"Shall I Go On?" Database


This complete list is not without fault. These are errors that cannot be corrected as the notes for the entire series is only available on the web; errors were caught too late.

The following subjects are listed two ways: Don Giovanni and Giovanni, Lucrezia Borgia and Borgia, Fille and Fille du Regiment, Star-Spangled Banner and National Anthem, Contes d'Hoffmann and Hoffmann, Entführung and Abduction, Madama Butterfly and Butterfly.

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Volume CD Track Subject Provenance
I A 01 Adelson e Salvini Stefan Zucker, "World's Highest Tenor", on September 8, 1972: WQXR program entitled "The Listening Room": an interview with Robert Sherman then an excerpt from the live world-premiere performance of Bellini'sAdelson e Salvina, Town Hall, September 12, 1972.
I A 02 Aida Giovanni Martinelli stops the performance during "Celeste Aida" on the February 26, 1938 broadcast (he had food poisoning). Frederick Jagel, listening at home, ran to the theatre to finish the performance.
I A 03 Aida Carlo Bergonzi is on the sad side of the high Bb at the end of "Celeste Aida" on February 25, 1967.
I A 04 Aida Vassilka Petrova, who recorded at the dawn of the LP era, attempts the role of Aida.
I A 05 Aida Montserrat Caballe does not make the high C in "O patria mia" from Aida and voices her frustration.
I A 06 Ave maria From an actual audition tape submitted to the Zurich Opera, Sirach van Bodegraven offers his fractured version of the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria".
I A 07 Ave maria Marie-Sol Chevalier, la chanteuse ˆ la voix la plus aigu‘ au monde! I highly recommend listening to the very end of this second verse from Schubert's "Ave Maria"... The key is C Major - you do the math.
I A 08 Ballo Michele Molese comments on Harold Schoenberg's review of his "pinched" high C during Un ballo in maschera performance of November 1, 1974 with Marisa Galvany as Amelia. He was fired the next day.
I A 09 Basso profundo Be sure you listen to the end of this excerpt of Russian liturgical chant and hear a low G below the staff.
I A 10 Boheme The son of Enrico Caruso sings "Che gelida manina"from La boheme.
I A 11 Carmen Rise Stevens orders Giuseppe di Stefano: "Put my arm down!" during a particularly heated Carmen broadcast on January, 21, 1956. He broke it!
I A 12 Carmen Regina Resnik leaves no doubt in the listener's ear as to when her Carmen receives the blade of the Don Jose of Richard Tucker. The performance date is March 15, 1969.
I A 13 Cavalleria Cavalleria rusticana "Siciliana" sung by Emanuele Bucalo in the style of Donald Duck, or is it a cat? Anyway, it dates from ca. 1905.
I A 14 Cavalleria During an early 1970s Munich Cavalleria, no one could be found to emit the final line "Hanno ammazzato compare Turiddu" that pleased director Giancarlo del Monaco. Former-Santuzza-(with del Monaco Sr.)-turned-Mama Lucia, Astrid Varnay, said "I could do it, but I can't, because I'm on stage." and then del Monaco said "But why not...." The word "compare" was dropped and Varnay was directed to look offstage and moan (not scream) the line, clutching her abdomen in memory of her birth pains. Leonie Rysanek, as Santuzza, repeats the same line.
I A 15 Company "You could Drive a Person Crazy" from Sondheim's Company: Eileen Farrell, Marilyn Horne and Carol Burnett from a 1960's Carol Burnett show.
I A 16 Contes d'Hoffmann Soprano Susi Sommers interpolates high Ab above high C into the Doll Song from Les contes d'Hoffmann. Normally heard in just the ending, I include here the entire second verse.
I A 17 Crucifixus Alessandro Moreschi, the last living castrato (1858-1922): "Crucifixus" (Rossini).
I A 18 Don Giovanni Elinor Ross "chickens out" during Donna Anna's aria from Don Giovanni during a broadcast.
I A 19 Entführung Alexandra Deshorties (an actual card-carrying witch) screams her way through the allegro from "Ach, ich liebte" from Die Entführung as dem Serail. This is the singing that the opera house would not allow to be booed at.
I A 20 Faust Renata Tebaldi gets a bit carried away at Valentin's death at a Naples Faust performance.
I A 21 Fille du Régiment Stefan Zucker, dedicates the aria "Ah mes amis" from La fille du régiment to Luciano Pavarotti.
I A 22 Fledermaus Martina Arroyo attempts a high D at the end of the Czardas from Die Fledermaus.
I A 23 Frühlingstimmen Johann Strauss' "Frühlingsstimmen" laboriously sung by an aging soprano from Hamburg for an audition tape. After a false start, she adroitly moves her voice through the roulades.
I A 24 Gioconda Renata Scotto, age 15 (1948): "Voce di donna" from La gioconda.
I A 25 Lakmé Beverly Sills at the age of 12 - probably a test recording.
I A 26 Laughing Song An excerpt from "The Geisha" of N. Lambelt as sung by Paola Novikova, a teacher of Nicolai Gedda.
I A 27 Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor, Act II duet, December 8, 1956 with Maria Callas and Enzo Sordello. Due to a miscommunication between pit and stage, Sordello decided to take the rein and leaving Callas somewhat in the dust.

It's assumed she asked Bing to get rid of him; Bing said no; Callas then cancelled her next Lucia. It was reported that Callas' father, upon hearing of his daughter's cancellation, stationed himself in the Met lobby and lobbied the patrons to demand refunds. He was eventually asked to leave and Dolores Wilsonm gave a fine performance. Sordello then found out this was his last performance and Callas returned.
I A 28 Lucia La Scala booing during Lucia di Lammermoor: Tiziana Fabbricini, 1992.
I A 29 Lucrezia Hugeutte Tourangeau commits a glottal assault attack on a high C during the 2nd verse of the Brindisi from Lucrezia Borgia, Houston, April 8, 1975.
I B 01 Luisa Miller Claude Francois Etienne, a well-known hater of Renata Scotto, screams out "Brava Maria Callas, soprano assoluta!" as Renata Scotto begins her aria from Luisa Miller, broadcast of 1979.
I B 02 Madama Butterfly Maria Callas (a.k.a. Nina Forresti), age 12: "Un bel di" from Madama Butterfly in a radio performance on Major Bowe's Talent Show under the name of Nina Forresti on April 7, 1935.
I B 03 Martha Ruby Helder, female tenor, sings "M'appari" from Martha.
I B 04 Mignon A precocious Julie Andrews demonstrates her vocal abilities at the ripe age of 12 in the Polonaise from Mignon.
I B 05 O Holy Night A member of the congregation from the Calvary Chapel of Louisa (Mineral, VA) gives a stirring rendition of Adam's "O Holy Night". His range is especially impressive, not to mention his fervor.
I B 06 Pagliacci A performance from Italian television by Anna Moffo of the Ballatella from Pagliacci. Late in her career and making judicious cuts.
I B 07 Pagliacci From a February 29, 1936 broadcast of Pagliacci, Giovanni martinelli delivers a riveting performance along with his over-the-top Nedda, Queena Mario. Does she actually sing D#s and E naturals al petto?
I B 08 Pecheurs Tenor Larry Costa attempts the aria from Les pecheurs de perles.
I B 09 Perichole Paola Novikova infectuously sings the aria "Ah quel diner" from La perichole.
I B 10 Puritani Enrico Di Giuseppe attempts a high F in a New York City Opera performance of I Puritani, March 8, 1975.
I B 11 Puritani On March 13, 1982, John Aler made his (rather successful) single attempt at the high F in I Puritani at the New York City Opera.
I B 12 Queen of Sheba It's the trill that keeps on trilling. Selma Kurz oscillates for 17 seconds in an aria from Goldmark's The Queen of Sheba.
I B 13 Rigoletto Portugese soprano Natalia de Andrade apparently specialized in singing the role of Massenet's Manon: There are many excerpts on her LP as well as arias from Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La forza del destino and Un ballo in maschera. Every one of them is sung larghissimo. Her approach to a high B natural in Caro nome is worth the wait. For information about an entire CD devoted to this soprano, go to Manon and Other Heroines.
I B 14 Rigoletto Nicolai Gedda in a rare mishap during a live 1979 Barcelona Rigoletto.
I B 15 Samson Rita Gorr stops a dress rehearsal of Samson et Dalila in Dallas to admonish Mario del Monaco for being out of costume.
I B 16 Sheet Song The Sheet Song, sung by Earl Wrightson imitating Ezio Pinza, accompanied by a pickup string quartet. The lyrics are hidden in his accent.

From Josef Durchstecher:

Oh, it exists all right, but there is some question as to whether or not it is actually Pinza singing. Eddie Smith put it out years ago on his UORC label, attributing it to Ezio and giving a 1943 date for it. However, it has also been attributed to Earl Wrightson, who apparently did a dead-on imitation of Pinza for anyone who would listen. I would opt for Pinza himself, because I can't imagine that Wrightson (or anyone else) could imitate him THAT well; if he could, he could have made his own career as one of the great bassos, and wouldn't have had to end up doing duets with Lois Hunt on Garry Moore's old afternoon TV show. In any case, the Budapest Quartet (if, indeed, it IS the Budapest Quartet) does a long introduction as well as a postlude, which is exceedingly well-played. Whatever its provenance, it sure as hell wasn't an audition record for Rodgers and Hammerstein as 1) I truly doubt that Pinza would have had to audition for the role via a record and they could already hear samples of his English on both records and the radio, 2) although Pinza was famously capable of doing some low-down things, I doubt he would have wanted this particulary selection as part of his recorded posterity, 3) since he also supposedly wrote the lyrics, it presupposes a knowledge of English beyond that which he probably enjoyed at the time, and 4) Richard Rodgers was not exactly famous for his sense of humor! Anyhow, now you know!
I B 17 Tosca The January 6, 1957 performance of Tosca was one of those afternoons when everyone was "on." Listen to the final pages of the opera with Tebaldi's special interpolation then the postlude wuth the utmost of dramatic intensity.
I B 18 Tosca What must be the highest note ever sung in chest: A Mexico City Tosca performance with Maria Callas. The D natural before the final high Bb is the note, albeit brief - it's on pitch and definitely not head voice.
I B 19 Traviata During the brief choral section just before "Sempre libera" from La traviata, the chorus gets behind the beat and all is syncopation chaos.
I B 20 Traviata An insane woman in the audience at the New York City Opera production of La traviata (debut of Ashley Putnam) lets out a primal scream during tenor Henry Price's scene in Act II.

Some say she was planted to distract Mr. Price and some say she saw blood all over her blouse after having had dental work.
I B 21 Traviata Via a close source: Riccardo Muti was having lunch with a retired opera singer during a break in recording sessions for La traviata. The maestro complained that the singer contracted to sing the single line "La cena e pronta" during the gambling scene in Act II, could not get it right to save his life - he was late, sharp, flat, early and utterly incapable. Then, his guest offered to sing the difficult six-syllable role for him and agreed not to receive credit on the commercial release. If you hear it without knowing who it is, it's hard to guess. But if you know it's Giuseppe di Stefano, it becomes immediately obvious.
I B 22 Traviata Montserrat Caballe faints halfway through "Addio del passato" during a performance of La traviata in Paris, 1972.
I B 23 Tristan Jon Vickers, during a December 1975 Dallas performance of Tristan und Isolde, tells the audience what he thinks of their coughing.
I B 24 Tristan The voice of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf supplied high C's in the FurtwÓngler recording of Tristan und Isolde.
I B 25 Trovatore Franco Bonisolli calls for "Wasser!" (water) in the middle of his aria, "Di quella pira", from a 1987 Hamburg performance of Il trovatore.
I B 26 Trovatore This recording dates from 1909. All we know is what is written on the disc: Trovatore di cani (Trovatore of dogs). It is highly suspect as to which gender the Leonora is (bitch or male).
I B 27 Turandot After being notified that Montserrat Caballe has cancelled her performance of Turandot, conductor Zubin Mehta makes the announcement to the audience himself and audience reaction is violent (May 16, 1976).
I B 28 Turandot Giovanni Martinelli, age 82, in a Seattle Turandot, February 4, 1967, in the role of Emperor Altoum.
I B 29 Turandot Turandot: finale of "In questa reggia" as sung by the prima donna of the Grand Scena Opera Company, Mme. Vera Galupe-Borszkh.
I B 30 Walküre As an experiment, Birgit Nilsson was asked to record a brief excerpt from "Du bist der Lenz" from Die Walküre. On an Opera Quiz, the panelists (Max de Schawnsee, Irving Kolodin and Winthrop Sargeant) were stumped as to who it was, one recommending that the un-named soprano give it up.

In 1966, Birgit Nilsson saw a photograph of a "golden age" singer (Felia Litvinne?) making a phonograph record by singing into a horn. I don't know the precise sequence of events, but Geraldine Souvaine, producer of the opera quiz, thought it would be neat to record Nilsson this way, play the record for the experts on the opera quiz, and ask them to guess the name of the artist. She contacted someone at RCA , asking how it might be done. That person called Gregor Benko of the International Piano Library. He called collector Alton F. R. Lawrence; and he called me.

They sent a car into which I loaded my Edison phonograph, several wax cylinder blanks, a morning-glory horn, and a bird-cage stand, and off we went to Souvaine's apartment on Central Park West. The equipment was placed on a folding snack table, a suitable height achieved by stacking telephone books.

Nilsson arrived with her accompanist and sang something from Walküre into the horn. We did it twice more and when she started to object ("I didn't think I would have to sing so much"), decided to go for a proper take. We made two cylinders. To do it properly with that equipment one should move back on high or loud passsages. She moved forward. My friend Larry (Lawrence) tried to pull her back, but she wouldn't budge. (I don't think she appreciated being grabbed around the waist by a stranger, either --- certainly not while singing.)

Photos were taken and I believe that one or two have been published. I know that they are on file at the opera's archive at Lincoln Center. I show up in some as the "recording engineer". I look like Pee Wee Herman. I requested $250 as a fee. Souvaine explained that they would have to bump a critic from the show if they paid me that much. They bumped the critic. We taped the cylinder and I left with the originals. When they heard the cylinders that Saturday the remaining critics had nothing kind to say about the soprano whose name they were asked to guess. When told who it was, they were not pleased.

I sold the better of the cylinders to Ward Marston about two years ago. It will end up on a CD eventually. I still have the other.
I B 31 Walküre Lauritz Melchior holds "Wälse!" 22 seconds during a 1940 Die Walküre broadcast.
I B 32 Zauberflöte An amazing "Queen of the Night" (Die Zauberflöte): Maria Galvany sings with incredible staccati and over-the-top interpolations, a recording dating from about 1903.
II A 01 Aida An excerpt from "Ritorna vincitor" from a live staged performance of Aida with that young dramatic Verdi soprano, Beverly Sills. What? Yes, it took place in Central City, Colorado in 1955.
II A 02 Aida A role Licia Albanese never sang onstage, but she did sing a concert version in 1966 outside of Washington, DC. The selection is the final pages of "O patria mia" from Act III.
II A 03 Armida This has to be the ultimate example of Cristina Deutekom's unexplainable vocal technique in negotiating roulades and runs. Her singing of the Armida aria, "D'amore al dolce impero" reminds me sometimes of a calliope.
II A 04 Ballo You can't say Plaido didn't try in this matinee performance. Gilda Cruz-Romo was a beautiful Amelia.
II A 05 Barbiere The virtuosic Swingle Singers sing the overture to Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.
II A 06 Barbiere Erna Sack demonstrates her lack of accuracy but shows off her whistle-like top in the second section of the standard aria, "Una voce poco fa" from Il barbiere di Siviglia - a long sustained high E with a touched high G sharp and ending with a sustained high F sharp.
II A 07 Barbiere Montserrat Caballe sang one single performance of Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia in Nize. Unfortunately, there was a mishap in the middle of the aria. Was it a memory lapse? Was it an emergency cut made in mid-performance because something went wrong (the misfire of a high B - listen to the audience gasp in horror)? You be the judge. Luckily the conductor was able to corral his forces to continue into the cabaletta.
II A 08 Blue Danube A cute jazz treatment of the well-known Strauss Waltz as sung and embellished in her inimitable fashion by Lily Pons from the 1936 movie "That Girl from Paris".
II A 09 Cobbler Duet A 1907 recording that probably has never ever been heard is Ruggi's "I Due Ciabattini" as sung by Giuseppe de Luca and Ferruccio Corradetti. I have no idea what the song is about nor its connection, of all things, to "Addio del passato" from La traviata.
II A 10 Don Carlo In 1952, Zara Doulhkanova recorded Eboli's aria "O don fatale" from Don Carlo in very broad tempi. She also threw in an interpolation at the end that I myself have never heard before - instead of the final B flat, she goes to a high C.
II A 11 Don Carlo This was from a Don Carlo broadcast of April 22, 1972. Mme. Caballe decides to hold the final high B almost until the final curtain comes down. Other cast members include Corelli, Macurdy and Siepi.
II A 12 Don Giovanni It happened in Brooklyn. Who knew that the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra could sing anything from Mozart's Don Giovanni? Probably no one (he certainly shared character flaws with the Don). It is a strange version of "La ci darem la mano" with orchestra AND piano (probably for support). His Zerlina is Kathryn Grayson in the 1947 movie.
II A 13 Don Giovanni The singing career of Margaret Truman reached its height when Washington Post critic Paul Hume gave her a negative review. Margaret's father, Harry, shot back at Hume, threatening to "punch out your face" (the letter later sold for over $50.000.00). Appropriately, we hear her sing "Batti, batti" from Don Giovanni.
II A 14 Entführung I know nothing about this little excerpt except what it appears to be. During a rehearsal of Konstanze's aria, "Ach ich liebte", the soprano gériatrique comes upon a problematic approach to a high D. She stops, clears her throat once, then, with explosive brutality, clears it again, apparently dislodging the phlegm from her battered cords. It's almost painful.
II A 15 Estrelita I couldn't resist sharing Erna Sack's high G sharp in this excerpt from the lovely Ponce song, Estrellita.
II A 16 Fado Portugese The mistress of "les notes piquŽs", Maria Galvany, shows her agility at staccato singing.
II A 17 Fanciulla On Friday, January 14, 1966, the house found itself without a Minnie for the following Monday night's performance of La fanciulla del West. The only Minnie in town to replace Dorothy Kirsten was the indomitable Eleanor Steber, who had not looked at the score for almost a decade . She demanded one thing: Mr. Bing must thank her publicly over the radio the next day. She had piano/vocal scores placed all over the set and props to help her get through it.

Eleanor Steber had been absent from the house for about four years. This excerpt is her entrance in Act I, some of the greatest entrance music for a soprano. I get cold chills every time I hear it: it demonstrates the great love her public had for her.

This was her final complete performance with the company. She participated in the Farewell to the Old House three months later.
II A 18 Forza The voice of Leontyne Price began to show a bit of age in the late 1970s. She developed a strange approach to the release of a note: she zinged up, she zinged down as in this 1977 broadcast.
II A 19 Frau ohne Schatten On November 24, 1985, Gwyneth Jones was engaged to sing the FŠrberin with the Zurich Opera. For one performance, the Kaiserin cancelled and no replacement was near. Jones offered to save the day, especially since her daughter's school class was to attend this performance and she didn't want to let them down.

Jones sang and acted the entire role of the Dyer's Wife. She sang the entire role of the Empress behind a scrim and music stand while someone walked the role onstage. When both characters were onstage at the same time, she sang the Empress' lines upstage. Except for one exposed mishap at the outset of the performance, she sailed through triumphantly, sounding fresh as a daisy at the end.
II A 20 Guglielmo Tell On November 10, 1984, the young Aprile Milo sang a tryout runthrough of William Tell in Queens, NY with OONY. She takes a wonderful high E at the end of the Act III duet.
II A 21 Holländer The late critic John Ardoin says this high B from Leonie Rysanek's Senta, broadcast on March 5, 1960, was the loudest note he ever heard in a live performance.
II A 22 Huguenots Rita Shane in her prime, shows off her dramatic top by interpolating a high F sharp at the end of the duet with Nicolai Gedda. This Vienna performance of Les Huguenots preceded a Munich Kšnigin der Nacht the very next day. She could do anything in those days. Gedda was astounded at her endurance.
II A 23 Intermission One-Liners Milton Cross
II A 24 Intermission One-Liners Peter Allen.
II A 25 Intermission One-Liners Edward Downes.
II A 26 Intermission One-Liners Rise Stevens.
II A 27 Intermission One-Liners Bidu Sayao, Zinka Milanov.
II A 28 Intermission One-Liners William Weaver.
II A 29 Intermission One-Liners Alberta Maisiello, Richard Mohr.
II A 30 Intermission One-Liners Birgit Nilsson.
II A 31 Intermission One-Liners James Levine.
II A 32 Intermission One-Liners Leonard Bernstein.
II A 33 Intermission One-Liners Rudolf Bing, Justino Diaz
II A 34 Intermission One-Liners Lily Pons, Mary Ellis Peltz
II A 35 Intermission One-Liners Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo
II A 36 Intermission One-Liners John Covenny
II A 37 Intermission One-Liners Richard Tucker
II A 38 Intermission One-Liners John Ardoin
II A 39 Intermission One-Liners Robert Merrill
II A 40 Intermission One-Liners Maria Callas
II A 41 Intermission One-Liners Tony Randall
II A 42 Intermission One-Liners Francis Robinson, Marian Anderson
II A 43 Intermission One-Liners Father Owen Lee
II A 44 Intermission One-Liners Boris Goldovsky
II A 45 Intermission One-Liners Steven Blier
II A 46 Intermission One-Liners Leontyne Price
II A 47 Intermission One-Liners Will Crutchfield
II A 48 Intermission One-Liners Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Martina Arroyo
II A 49 Intermission One-Liners Deborah Voigt
II A 50 Lucrezia Leyla Gencer lets out a pitched scream in a live Lucrezia Borgia.
II A 51 Madama Butterfly Originally a classicly-trained singer, Mary Martin makes a 1950s television appearance singing "One fine day" from Madama Butterfly. Though there is comedy going on from time to time, her delivery is sometimes refreshing. Her prompter is Noel Coward.
II A 52 Meistersinger This unnamed singer has never heard of chest voice and doesn't think vocal consistency is important. Some Prize Song...
II B 01 Mikado Three great vocalists from the 1960s: Joan Sutherland, Dinah Shore and Ella Fitzgerald sing "Three Little Maids From School" on Dinah's television variety show.
II B 02 Norma I'm sure Nana Mouskouri fans just LOVED it, but Bellini sure wouldn't. Her attention to the printed score is non-existent in this bizarre performance of "Casta diva".
II B 03 Pagliacci A rather thrilling performance of "Vesti la giubba" from Denis Gonet, considering the fact that he's all of twelve years old.
II B 04 Pirata Renee Fleming gets away with as much bad taste as possible in this excerpt from a Paris Il Pirata.
II B 05 Porgy The great Mari Lyn, star of her own cable access show in the late '70s, shows she can "get down" like the rest of 'em. The best moment of this performance of "Summertime" comes at the end. The very end.
II B 06 Puritani From a 1977 San Francisco performance of I Puritani, Signor Cesare-Antonio Suarez makes the same mistake Enrico di Giuseppe did.
II B 07 Requiem Apparently, movie star Joan Crawford heard that the greatest living exponent of operatic singing, Rosa Ponselle, was in town (making her Hollywood screen test of Carmen) so she decided to take lessons. The finished product is the "Recordare" duet fromt the Verdi Requiem. Professor Ponselle sings the mezzo line and it sounds like she's the accompanist as well.
II B 08 Rigoletto An early 1970s Munich concert finds the beautiful Patricia Wise singing a flawless Caro nome. Except for one note.
II B 09 Roi de Lahore Picture it: Naples, September 2, 1917 - Angela de Angelis and Fernando de Lucia, stand in front of the horn to record this duet from Le Roi de Lahore. All goes well until the very end. Signorina de Angelis loses all ability of pitch definition and slides around until she finally lands on the right note. Too little too late.
II B 10 Samson From the 1935 movie "Goin' To Town", Mae West pipes the end of Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" in delectable French with the tenor Vladimir Bykoff.
II B 11 Sillsiana From a 1970 benefit concert for the International Piano Library, Beverly Sills sings a pot-pourri of her dazzling showstopping coloratura roles. This track includes her hysterical introductory speech.
II B 12 Star-Spangled Banner The daughter of President Woodrow Wilson, Margaret, made four recordings on the Columbia Gramophone label. It reads: This record of my voice if sold by the Columbia Gramophone Company shall yield to the American Red Cross the sum of 25 cents covering my entire royalty."
II B 13 Thais This comes under the category of "Because she could". Elisabeth Vidal has the range to SING the Meditation from Thais (in key) in this live performance from December 12, 2004.
II B 14 Tosca Yes, Olive Middleton has the reputation of singing when she shouldn't but this performance almost brings sincere tears to the listener's eyes. One thing is certain: you can't say Dame Middleton didn't live for her art.
II B 15 Tosca Georgina Lukacs gets really disgusting as she kills Scarpia (Egils Silins) in this studio recording.
II B 16 Tosca The Franco Corelli fans of Parma show the tenor their adoration for him as they stop the show after his thrilling over-the-top performance of E lucevan le stelle. The date is January 21, 1967. About this performance, Corelli himself said "This one's my best!"
II B 17 Tosca Leonie Rysanek had great high B flats, B naturals and occasional great high Cs. This is not one of those occasional great high Cs in Act III from a Hamburg Tosca.
II B 18 Tosca Phyllis Curtin sang a performance of Tosca in Pasadena on March 2, 1968. The Cavaradossi was Franco Corelli. She's very involved at the end, and; is this the 2nd scream on record?
II B 19 Traviata If I were a baritone and thought I had a high B flat to show off, I would make pretty damn sure I could do it any time any place if I was to attempt it on a global broadcast. This is not the case with Anthony Michaels-More. It landed in a sort of head voice and lasted a pitiful measure and he ended up with an embarassing finale to Act II in this La traviata broadcast from February 11, 2006. Jonas Kaufman is the Alfredo.
II B 20 Traviata This is scenery chewing at its best. Or you could call it upstaging at its worst. As the Alfredo of Frederick Jagel denounces the Violetta of Rosa Ponselle in front of all her friends, Ponselle's heroine loses all emotional control and starts screaming and begging Alfredo not to embarass her. It was a live broadcast from January 13, 1934.
II B 21 Traviata Renee Fleming sang her first Violetta in Houston but it sounds like she's read the letter over too many times. And she makes sure all of France know that it's "tardi".
II B 22 Tristan Jeanette Macdonald sings a short version of the Liebestod proving that she ain't an Isolde.
II B 23 Trovatore An excerpt from a June 30, 1908 Berlin recording (sung auf Deutsch) featuring soprano Aline Sanden, tenor Juan Spivak and a lost baritone Juan Luria.
II B 24 Turandot Compare and contrast father Jussi Björling and son Rolf Björling singing the same phrase from Turandot.
II B 25 Walküre Leonie Rysanek throws in a Wagnerian interpolation by letting out an orgasmic scream when her Siegmund, James King, pulls the sword out in this 1968 Bayreuth performance.
II B 26 Walküre Infamous Stefan Zucker sings Brünnhilde's battlecry from Die Walküre.
II B 27 Winchester Cathedral Jan Peerce and Robert Merrill slum on a late 1960s television appearance in this parody of the 1966 hit by The New Vaudeville Band.
II B 28 Wizard of Oz Two stars of an NYCO gala who shared a dressing room were Ethel Merman and Renata Scotto. Before the concert, Merman was seen bursting out of the dressing room screaming "that woman is driving me crazy!" Apparently, Scotto was practising phrase by phrase, word by word, her offering for the evening, "Over the Rainbow."
II B 19 Zauberflöte A flawless performance that rivals any adult coloratura ever. Period. 12-year-old Tolz choirboy Robin Schlotz nails every high F in the Queen of the Night rage aria from Die Zauberflöte.
III A 01 Aida From a 1959 broadcast, the brass were absolutely and perfectly off during the last measure of the Triumphal Scene.
III A 02 At the Met A clever song from the 1951 review "Two on the Aisle" by Jule Styne and words by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
III A 03 Attila Sherrill Milnes really shows off with his top range at the end of the second verse of "E gettata la mia sorte" and nails a high Bb.
III A 04 Bacio Leona Anderson KNEW she'd lost her vocalism and cashed in on it in the early 1950s. Ernie Kovacs discovered her then she made her famous LP "Music To Suffer By". Here, she sings Arditi's "Il Bacio". It's amazing how low the energy plummets when she starts singing.
III A 05 Ballo Sylvia Sawyer participated in only three recordings, one of which is Un Ballo in maschera. Her Ulrica is REAL spooky, especially "Nulla, pi nulla ascondersi."
III A 06 Barbiere The Largo is a walk in the park for tenor robusto Mario del Monaco. Signor doesn't pay much attention to the printed score but delivers all high notes.
III A 07 Barbiere According to her CD liner notes, she is an emerging star, conquering all genres of music. Rosemary is her name and Una voce poco fa is her game. And it's definitely a roller coaster ride. She is equally and expertly accompanied by her teacher and mentor, Dr. Thomas Blobner.
III A 08 Barbiere After a stupendous performance of "Tanti affetti" from La Donna del Lago in the Lesson Scene, Marilyn Horne receives three ovations (1 big, 2 medium), the second prompted by Enrico di Giuseppe and the third by Fernando Corena. The date is February 20, 1971.
III A 09 Boheme There used to be a little club in Italy called "L'Incompreso" (The Misunderstood) where opera lovers (not opera singers) got together and sang for each other. There are four excerpts from one of these evenings throughout Volume III of Shall I Go On? This first example shows a member that can't match pitch and has no high notes. Pity the pianist.
III A 10 Boheme Giacomo Aragall doesn't have nice time with the high C in "Che gelida manina."
III A 11 Boheme In her soprano days (Nedda, Marie) Marilyn Horne sang Musetta in a San Francisco production.
III A 12 Bolena Montserrat Caballe makes a bad decision in this live February 21, 1982 La Scala performance.
III A 13 Carmen What is now known as one of the finest recordings of Il trovatore ever made, the cast of this Carmen performance consisted of Barbieri, Pobbe, del Monaco and Bastianini. And Loretta de Lelio (later Mrs. Corelli)sang Frasquita. You'll hear the beginning of the Card Scene in awful sound.
III A 14 Cavalleria A bad decision of Nell Rankin's to interpolate a high C at the end of this Santuzza/Alfio duet with Walter Cassel.
III A 15 Chenier I guess the tenor in this Act II love duet couldn't handle the rubati.
III A 16 Chenier The aria "Come un bel di di maggio" does not worry the son of Peter Anders. He is very proficient at scooping and "hook 'n go" methods.
III A 17 Chiribiribin Erna Sack, in this excerpt from the popular Italian song "Chiribiribin", demonstrates her upper extension to the point that it's almost inaudible; it eventually becomes audible. You may have to turn up your volume at first to hear the high Gb.
III A 18 Cosi Blanche Thebom gets lost near the end of her aria "Smanie implacabile" (sung in English) during this 1952 broadcast premiere of Cosi.
III A 19 Don Giovanni Margaret Truman sings "Batti, batti" from Don Giovanni. A pleasant-enough soprano whose fame is most likely because of a negative review written by Paul Hume. A response by Margaret's Daddy expressed desire to do physical harm to the critic.
III A 20 Erlkönig The incredible virtuoso group called The Swingle Singers sing this Schubert lied with such accuracy of pitch and clarity. The arranger of this deserves equal praise.
III A 21 Erlkönig A very different take on the early Schubert song by a certain tenor named Josef Durchstecher. The words "over the top" are lame.
III A 22 Fado Portugese Maria Galvany exhibits her amazing and unique ability at singing "les notes piques" in this excerpt from the folk song "Ouvi Dizar" by Neuparth.
III A 23 Farinelli Maria Galvany exhibits her amazing and unique ability at singing "les notes piques" in this excerpt from the folk song "Ouvi Dizar" by Neuparth.
III A 24 Fidelio Erika SunnegŒrdh made her debut on the Fidelio broadcast of April 1, 2006. She has a small memory lapse (which probably, in her mind, felt like minutes) but she gets back on track and finishes the performance with acclaim.
III A 25 Fledermaus Marilyn Mims just barely squeaks out the high D at the end of the Czardas.
III A 26 Forza It happens to the best of 'em. Mme. Milanov sings a sumptuous "Pace, pace mio Dio" during this 1956 broadcast, but in the middle of it, her pitch begins to sag. And the harpist brutally points this out.
III A 27 Happy Birthday From station OPERA, Salvatore Baccaloni, Rise Stevens and Bidu Sayao attempt to create a unique birthday greeting for President Roosevelt. Erich Leinsdorf settles it all and they sing the traditional version in this 1943 broadcast.
III A 28 Heidenröslein From the 1933 movie "The Song of Songs" is the Schubert lied "Heidenröslein" unpassionately sung by Marlene Dietrich.
III A 29 How Can I Go On? Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe shared a special affection for each other. They performed together and this is one of their selections.
III A 30 Information, Please We've all heard Milton Cross speak but he sings during this episode of "Information, Please" radio show. The host is Clifton Fadiman and the panelists are John Curran, Franklin P. Adams, Sigmund Spaeth and Basil Rathbone.
III B 01 Kill De Wabbit Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd do their rendition of Wagner's Ring.
III B 02 La lune blanche Hugues Cuenod demonstrates a great talent with economy of the breath in this, the third song from Fauré's La bonne chanson. Listen for the endless phrase that begins with "Un vaste et tendre apaisemtn...".
III B 03 Lombardi A member of L'Incompreso gets through "La mia letizia infondere" from I Lombardi
III B 04 Lohengrin Allergies strike again during this 2006 broadcast of Lohengrin. The "legendary" Ben Heppner doesn't let this distract him.
III B 05 Lucia The young Jose Carreras sings Arturo in a 1970 Bilbao production that included Deutekom and Kraus.
III B 06 Lucia This was Lily Pons' final complete opera broadcast and her final note of the afternnon. Performing the Mad Scene in F wasn't exactly a good idea that afternoon.
III B 07 Lucia Mado Robin, billed as the stratospheric coloratura (Marie-Sol Chevalier topped her later) sings a high Bb above high C in this live performance of the Mad Scene.
III B 08 Martha Sing along with Caruso! Luisa Tetrazzini joins Caruso at the end of "M'appari". Her giggle at the end is infectious.
III B 09 Night & Day Aksel Schšltz croons this Sinatra favorite.
III B 10 O, Gianni O One of Alec Templeton's delicious creations: a one-act opera La storia di Giovanni. Mr. Templeton is the voice of everyone in the show. This track has never been available to the public until now.
III B 11 Pagliacci Lawrence O'Neil sings this full-of-meaning translation of "Vesti la giubba." I'll bet you've never heard this as a love song, have you? And the 1970s rock orchestration is worth noting.
III B 12 Non ho l'eta What must be some peasant woman sings an Italian song, "Non ho l'eta (translated as I'm not old enough) at L'Incompreso. Don't forget: only the love must show.
III B 13 Norma What's there to say? The greatest singers of the twentieth century onstage together and interacting. This happened in 1952 at Covent Garden when Maria Callas sang Norma and Joan Sutherland sang Clothilde.
III B 14 Nozze Frederica von Stade sings a rather different translation of "Voi che sapete". The subject is cats and the title is"Oy Chuck and Katie".
III B 15 Puritani This time it's the soprano that fails in this brief un-named excerpt from the love duet.
III B 16 Puritani Teresa Stitch-Randall ornaments beyond recognition and sings uncomfortably fast the cabaletta "Vien, diletto."
III B 17 Rigoletto A tenor from "L'Incompreso" struggles - bless his heart -with "Questa o quella". It's amazing that just about every one of his entrances is about a measure late. The approach and final Ab is worth the wait.
III B 18 Rigoletto 12-year-old Beverly Sills delightfully sings "Caro nome."
III B 19 Rigoletto Nicolai Gedda, Joan Sutherland, Mildred Miller and Tito Gobbi speak the lines from the Rigoletto Quartet, demonstrating the four different lines of action.
III B 20 Rigoletto Giuseppe di Stefano gets real sloppy in this excerpt.
III B 21 Separated at Birth Mozart inspired himself by the music from a Cosi recitative in writing Tamino's aria from Flute.
III B 22 Separated at Birth Who knew that Verdi predicted in his Trovatore the Carmen of Bizet?
III B 23 Star-Spangled Banner This policeman didn't know the words, the tune and basically didn't know how to sing the National Anthem
III B 24 Stitichezza In this "Grande duetto tragico" Giuseppe Valdengo and Cesare Siepi switch their Rigoletto roles and change the words with constipated effect.
III B 25 Teseo Riconosciuto In this excerpt from a Spontini rarity, Sonia Visentin demonstrates agile coloratura. Countless high Cs a few high Es and Fs and one high G.
III B 26 Tosca Combining two examples of the fact ("they" say) that Leonard Warren never really learned the role of Scarpia. The first, from a 1958 broadcast with Antonietta Stella, Warren mumbles words he's forgotten ("Ed or fra noi da buoni...") and gets the last one: "amici." The second example, from 1957 is an interchange between Warren's Scarpia and Renata Tebaldi's Tosca. Warren steps on her line with his "Portatelo..." and then he corrects it by singing it again.
III B 27 Traviata This is the place for the Alfredo to show off his high C (provided he has one) as Fritz Wunderlich serenades Teresa Stratas from this legendary March 28, 1965 Munich performance.
III B 28 Traviata Marie Green, a singer who dubbed and voice-overed her way through Hollywood in the '30s and 40s, sings her delectable version of "Sempre libera" with a male backup group.
III B 29 Traviata Excerpts from a March 17, 1983 Genova performance of Traviata. Domingo was originally announced, then Krause. The role of Alfredo ended up being sung by tenor Lamberto Furlan, whose pitch ability is not liked by the audience. The show eventually stops altogether and another tenor is brought on, but he is disliked even more. Joan Sutherland is the Violetta. Apparently, the performance never finished.
III B 30 Turandot Aretha Franklin gets down 'n dirty when she replaced the Pav.
III B 31 Walküre Baritone Richard Bonelli recorded the Winterstürme late in his life but this pupil of de Reszke still had the goods.
III B 32 Walküre Timothy Jenkins doesn't have enough left at the end of Act I of Die Walküre.
IV A 01 Cat Duet The proper way to begin Volume IV. The Rossini Cat Duet as sung by Leontyne Price and Regine Crespin.
IV A 02 Chocolate Soldier Josef Durchstecher, at the age of 16, entered one of those booths at an arcade and made a record, his first of many. You can actually hear the gun shooting at the moving ducks.
IV A 03 Coloratura Variations One of those sopranos for whom time has stopped, Maria Calabro sings the "Twinkle, twinkle little star" variations at the age of 83.
IV A 04 D7 A british "tenor" sings a reallyhigh D7 on a talk show.
IV A 05 Fra Diavolo A man whose last name is Julius Lieban sings a soprano aria from Auber's Fra Diavolo.
IV A 06 Gioconda In his inimitable style and key, Michael Aspinall sings "Suicidio" mimicking a certain diva.
IV A 07 Götterdämmerung Marilyn Horne strolls through the dramatic soprano realm singing the Immolation Scene with Erich Leinsdorf conducting. The excerpt is the rollicking finale.
IV A 08 Greeting Puccini
IV A 09 Hoffmann A soprano whose last name is Prell shows off her high Eb at the end of the Doll Song from Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann.
IV A 10 Hoffmann Anja Silja, age 19 sings a charming Doll Song (auf Deutsch), a preparatory role for Brünnhilde (see CD 2, track 17).
IV A 11 Little Drummer Boy Mr. and Mrs. James McCracken (Sandra) sing this little Christmas tune.
IV A 12 Lucia A truly mad, mad, mad, mad performance of the mad scene from Lucia mad Anna Moffo madly delivers on this 1969 broadcast.
IV A 13 Lucia A truly mad, mad, mad, mad performance of the mad scene from Lucia mad Anna Moffo madly delivers on this 1969 broadcast.
IV A 14 Lucia A truly mad, mad, mad, mad performance of the mad scene from Lucia mad Anna Moffo madly delivers on this 1969 broadcast.
IV A 15 Lucia A truly mad, mad, mad, mad performance of the mad scene from Lucia mad Anna Moffo madly delivers on this 1969 broadcast.
IV A 16 Lucia A truly mad, mad, mad, mad performance of the mad scene from Lucia mad Anna Moffo madly delivers on this 1969 broadcast.
IV A 17 Madama Butterfly A true trainwreck happens in this entrance of Butterfly from a Philadelphia performance with Montserrat Caballe.
IV A 18 Mame Eleanor Steber and Blanche Thebom, a duo who performed very often together in opera as well as recital, sing "Bosom Buddies."
IV A 19 Mignon The age of 88 has not depleted any of the rich sound of Giulietta Simionato, sung in Italian.
IV A 20 Morgen The Blanche to Maria's Baby Jane, Jacqueline Callas sings the well-known Strauss lied.
IV A 21 My Fair Lady Renee Fleming goes overboard once again and sings "I Could Have Danced All Night."
IV A 22 National Anthem The Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, sorta sings the National Anthem.
IV A 23 Nightingale A Russian soprano with the name Alla Solenkova, sings a remarkable "Song of the Nightingale."
IV A 24 Norma Donald Gramm interpolates an aria written by Wagner in this 1971 Boston performance of Norma.
IV A 25 Nozze Giulietta Simionato, at a birthday party for Karl Bšhm, sings Cherubino's "Non so piu". Down an octave.
IV B 01 Nymphs and Shepherds Cathy Berberian sings her rendition, or rather someone else's rendition in this classic performance from a recital.
IV B 02 Otello In this 1980 broadcast, Richard Cassilly should have thought twice about agreeing to perform. He cancelled after the first act.
IV B 03 Our Voices Were Meant For Each Other Helen Traubel and Jimmy Durante in one of their many radio shows.
IV B 04 Pagliacci Jose Carreras makes an appearance on TV's Sesame Street and sings Vesti la giubba for Ernie.
IV B 05 Paride ed Elena The youthful-sounding 64-year-old Erna Berger sings the classic "O del mio dolce ardor."
IV B 06 Patriotic Song Tenor Lucien Muratore sings a patriotic melody. The voice in the distance is his wife, Lina Cavalieri.
IV B 07 Requiem On March 29, 1959 the second of two performances of theVerdi Requiem occured. For the first, the week before, Heidi Krall replaced Zinka Milanov (go figure). Milanov decided she would do the second performance, but apparently she knew something no one else knew as she carried her purse onstage with her, thus being prepared for a hasty exit if necessary. Here is her complete albeit incomplete performance that Friday night. The other soloists were Rosalind Elias, Carlo Bergonzi and Giorgio Tozzi. The conductor was Bruno Walter in his final appearance at the Met.

She "fainted" slightly, got back stage left (closer to the stage door) and was tended to by Francis Robinson. Zinka overheard someone suggest a glass of whiskey. At that, Mme. toned lowly, "Brandy!" Robinson ran to the bar across the street from the stage door, ordered a glass of their finest brandy and proceeded to run back to the house and at the same time, being chased by the bartender.
IV B 08 Salome It is rather obvious that Richard Lewis was not in the best of health for the wonderful recording of Salome conducted by Erich Leinsdorf. He was able to vocally emit everything except for two phrases: "Sie ist ein Ungeheuer, deine Tochter. Ich sage dir, sie ist ein Ungeheuer!" The Herod of the sessions, James King, sang these phrases for him as they were below Lewis' available range.
IV B 09 Tancredi A baritone named Andre Bauge and Ninon Vallin sing this duet version of Di tanti palpiti from Rossini's Tancredi.
IV B 10 Tannhäuser Jazz great Stan Kenton presents his rendition of the overture form Tannhäuser.
IV B 11 Te amo A popular duet as sung by Judy Canova and Ezio Pinza
IV B 12-14 Tosca Michael Aspinall demonstrates how Act II of Tosca really should be done.
IV B 15 Tosca Galina Vishnevskaya and Matteo Manuguerra sing the finale of Act II of Tosca. Ms. Vishnevskaya really gets into it and that's putting it mildly.
IV B 16 Walküre At the Levine Gala, Birgit Nilsson made a brief speaking appearance and gave the audience a morsel of her Ho jo to ho.
IV B 17 Walküre 19-year-old Anja Silja, ten months after having sung the Doll in a Les contes d'Hoffmann, sang her first Brünnhilde in Stuttgart.
IV B 18 Yma Dream A very funny monologue by Thomas Ian as read by Christine Ebersoll.
IV B 19 Zauberflöte Ingrid Hšfer, who is classified as a dramatic soprano but she's more closer to the fach eighteen-wheeler soprano. She sings everything from Elsa to Erda. The opening section of this Queen of the Night aria has as much "Goddamnitall, let's get this section over with" attitude as the B section is slow and prodding. And boy does she prod.
V A 01 Aida Fiorenza Cossotto is very popular. In Japan. She'll perform at the drop of a hat as she does in this November 2007 Tokyo concert performance of the Judgment Scene.
V A 02 Barbiere Robert Merrill sings a sortof Happy Birthday to Moe Gale, hi manager on September 15, 1948. It's a combo of the Barber Largo and eventually goes into the Whiffenpoof Song.
V A 03 Barbiere An Asian soprano sings something resembling Una voce poco fa. You could probably write a Rossini opera with all her wrong notes. She's in F, by the way and I've only included the B section.
V A 04 Evangelia Callas An interview with a composer and the mother of Maria Callas, Evangelia. She claims her daughter to be her creation. She then proceeds to smears her daughter, blaming on her the suicide attempt. The aforementioned composer later recites the lyrics of a song he wrote depicting Mama Callas' sadness at her daughter's fleeing the family. A recording is played of Evangelia singing the song.
V A 05 Carmen Leona Anderson croaks the Habanera.
V A 06 Carmen From a broadcast starring Rosa Ponselle, this is the finale of the Sequidilla. Why does she sustain the final high B natural? Maybe she wanted to prove she was still a soprano with a great high B.
V A 07 Carmen The Carmen in this Act IV final duet is Dragana Jugovic del Monaco, a house soprano in Belgrade and wife of Giancarlo del Monaco (son of Mario). It is said that "she had taken lots of medications on the day of this concert because of some family troubles, but went to sing anyway." The tenor's name is not known.
V A 08 Carousel Leslie Uggams has a memory lapse while singing "June is bustin' out all over."
V A 09 Chenier Ben Heppner and Violeta Urmana in the final pages of the final duet.
V A 10 Chopin Nocturne Ornel Smith Lucas sings the familiar Chopin Nocturne in Eb with a rather unintelligible French.
V A 11 Don Carlo Baritone Placido Domingo sings Roderigo's final two arias in a 1975 recording.
V A 12 Elektra The final page of "Was bluten muss" as sung by Hildegard Behrens.
V A 13 Ernani In this 1949 recording of "Ernani involami,"Mina Foley, not only throws in a high Eb during the cadenza, not only does she throw in a high F at the final cadence, not only does she trill on a high F, she...
V A 14 Favorita Baritenor Sherrill Milnes throws in a high B natural at the close of the cabaletta "Vien amici" during a Favorita broadcast of March 11, 1978. The critics, BTW, didn't approve.
V A 15 First Recording A British radio announcer can't stop laughing after playing for her listeners a newly discovered old, old, old, ol recording.
V A 16 Forza A male soprano-wanna-be sings along with a MMO record.
V A 17 Götterdämmerung Grace Bumbry, albeit on the happy side of the pitch, soars through Immolation scene of which I offer the finale.
V A 18 Hansel & Gretel One audience member thought it would be OK if he ordered a set change from his seat by bellowing "Whoa! Change the set!" during this December 9, 2007 broadcast.
V A 19 Hoffmann On March 4th, 2007. CJ Sokolowski, 15-year-old Baritone and Male Soprano (aka countertenor) sang a semi-staged Doll Song for his voice class recital. His high Ebs are rather amazingly brilliant and he performs some ornaments that are unusual, like dipping down to Eb below middle C as a baritone then skipping up to his money-note, high Eb.
V A 20 Latvian TV Elena Obraztsova "gets down" on a variety show, belting high As in (her version of) chest.
V A 21 Lucia The tenor Bulent Bezduz sings Edgardo come scritto in the Act I love duet, beginning a downward scale on a high Eb. Lucia is Laura Aikin and dates from 2006.
V A 22 Lucia Renata Scotto in the finale of the Mad Scene, April 21, 1973.
V B 01 Masnadieri Lucianna Serra delivers crystal clear coloratur in the bridge - touching a high A natural - and B section of the cabaletta "Carlo vive!".
V B 02 Mignon Twelve-year-old Julie Andrews pipes the Polonaise. She sounds mature both in speaking and singing.
V B 03 Musensohn In the accompaniment of Schubert's lied, "Der Musensohn" the composer depicts a young boy skipping through nature. I have begun with the first few measures as sung by Elisabeth Schumann demonstrating a tempo that is a little slower than normal but normal. The next and complete version is by Jan DeGaetani and Gil Kalish.
V B 04 Name That Tune In the Italian version of the television quiz show, "Nominare quell'aria", the young (and unknown?) Giuseppe di Stefano is put through his paces.
V B 05 Norma Cecilia Bartoli (!!!!) sings Casta Diva.
V B 06 Otello A rare combination of two of the greatest interpreters of Verdi's Otello singing together in Dallas: Mario del Monaco as Otello and Ramon Vinay as Iago.
V B 07 Pagliacci Mario del Monaco sings the Prologue.
V B 08 Pagliacci An 8-minute redo of "Vesti la giubba", courtesy of Signor Caruso and pianist Alan Feinberg entitled "Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental". This must be what Caruso's recording of the aria sounds like still ringing in outer space.
V B 09 Petite Messe Solennelle The tenor aria "Cujus animam" sung by soprano Julia Migenes-Johnson.
V B 10 Pinafore An excerpt from H.M.S. Pinafore sung in Yiddish.
V B 11 Puritani Giovanni Roberti sings the aria with the high F (barely) but does something strange at the end...
V B 12 Rigoletto From an episode of "Amos 'n Andy", the Delta Rhythm Boys sing "The Rigoletto Blues", their version of the quartet.
V B 13 Schicchi Inna Dukach sings "O mio babbion caro" accompanied by The Groove Brothers.
V B 14 Schicchi At a June 25, 1953 Lewisohn Stadium concert, Yma Sumac in her only (?) recording of an opera aria.
V B 15 Skylark Ellen Beach Yaw warbles, trills, tremulates and chirps her way through this lovely ditty in a crecording from 1909. She ends on a high Bb above high C.
V B 16 Titwillow Julius Lieban sing in this recording made ca. 1907.
V B 17 Tosca For purposes of teaching the general public about Puccini's Tosca, the NY Philharmonic hired a singer to sing an excerpt with the accompanist explaining the story prior to the "delightful" aria. The only flaw with this performance is that the pianist neglected to flatten the C while playing in the key of G flat major.
V B 18 Traviata Baritone Craig Smith as Germont interpolates a high Bb at the end of Act II, Scene 1.
V B 19 Trovatore Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti join forces for a performance of "Di quella pira".
V B 20 Turandot As Calaf, Deanna Durbin sings "None shall sleep tonight".
V B 21 Walküre Julie Andrews sings Brünnhile's battlecry.
V B 22 Zauberflöte A (Japanese) parrot demonstrates its coloratura agility.
V B 23 Zauberflöte Adolf, Adalbert and Siegmund Lieban perform the aria "O Isis und Osiris" in a recording from ca. 1907.
VI A 01 Adriana Magda Olivero proves her everlasting vocal ability by going, not to the stage of La Scala but the offices of the house and recording the entire role of Adriana, albeit with piano. I include here the final pages of the opera with tenor Alberto Cupido, baritone Orazio Mori and Carmelina Gandolfo at the piano. Olivero is 84 years old.
VI A 02 Aida This performance of "Ritorna vincitor!" can serve as Exhibit A for proving that Verdi should not be sung in English. The soprano's last name is Clarke. Nuff said.
VI A 03 Aida Grace Bumbry and Grace Bumbry perform the Amneris/Aida duet.
VI A 04 Barbiere From a cartoon: "Dentist of Seville - Live From The Nest".
VI A 05 Barbiere Robert Merrill and Ed Wynn have fun on a 1950 Christmas Eve broadcast of "The Big Show".
VI A 06 Barbiere A sort of rock version of the Largo performed by (tenor?) Pierre Simons.
VI A 07 Barbiere This is an excerpt from "Una voce poco fa" sung by Luciana Serraa during a recital. I include this because of her amazing agility at singing leaps of sixths near the end of this clip. It's a single measure worth hearing
VI A 08 Carmen The quintet sung in Chinese.
VI A 09 Carmen Why singers attempt to sing with Music Minus One is beyond explanation. A soprano whoe last name is Soare attempts the Seguidilla.
VI A 10 Carmen Spike Jones' slapstick version of the Bizet opera.
VI A 11 Chenier Placido Domingo, now starting to sing all things operatic, performs "Nemico della patria" at a 2007 New Orleans gala. He transposes UP a half step.
VI A 12 Faust Tenor Rudolf Schock sings "Avant de quitter ces lieux" auf Deutsch.
VI A 13 Favorita Ruby Hinds displays subtle chest voice in this cabaletta after "O mio Ferrando."
VI A 14 Fille From a Vienna performance of April Fool's Day, 2007. Montserrat Caballe, age 73, portrays the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Normally a non-singing role, she interpolated "G'Sch?tzli", one of her familiar encores. She even made a joke about her longstanding reputation for canceling.
VI A 15 Forza Giovanni Martinelli, born in 1885 and Giuseppe DeLuca, born in 1876 perform "Solenne in quest ora" at some sort of Italian benefit concert. Oh, by the way, this took place in 1950; do the math.
VI A 16 Georgia Brown The factory whistle you hear at the beginning of this is Georgia Brown.
VI B 01 Gioconda October 13, 1982 was a date of notable infamy in New York. The scheduled cast for this Gioconda included Eva Marton, Mignon Dunn, Placido Domingo and Matteo Manuguerra with Giuseppe Patane in the pit. Unfortunately, Domingo, as often happened in 1982, cancelled after the first Act and was replaced by Carlo Bini with no previous rehearsals. Below is Act II, starting from Enzo's aria to the end of the act.

Cielo e mar!

Bini receives much applause and much booing. When the audience ceases to state their displeasure, a man yells "Bravo Ponchielli!"
VI B 02 Gioconda Ma chi vien? Non e uno spettro...

At 1:57, their is laughter heard from the audience: the not-very-tall Signor Bini had embraced the very-tall Mme. Dunn from behind, placing his hands, let's just say, far above her waist. She then re-positioned his hands in a more acceptable location, i.e. her waist.

Maestro Patane halts the performance and says to the audience something like "This is not a cabaret! If you have no respect for the artists, then please respect Ponchielli!" After a false start, the maestro continues the opera.
VI B 03 Gioconda Laggiu nelle nebbie remote
VI B 04 Gioconda Ho il cor gonfio di lagrime
VI B 05 Gioconda E un anatema!
VI B 06 Gioconda Laura, Laura! dove sei?

When it came time for Enzo's re-entrance it was discovered that Bini had locked himself in his dressing room. Charlie Riecker, an artistic "mediator", was summoned backstage to convince Bini to come out and finish the opera.

He finally entered albeit 13 silent seconds late, singing without the orchestra. Then Marton sings her next line, apparently thinking Patane had started again. A man in the audience yells something ("angoscia"?) and the performance continues once again.

Bini has become rather frightened. At 3:00, the audience laughs again after seeing Marton prevent Bini from leaving the stage altogether.

Patane, claiming palpitations, threw in the towel after Act IV and Eugene Kohn replaced him for the final act.
VI B 07 Lucia It seems that Cheryl Studer attempted to sing every soprano role known to man. Here is an excerpt from the Mad Scene.
VI B 08 Pagliacci Baritone Lawrence Tibbett sings "Vesti la giubba" (transposed down a whole step). If only he had one more note...
VI B 09 Pirates (Mr.) Davinia Pons sings "Poor Wandering One".
VI B 10 Rheingold A multi-ranged singer (see track 18), whose last name is Hofer, interprets Erda.
VI B 11 Rigoletto Luciano Pavarotti, Leon Nucci, Cheryl Studer and James Levine recorded Rigoletto for DG. But did Ms. Studer pull a fast one on them? This is a very unique recording of "Caro nome". Something tells me she insisted on recording the aria last as she must have known of her inability to properly vocalize it, thereby forcing the powers that be to issue the recording, instead of finding someone else.
VI B 12 Rigoletto The Pondman Family - five adult children, pupils of their father - give us "La donna e mobile", (sung by Walther) and then the quartet (joined by Lonne, Liza and Alain).
VI B 13 Su le labbro Bubbles Silverman (Beverly Sills) chirps the ditty.
VI B 14 Trovatore Kitty Carlisle (Hart) sings Leonora in this "Miserere" from the Marx Brothers movie "A Night at the Opera". She even does the interpolated high C.
VI B 15 Turandot A wet noodle version of "Nessun dorma" sung by Helmut Damien Leith.
VI B 16 Walküre Pola Negri sings Ho-jo-to-ho in the movie "Hi Diddle Diddle". Then she joins a baritenor in the theme from the overture to TannhŠuser. Some dogs don't appreciate it.
VI B 17 Walküre A galaxy of talent sufficient to cast an Arena di Verona production of Sondheim's Follies assembles in the following recording. It's the "Ride of the Valkyries" as sung on February 13, 2003 at a gala performance in Tokyo. Wotan's daughters, in order of appearance: Alessandra Marc (Gerhilde), Eva Marton (Helmwige), Karan Armstrong (Waltraute), Agnes Baltsa (Schwertleite), Anna Tomowa-Sintow (Ortlinde), Gwyneth Jones (doubling Siegrune and Rossweisse) ... and Jochen Kowalski (Grimgerde).
VI B 18 Zauberflöte Remember Frau Hofer? Well, here she gives us what has to be the most pedantic and lububrious final two pages of the Queen of the Night's first aria.
VII A 01 Adriana Though she's not, Maria Gulaghina is singing a role that is usually done at the end of a career. That said, here is "Poveri fiori" (did she not get the memo that said transpositions would start after the aria?).
VII A 02 Aida Richard Tucker in his famous performance as Rhadames with Arturo Toscanini, singing an ending of "Celeste Aida" sanctioned by the maestro.
VII A 03 Be My Way To Heaven Scale the heights with Donna Loochi as she sings a tricky ditty.
VII A 04 Borgia An excerpt from the infamous Lucrezia Borgia performance at La Scala starring Renee Fleming.
VII A 05 Butterfly THomas Hampson sings "Bring me back my Butterfly" of Cole Porter who quotes the Puccini opera (the love duet and that final chord).
VII A 06 Cesare A voice of many registers, one might think Ewa Podles coached this aria from Giulio Cesare with Louis Armstrong.
VII A 07 Cid Montserrat Caballe gives great chest during a live performance of "Pleurz mes yeux" from Le Cid.
VII A 08 Countess Maritza On July 12, 2007 Eva Marton sang an aria from Countess Maritza when she shouldn't have.
VII A 09 Diva Fanny Brice does her imitation of an operatic diva in this 1930 movie.
VII A 10 Don Carlo Ah, the Pondman family. The father teaches/coaches/abuses his four children in the Netherlands and started their careers immediately on youtube. Here is the duet from Don Carlo with the two sons, Walther and Alain, accompanied by their sister, Lili. I didn't know the Dutch language had no recognizable vowels. And is the secret to the Pondman technique the ridiculous attempt to mimic Corelli? Brother Franciscus sings the role of the Friar and sisters Lonne and Liza provide the male chorus. Lili provides the spontaneous time signatured accompaniment.
VII A 11 Don Carlo 16-year-old soprano Lonne Pondman, accompanied by her sister, Lili Pondman, yanks her throat into submission with "Tu che la vanita" from Don Carlo. It literally can be painful to listen to, trying to figure out just what the heck she's doing to her larynx. The youtube text states (I'm not making this up, you know): "All in one voice, now it only needs to grow to maturity." It was filmed by National Dutch Television in August of 2008
VII A 12 Elisir Joseph Schmidt sings a very different ending in "Una furtiva lagrima" (a trill and high Bb).
VII A 13 Götterdämmerung The facts: Marjorie Lawrence, age 28, in her first six performances at the Met, most likely the first time singing them in their original language, taking place in less than a month:

12/18/35: Walküre - Brünnhilde (debut) 12/31/35: Lohengrin: Ortrud (broadcast) 12/21/35: Concert (broadcast) 12/28/35: Lohengrin: Ortrud 1/3/36: Siegfried - Brünnhilde 1/11/36: GštterdŠmmerung - Brünnhilde

Listen to the finale of the Immolation Scene from the GštterdŠmmernung broadcast of January 11, 1936. It's (rather dangerous) pedal-to-the-floor singing. It was also the first time she defied the director and rode Grane into the funeral pyre. Her reward was to get no further performances of the opera that season.
VII A 14 Gypsy On January 10th, 2009, Patti LuPone stopped her Tony Award winning performance of Gypsy right in the middle of her biggest number: Rose's Turn. Someone in the audience was taking pictures, and this diva did not like it. She verbally and successfully kicked him out of the theater.
VII A 15 Happy Birthday There was a restaurant birthday party for Licia Albanese on December 26, 2008. Listen (twice) as everyone sings Happy Birthday to her and she joins in on the very last note (high G).
VII A 16 Hoffmann Milagros Poblados essays the second verse of the Doll Song from Hoffmann with three staccato high Gs.
VII A 17 Hoffmann Wilfriede Luttgen, auf Deutsch, thrills and trills on high Bbs in alt from this 1960 Hoffmannvideo (second verse).
VII A 18 Juive Excerpt from a live performance of La Juive with Chris Merritt.
VII A 19 Ladies' Man The obnoxious comedian-turned-director Jerry Lewis prompts Helen Traubel during a screen test for his movie "The Ladies' Man". Why she didn't deck him I don't know.
VII A 20 Let The Eagles Soar The former (thank God) Attorney General John Ashcroft sings (since his religion forbids him from dancing or drinking) his heart rending rendition of "Let the Eagles Soar" at some rabid Republican dinner.
VII B 01 Lucia This has to be one of the top three selections from anything from the "Shall I Go On?" series. Fasten your seatbelts as Angie Animoat sings "Quando rapito in estasi" from Lucia. Her ornaments are, uh, spontaneous and her technique sometimes seems as if she learned it from a chimpanzee.
VII B 02 Lucia I'm always amazed when singers walk out in front of the public and not know if a certain note will work or not. And then when it doesn't, they don't adjust or get off of it. Do they think it will fix itself all by itself? Here is the final pages of the Mad Scene from Lucia with Anna Netrebko, her first Met performance of the role, January 26, 2009.
VII B 03 Macbeth Elena Nikolaidi sings the Sleeprunning scene from Macbeth.
VII B 04 Norma Maria Guleghina attempts Norma's Act I cabaletta, not only dropping Bellini's written notes which are meant to be sung but adding interpolated fioraturi that she doesn't deserve to sing. Go figure.
VII B 05 Otello The Otello of Otelli, Mario del Monaco, easily combines the final two phrases of the "Esultate" into one.
VII B 06 Pagliacci Giovanni Martinelli very often added text to the postlude of Vesti la Giubba from Pagliacci: "Infamia!".
VII B 07 Pagliacci Spike Jones' take on Pagliacci.
VII B 08 Regina di Golconda Dramatic mezzo Bianca Berini sings an aria from Donizetti's Regina di Golconda, exhibiting her vast range in a scale beginning on a high E natural to low E natural(three octaves!).
VII B 09 Rigoletto An unfortunate live 1940 St. Louis performance of the Rigoletto quartet with Bidu Sayao, Jan Kiepura, Carlo Morelli and Herta Glaz. LàszlÑ Halasz was the conductor trying to keep things together.
VII B 10 Rigoletto Juan Diego Florez sings the second verse of "La donna e mobile" from Rigoletto with accurate scalework, a touched interpolated high C# and a long held climactic high B.
VII B 11 Rosenkavaiier Susanne Mentzer, Deborah Voigt and Lisette Oropesa are heard here in an excerpt from the final trio from Der Rosenkavalier at the Met's 125th Anniversary Gala. The climactic high B natural from the Marschallin's throat wasn't exactly placed in the right spot. Or octave??
VII B 12 Spectre de la Rose Composer Rufus Wainwright shares his vocal styling of Berlioz' "Spectre de la Rose". Maybe he shouldn't quit his day job.
VII B 13 Strangers in the Night Elva Ruby Connes Miller (aka Mrs. Miller) sings "Strangers in the Night".
VII B 14 Strike Up The Band Maureen McGovern sings "Strike Up The Band" and then closes by singing the piccolo part(!) from Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever". She got the idea from a story about Estelle Liebling using the piccolo part as a warmup during her performing career.
VII B 15 Tote Stadt On May 25, 1967, George London gave his final operatic performance in a Vienna production of Korngold's Die tote Stadt. Here is the beautiful "Pierrot's Tanzlied", transposed down a whole step.
VII B 16 Traviata In this manufactured 1940 recording of of Alfredo's Act I offstage serenade from La traviata, Beniamino Gigli takes an interpolated high C.
VII B 17 Traviata Piero Cappuccilli, in a performance of the role of Germont in La traviata, encored the Act II aria "Di provenza". This recording begins with the final page of the encore. The performance then continues and he takes an astounding high Bb at the finale. If you've got it, flaunt it.
VII B 18 Trovatore Dame Joan Sutherland's Met farewell took place on December 19, 1987 in the role of Leonora in Il trovatore. Here is the second verse of "Di tale amor". The entire performance was tailor-fitted for her. Here, Bonynge cuts one measure of the F/Eb trill turns and then later, adds a measure that wasn't written in the printed score but, no doubt, used in a performance from the distant past.
VII B 19 Trovatore From the same performance as track 18, Shirley Verrett interpolates a high C in the finale of Act III.
VII B 20 Trovatore Anna Moffo displays her amazing breath control in "D'amor sull ali rosee" from Il trovatore and takes an optional high Db.
VII B 21 Vespri Maralin Niska interpolates a stunning and fearless high E natural at the end of "Merce dilette amici from I Vespri Siciliani in this broadcast of April 12, 1975.
VII B 22 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.
VII B 23 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.
VII B 24 When You're In Love Grace Moore and Cary Grant swing it in this scene from "When YouÍre in Love" (1937).
VIII A 01 Adriana Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli deliver the goods in these two Act IV excerpt from a 1969 performance of Adriana Lecouvreur. The sobs from both artists attest to this.
VIII A 02 Aida The fatal phrase in "Celeste Aida" gives any tenor angst, especially if he doesn't have a reliable high Bb, like this nameless Rhadames.
VIII A 03 Aida The finale of the Triumphal Scene sung in a concert version by, uh... whoever showed up. First, it was Callas. Then Galvany and Millo. Ladies and gentlemen, we now have another diva to add to the list: Sue Hassel. Charles Handelman is the king (the role, that is).
VIII A 04 Aida The high C at the end of "O patria mia" is treacherous if you're not Zinka, Leontyne, Jones or Caballe. Violetta Urmana had it rough in 2009.
VIII A 05 Aida A voice that is somewhat forgotten but deserves appreciation is Daniza Ilitsch. Unfortunately, a certain day in 1948 was not her best day, but the beauty of her voice is still there. In these three excerpts from Act III, Kurt Baum sings Rhadames. Notice how he gets off of the high Bb at the end of his duet with Aida (What? Kurt Baum doesn't hold onto a high note?). This is probably in deference to the obviously ailing Ilitsch . Milton Cross waits for the artists to come out. Ilitsch never does and Florence Kirk replaced her in Act IV. Apologies forr the less-than-perfect digitization.
VIII A 06 An die Musik On February 1, 1951, Mme. Lotte Lehmann gave a recital at New York's Town Hall. She announced at its end that this would be her last for her faithful New York audience in a heartfelt speech.

For an encore, she attempted to sing Schubert's An die Musik. Overcome with emotion, she was unable to sing its final line: "ich danke dir".
VIII A 07 Armida Adelaide Negri makes an amazingly dull attempt at "D'amor al dolce impero from Rossini's Armida.
VIII A 08 Ballo Hartford Opera produced Verdi's Un ball in maschera on November 26, 1969. Did they know that Fedora Barbieri, its Ulrica would sing almost all of the role in full chest voice? The Riccardo was Giuseppe Campora and Amerlia was sung by Elinor Ross.
VIII A 09 Barbiere Maria Remola not only transposes "Una voce poco fa" up to F but interpolates not a high F at the end but a high A above high C. If you've got it, flaunt it.
VIII A 10 Barbiere Blond bimbo Katherine Jenkins justifies her last name in this rendition of "Una voce poco fa" from Il barbiere di Siviglia.
VIII A 11 Beethoven Ninth This selection begins with the final page of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, conducted by Arturo Toscanini to demonstrate an accepted normal tempo. It is then immediately followed by a performance of the Stockholm Philharmonic conducted by Wilhelm FurtwŠngler. Quite a difference...
VIII A 12 Boheme An attempt at the infamous high C during Rodolfo's "Che gelida manina". The tenor's name is unknown.
VIII A 13 Butterfly The Opera Babes preserve their take on "Un bel di" from Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
VIII A 14 Carmen The Catalan baritone Vicente Sardinero sang Escamillo in a Newark performance of Carmen in 1979. This also served as the first staged performance of Carmen by Victoria de los Angeles. The beauty of his voice paralleled his shortness of stature.
VIII A 15 Carmen From the same performance above, we hear Vicdtoria de los Angeles in the finale of Act III. Did someone sing the high c for her?
VIII A 16 Cat Duet Soprano Anneliese Rothenberger sings the Rossini Cat Duet not with another singer, but her accompanist, Norman Shetler.
VIII A 17 Coloratura Variations Maria Remola ends her recording of the coloratura variations on "Ah vous dirai-memamn" with a high B above high C. If you've got it, flaunt it.
VIII A 18 Cygne An unusual arragngement, transposition and transcription of Saint Saens' Le Cygne for chorus, soprano and orchestra.
VIII A 19 Giovanni A hideous worn out nameless bass sings the Don's Serenade "Deh vieni alla finestra".
VIII A 20 Elisir The final page of "Una furrtiva lagrima" sung by an unknown tenor who goes horribly flat at the conclusion.
VIII A 21 Florence Foster Jenkins The group called Everyday Visuals" sing a tribute to the Diva of Din.
VIII A 22 Francesca 99-year-old Magda Olivero still had what it took on April 14, 2009 when she sang this breif excerpt from Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini.
VIII A 23 Gedda Coaching Rodger Wagsjo is coached by Nicolai Gedda.
VIII A 24 God Bless America Down and going Erika David (as opposed to "up and coming") has a monumental memory lapse 30 seconds into the wonderful song, "God Bless America" before a baseball game on August 18, 2009.
VIII A 25 Hoffmann What would a volume of "Shall I Go On?" be without a Hoffmann Doll Song? Elise Curran makes her case for this inclusion with her interpolated high F, G, Bb and Ab above high C.
VIII B 01 L'italiana Maxim Mironov show off his upper extension in the October 20, 2003 performance of the tenor aria from Rossini's L'Italian in Algieri.
VIII B 02 Lakmé Maria Remola decids the ending for the Bell Song is not high enough; so she itnerpolates a high G# and holds onto it. If you've got it, flaunt it.
VIII B 03 Laudamus te PTL! Whoever this soprano is thinks she's giving praise...
VIII B 04 Lucia Beverly Sills didn't bring all of her high Eb onstage during this performance of Lucia di Lamermoor on January 15, 1977.
VIII B 05 Manon Lescaut The Metropolitan Opera debut of Mario del Monaco was a sort of drive-by performance. He was on his way back to Italy from his debut in San Francisco. He dropped by New York for a quickie on November 27, 1950 in Puccini's Manon Lescaut with Dorothy Kirsten. Her returned to the Met almost a year later as Rhadames in Verdi's Aida with zinka Milanov, and, making their debuts, Elena Nikolaidi and George London.

The excerpt here is a 1951 perforrmance (whereabouts unknown) "No!... No!... Pazzo son" from the fourth act. He really gets carried away, even with a sob that happened to hit on a high B.
VIII B 06 Onegin Mark Reizen sings, at the age of 90 in 1985, Prince Gremin's aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
VIII B 07 Rigoletto Introduced as Juan Diego Florez, this JDF-wanna-be destroys "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto.
VIII B 08 Rosenkavalier An excerpt from the final Act 3 duet between Sophie and Octavian, sung by Lucia Popp and Yvonne Minton. The oprano comes just a wee bit short for tthe final high B.
VIII B 09 Sonnambula On March 2, 2009, a new production of Bellini's La sonnambula appeared and the audience thought it was a nightmare.
VIII B 10 Su le labbro Miss Piggy sings her ditty "I Want To Sing In Opera".
VIII B 11 Thais When RCA issued a studio recording with DELUXE vanity packaging of Massenet's Thais, it became such an embarassment that the heroine's Husband, Mr. David Sarnoff Moffo went around and bought up as many copies as possible to save face. Athanael is sung by Gabriel Bacquier.
VIII B 12 Till The End Of Time You have to wait till the end to hear Adam Lopez demonstrate his Guiness book of World Record upper extension.
VIII B 13 Tosca A new production of Puccini's Tosca appeared in New York on Septeber 21, 2009 and the audience wished it hadn't. During Act I, director Bondy had the Tosca, Karita Mattila, vandalize Cavaradossi's painting. The destruction becomes a distraction.

Then follows the final page of the Act 2 aria "Vissi d'arte". Note the release of high G.

The Sonnambula audience repeats their disdain for this insulting-to-Tosca-fans production. Billyburger tries to explain the booing away in vain.
VIII B 14 Tosca This Scarpia and Tosca have a lot of spicy puttanesca in their spaghetti sauce as they portray the murder of Scarpia.
VIII B 15 Tosca Gina Lollogridgida sings(!) the final moments of Tosca.
VIII B 16 Traviata Maria Remola ends "Sempre libera" with a high Ab above high C. When you've got it, flaunt it.
VIII B 17 Traviata This nameless baritone has a hard time with the end of "Di provenza" in Verdi's La traviata.
VIII B 18 Trovatore On October 4, 2009, Dennis Neill barely delivers the denaro note at the end of "Di quella pira".
VIII B 19 Trovatore Deanna Durbin and Jan Peerce sing the "Miserere" from Verdi's Il trovatore.
VIII B 20 Turandot Sue Hassel demonstrates her inability as Turandot.
VIII B 21 Turandot Rolando Nicolo introduces Grace Bumbry who offers "In questa reggia" from Puccini's Turandot in this 1976 telecast. She really clears the air after track 19
VIII B 22 Turandot This sweet nameless little tenorino delicately gets through "Nessun dorma".
VIII B 23 Unidentified Someone tries to sing some aria from some opera.
VIII B 24 Vivaldi Cecilia Bartoli, winner of the Nadia Commanic of the Larynx Price, agitates her throat in this hair-raising excerpt from "Agitata da due venti".
VIII B 25 Zauberflöte A soprano tried her best to end the Queen of the Night's first aria and fails.
VIII B 26 Zauberflöte Yma Sumac transposes the Queen of the Night's 2nd aria down a third but makes up for it with tropical amazonian glottal effects.
VIII B 27 Xmas Special The word "special" doesn't begin to describe Giorgio Longdo's ardor for singing. This deluded divo even sells a handful of DVDs to share his vocal prowess with the world.
IX A 01 Aida A recurring artist of the "Shall I Go On?" series is tenor robusto (that's pronounced ro-BUST-o, as in bust a cord) Sirach van Bodegrav. His intonation of "Celeste Aida" is only helped by his ability to accompany himself on an electric piano.
IX A 02 Aida The aria "O patria mia" has been causing trouble for numerous Aidas, past and present. You will hear the same treacherous excerpt - the approach to that high C and to the end of the aria. First is

-------Zinka Milanov visits top not briefly, but makes up for it in spades with her signature nuance of high pianissimo.

-------Renata Tebaldi hands onto it for a bit in this 1959 Paris performance.

-------Cheryl Studer goes into a sort of whistle stopn enabling her to turn it into a long phrase.

-------Violetta Urmana has a bad afternoon, in spite of good evenings. Hei Hu shows war and tear from too many trips to Egypt.
IX A 03 Ariadne Michael Devlin, speaking the role of the Major-domo, has a lapse of memory on February 8, 2010.
IX A 04 Ballo Butt-ugly voiced Manuela Trasobares gives it her all in Ulrica's aria from Un ballo in maschera.
IX A 05 Barbiere Deanna Durbin shows versatility in Figaro's "Largo al factotum" from Il barbiere di Siviglia.
IX A 06 Barbiere Placido Domingo and Pacido Domingo sing the Act I duet between Figaro and Almaviva from Il barbiere di Siviglia.
IX A 07 Baroque Aria A hilarious spoof on the baroque aria. RTenor Richard Croft sings "And Music Shall Untune The Sky", complete with trumpet obligato.
IX A 08 Battle Hymn No, not the familiar "of the Republic" but "of the Accompanist", performed by Roger Vignoles, humble pianist to the stars.
IX A 09 Bettelstudent Maybe Nicolai Gedda thought it wouldn't be a good idea to hold the high note, lest he get a place on Volume IX of "Shall I Go On?".
IX A 10 Boheme Who said opera isn't a spectator sport? This tenor, after his fine high C, receives major approval from his 1976 Venice audience.
IX A 11 Boheme The original "come scritto" maestro was Arturo Toscanini. He did, however, "fix" Signor Verdi and Puccini from time to time. In his studio recording of La boheme, he felt that Marcello'ssend-off line to Mimi ("Or rincasate... MimÒ... per caritö, non fate scene qua!") was a bit harsh. So he took it upon himself to write a different text. As best as one can tell, he thought Marcello should say: "Tornate a casa, ed io gli parlero'... poi tutto vi diro."
IX A 12 Carmen The Muppets perform the Habanera frm Carmen.
IX A 13 Carmen While we're at it, bass Samuel Ramey belts his Toreador Song on another Muppet Show.
IX A 14 Carmen Days apart, Roberto Alagna demonstrates his ability to convincingly sing the end of the Flower Song from Carmen.
IX A 15 Cavalleria "Voi lo sapete" as sung by Manuela Trasobares.
IX A 16 Chenier On February 25, 2010, Teatro Real in Madrid almost didn't produce Andrea Chenier. Here's an account:

"Okay, here is my understanding of what happened after both listening to the broadcast and reading some of the chatter at one of the Spain opera forums. Just after Gerard's (Marco Vratogna) first aria, some of the people in the upper rings started yelling "quitad la amplificacion!" ("get rid of the amplification!") and then "van a matar la opera!" ("you're going to kill opera!"), booing and shouting "verguenza" ("Shame!") because he seemed to be mic'd and there was some sort of loud feedback up there---he would turn around and it would sound the same as if he was facing forward, etc, some sound coming from the left and some from the right and it was reverberating. So they were pissed. Fiorenza Cedolins (Maddalena) then came on in the first scene and that's when they really started getting angry because she seemed to be mic'd, too.

They didn't stop booing, and then the conductor (Victor Pablo Perez) paused the performance and the curtain came down. Then Cedolins herself came out and said in broken Spanish "excuse me, we can keep going or if you'd like, we can all go home," and then she chatted with the conductor about what to do. There was a pause for a few minutes, the radio host tried to kill time with the synopsis of the first act (which he had already given...) while they tried to figure out what was going on.

So then someone came on stage and apologized for the "technical difficulties," said that they were going to start the performance from the beginning, and that things were straightened out. And the performance went on. Later, though, Marcelo Alvarez, who had already been having a rough time in the production, pulled out after the second act and was replaced, prompting another announcement. Quite a night at the Teatro Real..."
IX A 17 Dialogues Make sure you listen to the very end of this excerpt from the haunting ending of Poulence's Dialogues Des Carmelites and hear something hit the straw. Paul Daniel conducts this ENO studio recording. Note to producer: that blade is either really really sharp or weighs a couple of grams.
IX A 18 Don Carlo Grace Bumbry almost imitates Zara Doulhkanova at the end of a Paris "O don fatale" from Don Carlo. Then her personal mistress of ceremony, Queen Latiffa (she's really up on opera, you know) gives her a compliment, which she learned just for the occasion. Unfortunately, we didn't hear Ms. Melzia-Bumbry sing anything close to bravura that evening.
IX A 19 Elektra Erma Schluter decides to adjust the Strauss score of Elektra in this October 26, 1947 performance.
IX A 20 Fanciulla Renata Tebaldi REALLY gives it to Anselmo Colzani at the end of Act II during this Fanciulla broadcast of March 14, 1970.
IX A 21 Katherine Jenkins Katherine Jenkins is interviewed about her operatic mentoring skills for pop singers. We hear Dannhy sing the Duke as an example of one of her accomplishments, with her "hands around his waist".
IX A 22 Lohengrin Al Jolson does the Act III prelude from Wagner's Lohengrin (plus a bit from the Act III postlude from Traviata ?).
IX A 23 Manon Lescaut As peerless as Renata Tebaldi was, sometimes even she ran into an operatic bump in the road. Here's one of those encounters during her performance of "In quelle trine morbide" in South America on August 20, 1953. .
IX B 01 Palindrome Song Billed as "Weird Al Yankovic Bob", he sings, ala Bob Dylan, a lyric consisting of palindromes. This should keep you busy for a while...
IX B 02 Pelléas Decades before Placido Domingo's Boccanegra, there was Maggie Teyte's Genevieve, Arkel, Pelléas, Golaud, Yniold, Shepherd and Mélisande. She sings bits from almost all of the roles in Pelléas et Mé lisande for this curious pastiche.
IX B 03 Porgy On December 15, 2009, Katia Ricciarelli trepidatiously gets through "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess.
IX B 04 Puritani In this excerpt from a studio recording of "A te o cara" from I Puritani, American tenor Eugene Conley demonstrates his easy high C#.
IX B 05 Rigoletto Maria Remola interpolates a high G# above high C at the end of "Caro nome" because she can (her needle seems to get a little stuck with the staccati Bs and C#s).
IX B 06 Semiramide In what must be one of the top 3 best selections of the "Shall I Go On?" series, soprano Sue Hassel gives Dame Joan a run for her money in the cabaletta of "Bel raggio lusinghier" from Semiramide. The final high E-something-or-other at the end is a perfect way to stop this coloraturatic calamity.
IX B 07 Suor Angelica If you think it's impossible to sing Puccini without portamenti, then listen to Mara Zampieri buzz0saw her way through "Senza mamma" from Suor Angelica.
IX B 08 There Are Fairies Beatrice Lillie solemnly parody the flowery performing style of earlier decades
IX B 09 Tosca A sleazy jazzy sloppy "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca.
IX B 10 Tosca In honr of (?) Grace Bumbry (?), Angela Gheorghiu sang "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca at the December 28, 2009 Kennedy Center Awqrds. She flew over from Romania jsut to sing for her friend. That probably explains her brief lapse into her native Romanian tongue on the last syllable of the last word.
IX B 11 Tosca Deborah Voigt gets into some trouble during this September 26, 2009 Chicago Tosca.
IX B 12 Tosca That doozy of a Duse, Jeanette Macdonald and Allan Jones perform the final scene ofTosca in this 1936 film.
IX B 13 Traviata Fearless Alexandrina Pendatchanska sings Violetta's big Act I finale from La traviata. Apparently she forgot she was only 17.
IX B 14 Traviata It was a perfect storm: the conductor had never led Traviata before and the soprano (for reasons known only to them) weren't present at all the rehearsals. Leonard Slatkin neglected to return to a tempo, Angela Gheorghiu came in with his wrong beat but Thomas Hampson didn't during this prima performance on March 29, 2010.
IX B 15 Trovatore Natalia de Andrade comes out retirement again to sing her rendition of "Di tale amor from Il trovatore. Nuff said.
IX B 16 Turandot It was a match made in heaven: Pop star Michael Bolton teams up with Katia Ricciarelli to perform a rather pathetic crossover moment while singing "Nessun dorma" from Turandot. A downward half-step transposition was in order...
IX B 17 Turandot We return to "Britain's Got Talent" which proves its ability to pick a REAL talent. This contestant, hotel waiter Greg Pritchard, announces in a medium voice that he's going to sing "Nessun dorma". What comes out of his mouth is totally unexpected: he transposes up an octave. What comes out of the judges' mouths is even more astounding.
IX B 18 TV Show Giorgio Longdo (yes, that's his last name) sings excerpts from his "New TV Show. He is one of many who have graduated from the Bert Lahr School of Vocal Manglement. He has definitely earned the nickname of "Canada's Mario Lanza".
IX B 19 Zauberflöte Mozart would be so proud that soprano Dollie De Luxe (yes, that's right) interpolated the Queen of the Night's rage aria into the Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". Maybe this combo is appropriate for the performers...
X A 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?
X A 02 Aida International belating star Salvatore Licitra obliviously sings "Celeste Aida" during a broadcast from April 3, 2010.
X A 03 Aida Marisa Galvany starts early and ends poorly a high Eb at the end of this Aida Triumphal Scene in Philadelphia on January 11, 1973.
X A 04 Aida With her best Aidas 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 toE natural for the "tre-", she remains on the d#.
X A 05 Aida Blanche Thebom, to paraphrase Zinka, sings every not with a different color in this excerpt from the Judgement Scene from Aida on January 24, 1953.
X A 06 Amazing Grace A guest at a funeral offers his condolen ce 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.
X A 07 Ariadne 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 know when the aria is over?
X A 08 Attila This performance prompted one innocent internet lister to ask if Sam Ramey made his voice sound old on purpose for the role of Leone in this broadcast of March 10, 2010.
X A 09 Ave Maria The headline: "Opera disaster: Katia ricciarelli try to get some money singing Ave Maria." Some sycophant joins in to give her a break.
X A 10 Ballo 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.
X A 11 Barbiere So much to tell about this excerpt from "America's Got Talent" TV show: NYC "store clerk" named John is first interviewed on his aspirations for a singing career. He has long shoulder- length black hair, somewhat handsome and 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 and makeup from the movie Amadeus on steroids times 400. 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 slice bread. Here's one more nail in the coffin of singing.
X A 12 Battle Hymn of the Republic A rather rousing rendition of this patriotic song, sung by Edwin Steffe, 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 15,000 people in it at the time.
X A 13 Boheme 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.
X A 14 Butterfly "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.
X A 15 Carmen 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.
X A 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.
X A 17 Clorotaura Variations Maria Remola caps her recording of the well-known "Twinkle twinkle little star" variations with a high B above high C.
X A 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.
X A 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 ifnringement hullabaloo started...
X A 20 Hoffmann 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)?
X A 21 I'm Goin' Away 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.
X A 22 Lohengrin Sirach van Bodegraven and his electronic piano deliver a hair-raising excerpt from Lohengrin.
X A 23 Lombardi The Pondman Family renders asunder the trio from I Lombardi.
X A 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.
X B 01 My Fair Lady Apparently, the producers of the film "My Fair Lady" said to Audrey Hepburn "Show us." She did. Then Marni Nixon was hired to sing for her.
X B 02 Nozze Thomas Hampson performs "Voi che sapete" from Le nozze di Figaro during a birthday tribute for Frederica von Stade.
X B 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.
X B 04 Pagliacci A gem of a performance of "Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci by Sirach van Bodegraven (accompanying himself, of course).
X B 05 Philosophy of the World The Shaggs: Three sisters 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.
X B 06 Puritani Nicolai Gedda delivers a great high C# in this second verse of "A te o cara" during this 1963 Philadelphia I Puritani.
X B 07 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.
X B 08 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.
X B 09 Rehearsal 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".
X B 10 Tosca 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.
X B 11 Tosca A diva della Puma has a vocal/pitch breakdown near the end of "Vissi d'arte."
X B 12 Turandot 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.
X B 13 Turandot Sue Hassel gives a good grido or 2 in this excerpt from "In questa reggia".
X B 14 Turandot BaritoneMark Oswald performs a flawless "Nessun dorma" during a master class.
X B 15 Turandot 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.
X B 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.
X B 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.
X B 18 Zauberflöte Counter tenor Yuriy Mynenkob, finalist of the 2009 Cardiff Singeer of the World copetition, transposes and rocks the Queen of the Night's rage aria.
X B 19 Zauberflöte A deluded soprano wobbles and works her way thru Pamina's aria "Ach, ich fŸhl's".
XI A 01 Aida During this broadcast of January 22, 1966, Franco Corelli closes "Celeste Aida" with a perfectly executed diminuendo on a high Bb.
XI A 02 Aida Not to be outdone by Callas or Galvany, Aprile Milo interpolates a high Eb at the end of the Triumphal Scene in Aida at The Arena di Verona.
XI A 03 Aida This Hans Neufenfels production of Aida in Frankfurt is not appreciated by the audience. Cries of "Shit! Redneck! Goddamn rascality! You Philistines, can't you wait and see? This is totally ridiculous!" can be heard (auf Deutsch natŸrlich).
XI A 04 Attila Catherine Zeta-Jones performs "Send In The Clowns" at the 2010 Tony Awards with a cold (having attended the Queen's Birthday in England the day before). Not since Linda Blair has there been such bobble-head head turning. Yes, the piece was written for a singer who didn't have much voice, but this casting is taking it too far. CZ-J won the Tony for Best Actress.
XI A 05 Battle Hymn of the Republic In celebration of 2010's July 4th, Renee Fleming delivers her usual passionate rendering during "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".
XI A 06 Ca' the Yowes Mary Garden is interviewed via telephone for a Chicago radio station in 1943 and sings a lovely Gaelic fold song, revealing the great estate of her voice.
XI A 07 Candide Finally, a performance of "Glitter And Be Gay" from Bernstein's Candide that does justice to the piece, revealing the true humor of it all. Madeline Kahn sings (mostly) all of the notes as do most card-carrying chirpers in this 1986 concert version, but goes over the top, literally and figuratively.
XI A 08 Car commercial The people at Honda commissioned this masterwork for a television commercial.
XI A 09 Carmen During this Italian language January 14, 1968 Florence performancee of Carmen, Franco Corelli drives the audience mad; they even demand unsuccessfully that he sing it in Franchese.
XI A 10 Cavalleria rusticana violin/soprano Edith Helena bows the Intermezzo from Cavalleria in this 1917 recording.
XI A 11 Cavalleria rusticana Benjamin Luxon sings a beautiful "Ave Maria" set to the tune of the Intermezzo from Cavalleria.
XI A 12 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today From a small town cable TV show: the host is a local church organist/music teacher, seated at the upright ivories. It begins with a teen performing a nursery rhyme. The teacher then announces that the featured singer couldn't make it and will be replaced by John Decker. He tries to sing the hymn "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today".
XI A 13 Come to the fair You're invited to come to a family-affair fair: The 12-year-old Julie Andrews sings a duet with her step-father Ted, accompanied by her mother, Barbara.
XI A 14 Consul A gut wrenching aria, "To This We've Come" from Menotti's The Consul, sung by Virginia Zeani, a singer who squeezes every drop of Rumanian blood out of this aria.
XI A 15 Cor Ezio Pinza ends this somewhat boring song with a low D.
XI A 16 Cosi Conductor Charles Mackerras allowed heavy ornamentation for this Aix-en-Provence Festival production of Cosi fan tutte which threw more than one singer off. Valerie Masterson makes a wrong turn during "Come scoglio" and later in the same performance, Norma Burrowes recovers after a small mishap.
XI A 17 Creative Method Though this is a bit lengthy for the "Shall I Go On?" series (28 minutes), it's interesting to hear what's going on in Richard Tucker's head when he is in creation mode during this radio interview.
XI B 01 Enchantress "Art Is Calling For Me" ("I want to be a prima donna donna donna) as sung by Kiri Te Kanawa.
XI B 02 How Little We Know When producers discovered that Lauren Bacall did "have not" an appropriate singing voice for the movie "To Have And Have Not", they walked down the hall and found a young 16-year-old to dub her voice: Andy Williams.
XI B 03 Human Trumpter No brass is involved in this recording; it's a young lady providing vocal embrasure.
XI B 04 I Am The Way Not many opera singers wrote operas. One is Jerome Hines who wrote a biblical epique entitled "I Am The WaY". Here is the 23rd Psalm as sung by Joseph Shore.
XI B 05 Lombardi Joseph Calleja ends this excerpt from I Lombardi with a super-squeezed pianissimo.
XI B 06 Lucia Renata Scotto has the last word and note in this live sextet from Lucia. The other cast members are Carlo Bergonzi, Mario Zanasi and Plinio Clabassi.
XI B 07 Lucia Rolando Villazon needs about 9 seconds to recover and continue during this 2009 performance of Lucia.
XI B 08 Norma The story goes: "Madam Callas did not walk out !

She was engaged to sing Norma and give a gala performance in front of the Italian President Gronchiand various other VIPs, the performance was also to be broadcast across Italy.

The theatre was not heated during rehearsals, the cast's request for some heating fell on deaf ears. Fedora Barbieri caught influenza and was replaced by her cover, Miriam Pirazzini. The morning before the gala performance, Callas woke to find she had no voice. The theatre management were informed and eventually the found a doctor.

The theatre had not employed an understudy or cover in the belief that under no circumstances would Callas dare to cancel such a prestigious performance. Callas forced herself and her voice through the first act of Norma and received lukewarm applause and some negative remarks from the audience.

On reaching her dressing room, Callas found she could hardly speak let alone sing.The management suggested Callas could just walk though her part, declaiming the lines rather than sing them.

Finally after an hour's delay to the second act; it was announced over a loudspeaker to the audience that the performance could not continue due to reasons absolutely beyond the control of the management.

There followed a near riot against Madam Callas.

Her husband had to carry her out of the theatre via an under ground passage to avoid a mob which had gathered at the stage door. Her hotel was besieged. She was denounced in the Italian parliament for her gross insult to the president, even though his wife had telephoned Callas to say they had understood her indisposition and wished her well.

The prefect of Rome granted an order banning Callas from the Opera House and singing any remaining performances on the grounds of public order.

European newspapers had a field day, dragging up and exaggerating any scrap of supposedly scandalous information they could find against Callas, even the Pathe newsreels shown in UK cinema's at that time faked a film report claiming Madam Callas was perfectly fit and healthy. They used film of the rehearsals for her 1955 recording of Norma saying it was for the Rome performances in 1958 and that she looked perfectly fine to them.

Callas sued for her lost salary due to the banning order, the theatre counter-sued for lost of income of $13,000.

It took 14 years for the Italian courts to rule in Callas' favour and dismiss the counter claim by the theatre, she was awarded her fees and all costs.

And here is Franco Corelli's version of the story, her Pollione that night, from an interview with Stefan Zucker:

SZ: What really happened [at the Rome Walkout]? Was Callas calm when she stopped? Did she simply say, “I’m sorry, I can’t go on?” Or did something else take place?

FC: She was a little sick, and that didn’t permit her to sing at her best. Some in the audience heckled her. When she came offstage after Act I she was completely calm, but then she began to stew and announced she was canceling. The management went to her, to push her to continue the performance. She became a lioness and began to scream. She threw some vases and a chair. Little by little she lost her voice. When she left the theater, however, she looked elegant, as if nothing had happened.

SZ: Are you suggesting that she could have continued the perfor- mance had she not started to scream?

FC: Absolutely. She was in possession of a fabulous voice and an excellent technique. As late as 1958 she always was able to sing. She could have continued.


Here is the announcement that La Callas has cancelled the rest of the January 2, 1958 performance of Norma.
XI B 09 Nose Andrei Popov makes it all sound easy in this high-lying excerpt from Shostakovitch's The Nose during this March 13, 2010 broadcast.
XI B 10 Olivero Magda Olivero reaches the finish line of 100 years of age. The celebration begins and ends with excerpts from her fabled Adrianna. She doesn't sing at this event but tells the story that Giuseppe di Stefano had only revealed to her recently (because of his self-knowing imminent passing?). Decades prior, di Stefano was visiting Callas and found her sitting on a couch with her head in her hands in a fit of despair as to how to sing a certain phrase. She said to him: there's only one person that could help me with this: Magda Olivero!".
XI B 11 Oscars Allan Carr's reputation for hosting expensive and lavish parties and creating spectacular production numbers led the producers of the 61st Annual Academy Awards to hire him to create the show based on his promise that he would turn it around from the dry, dull show it had been in previous years. Promising "the antithesis of tacky" it turned out to be a disaster culminating in the infamous pairing of Snow White (played by Eileen Bowman) and Rob Lowe singing "Proud Mary".

The telecast also featured a production number featuring what was introduced as "the youth of Hollywood", with all the participants in their 20s or early 30s. The show became a laughing-stock and has gone down in history as one of the worst moments in awards show and television history.

Adding to the misery, The Walt Disney Company sued for illegal use of Snow White's image. Carr's reputation in Hollywood never fully recovered, although his decision to change the award announcement from "And the winner is..." to "And the Oscar goes to..." has become the norm, not just for the Oscars, but for awards shows in general. Carr also first hired comedian Bruce Vilanch as head comedy writer of the show, a job he still holds.
XI B 12 Otello During a 1948 Philadelphia performance of Otello, tenor Giovanni Martinelli makes a bit of it up during the "Si pel ciel" duet with baritone Cesare Bardelli.
XI B 13 Otello Sirach van Bodegraven adroitly sings "Niun mi tema" from Otello.
XI B 14 Pagliacci Calvin Marsh - not a lead role artist - doesn't have what the Prologue from Pagliacci takes.
XI B 15 Pagliacci An inebriated Ruben Amoretti tries to get through Beppe's aria during a perforrmance of Pagliacci.
XI B 16 Puritani During a 1971 Naples Puritani, Nicolai Gedda shows off his incredible high C#.
XI B 17 Rigoletto Tenor Umberto Grilli wreaks havoc on his colleagues, the audience and Verdi during this performance of the quartet from Rigoletto.
XI B 18 Salome Soprano Karan Armstrong finds out what the audience thinks near the end of her final scene in a 1982 Berlin performance of Salome. One hears (auf Deutsch) cries of "Absolutely unacceptable! Very true! Stop the singing! STOP THE SINGING!".
XI B 19 Samson et Dalilah This is from one of those dueling languages performances. The Met was on tour in Detroit doing Samson in French, but the Dalila, Giulietta Simionato sang in Italian. Here is her aria "Il mio cuore si apre alla tua voce" (or something like that) with Jon Vickers on May 28, 1965.
XI B 20 Toast of New Orleans Giorgio Longdo, "The Canadian Mario Lanza" croons "Be My Love" during a television interview.
XI B 21 Tosca This unknown tenor from a bygone era decides to record "E lucevn le stelle" from Tosca. There was only one problem: he misread the score and/or learned it incorrectly and sang the first two phrases a fourth up. His B naturals sound OK but Puccini wrote F#s.
XI B 22 Tosca Nicola Martinucci is forced to transpose a phrase or two down an octave during this Act III excerpt from a Naples performance of Tosca.
XI B 23 Traviata Roberto Alagna doesn't quite make it to the interpolated high C at the end of his aria in Act II from Traviata.
XI B 24 Traviata John Charles Thomas shows off his unique memory ability, not to mention improvisational talent during this December 11, 1937 broadcast.
XI B 25 Trovatore Sirach van Bodegraven sings/chokes/regurgitates/wobbles at "Ah si ben mio" from Trovatore while accompanying himself on a lovely electronic keyboard.
XI B 26 Turandot During one of those god-awful reality talent shows, Darius Campbell sings "Nessun dorma" from Turandot transposed down just a smidge (a major third).
XI B 27 Turandot "Izzy", nude from the waist up, nipple rings and a stiff drink in hand, intones "Nessun dorma" with notes all over the place. His mentor, a Korean producer named Wenarto, provides the on camera offstage women's chorus. At the end, Izzy promises he can sing it better. I didn't wait around...
XI B 28 Turandot Franco Bonisolli can't seem to turn off his high C at the climax at the Riddle Scene from Turandot.
XII A 01 Aida Arturo Toscanini rehearses the NBC Symphony in the aria "Celeste Aida" from Verdi's opus. He sings the aria (well, his voice sort of ends around middle C). The most amazing thing about this is how beautiful his orchestra sounds playing just the accompaniment.
XII A 02 Aida The story that I heard is that soon after Maria Callas got off the plane in Mexico City to begin rehearsals for Aida, she was informed that there was a local operatic tradition to interpolate a high Eb at the end of the Triumphal Scene. The diva thought this was absurd and that the grandeur of that scene didn't need further adornment.

Apparently, the Radames, Kurt Baum, began showing signs of artistic misbehavior - holding notes too long and after his colleagues had cut off, etc.

At the end of the first act during the performance of May 30, 1950, one of the lower-voiced principals approached Callas about this ongoing problem. So, she interpolated the high Eb at the end of the Triumphal scene, thereby showing Baum who the boss was. Amneris was sung by Giulietta Simionato and Amonasro was sung by Robert Weede. A somewhat "sitcom" cast.

To hear how really easy this was for her, listen to the way she GENTLY gets off the full throated high Eb, thus insuring she doesn't hurt herself
XII A 03 Aida A case of if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Callas takes the high Eb again the next year on July 3 1951 in Mexico City - this time with collegial tenor Mario del Monaco, along with Oralia Dominguez and Giuseppe Tadei.
XII A 04 Barbiere The overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia is lampooned by Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in The Rabbit of Seville.
XII A 05 Barbiere A crude run through of the "Largo al factotum" from that same Disney opus from above, The Rabbit of Seville.
XII A 06 Barbiere The same aria sung during a Tom 'n Jerry cartoon
XII A 07 Boheme Renata Scotto performs the Puccini song "Sole e amore" during which the composer quotes the final quartet of La boheme's Act III.
XII A 08 Carmen During a March 14, 1970 Rome Carmen, Grace Bumbry demonstrates a soprano ossia near the end of the "Seguidilla". The Don Jose is Richard Tucker.
XII A 09 Carmen The finale of the final duet from the same Carmen performance and, once again, Grace Bumbry throws in a soprano ossia. She also pulls a Resnik when she gets stabbed.
XII A 10 Chenier The Farewell of Mme. Zinka Milanov on April 13, 1966 was one of the most heartfelt events at the house ever presented. The cast of this Andrea Chenier performance included Richard Tucker and Anselmo Colzani.

After Act III, there was a ceremony onstage which began with Lowell Wadmond, Vice Chairman of the Board, presenting Mme. Milanov with a silver plate, honoring her house career which began in 1937. Later, General Manager Rudolf Bing gives her his gratitude. He also presents her with a gold ----.

Finally, Mme. Milanov steps before the microphone and delivers a short (18 seconds) emotional farewell to her public.

Then on to Act IV with the finale of one of the greatest love duets in opera. And the traditional transposition did not take place, ending on a high B for her and Tucker.
XII A 11 Devereux Edita Gruberova in the finale of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, ending with a blazing sustained high E.
XII A 12 Elisir Alfredo Kraus appears in the movie "Gayarre" and sings "Una furtiva lagrima" from L'elisir d'amore.
XII A 13 Fake Larynx A contraption designed to mimic the human voice. Near the end, there's a fleeting moment when it really does. Do any of these sounds remind you of anyone? I'm just sayin...
XII A 14 Favorita In his studio recording of arias, tenor Franco Bonisolli delivers a sanity-defying interpolated high C# at the end of "Una vergine, un angiol di Dio" 1) attacking straight on and2) and makes a diminuendo.
XII A 15 Favorita Franco Corelli sings the same La favorita aria with a great (albeit single) high C# within the aria.
XII A 16 Fille Lily Pons, at the age of 73, sings "Salut a la France" from La fille du régiment", "Chere Nuit" of Bachelet and Délibes' "Les filles des Cadix". The orchestra is conducted by her ex-husband André Kostelanetz. The announcer is Lorne Greene of "Bonanza" fame.
XII A 17 Funny Girl Barbra Streisand delivers a closing speech at the end of her 2-year run of Funny Girl on December 26, 1965. She then offers "My Man, I Love Him So"
XII A 18 Gathering Shells From The Seashore Actress Jan Duggan seemingly sings all 285 verses of "Gathering Up the shells from the Seashore" to the great discomfort of W.C. Fields.
XII B 01 Gypsy The final minutes of the final performance of Ethel Merman in Gypsy on March 25, 1961.
XII B 02 Lucia Alfredo Kraus soars the high range interpolating a high Db at the end of the Lucia sextet and then a high D at the end of the wedding scene. The January 14, 1967 cast includes Roberta Peters (their only Lucia together), Mario Sereni, Justino Diaz and Robert Nagy.
XII B 03 Mahler The Mahler 4th Symphony was premiered by Wilhelm Mengelberg (listen for his tapping on his stand with his baton to alert the orchestra) and the Concertgebouw Orchestra with the composer present at the rehearsal. Here is the opening minutes: first, conducted by Daniel Gatti and the second Wilhelm Mingelberg. Quelle ritard.
XII B 04 Make Believe Renata Scotto and Mike Douglas perform the song "Make Believe" during an early 1970s performance on television.
XII B 05 Manon Lescaut Renata Scotto sings "Mentia l'avviso" which quotes the tenor aria "Donna non vidi mai" from Puccini's Manon Lescaut.
XII B 06 National Anthem A dude proceeds to make 99.99% of the words to the National Anthem.
XII B 07 National Anthem Amidst a noisy street fair, a girl gets up onstage to raise patriotism and accidentally raises her key..
XII B 08 National Anthem It's a good thing Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis kept his day job and not continue running his mouth off by singing the National Anthem.
XII B 09 Pagliacci Jose Cura does a del Monaco and sings the Prologue from Pagliacci. He gets off most of the high notes just to be safe.
XII B 10 Puritani Nicolai Gedda and Joan Sutherland pop out glorious high Ebs in "Vieni fra queste braccia" from I Puritani during a Philadelphia performance of April 18, 1963.
XII B 11 Rigoletto Here's a rough ending for Paolo Gavanelli in the finale of the duet between Rigoletto and Gilda, sung by Anna Netrebko.
XII B 12 Screamer A woman on roller skates singing frantically. Which movie is this from?
XII B 13 She Bangs A perfect personification of delusion is William Hung. He amazingly went far in the "American Idol" competition but the judges regained their sanity about three rounds into the competition. In spite of this, this guy had a career. Briefly.
XII B 14 Siegfried Martha Mödl and Wolfgang Windgassen in the finale of the love duet from Wagner's Siegfried. Unfortunately, Mödl conks out for the climactic high C during this broadcast of February 16, 1957. It was her only Met broadcast during her Met career of twelve performances in all of the Wagner heroines.
XII B 15 Tosca Birgit Nilsson gives good scream during the "Recognition Scene" (when she discovers her Mario is dead) of Act III of Puccini's Tosca. This certainly was a Tosca where one needn't worry at all whether the soprano would have the high notes. She also does the fun scream at the leap
XII B 16 Turandot Sirach van Bodegraven shares his stentorian and creamy top in "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's Turandot, accompanying himself of course.
XII B 17 Turandot And here's an even worse performance of the same aria by Helmut Lotti. The end is painful.
XII B 18 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. This recording is a bit jumbled.
XII B 19 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.
XII B 20 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.
XII B 21 Zauberflöte A sad performance by an unknown bass of "O Isis und Osiris" from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte".
XIII A 01 Badinerie This seventh movement from Bach's Suite No. 2 in b minor, BWV 1067, is a showpiece for an agile flautist. The Swingle Singers make it sound easy.
XIII A 02 Bagga Bagga Bona From "Anna Russell's Guide To Concert Audiences", she sings this fast-clipped nonsense ditty.
XIII A 03 Boy From Ipanema Sultry Evelyn Lear Lulu-ey sings "The Boy from Ipanema" (or is it Goy…)
XIII A 04 Campbell's Soup Tenor Martyn Green recites the entire inventory of Campbell's Soup in the form of a patter song.
XIII A 05 Carmen The final duet of Carmen seems to always lend itself to an outpouring of vocal emissions not written in the score. During this February 5, 1957 broadcastk Rise Stevens lets her radio know when she is stabbed by her Don Jose, Mario del Monaco.
XIII A 06 Carmen From the same duet, this time Marilyn Horne lets go, knowing she has no more "singing" to do. The Don Jose is James McCracken. Why does he whisper "Eh bien! damnée!"?
XIII A 07 Don Carlo After retiring from the heldentenor repertoire, Chilean Ramon Vinay took on lower-voiced roles such as Scarpia and Don Basilio. This transition was the opposite of the one that took place at the very beginning of his career. It is said that he was about to sing Tonio in Pagliacci when the Canio got sick. Vinay took over on the spot the Canio and the rest is history. Here is his Grand Inquisitor from Don Carlo during a March 6, 1971 Cincinatti performance with Ezio Flagello as King Philip and James Levine on the podium.
XIII A 08-09 Don Carlo Montserrat Caballe demonstrates her phenomenal breath control at the end of "Tu che la vanita" from Don Carlo during this August 1, 1969 performance at the Arena di Verona. She receives a huge long ovation (the listener can then skip to the next rack). Caballe then literally has the last word at the end of the opera. Supposedly, Renata Tebaldi heard this broadcast and rang her up asking how she did it.
XIII A 10 Faust Before Giuseppe di Stefano, there was Florencio Constantino. He does a nice diminuendo on the high C at the end of Faust's aria "Salut demeure" during this April 21, 1910 recording (his Faust is from Fiesole).
XIII A 11 Faust After Florencio Constantino, there was Giuseppe di Stefano. He does a nice diminuendo on the high C at the end of Faust's aria "Salut demeure" during this December 31, 1949 broadcast (his Faust is from Francia).
XIII A 12 Favorita Here's an easy high C# from Alfredo Kraus at the end of the aria "Una vergine, un angel di Dio" from La favorita. This comes from a radio concert dating from April 1, 1968 with Elena Suliotis, Arturo Basile conducting.
XIII A 13 Gianni Schicchi In 1956, there was a Canadian English-language production of Gianni Schicchi starring Ezio Flagello as Schicchi. The Rinuccio was non other than tenor leggiero Jon Vickers. Notice the huge double consonant on the last word of his aria.
XIII A 14 Gianni Schicchi Definitely a deluded diva, the Korean sensation named "Wing" tries unsuccessfully to sing correct I-talian in "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi.
XIII A 15 GIANNI SCCHICCHI Returning to that Canadian performance Jon Vickers and Mary Morrison are heard in the brief duet at the end of Gianni Schicchi
XIII A 16 Gioconda During a special birthday recital, Olive Middleton briefly speaks to her living room audience; then we hear the final pages of "Suicidio!" from La gioconda. Her release at the end of the aria reveals her passion.
XIII A 17 Guglielmo Tell During this April 20, 1982 Hamburg performance of Guglielmo Tell, tenor Heinz Kruse cruises the heights during his off-stage serenade.
XIII A 18 Guglielmo Tell This performance also marked another onstage scandal by tenor Franco Bonisolli. Minutes into this ensemble (with Giuseppe Taddei as Tell), he walks offstage. Here's a broken-English translation of what went on:


"It gave really some trouble. Bonisolli left stage during the duet with Tell after missing some notes, Taddei finished the duet as a solo and left them two with the conductor. After a minutes the leader of the orchestra said "there will be an interval"....and then it took some more minutes when the second house director Rolf Mares came on stage telling, that Mr. Bonisooli (as he pronounced him) suffered from the dry air on stage and we should welcome him again friendly…


After some NOt very friendly reactions from the audience "He should go home" and so on, the performance started again with a bis of the duet."
XIII A 19 Guglielmo Tell Franco Bonisoli later redeems himself during his rousing "Guerriam!" scene.
XIII A 20 Hansel and Gretel Anna Russell, as the Witch in the animated movie of Hansel and Gretel, decides to throw another operatic ride quote: Die Walkyrien Ritt.
XIII A 21 Help! Joshua Rifkin rearranges the Beatles hit "Help!" as a baroque aria and hires tenor Harold Brienes to sing it.
XIII A 22 Joshua Cheryl Lee Aaron attempts "O hd I Jubal's lyre" from Handel's Joshua. If only she had the lyre...
XIII A 23 Lucia Is it me, or do I not hear Maria Callas warming up behind the curtain before her opening scene in Lucia di Lammermoor on September 29, 1955 in Berlin?
XIII A 24 Lucia There were two "open" aspects about the NYCO performance of Lucia di Lammermoor on Octobber 9, 1969: it was the opening night of their new production (directed by Tito Capobianco) and they opened all the cuts. Here is Beverly Sills in the finale of "Quando rapito in estasi" and she receives a prolonged ovation.
XIII A 25 Lucia From that same NYCO performance, Sills and tenor Michele Molese sing the normally-eased cadenza during the love duet (albeit switched so that Sills takes the high Eb). Molese gets in an interpolated high Bb near the very end.
XIII A 26 Lucia Returning back to what is known by all as the "Berlin Lucia", Maestro Herbert von Karajan decides to encore the sextet. The cast included Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Rolando Panerai, Giuseppe Modesti, Giuseppe Zampieri and Luisa Villa. That's a lotta singin' for the big dads.
XIII A 27 Lucia Beverly Sills rips through the finale of the Mad Scene during that NYCO performance mentioned above.
XIII B 01 Mad Anna Russell performs her own Mad Scene on the LP "Anna Russell Sings Again?".
XIII B 02 Madama Butterfly A disastrous yet quiet performance of the Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly. Either the orchestra thought they were being conducted in 2 or 4 or 1, or the pizzicatoing strings got lost way too easily and couldn't recover.
XIII B 03 Mikado Her bellowing and blasting days over, Helen Traubel canons "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast" from The Mikado along with her buddy Groucho Marx.
XIII B 04 Montana After what appears to be lip-synching her piping high notes, Yma Sumac doesn't appreciate getting laughed at after her repeated warnings. She wanted to sing the song "Montana" but loses her patience and walks offstage during this appearance in Germany.
XIII B 05 Nabucco Talk about word painting… Elena Suliotis smears her emotion all over these pages from Nabucco during this Covent Garden performance of April Fool's Day, 1972. The tenor is Ermanno Mauro
XIII B 06 Navarraise Here are interpretations of the very brief going-mad-scene during the final page of Massenet's La Navarraise. The first is Lucia Popp (joined by Alain Vanzo and Gérard Souzay) and Marilyn Horne (joined by Placido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes.
XIII B 07 Opera Singer From the operetta Les Poupes de Paris (no, that doesn't mean the poop of Paris; it means the marionettes of Paris), we hear Edie Adams sing the song called "The Opera Singer".
XIII B 08 Otello There have been two tenors in the somewhat recent past who made the wrong decision to essay the role of Otello. The first is Giuseppe di Stefano who is heard singing the "Esultate!" in this (of all places) Pasadena "general rehearsal" in 1966. Also in the cast were Marcella Pobbe and Tito Gobbi.
XIII B 09 Otello The second ill-advised tenor was 75-year-old Carlo Bergonzi. Domingo, Pavarotti and Carreras were in the Carnegie Hall audience in May of 2000 to support their colleague but he only lasted through the second act, citing air conditioning affected his singing. Domingo remained in the audience for Acts 3 and 4 to support Bergonzi's replacement, Antonio Barasorda. Here is "Niun mi tema" from a rehearsal days before the performance.
XIII B 10 Pagliacci The young baritone George Tozzi sings the Prologue from Pagliacci during a radio performance. He later made a range change as well as his first name.
XIII B 11 Pagliacci The lines at the very end of Pagliacci are written to be stated by Tonio but more often than not, the Canio has it his way. In this excerpt from a February 18, 1984 Frankfurt performance with tenor William Cochran and soprano Paula Page, baritone Timothy Noble not only says the line but adds this macabre laugh.
XIII B 12 Puritani Alain Vanzo has the intestinal fortitude to sing the high C# in head voice (or falsetto?) in "A te o car" during this April 21, 1964 concert. Purists think this is the way it should be done; most of us don't.
XIII B 13 Puritani Here's how those "most of us" like to hear it, especially when it's sung by dramatic tenor Mario Filippeschi in this live performance in Trieste in February of 1957.
XIII B 14 Puritani Virginia Zeani joins Mario Filippeschi in the duet "Vieni fra queste brachia" from the same performance, with high Ebs and all
XIII B 15 Rigoletto Franco Bonisolli interpolates a high D at the end of this aria from Rigoletto during this studio recording.
XIII B 16 Sage mir Vogel Joan Sutherland makes, what the announcer warns us as, a "booboo" (i.e., memory lapse) during this 1977 Toronto recital.
XIII B 17 Tears of an Angel An "Amazing young opera singer" sings a piece written for her called "Tears of an Angel".
XIII B 18 Tosca Elinor Ross REALLY goes at it when she murders her Scarpia (Anselmo Colzani) during this December 12, 1970 broadcast.
XIII B 19 Trovatore It's a good thing Leontyne Price was on top of things when her Inez, Laurence Dutoit, got a bit off track during this July 31, 1962 Salzburg performance of Il trovatore, conducted by Herbert von Karajan.
XIII B 20 Trovatore From the same evening, hear Franco Corelli pull his sword just before "Di quell pira" and then later, the brass comes onstage for a rousing finale.
XIII B 21 Trovatore Franco Bonisolli holds the high C at the end of "Di quell pira" till the end of the postlude during this February 23, 1975 performance in Nice. Ya gotta luv 'im.
XIII B 22 Trovatore Four totally different artists appeared in this April 9, 1977 broadcast: Colorful Renata Scotto, cackley Shirley Verrett, unsubtle James McCracken and artistically right-doer Louis Quilico.
XIII B 23 Turandot Paul Potts won the 2007 "Britain's Got Talent" reality show with his singing most of "Nessun dorma from Turandot. What a career he's had...
XIII B 24 Vatican Rag Tom Lehrer's best known spoof, "The Vatican Rag".
XIV A 01 Bach Peter Ustinov made some hilarious shorts on BBC radio. Here a professor introduces a newly discovered cantata by the then 3-year-old J.S. Bach.
XIV A 02 Bach Via Peter Ustinov, an excerpt from the 18th suite for solo cello by J. S. W. E. Bach.
XIV A 03 Bacio Ingeborg Hallstein warbles effortlessly through "Il Bacio" by Arditi. She sparkles high Gs and some quick high As above high C. At the end, she sings a sustained high Bb above high C cadencing down to a high Eb, which has begun to sound as if it's her mid-range.
XIV A 04 Birds of Flahooley "The Birds from Flahooley" - not exactly a Peruvian sounding name - is the vehicle for the inimitable Yma Sumac. This piece allows her to show off her wide, wide, wide, wide range, not to mention her Louis Armstrong technique..
XIV A 05 Boheme This tenor tries and fails on the high C in "Che gelid manna" from La bohemie..
XIV A 06 Borgia One hears lots of gear changing coming from the throat of Edita Gruberova during this 2009 cabaletta from Lucrezia Borgia. It's especially evident on upon the release after the trills. She ends it all with a sustained high E.
XIV A 07 Carmen Remember Margarita Castro Alberti? Well, she doesn't, but we unfortunately do. Here she is, singing the Habanera form Carmen (accompanied by the MMO Orchestra & Chorus) strutting forth and back on a fashion show runway - yes, a fashion show runway - wearing what seems to be a red lamé dress hugging her ginormous frontal trunk. And yet, she is unable to visit chest voice.
XIV A 08 Cat Duet The Allegro section from Rossini's "Cat Duet" with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Victoria de los Angeles accompanied by Gerald Moore.
XIV A 09 Cavalleria A memer of the audience voices his disapproval of the set during a New York City Opera production of Cavalleria rusticate.
XIV A 10 Cavalleria Not only does Franco Bonbisolli interpolates a high B at the end of the drinking song during this April 25, 1980 Vienna performance of , he throws one in in the middle of the aria. I've cut a bit to cut to the chase.
XIV A 11 Charlotte Sweet Charlotte Sweet, told entirely in song, is the story of a poor but virtuous soprano (Mara Beckerman), who, to save her father (Timothy Landfield) from ruin, is traduced by the caddish leader of a music-hall troupe (Alan Brasington) in his


CIRCUS OF VOICES - which includes a low voice (Lynn Eldridge), a bubble voice (Merle Louise)
XIV A 12 Charlotte Sweet BUBBLES IN ME BONNET], a split personality (Polly Pen), and a fast voice (Michael McCormick). Charlotte is such a hit that she winds up giving six shows daily
XIV A 13 Charlotte Sweet A-WEAVING - When she and her voice give out
XIV A 14 Charlotte Sweet QUEENLY COMMENTS - The wily manager attempts to murder his troupe but is defeated, and all ends happily, of course.
XIV A 15 Chocolate Soldier As Ethel Mertz, Vivian Vance sings "Shortnin' Bread" and then "My Hero" is a skit from the "I Love Lucy" series. Going on behind and unbeknownst to her are the antics of the other three protagonists, Lucy, Ricky and Fred. Near the end Ethel realizes what's been going on and goes through a vocal breakdown.
XIV A 16 Debussy Peter Ustinov gives his comedic take on the songs of Debussy
XIV A 17 Elements Satirist Tom Lehrer performs his setting of the table of elemtns in the style of a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song.
XIV A 18 Everybody Wants To Be Sondheim A spot-on Sondheim spoof by Alan Chapman.
XIV A 19 Lauri-Volpi Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, age 79, talks about the art of singing then sings "Amor ti vieta" from Fedora.
XIV A 20 Frau Anfter the Ponselle sisters, there was Leonie and Lotte Rysanek. Here, during this 1982 Vienna performance of Die Frau ohne Schatten, Leonie sings the role of the Empress and her sister Lotte sings the role of the Falcon.
XIV A 21 Fedora Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, age 79, talks about the art of singing then sings "Amor ti vieta" from Fedora.
XIV A 22 I Think He's Gay Song by Pussy Tourelle, sung by Deb del Mastro.
XIV A 23 I Wanna Hold Your Hand Mrs. Yetta Bronstein performs the first Beatles hit, "I wann hold your hand".
XIV A 24 Keeping Up Appearances Patricia Rutledge portrays Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bou-QUET) forcing her wobbly piercing tones on anyone she can corner. Here she arrogantly shows up to help prepare a church production of The Boyfriend. She compares herself to a great diva.
XIV A 25 Kol Nidrei Johnny Mathis sings the Jewish prayer, Kol nidrei
XIV A 26 Lehmann Lotte Lehmann explains away the excuse for her being short-breathed.
XIV A 27 Little Jack Horner Bass Alexander Kipnis sings the nursery song "Little Jack Horner".
XIV A 28 Little Ol' State of Texas In the 1951 film "Sons of the Prairie", bass Ezio Pinza sings "Little 'Ol State of Texas".
XIV A 29 Lohengrin Sandor Konya has a failed moment during "In fernem land" in this February 1964 performance of Lohengrin.
XIV A 30 Lucia Ornell Smith clucks her way through Lucia. She even throws in her little mad scene cadenza.
XIV A 31 Lucia At the end of the first half of the Mad Scene, soprano Renata Scotto ends the final note in a peculiar release during this April 21, 1973 broadcast.
XIV A 32 Lucia The same moment, same singer eight years earlier (her fourth appearance in the house, 1st Lucia for the house). Did she ask that the orchestra come in and support her for the climax?
XIV A 33 Macbeth Dolora Zajic gives a ghoulish lauch during this performance of "la luce langue" from Macbeth.
XIV B 01 Menotti Peter Ustinov's uncanny spoof on the composer Gian-Carlo Menotti.
XIV B 02 Minute Waltz Shari Lewis and her puppet Lambchop perform Chopin['s Minute Waltz (later recorded by Barbra Streisand).
XIV B 03 Mussorgskty Peter Ustinov was great with extemporaneous foeign accents, such as this parody on Modeste Mussorgsky.
XIV B 04 Notre amour It's rare that there's a high-note-finish ossia in a classical art song. In Fauré's "Notre amour" soprano Mattiwilda Dobbs takes the high B instead of the A natural.
XIV B 05 Nozze Natalya Rozhdestvenskaya, the mother of conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky sings "Porgi amor" from a 1948 Ru8sian language recording of Le nozze di Figaro .
XIV B 06 Nursery Rhyme Cyril Ritchard, Boris Karloff and Cyril Ritchard recite nursery rhymes.
XIV B 07 Oklahoma "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top" sung in Yiddish.
XIV B 08 On Old Broadway Who knew Bette Davis could sing? Or can she sing "On Old Broadway".
XIV B 09 Opera Overtures Mary Schneider yodels through The William Tell and Carmen.
XIV B 10 Otello Carlo Cossuta gets through a rough "Esultate!" and the announcer interrupts him.
XIV B 11 Please Don't Say No From the 1944 flick "Thrill Of A Romance", Lauritz Melchior sings "Please Don't Say No".
XIV B 12 Purcell Peter Ustinov imitates due counter tenori as members of the Introspective Opera Group singing an aria from Purcell's King Knut.
XIV B 13 Puritani Giovanni Roberti delivers a cat-like high F from I Puritani but ends the aria with a downward gliss to low Db...
XIV B 14 Puritani Benvenuto Fellini sings the high F, adds adds a cadenza for tthe end.
XIV B 15 Puritani Juan Diego Florez delivers perfect high Ebs and Dbs in this duet with Diana Damrau.
XIV B 16 Rigoletto Ornell Smith clucks "Caro nome" from Rigoletto.
XIV B 17 Rigoletto During a small Chicago production of Rigoletto, a man named Dahlstrom sings a hideous "Si, vendetta" and creates a scandal when he hits a high note in falsetto.
XIV B 18 Rigoletto Giacomo Lauri-Volpi is interviewed and then sings a verse of "La donna e mobile" from Rigoletto in a 1977 Madrid appearance.
XIV B 19 Samson Maria Maksakova and Nikander Khanaev sing "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" in this 1946 Russian language recording of Samson et Dalilah.
XIV B 20 Scheherazade James Levine has to vamp an extra measure for Tatiana Troyanos during this performance of "Asie" from Ravel's Schéhérazade.
XIV B 21 Schicchi Call Child Protective Services! 10-year-old Jackie Ivanco has been forced into maturity about 15 years early. It appears her mother has made her darken her voice to sound "impressive". Of course, she's a big hit, but, thank God for her, she didn't win "America's Got Talent" Here she sings "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi.
XIV B 22 Strangers On My Flight Before profiling, a Sinatra-wanna-sound-alike-plus-racist changes the words for "Strangers in the night"..
XIV B 23 Tchaikovsky & Others From the movie "Lady In The Dark", Danny Kaye recites the names of all those Russian composers.
XIV B 24 Thank Yous In an early cabaret appearance, Patti Lupone thanks her stage crew and then sees Stephen Sondheim in the audience. She embarassingly and shamefully begs him to cast her in his next show..
XIV B 25 Tiptoe Through The Tulips At first, I thought this recording was pitched high. No, it's jsut Tiny Tim in good form.
XIV B 26 Tosca "E lucenvan le stelle" never had it so bad: Sirach van Bodegraven gives his usual vocal styling.
XIV B 27 Tosca The Tosca production really offends an audience member while Jose Carreras sings his Act III aria "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca
XIV B 28 Tosca Grace Bumbry's Tosca sings a C in chest when she compliments her (now dead)Cavaradossi during this New Year's Day 1977 broadcast.
XIV B 29 Tosca The producers of the recording of Tosca with Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Dietrich Fuscger-Dieskau and Georg Solti went to great pains of realism: they recorded running feet in the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle, cannon shots, the opening of a creaky window in the Palazzo Farnese and gun shots from the top of Castel Sant Angelo. Here they all are.
XIV B 30 Traviata Irena Milkeviciute and Virgilijus Noreika battle it out in Lithuanian in this Act II, Scene 2 excerpt from La traviata.
XIV B 31 Trovatore Here are two combined recordings (sorta) of the Miserere from Il trovatore. They artists, Giovanni Martinelli and Celestina Boninsegna, were recorded separately.
XIV B 32 Turandot The young tenor Hugues Cuenod made his Met debut at the green age of 81 as the Emperor Altoum in the Zeffirelli production-that-ate Detroit in 1983. He's seated basically at Amsterdam Avenue so his singing is a bit distant.
XIV B 33 We're In The Money Ginger Rogers lapses into pig-latin while singing "We're In The Money" in the film "Golddiggers of 1933".
XV A 01 Aida A soprano fakes a high pianissimo during a filmedrehearsal of a reggae Aida.
XV A 02 Aida Joan Sutherland sings "Ritorna vincitor" in English, very early in her career
XV A 03 Aida Giovanni Martinelli, in 1968, sings an excerpt from Aida. Not bad for an 83-year-old.
XV A 04 An die Musik Geraldine Farrar appeared often on Saturday broadcasts as commentator and guest. Here she sings Schubert's "An die Musik" some time in the 1930s.
XV A 05 And I Will Always Love You Some young pipsqueak tries to imitate Natalie Cole. WARNING: her screams of frustration can be painful. She tries various keys but fails miserably.
XV A 06 Boheme Conductor Roberto Rizzi Brignoli must precede every act with a heavy sniff-suck. It's his debut too (October 16, 2010).
XV A 07 Butterfly January 17, 1987 marked the Met farewell of Renata Scotto in the opera of her debut, Madama Butterfly. She has a primal gut wrench before the line in Act II< "Ah, m'ha scordata!".
XV A 08 Butterfly In this studio execrpt from Act II with Clara Petrella and Giuseppe Taddei, you can hear Sharpless give Trouble a kiss after the word "biondi".
XV A 09 Cat DUET Two choirboys sing Rossini's Cat Duet.
XV A 10 Chinese Folk Song Roberta Peters sings a Chinese fold song and sounds like a native in more ways than one. This recital dates from 1980.
XV A 11 Danny Boy The Leprechaun Brothers sing "Danny Boy" on Sesame Street. They make up the words.
XV A 12 Dido and Aeneas From a March 14, 1953 radio performance, Kirsten Flagstad sings Dido's Lament in Norwegian.
XV A 13 Don Giovanni John Brecknock interpolates a cadenza, including a brief high C, during "Il mio tesoro in this March 25, 1978 broadcast of Don Giovanni
XV A 14 Don't Ever Say It Is Your Last Trip Shirley Verrett sings this song in Yiddish.
XV A 15 Fledermaus An Australian TV commentator introduces a clip from Traviata as her final appearance in Fledermaus. A day later he corrects himself after receiving one single correction from a viewer. They then play the finale of the Czardas (not her final appearance). He makes a third apology, thus making everyone uncomfortable at such a sad time in opera history..
XV A 16 Götterdämmerung Leonie Rysanek sings an excerpt from the Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung.
XV A 17 Lucia Adelaide Negri decides to insert a macabre cadenza before "Quando rapita in estasi".
XV A 18 Lucia Here is the end of the Act I love duet with Patricia Wise and Franco Bonisolli during a Vienna performance of April 19, 1980. They sorta-kinda sing it come scritto, though Bonisolli fakes most of the high Eb
XV A 19 Macbeth Olivia Stapp doesn't observe the dynamic marking at the end of the Sleepwalking Scene during this February 9, 1980 performance in Berlin.
XV A 20 Norma Grace Moore sings "Casta diva" in the 1930 film "A Lady's Morals".
XV A 21 Nozze A memory lapse heard the world over: Kiri te Kanawa sings "Dove soon" during the Met Centennial Gala, October 22, 1983.
XV A 22 Onegin Soprano Lonne Pondman, member of the notorious Pondman Family, squeezes out the Letter Scene from Onegin.
XV A 23 Pagliacci During what turned out to be his final appearance in the house, Richard Tucker really ends it all at the finale. His colleagues during this December 3, 1974 performance were Anna Moffo, Norman Mittelmann and Lenus Carlson.
XV A 24 Pasquale Roberta Peters interpolates a high F at the end of the rondo finale during this February 11, 1956 broadcast of Don Pasquale.
XV A 25 Pecheurs des Perles Beniamino Gigli, in his early 60s, sings an excerpt from Nadir's aria from Les pecheurs de perles.
XV B 01 Puritani Nicolai Gedda delivers an easy high C# during "A te o cara" in this Florence Puritani performance from December 20, 1970. Cristina Deutekom is the Elvira.
XV B 02 Puritani From the same performance as track #1, the duet "Vieni, fra questa braccia".
XV B 03 Puritani From the same performance as track #1, the end of "Credeasi Misera". For the final note, Nicolai Gedda holds it until there is not one atom of air left.
XV B 04 Puritani Alfredo Kraus and Joan Sutherland sing prime high Ebs in this San Francisco performance of "Vieni, fra questa braccia", September 20, 1966
XV B 05 Puritani From the same performance as track #4, Alfredo Kraus sings the high Db in "Credeasi Misera with ease
XV B 06 Rheingold Not sure Bryn Terfel's "Curly" approach to this high F was in the best of taste during this September 28, 2010 performance of Das Rheingold
XV B 07 Rigoletto Robert Merrill loses his place during the "Si vendetta" duet with Gabriella Tucci during this June 1, 1971 performance of Rigoletto.
XV B 08 Sonnambula On November 4, 1982, Edita Gruberova interpolates a high F at the end of "Ah, non giunge" during this Geneva performance.
XV B 09 Sound of Music Petula Clark belts the title song from the Broadway show "The Sound of Music".
XV B 10 Traviata The 64-year-old Edita Gruberova proves she still has it all during this performance of "Sempre libera" in 2010.
XV B 11 Traviata Once again, Piero Cappuccilli shows off his upper extension at the end of Act 2 during this June 4, 1984 Berlin performance of La traviata. The Alfredo is Peter Dvorsky.
XV B 12 Traviata Paolo Silveri takes the optional ending of Act 2 and sings a high Ab during this December 2, 1950 broadcast of La traviata. The Alfredo is Ferruccio Tagliavini.
XV B 13 Traviata Geraldine Farrar sings excerpts from La traviata during this intermission feature from the 1930s. It's a bit out of order but it doesn't matter.
XV B 14 Traviata On October 31, 1970, Robert Merrill celebrated the 25th Aniversary of his Met debut in a performance of La Traviata with Joan Sutherland and Carlo Bergonzi. After Act II, there was a ceremony onstage with Merrill being greeted by 8 of his Violettas. Catch the names as Chairman of the Board, Lowell Wadmond, announces them
XV B 15 Trovatore After finishing the 2nd verse of "Di quella pira", one would swear that Jussi Björling went offstage to prepare for his re-entry onstage, maybe in some sort of a chariot? As he comes back onstage while attacking the high C, the voice increases with volume as he makes his way downstage. The performance dates from 1939.
XV B 16 Trovatore Like father, like son: Rolf Björling singing the same aria in 1972
XV B 17 Trovatore A role one wouldn't associate Alfredo Kraus with is Manrico. Here's his studio recording of "Di quella pira".
XV B 18 Trovatore Richard Tucker barks his way through "Di quell pira" during this 1971 performance.
XV B 19 Turandot The then-unknown Ben Heppner sings his extended scene as the Prince of Persia in this Toronto Turandot dating from October of 1983. The Calaf is Ermanno Mauro and Timur is sung by Rolf Gerard.
XV B 20 Vespri Siciliani Malcolm McEachern sings "O tu Palermo" dipping down to a low Db in the closing cadenza.
XV B 21 Verkaufte Braut Fritz Wunderlich and Kurt B�hme sing a duet from Smetana's Die Verkaufter Braut. This is the tenor's final concert appearance.
XV B 22 Vote Republican Roy Zimmerman is a Democrat.
XV B 23 Walküre Another example of Leonie Rysanek's Sieglinde scream during Act I of Die Walküre. Her Siegmund is James King, the conductor is Karl B�hm, the house is Bayreuth and the date is July 26, 1965.
XV B 24 Walküre Geraldine Farrar gives her rendition of "Winterstürme" from Die Walküre during an intermission feature from the 1930s.
XV B 25 Why I Prefer One Anita Hollander makes the most of her single leg for her CD entitled "Still Standing". Among the other titles are " Dressing ", " Lazy Day ", " Funeral For A Replaceable Part ", " Difficult Woman Blues ", " Walkman! ", "I Want To Be There ", " Mommy Is A Mermaid " and " Here I Stand".
XV B 26 Wozzeck From parterre.com "...an observation about the Levine 40th Wozzeck CD (Anja Silja/Jose van Dam) - the second CD (acts 2 and 3) has to be a different performance, different cast and different year. It is undoubtedly Hildegard Behrens on the 2nd CD. I don't know who the baritone is but it is NOT van Dam. The orchestra/stage balance is different on the 2nd CD and it sounds like a "better" orchestra too. Am I nuts?"

Here's a comparison of a couple of snippets of the two discs, with a brief silence in between. Any ideas what's going on here?"
XVI A 01 Ah, perfido! Supposedly, this is the last vocalization of Maria Callas, a recording of Beethoven's concert aria "Ah, perfido!", recorded with piano in Paris in 1976. If it's her, it's not bad… And if it's not her last, well.. it's a document.
XVI A 02 Aida Here's another example (see Volume XI, CD A, track 01) of Franco Corelli having a good night and easily doing things that any tenor of the past 30 years could only dream of doing. On February 20, 1968 during a performance of Aida, he sings incredible diminuendi during the second verse and at the end of "Celeste Aida". The conductor is Anton Guadagno. Is this from Philadelphia or New York?
XVI A 03 Aida Marisa Galvany interpolates a spectacular high Eb at the end of the Aida Triumphal Scene in Mexico City on October 8, 1972. Her Rhadames is Harry Theyard, Amneris is Lili Chookasian but the Amonasro is unknown. This outing is better than the one on Volume X, CD A, track 03.
XVI A 04 Aida One of Joan Sutherland's early roles was the Priestess in Aida, sung offstage. This is from a Covent Garden performance of June 10, 1953. The cast included Maria Callas, Giulietta Simionato, Kurt Baum, Jess Walters and was conducted by Sir John Barbirolli
XVI A 05 Aida The aria "O patria mia" challenges just about every soprano taking on the role of Aida. Is Leontyne Price the only one that did not cause worry and panic in her audience?


Montserrat Caballe sang only two Aidas at the Met, one with Robert Nagy (cover?), Marilyn Horne, Cornell MacNeil, Jerome Hines and James Morris. The second performance was cast with Placido Domingo, Mignon Dunn, Louis Quilico, Hines and Richard T. Gill. It was during this second one (March 26, 1976) that, upon arriving for the high C, Caballe must have thought "screw it" and blasted the note marked pianissimo. It sounds like a splice, but after a close inspection of the spectrograph of the sound file, it's not.
XVI A 06 Blueberry Hill The many talents of the Russian Premiere Vladimir Putin emerge every day. Here he plays the tune first on the piano then sings "Blueberry Hill" during this December 13, 2010 Russian telecast.
XVI A 07 Carmen Montserrat Caballe vibrates the Habanera from Bizet's Carmen during this 2009 concert in Basil, Switzerland. She's 77 years young.
XVI A 08 Hair In light of the global nightmare of the astrological remix, Elina Garanca performs the aria "The Age of Aquarius" fromt he opera Hair, a favorite work of Blanche Thebom, any Mélisande and Jonas Kaufmann, not tomention Renata Tebaldi in the late 1960s.
XVI A 09 Herzgewä chse A short work of Arbnold Schöberg called "Herzgewächess", scored for soprano, celesta, harp, and harmonium. It's his 20th composition and he's already out there in left field. French chirper Mady Mesplé handily executes the sustained high F.
XVI A 10 I Wish You Love Bette Davis wishes us all love (except her daughter, of course) during this television appearance in July of 1977.
XVI A 11 Im tiefen Keller Talk about easy low notes. Basso profundissimo Emre Koreh sings this song by Ludwig Fischer and Karl Müchler. Translated as "In a deep wine cellar", Koreh makes nothing of leaps of 14 steps (octave plus 6) down and from low B below the bass staff.
XVI A 12 Little Miss Britten Dudley Moore does an uncanny imvocalation of Sir Peter Pears during this May 1961 "Beyond The Fringe" concert.
XVI A 13 Love Is Where You Find It Anna Moffo shows off not only her vocal talent but her keyboard skill in "Love Is Where You Find It" during this 1967 Italian television appearance.
XVI A 14 Lucia Helen Chutzpah (I'm not making this up you know) gives her rendition of the Act I aria and cabaletta from Lucia di Lammermoor. She's not exactly a bel canto specialist. She's also not exactly and Italian language mistress. And like Anna Netrebko, she can't care less about all those pesky little sixteenth notes in the printed score of Donizetti. But one thing for sure, she lives up to - or down to - her last name. Hers is second to track 01 on Volume VII, CD B.
XVI A 15 Lucia Eugenia Miroshnichenko sings the Mad Scene from Lucia interpolating a high Ab at one point. One also hears phrases not heard in "normal" performances of this showpiece.
XVI A 16 National Anthem Comedienne Roseanne Barr got herself into a heap 'o trouble when she sang the National Anthem at a baseball game on July 25, 1990. She later remarked that she started the performance in a key too high for her delicate voice.
XVI A 17 Naughty Marietta An hysterical performance of the "Italian Street Song" from Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta by Beatrice Kay. The recording dates from around 1950 and is rather munchkin-like.
XVI A 18 Nozze Before he became a household baritone name, Piero Cappuccilli recorded the role of Antonio the gardener with a cast that included Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Söderström, Teresa Berganza, Fernando Corena and Ernest Blanc. The conductor was Carlo Maria Giulini.
XVI A 19 Oklahoma! Nelson Eddy sings "O What a Beautiful Morning". I love his pronunciation of "meadow".
XVI A 20 Old Man Mose Betty Hutton, age 18, sings "Old Man Mose" during a Vitaphone short of 1939.
XVI A 21 Otello Mario del Monaco, at age 56, proves he still had what it took on April Fool's Day, 1971 in Budapest. And, like track 05 on Volume VII, CD B, he combines the final two phrase of "Esultate!". This is the last existing recording of him singing the role, available only in excerpts.
XVI B 01 Pagliacci A lesson on not covering: Cornell MacNeil sings the finale of the Prologue from Pagliacci wide open except for the highest note of Ab, which proves to be a good decision. Not only is it a huge high Ab but he sings a sustained "e" vowel while up there.
XVI B 02 Pagliacci Dutch baritone Tomas De Vries interpolates a high A during the Nedda/Silvio duet with soprano Deborah Lynn-Cole during this August 4, 2004 performance. It happens in the second repeat of their "Tutto scordiam"s.
XVI B 03 Pellé as The original Mélisande, Maggie Teyte, sings the acapulco folk song sung at the beginning of Act III from her accompanist's opera, Pelléas et Mélisande.
XVI B 04 Poor Butterfly Al Jolson and Oscar Levant intone a song during the Kraft Music Hall show in 1947. It quotes Puccini using the leitmotiv heard just before the Pinkerton line "Viene la sera".
XVI B 05 Porgy ASAP, pick up the phone and call Il Bambino Protettivo Revisiona! A modern day Denis Gonet (see Volume II, CDB, track 03), 14-year-old Jacopo Menconi gnarls his way through "Summertime" during this Italian television appearance. Could his young throat be closed any tighter?
XVI B 06 Puritani Luciano Pavarotti wasn't the household name he became when he participated in performances of I Puritani with the Philadelphia Grand Opera, particularly on January 18, 1972. The cast included Beverly Sills in her first essay of Elvira, Louis Quilico and Paul Plishka with Anton Guadagno. The word "stentorian" does not sufficiently describe Pavarotti's high C# above high C during this second verse of "A te o cara".
XVI B 07 Puritani From the same performance, an excerpt from the duet "Vieni fra queste brachia", hear Pavarotti laserize a high Eb and later with his colleague, Beverly Sills. What she must have thought when she first heard him sing this...
XVI B 08 Puritani From the same performance, Pavarotti delivers a stellar high Db during the duet "Credeasi Misera".
XVI B 09 Puritani Chris Merritt mellifluously makes his mark during this second verse of "A te o cara" in Chicago on October 23, 1991.
XVI B 10 Puritani From the same performance, Chris Merritt zings a high Db twice during the duet "Credeasi Misera" but the high C ain't so high.
XVI B 11 Rocka e al Rolla Steve Allen presents the world premiere of the new opera La Rocka e la Rolla by the prolific and VERY popular composer, Elviso Presleyo. The interpreters are Rise Stevens and Jan Peerce.
XVI B 12 Sonnambula During this Bell Telephone Hour television show, a rolled "r" seems to be an afterthought (happening at 00:37) of Joan Sutherland while singing the recitative to "Come per me serene".
XVI B 13 Star Trek At the 2005 Emmy Awards alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Frederica von Stade (alien) sings a most memorable performance of the Star Trek Vocalise, originally scored under the title "Where No Man Has Gone Before". If only.
XVI B 14 Terra di Sorrisi What? You haven't called Il Bambino Protettivo Revisiona yet? Please, for the love of Dio, do so as it might be too late to save the 14-year-old life of JacopoMenconi, especially after hearing him squeeze out "Tu che mi hai presto il cor" from Lehar's La Terra di Sorrisi. (
XVI B 15 Tosca Please… please… arrest the handlers of JacopoMenconi: I beg of you, call CPS and have them transfer your call to Il Bambino Protettivo Revisiona. He must be stopped from "singing" "E lucevan le stelle".
XVI B 16 Tosca Anna Moffo experiences a most pregnant pause after the jump in St. Petersburg, FL in March of 1977 during this performance of Tosca. The tricky pickup is too much for those fine St. Petersburg instrumentalists, in spite of being conducted by Frances Ford Coppola's daddy, Anton. The alive-then-dead Cavaradossi is sung by Ruben Dominguez.
XVI B 17 Traviata What a sweet little concert performance of the sweet drinking song from La traviata with the sweet young tenor forgetting some words and the mostly female gowned-up chorus singing their sweet brief line.
XVI B 18 Traviata Renata Tebaldi shrieks a wonderful hackle as she begins "Sempre libber" during this Buenos Aires performance of La traviata on August 24, 1951. Before Fritz Wunderlich, there was Giuseppe Campora interpolating what should have been a high C during Alfredo's offstage response, but he convinced the evening's diva to transpose her aria down a whole step (I'm kidding: Tebaldi never sang the aria in key throughout her career.
XVI B 19 Traviata Marina Poplavskaya decides to sing a line down an octave near the end of "Sempre libber" during this New York performance of January 15, 2011. Apparently there's a new concession at this house: sing and don't sing any way you want in any octave. The offstage Alfredo is Matthew Polenzani.
XVI B 20 Traviata Andrzej Dobber lets out a sadistic laugh during his Act II duet with Marina Poplavskaya during the same above performance. One question: Why?!?
XVI B 21 Traviata Listen to the second verse of an encored "Di provenza" by Manuel Ausensi during this 1961 Mexico City performance of La traviata. After the Alfredo of Giuseppe di Stefano runs off, Ausensi takes the alternate upward transposition from Bb to Db, thus giving him the opportunity to sing a high Ab.
XVI B 22 Trovatore What do Fiorenza Cossotto, Deborah Voigt and Natalia de Andrade have in common? They can't stop. Here the mezzo shakes her version of "Stride la vampa" from Il trovatore.
XVI B 23 Turandot Have you no compassion? Jacopo Menconi sings "Nessun dorma" (cutting the repeat of the title because it's too low for this dramattichinetta tenoretto). You're letting this 14-year-old emerge into adulthood, growing up with a destroyed larynx.
XVI B 24 Wizard of Oz Judy Garland's last vocalism, singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" in Amsterdam on March 25, 1969. She died almost three months later.
XVI B 25 Zauberflöte A 7-year-old Chinese boy sings the Queen of the Night's rage aria from Die Zauberflöte.
XVI B 26 Zauberflöte Christina McCauley, Miss Georgia 2010 in rehearsal for the so-called loosely-termed """talent""" portion of the 2011 Miss America Pageant, singing the Queen of the Night's rage aria from Die Zauberflö te and appropriately located in Las Vegas. Blessedly, there's a time limit on how long the audience must suffer so two-thirds of the aria is cut.
XVII A 01 Aida Régine Crespin gets on and off the high C in "O patria mia" pretty presto in this Mexico City performance of Verdi's Aida on September 1, 1962.
XVII A 02 Aida An early recording (can it really date from 1954?) of Renata Scotto sailing the heights of "O patria mia" with the greatest of ease.
XVII A 03 Barbiere In the early 1990s, conductor Simone Fermani discovered from the original score of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia the composer's original designs for a strange kind of percussion instrument called the "sister" or "sistrum" and commissioned its reconstruction as it had disappeared after the first performance of the opera in Rome in 1816. Its re-introduction to the public occurred during performances at the L'Opéra Marseille in April of 1998 with the following cast:

Rosina: Patricia Spence
Il Conte d'Almaviva: Raul Gimenez
Figaro: Leo Nucci
Don Bartolo: Enzo Dara
Don Basilio: Luigi Roni
Berta: Joelle Michelini
Fiorello: Francois Castel
Sargeant: Peter Longauer

Chorus and Orchestra of L'Opéra de Marseille
(Beatrice Bestel, clavecin)

Simone Fermani, conductor
XVII A 04 Carmen A Hollywood Bowl concert version of Carmen happened on July 11, 1946 conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Sung in English, you hear the final pages of the final duet with Ramon Vinay and Winifred Heidt, who dies very audibly.
XVII A 05 Dixie Mary Lewis had a terrible childhood: child prostitution, working in saloons, dance halls and worse, yet she self-trained and made it to New York to the Ziegfeld Follies and to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Has any other Ziegfeld Girl ever made it to the Met Opera Stage? Her recording of Dixie is justly famous - it's got the jazzy arrangement that was used when she would sing it at the Follies in a revealing costume as she stood in front of a risqué tableaux (made up of Ziegfeld Girls) of "Southern Womanhood".

Her marriage to Michael Bohnen, a great opera bass baritone, was a horror, he is alleged to have beaten her.
XVII A 06 Don Giovanni Teresa Stich-Randall is stuck in her verismo gear during this essay of the role of Donna Anna on January 29, 1966. The rest of the cast included Cesare Siepi, Jan Peerce, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Geraint Evans, Nicola Ghiuselev with Joseph Rosenstock in the pit. The excerpt starts with Donna Anna's entrance.
XVII A 07 Don Giovanni From the same performance above, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf sings "Ah, chi mi dici mai". This might explain why she got the hell outta Dodge the next day and never returned.
XVII A 08 Don Giovanni From the same performance above, Teresa Stich-Randall belts out (with tons of liberal chest voice) "Or sai chi l'onore".
XVII A 09 Don Giovanni From the same performance mentioned above, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf gets through "Ah, fuggi traditor".
XVII A 10 Fledermaus Tatiana Gedda (daughter of) sings the Czardas from Strauss' Die Fledermaus at this April 12, 1987 concert.
XVII A 11 Götterdämmerung "Martha Mödl must have stepped in at the last moment as the printed program for the evening still showed Varnay as Brünnhilde."

IMHO, Mödl also agreed to sing as long as she could re-write Wagner at the following moments:

1:05
6:05
11:25
11:56
13:15
13:25
13:51
13:57
XVII A 12 Huun-Huur-Tu Huun-Huur-Tu come from the former Soviet Autonomous Republic of Tuva, a sparsely settled region of grasslands, boreal forests, and mountain ridges that lies 2,500 miles east of Moscow Russia, situated at the center of Asia, north of Mongolia. This indigenous music highlights rare instruments and preserves what is arguably some of the world's oldest form of music making. The best known genre of Tuvan music, throat-singing comprises what one might call a lexicon of musical onomatopoeia in which natural sounds are mimetically transformed into musical representations.
XVII A 13 John the Revelator "Blind" Willie Johnson (1897-1945) was an American singer and guitarist. His music is distinguished by his powerful bass thumb-picking and gravelly false-bass voice, with occasional use of a tenor voice. Johnson was not actually born blind, and, although it is not known how he lost his sight, stepmother Angeline Johnson told Samuel Charters that when Willie was seven his father beat his stepmother after catching her going out with another man. The stepmother then picked up a handful of lye and threw it, not at Willie's father, but into the face of young Willie.

On this recording, he is accompanied by Willie B. Harris, or an as-yet-unidentified female singer.
XVII A 14 Little Night Music Bassa Regina Resnik intones "Liaisons" from A Little Night Music.
XVII A 15 Lucia Placido Domingo's American operatic debut with the Fort Worth Opera in 1962 also served as the operatic farewell of Lily Pons. Here is the end of the Mad Scene, beginning with the cadenza before "Spargi d'amaro pianto".
XVII A 16 Lucia Joseph Calleja has a teeny tiny memory lapse during the final scene of Lucia on February 24, 2011.
XVII B 01 Manon Lescaut Monika Kurth, wife of Giuseppe di Stefano, sings "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" from Manon Lescaut during this 1985 Berlin concert.
XVII B 02 Manon Lescaut After a short interview in Italian,Magda Olivero, age 83, sings "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" from Manon Lescaut.
XVII B 03 Maria Stiuarda On May 2, 1967, Leyla Gencer (correctly pronounced GENger, the second g like the g in "orange") and Shirley Verrett go at it in Florence.
XVII B 04 National Anthem As it so often happens, the national anthem is butchered by Christina Aguilera at the 2011 Super Bowl.
XVII B 05 National Anthem And now hear the Brazilian national anthem butchered. It's pandemic... And this time, it's blamed on drugs.

"I believe that the responsability of singing a National Anthem in front of lots and lots of people can make anyone nervous. Although it isn't a moment to forget or change verses, it can happen...

But here in Brazil we had a much worse situation in 2009, when Brazilian singer Vanusa sung the most bizarre version of our Anthem.

She [Vanusa] gained national attention in March 2009, when she sang the Brazilian National Anthem at the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo. Accompanied by a couple of musicians, she committed many lyrical mistakes during her performance, and ended up singing out of rhythm. Attenders of the show tried to prevent her from continuing by applauding before the end of the presentation, and she kept on singing until the presenter eventually thanked Vanusa for her performance, with her still singing on the background. She later stated that she was confused because of the medicine she took that morning for her labyrinthitis, and said she would hire a lawyer to have any suggestion that she was drunk removed from the internet.

A detail must be added: she was with the score (or at least the lyrics) in front of her!!!"
XVII B 06 Nixon In China God forbid we hear a 4-letter word during opera. We get a warning on February 12, 2001 during this performance of Adams' Nixon in China.
XVII B 07 Nozze On May 20, 1990, the then unknown Natalie Dessayvivre sings Barbarina in Marseille.
XVII B 08 O sole mio Giuseppe di Stefano sings "O sole mio" at a 1985 Berlin concert mentioned above.
XVII B 09 Operetta The daughter of Jussi Björling, Ann-Charlotte Björling, sings an operetta aria during a (Stockholm?) concert on December 16, 1985.
XVII B 10 Operetta The nephew of Jussi Björling, Raymond Björling, sings an operetta ensemble piece with Ann-Charlotte during a (Stockholm?) concert on December 16, 1985.
XVII B 11 Otello A rather fearless performance of the "Esultate" by Frank Porreta during a piano/dress rehearsal on October 29, 2002. Not only does he take the last two phrases in one breath, he lingers on the high B and A.
XVII B 12 Otello The then unknown Harry Theyard sings Cassio to the Iago of Cornell MacNeill in New Orleans sometime in 1964.
XVII B 13 Otello The then unknown Jonas Kaufmann sings Cassio to the Iago of Lucio Gallo in Chicago on September 22, 2001.
XVII B 14 Puritani Chris Merritt whines the C# in the second verse of "A te o cara" on March 30, 1991. His Elvira is Edita Gruberova.
XVII B 15 Puritani Chris Merritt whines the Db in the finale of "Credeasi" on March 30, 1991. His Elvira is Edita Gruberova.
XVII B 16 Puritani Chris Merritt really whines the Eb in the duet "Vieni fra queste braccia" on March 30, 1991. His Elvira is Edita Gruberova.
XVII B 17 Rigoletto A young Marcello Giordani interpolates a high D at the end of "Possente amore" of Rigoletto in 1991.
XVII B 18 Roméo Jane Powell, accompanied by José Iturbi, sings "Je veux vivre" from Roméo et Juliette in the 1946 movie "Holiday in Mexico".
XVII B 19 Roméo Beverly Sills sings "Je veux vivre" from Roméo et Juliette in the original key of G.
XVII B 20 Roméo Piotr Beczala has an accident during this performance of Roméo et Juliette on March 3, 2011.
XVII B 21 Tosca Birgit Nilsson gives good scream on April 10, 1963 in Philadelphia during this finale of Tosca, not to mention tons of voice left for the high Bb.
XVII B 22 Traviata Denes Gulyas serenades Diana Soviero with his high C during Act I of La traviata during this Genova performance of June 23, 1987.
XVII B 23 Traviata Giacomo Aragall serenades Ileana Cotrubas without his high C during Act I of La traviata during this Munich of June 12, 1978. She ends the scene with a rare high Eb.
XVII B 24 Traviata Saverio Durante interpolates a high Ab at the end of Act II, Scene 1 of La traviata in this (September or October) 1964 studio recording. His Alfredo is Angelo Mori.
XVII B 25 Zauberflöte Frieda Hempel interpolates 2 high Fs (instead of 4th line Fs) and a high A at the end (instead of a 2nd space A) in "Der hölle Rache" from Die Zauberflöte in this 1911 recording.
XVII B 26 Zauberflöte I'd bet money Melitta Heirn heard Hempel's recording within two years or so...
XVIII A 01 Aida Elizabeth Taylor sings via Aprile Millo in the movie "The Young Toscanini". The music is an excerpt from "O patria mia" from Verdi's Aida.
XVIII A 02 Aida A great stentorian way to begin volume 18 of "Shall I Go On?" - In this performance of Aida, Margherita Ruffino's Amneris goes mad at the end of the Judgment Scene. The Ramfis' name is unknown.
XVIII A 03 Attila Soprano Candida Ribeiro da Silva throws caution (and her voice, not to mention technique) to the wind and launches into a fierce "Santo di Patria". Note how she drops about a fifth's worth of notes in the downward scale early on. The performance dates from September 30, 1993.
XVIII A 04 Bacio As so often happens in beauty contest talent rounds, the contestants find they, uh, have no talent. And then they remember they learned how to sing something years ago. So Miss Wisconsin of 2012 sings "Il bacio".
XVIII A 05 Boheme I have no idea who sings this "Si, mi chiamano Mimi" from Boheme and I don't think she has any idea of what she's singing about nor any idea of style or Italian diction.
XVIII A 06 Boheme Luciano Pavarotti Jr. sings Parpignol in this September 29, 1986 Berlin along with his father and Madelyn Renee as Mimi. One big happy family for a while at least.
XVIII A 07 Camptown Races During a radio show, Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Tibbett sing "Camptown Races" and "Beautiful Dreamer".
XVIII A 08 Carmen Soprano Marina Koshetz interpolates a high Bb (somewhat de riguer in this days) at the end of Micaela's aria in Carmen during this English language performance conducted by Leopold Stokowski at the Hollywood Bowl on July 11, 1946.
XVIII A 09 Carmen The vocal stylings of Nana Moskouri shine as she intones the "Habanera" from Carmen.
XVIII A 10 Don Carlo James Morris sings both King Phillip and Grand Inquisitor in this pastiche of two different performance of Verdi's Don Carlo.
XVIII A 11 Faust Darn, those pesky low notes. At the reprise of the melody, Ettore Bastianini raises some notes up an octave to accommodate his Italian-language version of Valentin's aria from Faust.
XVIII A 12 Faust Rene Pape revives a lost measure of recitative from the score of Gounod's Faust with a short line in English. The performance took place on December 28, 2011. The first voice is that of Michele Losier.
XVIII A 13 German Song The ever-young Johannes Heesters celebrates his 107th birthday.
XVIII A 14 I Love Lucy Vivian Vance, as Ethel Mertz, attempts to give Lucille Ball, as Lucy Riccardo, a voice lesson. Ms. Vance could actually sing pretty well.
XVIII A 15 Little Night Music Margaret Hamilton sings "Liaisons" from A Little Night Music during this 1974 performance.
XVIII A 16 Lucia Here are the final pages of the love duet from Act I of Donizetti's Lucia with June Anderson and Rockwell Blake. They sing it come scritto which mean Edgardo begins a downward scale from a high Eb which Lucia begins hers from a high C. The performance took place in Ottawa on January 17, 1982.
XVIII A 17 Lucia When Natalie Dessay returned to Manhattan to repeat her characterization of Lucia, she claimed there wasn't enough time to rehearse with the glass harmonica. So she did without it in this February 24, 2011 performance.
XVIII A 18 Lucia Gail Gilmore Gives Great aGiliy during this performance of the mad scene from Donizetti's Lucia. At 1:39, she completes the melodic line unlike most sopraanos. Then scales up to a high F, the another scale up to a high F#.
XVIII A 19 Lucrezia Borgia Can someone tell me what Montserrat Caballe is laughing at during the bridge music of this excerpt from Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia? Maybe the Barcelona audience wondered the same thing on December 19, 1970.
XVIII A 20 Macbeth Nadja Michael ends her matinee performance as Lady Macbeth with a real yelp on March 24, 2012.
XVIII A 21 Meatballs Bing Crosby and Lauritz Melchior appear on a 1945 episode of "The Mail Room".
XVIII A 22 Mozart Meets Rodgers & Hart A spoof by Alec Templeton.
XVIII B 01 Norma A fierce, determined and forceful soprano attempts to get through the recitative of "Casta diva" from Bellini's Norma. The audience gradually begins to riot and that's where the recording ended.
XVIII B 02 Norma Roberta Peters sings "Casta diva" from Bellini's Norma during this 1994 performance with orchestra.
XVIII B 03 Opera in 10 Minutes A simple summary of opera, telling the briefest version of the synopses of the standard operas - La traviata, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Aida, Tosca, Tristan und Isolde, Madama Butterfly and the Ring.
XVIII B 04 Pagliacci The infamous audience of La Scala did not like the Nedda of Oksana Dykala during this 2011 performance.
XVIII B 05 Puritani Rockwell Blake sings the second verse of "A te o cara" from Bellini's I Puritani. His Elvira is Denia Mazzoli in this Barcelona performance which took place on March 11, 1990.
XVIII B 06 Puritani Rockwell Blake sings the aria "Credeasi" from Bellini's I Puritani. His Elvira is Denia Mazzoli in this Barcelona performance which took place on March 11, 1990.
XVIII B 07 Puritani Rockwell Blake sings the duet "Vieni fra queste braccia" from Bellini's I Puritani. His Elvira is Denia Mazzoli in this Barcelona performance which took place on March 11, 1990.
XVIII B 08 Puritani Enrico di Giuseppe sings the second verse of "A te o cara" from Bellini's I Puritani. His Elvira is Beverly Sills during this NYCO performance which took place on February 27, 1974.
XVIII B 09 Puritani Enrico di Giuseppe sings the aria "Credeasi" from Bellini's I Puritani. His Elvira is Beverly Sills during this NYCO performance which took place on February 27, 1974. He chose not to take the F in this performance, just Db's.
XVIII B 10 Puritani Enrico di Giuseppe sings the duet "Vieni far queste braccia" from Bellini's I Puritani. His Elvira is Beverly Sills during this NYCO performance which took place on February 27, 1974.
XVIII B 11 Rigoletto Sue Hassel shows her wide range as she sings "Caro nome" from Verdi's Rigoletto.
XVIII B 12 Rosenkavalier Good ol' Kurt Baum interpolates a high Db at the end of the Italian Singer's aria from Rosenkavalier in this studio recording. Why not?
XVIII B 13 Schicchi During an April 11, 2011 episode of "Dancing With The Stars", Katherine Jenkins, during what is hoped to be her final appearance in things operatic, sings "O mio babbino caro" transposed down a major third to F major and still has to omit the aria's final phrase. I guess her larynx would become disengaged from her throat. Or maybe those are baroque trills...
XVIII B 14 Schicchi Once again, "O mio babbino caro" is butchered during the talent show "America's Got Talent" by 42-year-old giggly Cindy Chang. She starts in the middle of the aria, thank God but ends it on a high Ab. She passed on to the next round...
XVIII B 15 Sonnambula At the end of "Ah non giunge" from Bellini's La Sonnambula, Natalie Dessay interpolates a handful of Ebs and a high F (is she singing a 2nd at the end?) during this Lausanne performance of 1999.
XVIII B 16 Sonnambula Macedonian soprano Ana Durlovski interpolates a high F at the end of "Ah non giunge" during this January 22, 2012 Stuttgart performance of Bellini's La sonnambula.
XVIII B 17 Tosca John Sandor, with cogliones of 10,000 elephants, took a tape recorder on stage while he sang Cavaradossi. Here he sings the explosive "Vittoria! scene from Act II of Puccini's Tosca.
XVIII B 18 Tosca Violetta Urmana gives out before her high C in Act II of Puccini's Tosca on March 31, 2011. The Scarpia was sung by James Morris.
XVIII B 19 Tosca When Grace Moore sang Tosca on April 8, 1944, listeners got a double treat: she gave her audience Puccini AND Sardou mixed together. Here is the finale of Act III.
XVIII B 20 Traviata This sounds like the same soprano from the Norma excerpt above. The audience riots again. Poor thing...
XVIII B 21 Traviata Richard Tucker doesn't interpolate a high C during the Act I offstage serenade of Verdi's La traviata during his 25th anniversary gala of April 11, 1970. His Violetta is Joan Sutherland who shows off her agility with great ease, incorporating the Tetrazini ornamentation.
XVIII B 22 Traviata Alfredo Kraus interpolates a high C during the Act I offstage serenade of Verdi's La traviata during this Hamburg performance of March 30, 1979. His Violetta is Katia Ricciarelli.
XVIII B 23 Traviata Francisco Araiza interpolates a high C during the Act I offstage serenade of Verdi's La traviata during this Madrid performance of February 22, 1990. His Violetta is Diana Soviero.
XVIII B 24 Traviata Piotr Beczala interpolates a high C during the Act I offstage serenade of Verdi's La traviata during this Covent Garden performance of December, 2011. His Violetta is Alyn Perez.
XVIII B 25 Traviata Leonard Warren buys the key change behind Door #2 during Act II of Verdi's Traviata and interpolates a high Ab. I guess the announcer didn't know how to pronounce the first name of the Alfredo, Charles kuhlmann.
XVIII B 26 Trovatore Angelo Loforese, age 90, sings an unaccompanied excerpt from "Di quell pira" from Verdi's Il trovatore.
XVIII B 27 Trovatore Marcelo Alvarez turns a few measures into Parsifal during this April 27, 2011 performance of Il trovatore with Sondra Radvanowsky as Leonora (who emits a Gencer-like yelp).
XVIII B 28 Turandot Angelo Loforese, age 90, sings the final page from "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's Turandot.
XVIII B 29 Turandot Angelo Loforese, age 90, repeats the final page from "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's Turandot.
XVIII B 30 Vespri That legendary Verdi soprano name Miliza Korjus chirps her tinsel void through the Bolero from Verdi's I vespri siciliani, complete with extended cadenza at the end, plucking 3 high F#s.
XVIII B 31 Villi Giuseppe di Stefano portrays the short speaking role of Narratore in Puccini's Le villi. during this August 13, 1989 performance in Peralada.
XVIII B 32 Zauberflöte Listen to how not to sing the coloratura pyrotechnics from the Queen of the Night's rage aria from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.
XIX A 01 Aida Dimitra Theodossiou ends her Triumphal Scene with a high Eb during this 2009 performance of Aida.
XIX A 02 Aida Here is the finale of Act II from Aida as performed by The New York Opera Forum with a brief high Eb offered by its Aida.
XIX A 03 Ballo An unknown wobbly baritone wobbles through the wobbly finale of "Eri tu" from Un ball in maschera.
XIX A 04 Boheme In 1926 Dame Nellie Melba made her farewell appearance at Covent Garden, singing in scenes from Roméo et Juliette, Otello, and La boheme. Here, from that performance, she sings "Donde lieta".
XIX A 05 Bolena Montserrat Caballe drops numerous notes during the final scene during this January 5, 1982 Barcelona performance of Anna Bolena.
XIX A 06 Camel Cigarettes Theme Song Introduced by Ed Wynn, the theme song for Camel cigarettes is sung by baritone John Charles Thomas on an April 15, 1950 radio show.
XIX A 07 Carmen The fading Katia Ricciarelli sings the Habanera from Carmen, ca. 2011.
XIX A 08 Dick Van Dyke Show Theme Song Dick Van Dyke sings the theme song to the Dick Van Dyke Show, lyrics by Morey Amsterdam on The Today Show.
XIX A 09 Dinorah This has to be an ultimate classic on SIGO. Imagine a soprano of a certain age practicing by herself the Shadow Song from Meyerbeer's Dinorah. Now add to that walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on your way to work during the morning rush hour traffic. This is, according to soprano Sue Hassel, very beneficial and invigorating.
XIX A 10 Elisir Most likely prompted by management, Juan Diego Florez encores the aria "Una furtive lagrima" during the March 31, 2012 broadcast of L'Elisir d'amore. During the cadenza, he sails up to a high C which stirs the audience into a frenzy. As the applause begins to die down, he says "Miss Damrau is waiting backstage".
XIX A 11 Faust Angelo Loforese, near the age of 90, sings the phrase with the high C (in Italian AND with a nice diminuendo) from "Salut demere" from Faust.
XIX A 12 Faust The audience voices its disapproval twice for Roberto Alagna during this December 28, 2011 performance of Faust.
XIX A 13 Gallipacci The opera Gallipacci, as sung by Nanette Fabray, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris.
XIX A 14 Götterdämmerung On July 24, 1976, the as-usual respectful Bayreuth audience waits for the final chord of Götterdämmerung to end, then lets go with booing and cat calls.
XIX A 15 Lakmé Unfortunately for Katherine Jenkins, she has to sing the duet from Lakmé in key. Listen how she can barely hang onto the final C#. The soprano's name is unknown. This is from the reality show "Dancing With The Stars" on April 11, 2011.
XIX A 16 Lockende Flamme In music you wouldn't expect from her, here is Anneliese Rothenberger singing "Kunstlerball bei Kroll" from the operetta Die Lockende Flamme by Eduard Künneke, recorded in 1950 for German radio.
XIX A 17 Lucia This time, there's a switcheroo during the love duet from Lucia: Beverly Sills takes the tenor's high Eb while Alfredo Kraus takes her high C during this Teatro Colon performance of June 25, 1972.
XIX A 18 Lucia And once again, there's a switcheroo during the love duet from Lucia: Beverly Sills takes the tenor's high Eb while Luciano Pavarotti takes her high C during this San Francisco performance of November 11, 1972.
XIX A 19 Lucia Finally, a different mad scene cadenza: soprano Kerstin Avemo dares this during a February 4, 2011 performance. Why the stunned silence?
XIX A 20 Lucia Beverly Sills sang her first Lucia with the Fort Worth Opera on April 5, 1968. Here is the mad scene, beginning from "Spargi d'amaro paint". For her first try, it's full of daring and unusual ornament.
XIX A 21 Napulitanata Here is Tito Schipa, at the age of 70, singing "Napulitanata".
XIX A 22 Non ti scordar di me A Chicago announcer obviously doesn't know her stuff when she misidentifies Carlo Bergonzi for Giuseppe di Stefano.
XIX A 23 Nozze Something tells me Mozart is laughing when he hears this version of "Non so piu cosa son" from his opera Le nozze di Figaro. The Cherubino is nameless.
XIX A 24 Pagliacci It's not often you hear a Silvio interpolate a high A near the end of his duet with Nedda. Here is Wolfgang Amheiser and American soprano Felicia Weathers during a 1967 Cologne dress rehearsal Bajazzo.
XIX A 25 Pagliacci Helge Roswaenge proves he still has the goods during this same auf Deutsch Cologne dress rehearsal of 1967. The delivery of his final line is chilling.
XIX B 01 Puritani Here is Alexey Kudrya in the 2nd verse of "A te o cara" from I Puritani during a February 7, 2011 Genova performance. The high C# is.. pretty good...
XIX B 02 Puritani Alexey Kudrya sings a high Db and valiant effort for the high F from I Puritani during a February 7, 2011 Genova performance. His Elvira is Diana Damrau.
XIX B 03 Puritani Alexey Kudrya and Diana Damrau sing the duet "Vieni fra queste braccia" from I Puritani during a February 7, 2011 Genova performance. His high Eb is successful as is hers when they sing it together. Briefly.
XIX B 04 Puritani Pierre Duval delivers great high notes during this 2nd verss of "A te o cara" during this New York City Opera September 22, 1974 performance of I Puritani. He even interpolates an extra high Bb. His Elvira is Beverly Sils.
XIX B 05 Puritani Pierre Duval nails two high Dbs during the same NYCO mentioned above.
XIX B 06 Puritani Pierre Duval still has enough left during the same above-mentioned performance to sing not one but two high Ebs and a final high Db during "Vieni fra queste braccia".
XIX B 07 Rigoletto During his Met debut as the Duke in Rigoletto on February 16, 1966, Alfredo Kraus interpolates a high D at the end of "Possente amor".
XIX B 08 Samson Elena chestvoiceofMactruckproportions Obratsova sings "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" from Samson et Dalilah at a 2002 concert.
XIX B 09 Siegfried Sylvia Fisher's recorded legacy is very small. So, we should be grateful for the 3 or 4 single high notes she contributed during the duet from Siegfried, "Ewig war" between Siegfried and Brüunhide. The recording was made in June of 1951 with Set Svanholm as Siegfried and George Sebastien conducting.
XIX B 10 Tosca Jose Van Dam in one of his early roles, Angelotti, during this 1972 Berlin performance of Tosca.
XIX B 11 Tosca Next is Jose van Dam's first performance as Scarpia. Unfortunately, it all ended after the first Act. Near the end of the exchange between Tosca (Dame Gwyneth Jones) and Scarpia, a storm of biblical proportion, both auditory and precipitationary, began and halted the performance, the opera and then flooding the city of Toulouse, France on July 31, 1994. Those thunderous moments, planned only by the Man upstairs, occur at:

00:28 - a low rumble
01:07 - another low rumble
01:38 - low rumbles and a low clap
02:17 - large clap of thunder (Dio mi perdona... Egli vede ch'io piango! )
02:55 - claps of distant thunder
03:28 - low thunder rumble
03:51 - huge clap of thunder
4:56 - distant thunder
XIX B 12 Tosca James Morris forgets pages of text during the Te Deum Scene from the March 31, 2011 of Tosca.
XIX B 13 Tosca In 1903, Emma Carelli and Mario Sammarco (the original Carlo Gérard) got together and recorded part of the Act II duet between Tosca and Scarpia, beginning with "Quanto? Quanto?".

Carelli debuted at 18 and is heard here at the age of 26, sounding 20 years more mature than one would expect. And her Tosca must have been a real kneeslapper to the Scarpia of Sammarco.
XIX B 14 Tosca At the tender age of (near) 90, Angelo Loforese sings a page of "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca, demonstrating his diminuendo ability.
XIX B 15 Tosca Thanks to Mr. Mapleson, we not only can hear how Puccini's Tosca score was disrespected on January 3, 1903, we can also hear Emma Eames in the finale. When Spoletta, sung by Jacques Bars, comes in about a measure late and thereby stepping on her line, she spits back at him as if to say "SHUT UP!". And then the Met saw fit to cut most of the postlude.
XIX B 16 Traviata Alfredo Kraus interpolates a high C during his Act I offstage serenade to Nelly Mircioiu during this Munich performance of La traviata on May 28, 1982.
XIX B 17 Traviata During this December 5, 1942 performance of La traviata, Lawrence Tibbett has the ending transposed up so that he can interpolate a high Ab. His Alfredo is Charles Kuhlmann.
XIX B 18 Traviata During this March 23, 1946 performance of La traviata, Leonard Warren has the ending transposed up so that he can interpolate a high Ab. His Alfredo is Richard Tucker.
XIX B 19 Traviata Robert Merrill's Germont has a memory lapse during his duet with Virginia Zeani's Violetta (her Met debut) during this November 12, 1966 performance.
XIX B 20 Trovatore Here is the end of "Tacea la note" and all of "Di tale amor" from a January 13, 1966 Barcelona performance of Il trovatore with a young and uncautious Monserrat Caballe. She interpolates a high Bb at the end of the bridge music and then ends the cabaletta with a high Db.
XIX B 21 Trovatore Chris Merritt gets nicely carried away during his (in key) singing of "Di quella pira" during this December 11, 1993 Chicago performance. He even throse in a little cadenza at the end of the second verse. His Leonora is Lyubov Kazarnovskaya.
XIX B 22 Trovatore Angelo Loforese sings "Di quella pira" (in Bb) with great elan, even near the age of 90.
XIX B 23 Trovatore From the same Barcelona performance above, Monstserrat Caballe interpolates not one but two high Cs at the end of the "Miserere". Her Manrico is Umberto Borso.
XIX B 24 Turandot Angelo Loforese sings the final phrases of "Nessun dorma", still near the age of 90.
XIX B 25 Turandot I guess Angelo Loforese thought this or that one wasn't good enough. So here he is again in the final pages of "Nessun dorma".
XIX B 26 Twelve Tone Masters This is self-explanatory. Or self-explanetory.
XIX B 27 Walküre Robert LePage's inspiration for Brünnhilde's giggle fest during "Ho jo to ho!" at the beginning of Act II of this October 2, 1961 Covent Garden Die Walküre. Anita Valkki is Brüunhide and Hans Hotter sings Wotan.
XIX B 28 Walküre Something goes amiss during the Ride of the Valkyries on February 24, 1968.
XX A 01 Adrian Lucine Amara is one of those singers whose vocal wristwatch stopped running decades ago. In other words, she still has, at age 87, all the shining qualities she had 50 and 60 years ago. On April 14, 2012, Harmonia Opera Company presented a Benefit Concert for Young Talent commemorating the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsounami of Japan. Amara appeared as special guest, singing "Io son l'umile nacelle" from Adriana Lecouvreur. Her accompanist is Bob Wilson.
XX A 02 Aida Giulietta Simionato makes the wrong turn in the Judgment Scene during one of those well-known Mexico City Aidas (you know, Callas and her high Eb). The date is March 30, 1950.
XX A 03 Barbiere Because he still could, Robert Nagy sang the role of Count Almaviva in Il barber di Siviglia in Vienna on March 10, 2003, age 74.

BREAKING NEWS: This is not American tenor Robert Nagy. This is Rumanian tenor Robert Nagy
XX A 04 Carmen A sick sack of Swedish psychos from Gothenburg's Backa Theater "perform" the Habanera from Carmen on March 20, 2010.
XX A 05 Citizen Kane It is a great scene, comic and horrible: the horror created by Orson Welles' masterful direction - see how tiny Sara is on stage! - the comedy supplied in no small part by composer Bernard Hermann. The Aria from Salammbô was entirely Hermann’s creation, an all too authentic-sounding piece of fake opera deliberately placed in a key to stretch a soprano to breaking point and climaxing with a high D well out of the reach of the amateurish would-be diva...
XX A 06 Elektra Brigitte Fassbaender and her kryptonite kords defied all limits of register range by singing, for all intents and purposes, the entire role of Klytemnestra in chest during this New York performance of Elektra on January 22, 1994. Her Elektra is Hildegard Behrens.
XX A 07 Ernani Here is a 1973 Ottawa slam-bam-thank-you-mam performance of "Ernani involami" by Joan Sutherland accompanied by her husband Richard Bonynge. They passed Go and collected $200 in cutting the introduction to the cabaletta.
XX A 08 Fanciulla Things don't go so well for Giuseppe Giacomini while singing "A la mia vita a l'ammo during this performance of La fanciulla del West.
XX A 09 Götterdämmerung Katarina Dalayman, unable to sustain high notes longer than a few beats, merely gets through the end of the Immolation Scene during this May 3, 2012 performance of Götterdämmerung.
XX A 10 Imitator A comedian imitates the voices of Richard Tauber and Feodor Chaliapin.
XX A 11 Leo Slezak >Heinz Holecek imitates Leo Slezak.
XX A 12 Lucrezia Borgia Robert Allman, age 81delivers a firm and resonant performance of "Vieni la mia vendetta" from Lucrezia Borgia during this 2008 performance.
XX A 13 National Anthem During this April 2, 2012 NCAA March Madness basketball tournament in Kansas, a band called The Fray destroys the National Anthem.
XX A 14 Non ti scordar di me From the same aforementioned April concert, Lucine Amara sings "Non ti scordar di me".
XX A 15 Nozze From the same aforementioned April concert, Lucine Amara sings "Porgi amor" from Le nozze di Figaro.
XX A 16 Onegin Ivan Kozlovsky (ca. age 63) and Sergei Lemeshev (ca. age 61) sing an improvisation of Lensky's aria from Eugene Onegin for their tributes thanking the public. This probably took place between 1962 and 1964.
XX A 17 Pagliacci Mario del Monaco proves he still has what it takes while singing "Vesti la giubba" during this January 19, 1974 Naples performance of Pagliacci. He was 59.
XX A 18 Pagliacci From the same above performance, the finale of the opera as sung by Mario del Monaco, Antonietta Cannarile, Cornell MacNeil, Giorgio Grimaldi and Otello Borgonovo.
XX B 01 Pecheurs de Perles This goes under the heading of "It's so wrong it's right": Nicolai Gedda sings "Je crois entendre encore" from Le Pecheurs de peerless accompanied by an orchestra of balalaikas.
XX B 02 Porgy And this goes under the heading of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it": listen to Eleanor Steber sing "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess with a far more preferable come scritto ending.
XX B 03 Puritani Continuing SIGO's survey of puritani ArTuro Tenors aTTempTing The Tops, here is the second verse of "A te o cara" from I puritani as sung by Aldo Bertolo and his Elvira, Mariella Devia during this July 27, 1985
XX B 04 Puritani From the same performance, here is "Vieni far queste brachia" from I puritani as sung by Aldo Bertolo and his Elvira, Mariella Devia.
XX B 05 Puritani From the same performance, here is "Credeasi misera" from I puritani as sung by Aldo Bertolo and his Elvira, Mariella Devia.
XX B 06 Puritani And now, here is the second verse of "A te o cara" from I puritani as sung by Salvatore Fisichella and his Elvira, Edita Gruberova during this July 27, 1985 Bregenz performance.
XX B 07 Puritani From the same performance, here is "Vieni far queste brachia" from I puritani as sung by Salvatore Fisichella and his Elvira, Edita Gruberova.
XX B 08 Puritani From the same performance, here is "Credeasi misera" from I puritani as sung by Salvatore Fisichella and his Elvira, Edita Gruberova.
XX B 09 Rigoletto No one dubbed this voice: here is Marni Nixon in a 1950 television performance of "Caro nome" from Rigoletto, accompanied by Jan Popper.
XX B 10 Rigoletto Juanita Banana gives her take on the same aria from Rigoletto.
XX B 11 Rodelinda Marilyn Horne hits the Wall of Memory Lapse during this 1967 Berkeley recital singing "V ivi tranno" from Handel's Rodelinda.
XX B 12 Siegfried Siegfried, end of duet, Jay Hunter Morris, Deborah Voigt, April 21, 2012. Shall I go on?
XX B 13 Sonnambula Ana Durlovski interpolates a high F at the end of "Ah non giunge" from La Sonnambula 042912
XX B 14 Traviata William McAlpine interpolates a high C during his offstage serenade to the Violetta of Virginia Zeani during this January 13, 1960 Covent Garden performance of La traviata.
XX B 15 Traviata Piotr Beczala interpolates a high C during his offstage serenade to the Violetta of Andrea Rost during this May 11, 2004 Athens performance of La traviata.
XX B 16 Traviata Natalie Dessay's interpolated high Eb at the end of "Sempre libber" wasn't thaaaaaat bad during this April 14, 2012 performance, but she made history when she actually apologized for it on global television.
XX B 17 Traviata Mario Sereni interpolates a high Ab at the end of Act II, Scene 2 of La traviata during this December 5, 1970 performance. Alfredo was sung by Placido Domingo.
XX B 18 WalkÜre To celebrate his 70th birthday, Lauritz Melchior sang a concert version of Act I from Die Walküre on March 31, 1960 in Copenhagen. His Sieglinde is Dorothy Larsen.
XX B 19 WalkÜre Leonie Rysanek submits her signature shriek in Act I of Die Walküre during this 1958 Bayreuth performance with Jon Vickers as Siegmund.
XX B 20 WalkÜre Leonie Rysanek submits her signature shriek in Act I of Die Walküre during this February 24, 1968 performance with Jon Vickers as Siegmund. He must have really brought it out in her.
XX B 21 WalkÜre It's all Katarina Dalayman could do to get through "Ho-jo-to-ho" during this April 28, 2012 performance of Die Walküre.
XXI A 01 Adriana Volume XXI of "Shall I Go On?" features many selections from a special concert presented at a nursing home at an undisclosed location somewhere in a borough of New York City. The participants are members of a troupe called the Creative Opera Company, Ltd. Here its founder, Judith Alban-Wilk, sings the aria "Io son l'umile nacelle" from Adriana Lecouvreur".
XXI A 02 Aida Jon Vickers may have had too many cajun delights before this February 24, 1972 New Orleans performance of Aida.
XXI A 03 Boheme The C in Carreras was not perfectly present for Jose during this June 30, 1974 performance of "Che gelid manna" from La bohemia.
XXI A 04 Butterfly Eugenio Fernandi gets lost (at 3:10) during the love duet from Madama Buttrfly during this performance of April 16, 1960. His compass-like Butterfly is Dorothy Kirsten.
XXI A 05 Carmen Judith Alban-Wilk sings "Dat's love" from the film Carmen Jones. She hopes you like it, albeit two beats late on her entrance.
XXI A 06 Carmen From the real Carmen in not-so-real French, Eugene Flam, tenorous member of the Creative Opera Company, Ltd., sings the Flower Song.
XXI A 07 Carmen Giuseppe di Stefano goes ferociously ballistic during this 1955 La Scala performance of the final duet from Carmen. His Carmen is Giulietta Simionato and the conductor is Herbert von Karajan.
XXI A 08 Cavalleria A police siren is heard when Turiddu is murdered during this studio recording of Cavalleria rusticate. The Santuzza is Margaret Harshaw.
XXI A 09 Chenier Recording producer John Culshaw relays his experience of attending a provincial Italian performance of Andrea Chenier.
XXI A 10 Chenier Carlo Bergonzi baaaaaarely makes it to the climax of "Come un bel di di magi" from Andrea Chenier.
XXI A 11 Don Giovanni Edward Bruce-Stevenson and Judith Alban-Wilk sing the duet "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni.
XXI A 12 Faust Here's a Reader's Digest version - or should I say Die Digest Version von Leser - of "Salut demeure from Faust - or should I say Margarethe - as sung by Helge Roswaenge.
XXI A 13 Lucia Helene Chutzpah (yes, that's what the caption says) slides and whines her way through "Regnava nel silenzio" from Lucia di Lammermoor.
XXI A 14 Merry Widow Amidst some tubercular torments, Judith Alban-Wilk intones her take on "Vilja" from .
XXI A 15 Miserables Edward Bruce-Stevenson wails "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables (indeed).
XXI A 16-19 Norma I don't know about you but when I think Zerbinetta, the next logical repertoire choice is not Norma. But leave it to the Ever-ready Edita Gruberova to essay these roles. Here is the opening scene from a March 1, 2004 Badden-Baden performance, one of her first. Her Oroveso is Alastair Miles.
XXI A 20 Otello Judith Alban-Wilk demonstrates her Verdi style and sings the Ave Maria (more like Hail Mary) from Verdi's Otello. At least her senior citizen audience knew not to clap after the high note.
XXI A 21 Pagliacci Giuseppe di Stefano goes nuts at the end of this April 24, 1956 La Scala performance. The cast includes Clara Petrella, Aldo Protti, Luigi Alva and Enzo Sordello with Nino Sanzogno conducting. Note his rage for the final line. Have you ever heard applause throughout the postlude of Pagliacci?
XXI A 22 Pasquale Edward Bruce-Stevenson, member of the Creative Opera Company, Ltd., demonstrates his vast versatility and sings Pasquale's aria from Don Pasquale.
XXI A 23 Pirates Still more versatility from Edward Bruce-Stevenson as he sings the Major-General's Song from The Pirates of Penzance.
XXI B 01 Puritani Rockwell Blake and Joan Sutherland scale the puritanical heights during this December 13, 1986 NYC performance of I puritan in the aria "A te o cara".
XXI B 02 Puritani Rockwell Blake and Joan Sutherland scale the puritanical heights during this December 13, 1986 NYC performance of I puritan during "Vieni fra queste brachia".
XXI B 03 Puritani Rockwell Blake and Joan Sutherland scale the puritanical heights during this December 13, 1986 NYC performance of I puritan during "Credeasi misera".
XXI B 04 Puritani Alfredo Kraus soars the heights with the greatest of ease alongside Gianna d'Angelo during this September 16, 1967 Bilbao performance of I puritan conducted by Ermanno Wolf Ferrari. The selection is the second verse of "A te o cara".
XXI B 05 Puritani Alfredo Kraus soars the heights with the greatest of ease alongside Gianna d'Angelo during this September 16, 1967 Bilbao performance of I puritan conducted by Ermanno Wolf Ferrari. The selection is "Vieni fra queste brachia".
XXI B 06 Puritani Alfredo Kraus soars the heights with the greatest of ease alongside Gianna d'Angelo during this September 16, 1967 Bilbao performance of I puritan conducted by Ermanno Wolf Ferrari. The selection is "Credeasi misera".
XXI B 07 Requiem Soprano Katarina Jovanovic re-enacts a certain performance of the Verdi Requirem by a certain Coration soprano by faking a faint during in 2011.
XXI B 08 Rigoletto On January 13, 1969, Giuseppe Campora has a late-in-the-career mishap during "La donna e mobile in this Cincinatti Rigoletto.
XXI B 09 Salome You can always rely on Birgit Nilsson for giving good scream; but chest voice? In this March 13, 1968 Salome excerpt, she emits a great shriek and lots of chest just before the head is brought for her delectation and delight. And listen how much voice she has left at the end of the opera.
XXI B 10 Samson At the finale of the telecast of Samson et Dalilah, Placido Domingo lets out a good yodel on the high Bb. Miraculously, he was able to get on his Time Machine and go back and correct it; just in time for the re-telecast a few days later. Boy, does he have clout!
XXI B 11 Showboat Judith Alban-Wilk of the Creative Opera Company, Ltd. belts out "Can't Help Lovin' that Man" from Showboat.
XXI B 12 Showboat Here is proof that (so-called) opera singers should not sing pop or musical theater: Judith Alban-Wilk and Edward Bruce-Stevenson sing a medley from Showboat.
XXI B 13 Sonnambula Edita Gruberova interpolates a high F at the end of "Ah no ghiunge" in this Octobber 4, 1982 Geneva performance of La sonnambula. She sounds like she's having a lotto fun.
XXI B 14 Strangers In The Night Carlo Bergonzi is inspired by Franco Sinatra and sings "Strangers In The Night". In Italian, of course. This took place some time in 1967.
XXI B 15 Tonys During the 2012 Tony Awards Ceremony, Neil Patrick Harris sings single measures from 66 Tony Award-winning songs.
XXI B 16 Torna a Sorrento Moishe Miller, Merrill Miller, Robert Miller - let's call the whole thing off. Here the 22-year-old (not 19) above-named baritone sings "Torna a Sorrento". He doesn't sound much like what he became…
XXI B 17 Tosca Franco Corelli gets an audience's unwanted opinion during this March 4, 1970 Paris performance of "E lucevan le stele" from Tosca.
XXI B 18 Tosca The Creative Opera Company, Ltd. presents Eugene Flam in a performance of "E lucevan le stele" from Tosca.
XXI B 19 Tosca Vassilka Petrova could afford a Tosca cast, orchestra, conductor, studio and engineers but she ran outta lira when it came time for sound effects. This is obvious when her Mario is shot by a child's cap gun.
XXI B 20 Tosca Here's another example of Renata Tebaldi's scream at the end of Tosca. This took place in Tokyo on October 11, 1960. When was the last time you heard the entire postlude to Tosca covered by applause?
XXI B 21 Traviata The troupe from the Creative Opera Company, Ltd. - Eugene Flam, Ellen Chandler, Judith Alban-Wilk and Edward Bruce Stevenson - force their forces for a rousing rendition of "Libiamo" from La traviata.
XXI B 22 Traviata William McAlpine interpolates a high C during his offstage serenade to the Violetta of Virginia Zeani during this January 11, 1960 Covent Garden performance. Zeani, by the way, replaced Joan Sutherland on a day's notice.
XXI B 23 Traviata Licia Albanese, age ca. 55, sings "Sempre libber" from this staged Palm Beach performance of 1968.
XXI B 24 Traviata Lawrence Tibgett interpolates an expansive high Bb during this January 5, 1935 performance of La traviata. His Violetta is Rosa Ponselle.
XXI B 25 Traviata The messenger, the gardener. Ah, who cares. Let's just do without them. Here, from the same performance above, is Frederick Jagel delivering himself the message.
XXI B 26 Traviata Another Reader's Digest version: this time "Di provenza" from La traviata as sung by Franz Rabinowitz. Note how he combines the two verses.
XXI B 27 Traviata "Parigi o caro" (as the Violetta introduces it) is tremulously sung here by Judith Alban-Wilk and baritone (!) Edward Bruce-Stevenson.
XXI B 28 Trovatore Franco Bonisolli speaks or sorta sings down an octave "Di quell pira" during this January 9, 1988 Vienna performance of Il trovatore. But yet he ends the aria with a high C.
XXI B 29 Turandot It seems that Grace Bumbry prepared Turandot with Mme. Vera Galupe-Borszkh. Here is an excerpt from "In questa reggia" from a staged performance of the opera in Verona on January 14, 1991. Her Calaf is Kristjan Johannsson.
XXI B 30 Very Warm For May Judith Alban-Wilk puts her stamp on one of the most beautiful songs ever written: "All The Things You Are".
XXI B 31 West Side Story Edward Bruce-Stevenson renders asunder "Maria" from West Side Story.
XXI B 32 West Side Story "Maria" is the last selection I would offer as a tribute to Callas. So my respect for Mariella Devia, Daniela Dessì, Raina Kabaivanska, Paolo Coni and Giuseppe Sabbatini went rather southward aft hearing this Athens performance from 1992.