Shall I Go On?
Volume XI - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Aida thru Creative Method
CD 2: Enchantress thru Turandot
During this broadcast of January 22, 1966, Franco Corelli closes "Celeste Aida" with a perfectly executed diminuendo on a high Bb.
Not to be outdone by Callas or Galvany, Aprile Milo interpolates a high Eb at the end of the Triumphal Scene in Aida at The Arena di Verona.
This Hans Neufenfels production of Aida in Frankfurt is not appreciated by the audience. Cries of "Shit! Redneck! Goddamn rascality! You Philistines, can't you wait and see? This is totally ridiculous!" can be heard (auf Deutsch natürlich).
04 A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Catherine Zeta-Jones performs "Send In The Clowns" at the 2010 Tony Awards with a cold (having attended the Queen's Birthday in England the day before). Not since Linda Blair has there been such bobble-head head turning. Yes, the piece was written for a singer who didn't have much voice, but this casting is taking it too far. CZ-J won the Tony for Best Actress.
05 BATTLE HYMN
In celebration of 2010's July 4th, Renee Fleming delivers her usual passionate rendering during "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".
06 CA' THE YOWES
Mary Garden is interviewed via telephone for a Chicago radio station in 1943 and sings a lovely Gaelic fold song, revealing the great estate of her voice.
Finally, a performance of "Glitter And Be Gay" from Bernstein's Candide that does justice to the piece, revealing the true humor of it all. Madeline Kahn sings (mostly) all of the notes as do most card-carrying chirpers in this 1986 concert version, but goes over the top, literally and figuratively.
08 CAR COMMERCIAL
The people at Honda commissioned this masterwork for a television commercial.
During this Italian language January 14, 1968 Florence performancee of Carmen, Franco Corelli drives the audience mad; they even demand unsuccessfully that he sing it in Franchese.
Voca-violin soprano Edith Helena bows the Intermezzo from Cavalleria in this 1917 recording.
Benjamin Luxon sings a beautiful "Ave Maria" set to the tune of the Intermezzo from Cavalleria.
12 CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY
From a small town cable TV show: the host is a local church organist/music teacher, seated at the upright ivories. It begins with a teen performing a nursery rhyme. The teacher then announces that the featured singer couldn't make it and will be replaced by John Decker. He tries to sing the hymn "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today".
13 COME TO THE FAIR
You're invited to come to a family-affair fair: The 12-year-old Julie Andrews sings a duet with her step-father Ted, accompanied by her mother, Barbara.
A gut wrenching aria, "To This We've Come" from Menotti's The Consul, sung by Virginia Zeani, a singer who squeezes every drop of Rumanian blood out of this aria.
Ezio Pinza ends this somewhat boring song with a low D.
Conductor Charles Mackerras allowed heavy ornamentation for this Aix-en-Provence Festival production of Cosi fan tutte which threw more than one singer off. Valerie Masterson makes a wrong turn during "Come scoglio" and later in the same performance, Norma Burrowes recovers after a small mishap.
17 CREATIVE METHOD
Though this is a bit lengthy for the "Shall I Go On?" series (28 minutes), it's interesting to hear what's going on in Richard Tucker's head when he is in creation mode during this radio interview.
"Art Is Calling For Me" ("I want to be a prima donna donna donna) as sung by Kiri Te Kanawa.
02 HOW LITTLE WE KNOW
When producers discovered that Lauren Bacall did "have not" an appropriate singing voice for the movie "To Have And Have Not", they walked down the hall and found a young 16-year-old to dub her voice: Andy Williams.
03 HUMAN TRUMPET
No brass is involved in this recording; it's Denise Reis providing vocal embrasure.
04 I AM THE WAY
Not many opera singers wrote operas. One is Jerome Hines who wrote a biblical epique entitled "I Am The WaY". Here is the 23rd Psalm as sung by Joseph Shore.
Joseph Calleja ends this excerpt from I Lombardi with a super-squeezed pianissimo.
Renata Scotto has the last word and note in this live sextet from Lucia. The other cast members are Carlo Bergonzi, Mario Zanasi and Plinio Clabassi.
Rolando Villazon needs about 9 seconds to recover and continue during this 2009 performance of Lucia.
The story goes: "Madam Callas did not walk out !
She was engaged to sing Norma and give a gala performance in front of the Italian President Gronchiand various other VIPs, the performance was also to be broadcast across Italy.
The theatre was not heated during rehearsals, the cast's request for some heating fell on deaf ears. Fedora Barbieri caught influenza and was replaced by her cover, Miriam Pirazzini. The morning before the gala performance, Callas woke to find she had no voice. The theatre management were informed and eventually the found a doctor.
The theatre had not employed an understudy or cover in the belief that under no circumstances would Callas dare to cancel such a prestigious performance. Callas forced herself and her voice through the first act of Norma and received lukewarm applause and some negative remarks from the audience.
On reaching her dressing room, Callas found she could hardly speak let alone sing.The management suggested Callas could just walk though her part, declaiming the lines rather than sing them.
Finally after an hour's delay to the second act; it was announced over a loudspeaker to the audience that the performance could not continue due to reasons absolutely beyond the control of the management.
There followed a near riot against Madam Callas.
Her husband had to carry her out of the theatre via an under ground passage to avoid a mob which had gathered at the stage door. Her hotel was besieged. She was denounced in the Italian parliament for her gross insult to the president, even though his wife had telephoned Callas to say they had understood her indisposition and wished her well.
The prefect of Rome granted an order banning Callas from the Opera House and singing any remaining performances on the grounds of public order.
European newspapers had a field day, dragging up and exaggerating any scrap of supposedly scandalous information they could find against Callas, even the Pathe newsreels shown in UK cinema's at that time faked a film report claiming Madam Callas was perfectly fit and healthy. They used film of the rehearsals for her 1955 recording of Norma saying it was for the Rome performances in 1958 and that she looked perfectly fine to them.
Callas sued for her lost salary due to the banning order, the theatre counter-sued for lost of income of $13,000.
It took 14 years for the Italian courts to rule in Callas' favour and dismiss the counter claim by the theatre, she was awarded her fees and all costs.
Here is the announcement that La Callas has cancelled the rest of the January 2, 1958 performance of Norma.
Andrei Popov makes it all sound easy in this high-lying excerpt from Shostakovitch's The Nose during this March 13, 2010 broadcast.
Magda Olivero reaches the finish line of 100 years of age. The celebration begins and ends with excerpts from her fabled Adrianna. She doesn't sing at this event but tells the story that Giuseppe di Stefano had only revealed to her recently (because of his self-knowing imminent passing?). Decades prior, di Stefano was visiting Callas and found her sitting on a couch with her head in her hands in a fit of despair as to how to sing a certain phrase. She said to him: there's only one person that could help me with this: Magda Olivero!".
Allan Carr's reputation for hosting expensive and lavish parties and creating spectacular production numbers led the producers of the 61st Annual Academy Awards to hire him to create the show based on his promise that he would turn it around from the dry, dull show it had been in previous years. Promising "the antithesis of tacky" it turned out to be a disaster culminating in the infamous pairing of Snow White (played by Eileen Bowman) and Rob Lowe singing "Proud Mary".
The telecast also featured a production number featuring what was introduced as "the youth of Hollywood", with all the participants in their 20s or early 30s. The show became a laughing-stock and has gone down in history as one of the worst moments in awards show and television history.
Adding to the misery, The Walt Disney Company sued for illegal use of Snow White's image. Carr's reputation in Hollywood never fully recovered, although his decision to change the award announcement from "And the winner is..." to "And the Oscar goes to..." has become the norm, not just for the Oscars, but for awards shows in general. Carr also first hired comedian Bruce Vilanch as head comedy writer of the show, a job he still holds.
During a 1948 Philadelphia performance of Otello, tenor Giovanni Martinelli makes a bit of it up during the "Si pel ciel" duet with baritone Cesare Bardelli.
Sirach van Bodegraven adroitly sings "Niun mi tema" from Otello.
Calvin Marsh - not a lead role artist - doesn't have what the Prologue from Pagliacci takes.
An inebriated Ruben Amoretti tries to get through Beppe's aria during a perforrmance of Pagliacci.
During a 1971 Naples Puritani, Nicolai Gedda shows off his incredible high C#.
Tenor Umberto Grilli wreaks havoc on his colleagues, the audience and Verdi during this performance of the quartet from Rigoletto.
Soprano Karan Armstrong finds out what the audience thinks near the end of her final scene in a 1982 Berlin performance of Salome. One hears (auf Deutsch) cries of "Absolutely unacceptable! Very true! Stop the singing! STOP THE SINGING!".
This is from one of those dueling languages performances. The Met was on tour in Detroit doing Samson in French, but the Dalila, Giulietta Simionato sang in Italian. Here is her aria "Il mio cuore si apre alla tua voce" (or something like that) with Jon Vickers on May 28, 1965.
20 TOAST OF NEW ORLEANS
Giorgio Longdo, "The Canadian Mario Lanza" croons "Be My Love" during a television interview.
This unknown tenor from a bygone era decides to record "E lucevn le stelle" from Tosca. There was only one problem: he misread the score and/or learned it incorrectly and sang the first two phrases a fourth up. His B naturals sound OK but Puccini wrote F#s.
Nicola Martinucci is forced to transpose a phrase or two down an octave during this Act III excerpt from a Naples performance of Tosca.
Roberto Alagna doesn't quite make it to the interpolated high C at the end of his aria in Act II from Traviata.
John Charles Thomas shows off his unique memory ability, not to mention improvisational talent during this December 11, 1937 broadcast.
Sirach van Bodegraven sings/chokes/regurgitates/wobbles at "Ah si ben mio" from Trovatore while accompanying himself on a lovely electronic keyboard.
During one of those god-awful reality talent shows, Darius Campbell sings "Nessun dorma" from Turandot transposed down just a smidge (a major third).
"Izzy", nude from the waist up, nipple rings and a stiff drink in hand, intones "Nessun dorma" with notes all over the place. His mentor, a Korean named Wenarto, provides the on camera women's chorus. At the end, Izzy promises he can sing it better. I didn't wait around...
Franco Bonisolli can't seem to turn off his high C at the climax at the Riddle Scene from Turandot. He then supposedly tells the audience that his phrasing is what "Maestro Puccini" sanctioned.
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