Shall I Go On?
Volume XVII - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Aida thru Mozart Meets Rodgers & Hart
CD 2: Norma thru Zauberflöte
Régine Crespin gets on and off the high C in "O patria mia" pretty presto in this Mexico City performance of Verdi's Aida on September 1, 1962.
An early recording (can it really date from 1954?) of Renata Scotto sailing the heights of "O patria mia" with the greatest of ease.
In the early 1990s, conductor Simone Fermani discovered from the original score of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia the composer's original designs for a strange kind of percussion instrument called the "sister" or "sistrum" and commissioned its reconstruction as it had disappeared after the first performance of the opera in Rome in 1816. Its re-introduction to the public occurred during performances at the L'Opéra Marseille in April of 1998 with the following cast:
Rosina: Patricia Spence
Il Conte d'Almaviva: Raul Gimenez
Figaro: Leo Nucci
Don Bartolo: Enzo Dara
Don Basilio: Luigi Roni
Berta: Joelle Michelini
Fiorello: Francois Castel
Sargeant: Peter Longauer
Chorus and Orchestra of L'Opéra de Marseille
(Beatrice Bestel, clavecin)
Simone Fermani, conductor
A Hollywood Bowl concert version of Carmen happened on July 11, 1946 conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Sung in English, you hear the final pages of the final duet with Ramon Vinay and Winifred Heidt, who dies very audibly.
Mary Lewis had a terrible childhood: child prostitution, working in
saloons, dance halls and worse, yet she self-trained and made it to New York to the Ziegfeld Follies and to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Has any other Ziegfeld Girl ever made it to the Met Opera Stage? Her recording of Dixie is justly famous - it's got the jazzy arrangement that was used when she would sing it at the Follies in a
revealing costume as she stood in front of a risqué tableaux (made up of
Ziegfeld Girls) of "Southern Womanhood".
Her marriage to Michael Bohnen, a great opera bass baritone, was a horror,
he is alleged to have beaten her.
06 DON GIOVANNI
Teresa Stich-Randall is stuck in her verismo gear during this essay of the role of Donna Anna on January 29, 1966. The rest of the cast included Cesare Siepi, Jan Peerce, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Geraint Evans, Nicola Ghiuselev with Joseph Rosenstock in the pit. The excerpt starts with Donna Anna's entrance.
07 DON GIOVANNI
From the same performance above, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf sings "Ah, chi mi dici mai". This might explain why she got the hell outta Dodge the next day and never returned.
08 DON GIOVANNI
From the same performance above, Teresa Stich-Randall belts out (with tons of liberal chest voice) "Or sai chi l'onore".
09 DON GIOVANNI
From the same performance mentioned above, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf gets through "Ah, fuggi traditor".
Tatiana Gedda (daughter of) sings the Czardas from Strauss' Die Fledermaus at this April 12, 1987 concert.
"Martha Mödl must have stepped in at the last moment as the printed program for the evening still showed Varnay as Brünhilde."
IMHO, Mödl also agreed to sing as long as she could re-write Wagner at the following moments:
Huun-Huur-Tu come from the former Soviet Autonomous Republic of Tuva, a sparsely settled region of grasslands, boreal forests, and mountain ridges that lies 2,500 miles east of Moscow Russia, situated at the center of Asia, north of Mongolia. This indigenous music highlights rare instruments and preserves what is arguably some of the world's oldest form of music making. The best known genre of Tuvan music, throat-singing comprises what one might call a lexicon of musical onomatopoeia in which natural sounds are mimetically transformed into musical representations.
13 JOHN THE REVELATOR
"Blind" Willie Johnson (1897-1945) was an American singer and guitarist. His music is distinguished by his powerful bass thumb-picking and gravelly false-bass voice, with occasional use of a tenor voice. Johnson was not actually born blind, and, although it is not known how he lost his sight, stepmother Angeline Johnson told Samuel Charters that when Willie was seven his father beat his stepmother after catching her going out with another man. The stepmother then picked up a handful of lye and threw it, not at Willie's father, but into the face of young Willie.
On this recording, he is accompanied by Willie B. Harris, or an as-yet-unidentified female singer.
14 LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Bassa Regina Resnik intones "Liaisons" from A Little Night Music.
Placido Domingo's American operatic debut with the Fort Worth Opera in 1962 also served as the operatic farewell of Lily Pons. Here is the end of the Mad Scene, beginning with the cadenza before "Spargi d'amaro pianto".
Joseph Calleja has a teeny tiny memory lapse during the final scene of Lucia on February 24, 2011.
01 MANON LESCAUT
Monika Kurth, wife of Giuseppe di Stefano, sings "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" from Manon Lescaut during this 1985 Berlin concert.
02 MANON LESCAUT
After a short interview in Italian,Magda Olivero, age 83, sings "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" from Manon Lescaut .
03 MARIA STUARDA
On May 2, 1967, Leyla Gencer (correctly pronouncer GENger, the second g like the g in "orange") and Shirley Verrett go at it in Florence.
04 NATIONAL ANTHEM
As it so often happens, the national anthem is butchered by Christina Aguilera at the 2011 Super Bowl.
05 NATIONAL ANTHEM
And now hear the Brazilian national anthem butchered. It's pandemic... And this time, it's blamed on drugs.
"I believe that the responsability of singing a National Anthem in front of lots and lots of people can make anyone nervous. Although it isn't a moment to forget or change verses, it can happen...
But here in Brazil we had a much worse situation in 2009, when Brazilian singer Vanusa sung the most bizarre version of our Anthem.
She [Vanusa] gained national attention in March 2009, when she sang the Brazilian National Anthem at the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo. Accompanied by a couple of musicians, she committed many lyrical mistakes during her performance, and ended up singing out of rhythm. Attenders of the show tried to prevent her from continuing by applauding before the end of the presentation, and she kept on singing until the presenter eventually thanked Vanusa for her performance, with her still singing on the background. She later stated that she was confused because of the medicine she took that morning for her labyrinthitis, and said she would hire a lawyer to have any suggestion that she was drunk removed from the internet.
A detail must be added: she was with the score (or at least the lyrics) in front of her!!!"
06 NIXON IN CHINA
God forbid we hear a 4-letter word during opera. We get a warning on February 12, 2001 during this performance of Adams' Nixon in China.
On May 20, 1990, the then unknown Natalie Dessayvivre
sings Barbarina in Marseille.
08 O SOLE MIO
Giuseppe di Stefano sings "O sole mio" at a 1985 Berlin concert mentioned above.
The daughter of Jussi Björling, Ann-Charlotte Björling, sings an operetta aria during a (Stockholm?) concert on December 16, 1985.
The nephew of Jussi Björling, Raymond Björling, sings an operetta ensemble piece with Ann-Charlotte during a (Stockholm?) concert on December 16, 1985.
A rather fearless performance of the "Esultate" by Frank Porreta during a piano/dress rehearsal on October 29, 2002. Not only does he take the last two phrases in one breath, he lingers on the high B and A.
The then unknown Harry Theyard sings Cassio to the Iago of Cornell MacNeill in New Orleans sometime in 1964.
The then unknown Jonas Kaufmann sings Cassio to the Iago of Lucio Gallo in Chicago on September 22, 2001.
Chris Merritt whines the C# in the second verse of "A te o cara" on March 30, 1991. His Elvira is Edita Gruberova.
Chris Merritt whines the Db in the finale of "Credeasi" on March 30, 1991. His Elvira is Edita Gruberova.
Chris Merritt really whines the Eb in the duet "Vieni fra queste braccia" on March 30, 1991. His Elvira is Edita Gruberova.
A young Marcello Giordani interpolates a high D at the end of "Possente amore" of Rigoletto in 1991.
Jane Powell, accompanied by José Iturbi, sings "Je veux vivre" from Roméo et Juliette in the 1946 movie "Holiday in Mexico".
Beverly Sills sings "Je veux vivre" from Roméo et Juliette in the original key of G.
Piotr Beczala has an accident during this performance of Roméo et Juliette on March 3, 2011.
Birgit Nilsson gives good scream on April 10, 1963 in Philadelphia during this finale of Tosca, not to mention tons of voice left for the high Bb.
Denes Gulyas serenades Diana Soviero with his high C during Act I of La traviata during this Genova performance of June 23, 1987.
Giacomo Aragall serenades Ileana Cotrubas without his high C during Act I of La traviata during this Munich of June 12, 1978. She ends the scene with a rare high Eb.
Saverio Durante interpolates a high Ab at the end of Act II, Scene 1 of La traviata in this (September or October) 1964 studio recording. His Alfredo is Angelo Mori.
Frieda Hempel interpolates 2 high Fs (instead of 4th line Fs) and a high A at the end (instead of a 2nd space A) in "Der hölle Rache" from Die Zauberflöte in this 1911 recording.
I'd bet money Melitta Heirn heard Hempel's recording within two years or so...
US CUSTOMERS ONLY