Sunday, March 28, 2010

Figaro dort! Figaro da! Figaro oben! Figaro üben!

Clips from a pioneering 1959 telecast of Barbiere di Siviglia in German from Munich with my idol Fritz Wunderlich, Herman Prey, also no slouch, and Erika Köth.

I had these clips before, but they were taken down from YouTube. I hope the same fate doesn't fall to them again!

Here's a question, faithful readers. All three of you. I have the DVD of the entire performance. The singers take bows after every aria, which I think is charming. This is a stage amusement, after all! What do you think?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Magda Olivero, 100 years old!

Magda Olivero turned 100 this week! How delightful that she is still with us! Here is a 1964 performance. She would have been 54 at the time.

Many thanks to La Cieca, my primary news source for all things opera!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RIP Blanche Thebom

Blanche Thebom left us yesterday. Here's a sample of her artistry. I wish there were more videos online.

O don fatale:

Mon couer s'ouvre a ta voix:

Voce di donna:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Martha Mödl--New post!

Thanks to La Cieca for pointing out that today is Martha Mödl's birthday. Let's celebrate with a post about her! Here is the Wikipedia bio-blurb for this legendary singer.

Tristan und Isolde finale, conducted by Bernstein (year not given--1952?):

Television show excerpt from Mahagonny (1965):

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Question Month on LJ

And a lovely and inquisitive young fellow asks:

Pick 5 albums that are important to you, not because they are your favorite musically, but because they trigger some important memory or sensation.

Oh my! They would all have to be LPs. From before you were born. Let's see:

This was back in the day when opera singers would appear on The Tonight Show. Back when The Tonight Show was watchable. That's how I became acquainted with Marilyn Horne, my first opera idol. She also appeared in at least one episode of "The Odd Couple"! Needless to say, this album is out of print, and you can only get it from other collectors.
Carmen was the first complete opera I saw live. I was 17. Since I was already a Marilyn Horne fan, I had to have this.
The duet "Mira o Norma" was on the Marilyn Horne disc, and I fell in love with it! I had to have the full opera. I never actually saw the entire opera until I did chorus in it at Greater Miami Opera. (Carol Neblett and Jacques Trussel--pron. Jack Trustle--if you must know.)
Another album from my early years--I nearly wore out the grooves! My first exposure to "Der Hirt auf dem Felsen", "Variations on Ah vou dirai-je maman", "The Soldier Tir'd", etc.
Let us not forget my beginnings as a piano student. Some said I should have majored in piano. Some said accompanying. In any case, I listened again and again and again to this recording, and learned to play nearly all of the music on it. Some pieces better than others.
Bonus LP! Classical Barbra. At age 15. If my parents didn't already know by then.... And it introduced me to some important pieces of music--Fauré's Pavane, Lascia, ch'io pianga, In trutina from Mr. Orff's Carmina Burana, etc.