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Episode 130: Remembering Richard Lewis: Part 1 of 2

September 1st, 2016

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After the passing of Welsh tenor Richard Lewis in November of 1990, the BBC produced a tribute to him as part of their “Mining the Archives” series.  The listener will hear Schubert’s Drei Gesänge des Partners and Brittten’s  Canticle II with mezzo soprano Mary Thomas, recorded in June of 1966.  The pianist in all these recordings is Ernest Lush (Part 1 of 2).

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Episode 129: Remembering Rethberg:

August 24th, 2016

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On April 25, 1963, journalist William Seward interviewed three people who knew and heard soprano Elisabeth Rethberg:  soprano Rose Bampton remembers her during her early studies at the Curtis Institute, conductor Erich Leinsdorf voices his appreciation for her and memories were shared by Wagnerian heldentenor Lauritz Melchior.  The listener will hear arias from Madama Butterfly, Roméo et Juliette and a duet from Lohengrin with Lauritz Melchior.  My apologies for the less than perfect sound quality.  I chose to open the complete Ave Maria from Otello.

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Episode 128: Alfred Hubay: 1960-1961: Part 1 of 3

August 17th, 2016

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Alfred Hubay was in his final year as Chief Usher for the Metropolitan Opera during the 1960-1961 season and in this episode, he relays many momentous events, including an opening night new but somber production of Nabucco with Cornell MacNeil, Leonie Rysanek and Bonaldo Giaiotti in his Met debut, Rudolf Bing’s policy of admitting late-comers, the debuts of Kerstin Meyer and Jane Rhodes in a revival of Carmen, the debut of Gabriella Tucci in Madama Butterfly and the debut of Eileen Farrell in Alceste (Part 1 of 3).

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Episode 127: Alfred Hubay: 1959-1960: Part 5 of 5

August 10th, 2016

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The 1959-1960 season of the Metropolitan Opera found Alfred Hubay as Chief Usher for Rudolf Bing’s tenth season as General Manager.  Mr. Hubay’s memories include a particular performance of Andrea Chenier with Ettore Bastianini and Carlo Bergonzi, the departure of Antonietta Stella, the short-lived policy of banning curtain calls, a heartfelt remembrance of Anna Moffo and Zinka Milanov as a teacher (Part 5 of 5).

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Episode 126: Remembering Germaine Lubin

August 3rd, 2016

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On May 17, 1985, the BBC aired a part of its series on 5 French Singers, this one concerning the soprano Germaine Lubin.  Her early years and heritage are spoken of, as well as her personality traits, the development of her voice, her debut at 22, her calling card role of Elsa, her problematic low range and other aspects of her technique, working with composer Richard Strauss, vocal acting, Bayreuth and the Nazi era, and the German approach to music making.  The listener will hear arias from Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Fauré’s Au bord de l’eau and Schubert’s Erlkönig.

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Episode 125: Biographies in Music: Francis Robinson: Alessio de Paolis

July 27th, 2016

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During the broadcast of Il trovatore on March 29, 1969, one of the intermission features was an episode of Biographies in Music, hosted by Francis Robinson.  The subject was  comprimario tenor Alessio de Paolis.  In addition to hearing from Mr. de Paolis himself, the listener will hear excerpts from Rigoletto, Il barber di Siviglia, Turandot, Andrea Chewier, Madama Butterfly, La perichole and Tosca.

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Episode 124: Alfred Hubay: 1959-1960: Part 4 of 5

July 20th, 2016

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The 1959-1960 season of the Metropolitan Opera found Alfred Hubay as Chief Usher for Rudolf Bing’s tenth season as General Manager.  Mr. Hubay’s memories include The 1959-1960 season of the Metropolitan Opera found Alfred Hubay as Chief Usher for Rudolf Bing’s tenth season as General Manager.  Mr. Hubay’s memories include the lack of Wagnerian tenors for Birgit Nilsson, the debut of Jon Vickers as Canio, a new production of Fidelio with Jon Vickers conducted by Karl Böhm, the rare occasions of a Vickers/Nilsson Tristan ind Isolde, Die Walküre with Jon Vickers as Siegmund, Jerome Hines as Wotan and the Brünnhilde of Martha Mödl (Part 4 of 5). 


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Episode 123: Victoria de los Angeles in Australia: Part 2 o 2

July 13th, 2016

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On tour in Australia in 1994, Victoria de los Angeles was recorded speaking and responding to questions from the audience. Her charm, openness and philosophy are evident throughout both of the two ca. 25 minute episodes; only the last segment of the second episode deals specifically with her singing (Part 2 of 2).


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Episode 122: Biographies in Music: Francis Robinson: Mary Garden

June 30th, 2016

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During the broadcast of La boheme on February 4, 1967, a two part episode of Biographies in Music was aired, hosted by Francis Robinson about Scottish soprano Mary Garden.  He speaks of biographical details in his inimitable style and the listener will hear excerpts from Louise, Paellas et Mélisande, Carmen, La traviata, At Parting, In the Gloaming, At Dawning and Annie Laurie.  I have included the announcements before and after each of the two parts which play without interruption.

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Episode 121: Alfred Hubay: 1959-1960: Part 3 of 5

June 29th, 2016

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The 1959-1960 season of the Metropolitan Opera found Alfred Hubay as Chief Usher for Rudolf Bing’s tenth season as GeneralManager. Mr. Hubay’s memories include a new production of Simon Boccanegra for Leonard Warren, followed by the most tragic event in the Metropolitan Opera’s history, the debuts of Pavel Lisitsian as Amonasro, Anselmo Colzani in Simon Boccanegra with its constantly changing casts, such as Zinka Milanov’s first Amelia (Part 3 of 5).

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