Shall I Go On?
Volume XXIII - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Adriana Lecouvreur thru Fille du régiment
CD 2: Lohengrin thru Turandot
Here are the salient facts: an ancient diva creating a far-cry-away-from a facsimile of the title role, a teenage mute dancer replacing the indisposed Maurizio (he had to assist his Adriana in exiting the stage, holding her elbow as she slowly shuffled offstage), scattered pieces of furniture amidst music stands, a honky out-of-tune piano accompaniment and an outdoor performance space. And the name of this group is the Monteverdi Opera Company.
Here is one of the winners of the May 20, 1970 Bulgarian Singing Competition. This 19-year-old sings "O patria mia" from Aida and her name is Sylvia Sass.
A bad career move: Helga Dernesch has to scream the climax of "Es gibt ein Reich" during this performance of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Jacqueline Callas sings her sister's rep by performing "Morro, ma prima in grazier" from Un ballo in maschera during this 1957 recital.
My theory about this is Beniamino Gigli, knowing there was only going to be one take during this 1938 recording session of La boheme, decided to interpolate spoken words numerous times - a "si" here, a "prego" there, a reminder to the waiter, a shout out to Marcello, an interpolated climax high note - over a dozen instances. His Mimi is Licia Albanese and even the Marcello, Afro Poli, throws in things that Puccini didn't write (but apparently should of). Tatiana Menotti's Musetta is come scritto.
Regina Resnik interpolates/throws in one of her last soprano high As during this 1961 Vienna performance of the final duet from Carmen with Dimitri Uzunov as Don José. Meanwhile, the chorus sings auf Deutsch under the baton of Herbert von Karajan.
And now, the infamously best recording (in Italian) of that same duet with the husband and wife act of Mr. and Mrs. Giovanni Zenatello. She (otherwise known as Maria Gay) gets stuck in the chest register and they both get carried away for the microphone.
08 CARMINA BURANA
Talk about luxury casting: Alfredo Kraus sings the high trapeze aria (high Ds) in this November 12, 1965 Chicago performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The conductor is Jean Fournet.
Santuzza was a good role for Elena Suliotis in Florence in 1971. There's lots of Greek garlic in her famous chest voice, especially the B naturals of "Io son dannata". Riccardo Muti is the conductor.
10 DOM PERIGNON
Apparently, "La luce langue" from Macbeth is the perfect background music for a Dom Perignon champagne ad. Nadja Michael sings it, obviously early in her career.
11 DON CARLO
Fedora Barbieri loved her chest voice maybe a bit too much. So much that, from time to time, she'd have to rewrite Verdi. Here is an excerpt from "O don fatale" during a December 5, 1958 Covent Garden Don Carlo. She changes the high Ab to an F (not exactly the best choice over an Ab major chord...)
Piero Cappuccilli makes the case to lower the tuning A440 to Verdi's A439.364 with Exhibit A of Silva's aria from Ernani.
Maybe you're gonna hear it here first: in the near future, Octavian, Cherubino, Arbace, Stéphano, Neocle, Orsini, Sesto, Orlovsky and the Composer will be sung by card-carrying males. Here's proof and the beginning of the end: it's Robert Anthony Gardner during a 2012 Opera North performance singing Siebel's aria, "Faites-lui mes aveux". Now do you believe me?
December 28, 1940: "...And when Marie sang of her fidelity to her regiment and her detestation of the shams of high life, it was with gallantry. This mood reached its logical climax as she waved the French colors at the end, to the tune of the Marseillaise, and brought the audience up standing."
Rita Gorr sonically blasts out her upper range during this Lohengrin finale at Bayreuth in 1959 under the baton of Lovro von Matacic with Sandor Konya as Lohengrin.
Lily Pons sings most of the Mad Scene during this January 1, 1940 broadcast (she drops about 3 phrases). But apparently the last note was not special and engineers supposedly spliced in an F from a previous performance. I'm not convinced...
17 NATIONAL ANTHEM
11-year-old pre-teenage temptress, Harper something, sings the National Anthem at an MLS Soccer Tournament.
From the same 1954 concert, Alfredo Kraus sings "Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci, an opera he thankfully never sang.
Lily Pons unlike any Lily Pons this listener has ever heard (in a good way). At the age of 76, she comes out of retirement (after 10 years) with her husband Andre Kostalenentz conducting at Philharmonic Hall, 1972 during a Promenade Concert of the New York Philharmonic. We also hear Robert Merrill reminiscence. I'm not sure what the first selection is but her second number I recognize as Rachmaninoff's "Zdes' khorosho" then Estrelita, "Salut a la France" from La fille du régiment and Délibes' "Les filles des Cadix".
Here are Gianni Raimondi and Anna Moffo singing the 2nd verse of "A te, o cara" from I puritani. It is a 1959 RAI Milan performance which took place on October 24, 1959.
Once again, here are Gianni Raimondi and Anna Moffo singing "Vieni fra queste braccia" from I puritani. It is a 1959 RAI Milan performance which took place on October 24, 1959.
Once again, here are Gianni Raimondi and Anna Moffo singing "Credeasi misera" from I puritani. It is a 1959 RAI Milan performance which took place on October 24, 1959.
Not to be outdone of course, here are Jose Sempere and Edita Gruberova during the 2nd verse of "A te, o cara" from I puritani in Vienna on February 15, 2000.
Again, here are Jose Sempere and Edita Gruberova singing "Vieni fra queste braccia" from I puritani in Vienna on February 15, 2000.
Again, here are Jose Sempere and Edita Gruberova singing "Credeasi misera" from I puritani in Vienna on February 15, 2000.
09 SEXY LADY
Susan Graham sings the song "Sexy Lady" during a Wigmore Hall recital on June 29, 2012.
Reminiscent of another failed "Vissi d'arte", here is a soprano failing her art.
A real doozy of an ending to "E lucevan le stelle" as sung by Hipolito Lazaro.
Adriana Guerrini sings a murderous re-enactment of murdering Scarpia in this Act III excerpt from Tosca. The conductor in this 1951 recording is Francesco Molinari-Pradelli and Cavaradossi is sung by Gianni Poggi.
One can always depend on Birgit Nilsson for high-octane screams in Tosca. This is from a Los Angeles performance on November 13, 1974.
In this April 6, 1957 broadcast, the Violetta of Renata Tebaldi didn't have any chairs in Act I for the party so she sang "Miei cari, venite..." Gastone is the historic comprimario Alessio de Paolis, Calvin Marsh is the Baron and Alfredo was sung by Giuseppe Campora.
Titsiana Fabricinii (yes, that infamous Lucia) is high-C-serenaded by Jorge Lopez-Yearnez during Act I of this April 9, 1990 Berlin La traviata.
Magdalena Hajossyova is serenaded by Wolfgang Millgramm auf Deutsch during Act I of this February 6, 1994 Karlsruhe performance. I like the distance of his voice - it sort of works better and I bet easier to sing. Signora Fabricinii's high Eb is not exact libera...
Alexia Cousin has all the notes during this November 2009 performance of "Sempre libber". All the notes except one.
What a surprise. Franco Bonisolli interpolates the high C at the end of "O mio rimorso" during this April 19, 1972 performance conducted by Richard Bonynge.
Robert Merrill interpolates the high Ab at the end of Act II, Scene 1 during the same performance as above.
At the end of the Act I finale of Il trovatore, Maria Callas and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi take the high Dbs. This January 27, 1951 Naples performance included Carlo Tagliabue as Di Luna.
Contrary to popular opinion, Astrid Varnay proves she had a high Db at the end of the Act I trio with Kurt Baum (so does he) and Leonard Warren. This May 25, 1948 performance took place in Mexico City.
Astrid Varnay still has that high Db for this November 11, 1952 New Orleans performance of Il trovatore. Her colleagues were Kurt Baum (with the Db as well) and Robert Weede.
Leonard Warren jumps the gun in the leadup to the Act II finale of Il trovatore after the soaring phrases of Astrid Varnay's Leonorafrom <. This Mexico City performance took place on May 25, 1948.
I prefer fat to slim Callas. Here she sings "D'amor sull'ali rosee" during this January 27, 1951 Naples Il trovatore, singing the ossia that is not heard very often.
On January 26, 1972, 80-year-old Giacomo Lauri-Volpi sings an amazing "Nessun dorma" from Turandot.
Marcello Giordani does a pretty good "Nessun dorma" during this November 2, 2012 performance of Turandot, but it's the next phrase that he might of forgotten to rehearse.
Turandot No. 0001, Rosa Raisa, settles it once and for all to John Gutman: this is how one pronounces the word "Turandot". But it suuuuure is hard to tell what she says...
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