talk about word painting… Elena Suliotis smears her emotion all over these pages from Nabucco during this Covent Garden performance of April Fool's Day, 1972. The tenor is Ermanno Mauro
Here are interpretations of the very brief going-mad-scene during the final page of Massenet's La Navarraise. The first is Lucia Popp (joined by Alain Vanzo and Gérard Souzay) and Marilyn Horne (joined by Placido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes.
07 OPERA SINGER
From the operetta Les Poupes de Paris (no, that doesn't mean the poop of Paris; it means the marionettes of Paris), we hear Edie Adams sing the song called "The Opera Singer".
There have been two tenors in the somewhat recent past who made the wrong decision to essay the role of Otello. The first is Giuseppe di Stefano who is heard singing the "Esultate!" in this (of all places) Pasadena "general rehearsal" in 1966. Also in the cast were Marcella Pobbe and Tito Gobbi.
The second ill-advised tenor was 75-year-old Carlo Bergonzi. Domingo, Pavarotti and Carreras were in the Carnegie Hall audience in May of 2000 to support their colleague but he only lasted through the second act, citing air conditioning affected his singing. Domingo remained in the audience for Acts 3 and 4 to support Bergonzi's replacement, Antonio Barasorda. Here is "Niun mi tema" from a rehearsal days before the performance.
The young baritone George Tozzi sings the Prologue from Pagliacci during a radio performance. He later made a range change as well as his first name.
The lines at the very end of Pagliacci are written to be stated by Tonio but more often than not, the Canio has it his way. In this excerpt from a February 18, 1984 Frankfurt performance with tenor William Cochran and soprano Paula Page, baritone Timothy Noble not only says the line but adds this macabre laugh.
Alain Vanzo has the intestinal fortitude to sing the high C# in head voice (or falsetto?) in "A te o car" during this April 21, 1964 concert. Purists think this is the way it should be done; most of us don't.
Here's how those "most of us" like to hear it, especially when it's sung by dramatic tenor Mario Filippeschi in this live performance in Trieste in February of 1957.
Virginia Zeani joins Mario Filippeschi in the duet "Vieni far quest brachia" from the same performance, with high Ebs and all
Franco Bonisolli interpolates a high D at the end of this aria from Rigoletto during this studio recording.
16 SAGE MIR VOGEL
Joan Sutherland makes, what the announcer warns us as, a "booboo" (i.e., memory lapse) during this 1977 Toronto recital.
17 TEARS OF AN ANGEL
An "Amazing young opera singer" sings a piece written for her called "Tears of an Angel".
Elinor Ross REALLY goes at it when she murders her Scarpia (Anselmo Colzani) during this December 12, 1970 broadcast.
It's a good thing Leontyne Price was on top of things when her Inez, Laurence Dutoit, got a bit off track during this July 31, 1962 Salzburg performance of Il trovatore, conducted by Herbert von Karajan.
From the same evening, hear Franco Corelli pull his sword just before "Di quell pira" and then later, the brass comes onstage for a rousing finale.
Franco Bonisolli holds the high C at the end of "Di quell pira" till the end of the postlude during this February 23, 1975 performance in Nice. Ya gotta luv 'im.
Four totally different artists appeared in this April 9, 1977 broadcast: Colorful Renata Scotto, cackley Shirley Verrett, unsubtle James McCracken and artistically right-doer Louis Quilico.
Paul Potts won the 2007 "Britain's Got Talent" reality show with his singing most of "Nessun dorma from Turandot. What a career he's had...
24 VATICAN RAG
Tom Lehrer's best known spoof, "The Vatican Rag".
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