Sunday, December 20, 2009

Opera News! is having a DVD sale--every DVD is $5! They have great stuff--historical singers, stuff not available commercially (although one assumes it is legal for them to sell it), European stuff you can't see so much in the US. Go! Buy! Help them stay in business!

Renee Fleming query

Have any of you read Renee's Fleming's book The Inner Voice? I don't know whether any who read me have had years and years of classical voice training, and I'm curious what you think of it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Georges Thill--the French Caruso

I present the wonderful George Thill, whom I discovered only this morning, singing the aria from Faust:

He was also quite a handsome feller, judging by the photos in the YouTube clip! Here is the too-brief Wikipedia bio-blurb.

Finally, an excerpt from Werther, the only complete opera Thill recorded:

Vina Bovy--a new discovery

Unknown today, but not in 1948, when this beautiful 2nd act duet from Les Contes d'Hoffman (The Tales of Hoffmann) was recorded. I present to you Vina Bovy and Raoul Jobin:

I must thank La Cieca for introucing me to Vina Bovy. Click the link to see La Cieca's post and a perfectly beautiful picture of La Bovy! There's also a link there to an .mp3 of her singing "Elle a fui", possibly from the same Hoffmann performance? A commenter to La Cieca's post shares the following information from a Naxos bio-blurb:

From a Naxos bio: A native of Ghent the lyric-soprano Vina Bovy (Johanna Pauline Bovi, 1900-1983) worked in a cigarette factory to finance her vocal studies. Her professional operatic début in Ghent in 1919 in Hansel und Gretel was followed by a three-year stint at the Brussels Monnaie. In 1925 she made her first appearance at the Opéra-Comique as Manon and until 1939 her rôles at that theatre included Rosina, Mimì in Bohème and Leila in Les pêcheurs de perles. She sang at the Paris Opéra during the 1935-1939 seasons and again in 1947, as Gilda in Rigoletto. She made her début at the Colón in Buenos Aires in 1927 and was first heard at the Met in La traviata in 1936.”

Here is a link to a clip from a 1943 movie (embedding disabled).

I'll post about Raoul Jobin separately.