Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Anna Bolena fest!

We're looking at Percy today. Note how they seem to make different interpretive decisions.

First Francisco Araiza, one of my long-time favorites!

Taylor Stayton, a tenor I don't know, but I daresay I'll hear of again! From the comments, it appears this production was at AVA. (That's a D at the end!)

Francesco Meli, costumed, apparently, as Donizetti himself at Verona. I have this production on DVD--visually it's stunning, and the singing is stellar.

Jerry Hadley in concert in the 80s, I think. A more gentle, lyrical approach. Conducted by Richard Bonynge.

Finally, a very young Domingo in 1966, singing the other aria. Sorry there's no video with this:

Monday, February 22, 2010


JDF in Le Comte Ory at the Met!

OK, I said I wouldn't feature contemporary superstars. Bite me.
My dear hubby asked me what a basso buffo is, because I'd told him he could do basso buffo roles well. Wikipedia defines a basso buffo thusly: "Buffo, literally "funny", basses are lyrical roles that demand from their practitioners a solid coloratura technique, a capacity for patter singing and ripe tonal qualities if they are to be brought off to maximum effect. They are usually the blustering antagonist of the hero/heroine or the comic-relief fool in bel canto operas."

But I'd rather show him.

Perhaps this is more basso tragico, but he'll enjoy it:

A little more traditional, sung by Ildebrando D'Arcangelo:

Another fine example, sung by John Relyea:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A gaggle of Didos

I just finished a run of Dido and Aeneas with Opera Manhattan Repertoire Theatre, doing chorus. Perfect occasion to do a comparison of Didos, of course.

First, the completely amazing Dame Janet Baker:

Now a very different interpretation by Emma Kirkby. Yes, Emma Kirkby!

Evelyn Tubb, another early music type performer whom I don't know, but it's an interesting video:

A very surprising version indeed!

A surfeit of Tonios

Last Friday (2/19/10) I went to the Met to see the incomparable Juan-Diego Florez in La Fille du Regiment. Although it was announced he was singing with a cold, one certainly couldn't tell it. OK, he omitted one of the 9 high Cs, but the other 8 were as amazing as always.

In celebration, I will refrain from inundating with the many JDF videos online, but will share some other terrific Tonios (Tonii?) one can hear. [Edit: There are lots of videos of "Ah mes amis!", but not that many I'd care to inflict on my dear readers!]

Gregory Kunde, one of my faves! Not sure whether I've featured him in this humble blog before, but I certainly should

Deon van der Walt, a popular Mozart tenor of the 80s and 90s, in what looks like a very similar production, if not the same:

A very different interpretation from 1972--Charles Burles:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prendi, per me sei libero

"Prendi, per me sei libero", one of the sweetest moments in all of opera. Adina has bought Nemorino's army registration papers back for him, and has to admit she did it because she loves him.

The incomparable Renata Scotto and Carlo Bergonzi:

Barbara Bonney and Gösta Winbergh, whom I've featured here before. No date or place given, alas:

I can't resist this clip with Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti--very charming:

Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, whom I normally wouldn't feature because they're too contemporary, but what the heck!

Edit: OK, one more particularly silly one with some gorgeous singing by Judith Blegen:

Mario Filippeschi--New post!

I give you Mario Filippeschi, singing I Puritani with my beloved Virginia Zeani in 1957:

He was no slouch, that feller! The Wikipedia bio-blurb is brief, so I'll copy it here:

Mario Filippeschi (June 7, 1907, Montefoscoli - December 25, 1979, Florence) was an Italian tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, renowned for his ringing upper register.

Filippeschi studied the clarinet for two years as a teenager, before joining military service. After military discharge he began studying voice with a Neapolitan teacher, Mr. Vicidomini, in Milan, and later with Mr. Pessina, in Florence. He made his professional debut in Colorno, near Parma, as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, in 1937.

He quickly sang throughout Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. He first concentrated on lyrical roles such as the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La traviata, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, etc., and was one of the few tenors of his generation to tackle with success such high lying roles as Arnold in Guglielmo Tell and Arturo in I puritani.

After the war, he began adding more dramatic roles to his repertory. In 1950, he appeared to great acclaim in Mexico, as Radames in Aida, and as Cavaradossi in Tosca, opposite the young Maria Callas.

Other notable roles included; Manrico in Il trovatore, Arrigo in I vespri siciliani, Alvaro in La forza del destino, Calaf in Turandot.

Filippeschi made several recordings, notably Pollione in Norma, opposite Maria Callas, and Carlo in Don Carlos, opposite Tito Gobbi and Boris Christoff.

A handsome man, Filippeschi also appeared in film versions of Lucia di Lammermoor and Rigoletto, in 1946.

One commenter to a YouTube video opines: "one of the most unmusical, boisterous, monodynamic tenor voices in recorded history... AND I LOOOOVE IT!! :) :) Mamma mia, che acuti!! "

More vids! This, apparently, is from the aforementioned Rigoletto movie:

This is from Giullaume Tell: