Shall I Go On?
Volume X - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Adelson e Salvini thru Mongolian Throat Singing
CD 2: My Fair Lady thru Zauberflöte
01 ADELSON E SALVINI
Here's proof the apple doesn't fall far from the tree: an excerpt from the world premiere performance of Bellini's Adelson e Salvini sung by Stefan Zucker's mother, Rosina Wolf. Is it genetics or did she study with her son?
International bleating star Salvatore Licitra obliviously bleats "Celeste Aida" during a broadcast from April 3, 2010.
Marisa Galvany starts early and ends a little droopy a high Eb at the end of this Aida Triumphal Scene in Philadelphia on January 11, 1973.
With her best Aidas well behind her, Zinka Milanov finds it necessary to transpose down a half step the aria "O patria mia" on December 31, 1955. It happens at the words "io TREmo": instead of moving upward to E natural for the syllable "tre-", she remains on the d#.
Blanche Thebom, to paraphrase Zinka, sings every note with a different color in this excerpt from the Judgement Scene from Aida on January 24, 1953.
06 AMAZING GRACE
A guest at a funeral offers his condolence by singing "Amazing Grace". When he realizes he's forgotten all but a handful of the words, he asks the congregation to join in. They don't.
Kathleen Kim sounds woefully unprepared (long pauses for breaths, no trill and squeezed sustained high notes) to sing Zerbinetta in this broadcast from February 20, 2010. And when, pray tell, will an Ariadne audience ever learn when the aria is over?
This performance prompted one innocent internet opera mailing list subscriber to ask if Sam Ramey made his voice sound old on purpose for the role of Leone in this broadcast of March 10, 2010.
09 AVE MARIA
The headline: "Opera disaster: Katia Ricciarelli tries to raise funding by singing "Ave Maria". A host for the event, Francesco Zingariello joins in to give her a break. This took place at the Teatro-comunale di Cariati on December 28, 2009.
Lili Pondman screeches her version of Oscar's aria "Volta la terrea" from Un ballo in maschera with what must be other members of this unique family improvising on cello, clarinet and piano.
So much to tell about this excerpt from "America's Got Talent", the reality TV show: NYC "store clerk" named John is first interviewed on his aspirations for a singing career. He has long shoulder- length black hair, is somewhat handsome and a bit soft-spoken. A transformation then takes place when he walks out onstage, under the name of Prince Poppycock, for his first audition. Just imagine the costume/makeup/wig from the movie "Amadeus" on steroids times 409. His choice of aria is the "Largo al factotum" from Il barbiere di Siviglia, singing two measures here, two measures there, those two measures and then that measure; in other words, a demolition of the aria. But the shock doesn't stop: the three judges, Howie Mandell, Sharon Osborne and Pierce Morgan - opera geniuses that they are - think he's the best thing since sliced bread. Here's one more nail in the coffin of singing.
12 BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
A rather rousing rendition of this patriotic song, sung by Edwin Steffe, great-grandson of the composer of the song.
Steffe concertized for about a quarter-century for the Community Concert Series, did a good amount of radio work in the 1940s, appeared on Broadway and TV later on both as a singer and straight actor (and made a small fortune doing commercials with Charmin's Mr. Whipple!).
This live performance was taken from a concert he gave in Melbourne, in a stadium that supposedly had about 12,000 people in it at the time.
Piotr Beczala has a momentary memory mishap in the final pages of Act III during this La boheme broadcast of February 27, 2010. Anna Netrebko continues and he eventually catches on.
"My Geisha" is a movie about the filming of a movie of an opera that takes place in Japan, sung in Italian and Japanese with English dialogue. The tenor is Barry Morell and the soprano is Michiku Sunahara.
A filthy/sloppy/chihuahua-y version of the Gypsy Song from Carmen as sung by Rosa Ponselle during a 1938 screen test. Notice her soprano alterations of the score during the 2nd (final) verse.
16 CARNAVAL DE VENISE
Mado Robin, with her single blessing of the ability to sing high notes only Martians can hear, sings "Carnaval de Venise". She shows off her low range by climaxing with a high B above high C.
17 COLORATURA VARIATIONS
Maria Remola caps her recording of the well-known "Twinkle twinkle little star" variations with a high B above high C.
18 DON CARLO
From a post-Olive-Middleton La Puma Opera Workshop, we hear first an excerpt from an ensemble, then part of a riveting "O don fatale" from Don Carlo. But one of the members of the company stops the show altogether and asks laughers to leave.
19 HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Hear Stravinsky's arrangement of "Happy Birthday", full of octave and isntrumental displacements. This arrangement was made before any of the copyright infringement hullabaloo started...
Did Rachelle Gilmore set a Met record with her high Ab above high C when she interpolated it during this performance on December 26, 2009 (her second Met appearance)?
21 I'M GOIN' AWAY SMILIN'
Yoko "Ono Noto" Ono shared her composition with the audience of "The View", introduced by panelist Whoopi Goldberg. Her accompanist/son Sean inherited his father's ability, that's for sure.
Sirach van Bodegraven and his electronic piano deliver a hair-raising excerpt from Lohengrin.
The Pondman Family renders asunder the trio from I Lombardi.
24 MONGOLIAN THROAT SINGING
The technique of throat singing may be easy to write about- but it is almost impossible to actually try to perform. One must bend (or fold) the tongue, and tap skilled sounds with the tongue point and whisper through the front teeth. At the same time, the converged melody is made by making the lips conical. As the basic tune resonates, a melodic buzzing sound also reverberates.
01 MY FAIR LADY
A screan test to see if Audrey Hepburn could pull it off.
Apparently, the producers of the film "My Fair Lady" said to her "Show us." She did. Then Marni Nixon was hired to sing for her. Freddy is played by Jeremy Brett.
Thomas Hampson performs "Voi che sapete" from Le nozze di Figaro during a birthday tribute for Frederica von Stade.
03 O SOLE MIO
The Three Cantors - cantor Leslie Rimer, cantor Victor Beck and cantor Gadi Elon - cantate the Italian song everyone knows from that other trio.
A gem of a performance of "Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci by Sirach van Bodegraven (accompanying himself, of course).
05 PHILOSOPHY OF THE WORLD
The Shaggs: Three sisters - Dot, Helen and Betty Wiggin - formed the group at the insistence of their father, whose own mother had predicted during a palmreading that "he would marry a strawberry blonde woman, that he would have two sons after she had died, and that his daughters would form a popular music group." After the first two predictions came true, he set about to realize the third by yanking his daughters out of their New Hampshire school and setting them to work learning to sing and play.
Their single 1969 album took flight and "Philosophy of the World" stands as a quintessential example of the style known as Outsider Music.
When Papa Wiggin died in 1975, the sisters hung up their guitars, dismantled the drum kit, and moved on with their lives.
Nicolai Gedda delivers a great high C# in this second verse of "A te o cara" during this 1963 Philadelphia I Puritani.
Hear are two measures that were probably never heard before and never heard since: two polacca measures, we assume, to get Joan Sutherland going on her brilliant ride of "Son vergin vezzosa." during the Philly Puritani.
Jose Bros shows a slow vibrato in "Vieni fra queste braccia" during this Vienna I Puritani on April 22, 2010. The role of Elvira was sung by Desiree Rancatore.
An example of the rage that Arturo Toscanini was known for: the first ruckus is the Maestro throwing over his score and stand, pissed off because of the poor bowing of the violins; the second outburst is Toscanini smashing his expensive pocket watch to the floor because the players misunderstood him, clipping a dotted rhythm. He leaves the hall and the orchestra starts to whisper and talk.
The following day, the orchestra presented him with a much less expensive replacement pocket watch inscribed "FOR REHEARSALS ONLY".
Leonie Rysanek didn't do much brushing up on her Tosca and its Italianate traits for this Act I duet from Tosca for this January 21, 1979 Munich concert with James King. Her 2nd "vado" is spoken then she strays widely from the printed score when Tosca realizes who her rival is.
A diva della Puma has a vocal/pitch breakdown near the end of "Vissi d'arte."
The entire Robert Merrill family tries to make the panel of the 1960s game show "I've Got A Secret" guess what they were recently up to.
Sue Hassel gives a good grido or 2 in this excerpt from "In questa reggia".
Baritone Mark Oswald performs a flawless "Nessun dorma" during a master class.
During the TV reality show "Australia's Got Talent", baritone Mark Vincent didn't do near the job that Mr. Oswald does, in spite of transposing down about a fourth. But the judges and audience think differently.
16 WHAT'S MY LINE?
From "What's My Line?", a delightful game show from the '50s thru the '70s where a blindfolded panel tries to guess who the celebrity guest is (first, the guest signs their name on a blackboard). Play along.
17 WHEN PRISCILLA TRIES TO REACH HIGH C
Luisa Tetrazini is referenced in the 1916 song "When Priscilla Tries to Reach High C", written by Harry von Tilzer and sung by Ada Jones and Billy Murray.
Counter tenor Yuriy Mynenkob, finalist of the 2009 Cardiff Singeer of the World competition, transposes and rocks the Queen of the Night's rage aria.
A deluded soprano wobbles and works her way thru Pamina's aria "Ach, ich fühl's".
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