Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore

Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore

Sunday, May 30, 2010

[Wagner Highlights(2)] Guide for The Fellowship of the Ring(1) - Das Rheingold

I am not 'so called' an expert of Wagner. I'm just one of so many Wagner fans in the world. Luckily, I saw his some works in Bayreuth festival. But I do not think I know Wagner well. I still have a long way to go.

Wagner's opera('Musikdrama') is totally different from other Italian operas - Method of singing, relationship between poem(text) and music, importance of orchestration etc...

For that reason, many people who want to know and enjoy Wagner have had a difficulty in finding easy ways to him. I was one of them, was wandering around the edge or Wagner's forrest without any guide post.

'Der Ring' is a monstrous Masterpiece. It consists of 4 operas! So with no guide, you will be lost easily.

As considering my wandering history in the past, I'll suggest some ways to Wager's Ring World. Of course, I can't be sure whether it is efficient or not. But I'm sure "The World of Wagner be full of enchantment"!

Dear the fellowship of the Ring, Let's go to 'Ring World'!

* Overview of 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' [ Click ]

"Das Rheingold" - Synopsis & Music Highlights

An Opera by Richard Wagner

Prologue in four scenes to the trilogy of music-dramas. "The Ring of the Nibelung," by Richard Wagner. "Das Rheingold" was produced, Munich, September 22, 1869. "The Ring of the Nibelung" was given complete for the first time in the Wagner Theatre, Bayreuth, in August, 1876. In the first American performance of "Das Rheingold," Metropolitan Opera House, New York, January 4, 1889, Fischer was Wotan, Alvary Loge, Moran-Oldern Fricka, and Kati Bettaque Freia.


WOTAN, a God ……………………… Baritone-Bass
DONNER, a God ……………………… Baritone-Bass
FROH, a God ………………………… Tenor
LOGE, a God ………………………… Tenor
FASOLT, a Giant……………..……… Baritone-Bass
FAFNER, a Giant……………..……… Bass
ALBERICH, a Nibelung ……………… Baritone-Bass
MIME, a Nibelung ……………….…… Tenor
FRICKA, a Goddess…………………… Soprano
FREIA, a Goddess…………………… Soprano
ERDA , a Goddess…………………… Mezzo-Soprano
WOGLINDE, a Rhine Daughter……… Soprano
WELLGUNDE, a Rhine Daughter…… Soprano
FLOSSHILDE, a Rhine Daughter…… Mezzo-Soprano

Symbols and objects

The Rheingold
The three Rhine-daughters guard the gold that alternately "sleeps" and "wakes" on the bottom of the Rhine. They claim that one who forswears all love may forge a

from this Gold - and that the one, who keeps this Ring can win all riches and powers of the earth.

is the new residence of the Gods - a castle they still have not moved into. According to Wotan, this castle will protect the gods' honour and secure their power.

Wotan's Spear
The king of Gods, Wotan rules through treaties. These treaties are as runes carved into his Spear - thus the Spear shall protect these treaties.

Golden Apples
Freia alone grows these Apples - and she shares generously with the other gods. The golden Apples of Freia secure the gods' eternal life and eternal youth.

This is a magic helmet, forged by Mime by order from his brother, Alberich. He that wears Tarnhelm can be invisible or take on any form or figure.

Scene 1 - On the bed of the Rhine

In the beginning there is Nature.

The Nature appears as a smooth and uninterrupted flowing motion.
From Nature's endless darkness emerges the mighty Rhine. The steady stream of the river is all encompassing.


(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic)

The three Rhine-daughters, Woglinde, Wellgunde and Flosshilde appear. They swim around playfully.

Flosshilde is the most conscientious of the three. She reminds her sisters that their plight is to guard the Rhinegold!

The Nibelungs are a subterranean, hard-working people. The Nibelung Alberich appears at the bottom of the Rhine.

The sight of the Rhine-daughters who are swimming playfully around spellbinds him. When they see Alberich they tease him intensely. By turn they pretend to be attracted by the dwarf. The one sings more seductively than the other, but in the end all three rejects him. Finally the Rhine-daughters mock him and laugh at his pain and despair.

The Nibelung does not belong in the Rhine. The slippery bottom makes him lose his footing and the humidity makes him sneeze. Neither is he able to catch hold of the nymphs. Finally Alberich is enraged and frustrated and he hunts the three Rhine-maidens. He threats to take one of them by force, if they will not surrender voluntarily. But he is not at home in the Rhine, and they easily evade him.

Suddenly the morning rays of the sun illuminate the Rhinegold. The Gold starts to spread a golden glimmer.
The Rhine-daughters swim joyously round the Gold and bask in the light of its lustre.

The Rhine-daughters' joy
(Lugt, Schwestern! Die Weckerin lacht in den Grund)

(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic)

(Karajan Movie + Berlin Philharmonic)

Alberich cannot understand what is so splendid about this gold. The Rhine-maidens then tell him that a Ring may be forged from the Gold and that the one that carries this Ring may have unlimited power and wealth.

But they add: This will never happen, because only the one who forswears love will be able to take the Gold and forge a Ring with this Gold. The Rhine-daughters are completely certain nobody ever will do this, and least of all the love-hungry Alberich.

Renunciation of love


Nur wer der Minne
Macht versagt,
nur wer der Liebe
Lust verjagt,
nur der erzielt sich den Zauber,
zum Reif zu zwingen das Gold.


Only he who forswears
love's power,
only he who forfeits
love's delight,
only he can attain the magic
to fashion the gold into a ring.

Alberich is frustrated and enraged after the Rhine-daughters' mockery. Now he reasons that even without love, he may forcibly satisfy his lust. He renounces love with a terrible oath, steals the Gold and disappears. The three Rhine-daughters despair from their loss. Alberich is now able to forge the Ring of power.

Change of scene - gradual transition to :

Scene 2 - An open space on a mountain summit

Fricka, Wotan's wife, wakes Wotan who dreams of power and honour. He praises the new fortress, Walhall, which the Giants have built for him and the other gods. Walhall has been completed while Wotan was asleep.

Walhall's motive

(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic)

Fricka is very troubled. She reminds Wotan of the wages he has promised to pay for Walhall: Freia, her beautiful, younger sister.

Freia is the goddess of love and youth. In Freia's garden grow apples that secure the gods' eternal youth.

Fricka accuses Wotan for lust for power when he wanted to build the new fortress. He asks her in return if not she had a touch of the same when she asked him for the same. Her answer is that she wants to make sure of her husbands fidelity and keep him home.

Wotan's answer is that nothing can hold him at home; he needs constant change to be able to live.

At this point Freia rushes desperately into the scene, pursued by the giants Fasolt and Fafner.

The giants request their wages as agreed: They want to take Freia to their home. Now Wotan is in a terrible situation. Freia was actually part of the deal with the giants, an agreement that is protected by Wotan's Spear.

The Giants

(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic)

(Karajan Movie + Berlin Philharmonic)

But of course, Wotan does not intend to let the giants take Freia away. He explains that the agreement was only for jest - the giants must propose another pay. The giants keep to the promise, though, and they point out that Wotan rules through the power of his treaties and that he therefore must keep these himself.

Freia's brothers, Donner and Froh, will save her by force, but this Wotan prevent.

Wotan expects Loge soon to appear and save him from the pinch. Loge is the roaming and changeable demigod of fire and Wotan's smart advisor. Loge is the only character in the Ring that appears both as a person and as an element.

Loge arrives first as fire, but he changes at once to a person.

Loge has in fact had two different missions. First, he should check for faults in Walhall. The intention of Wotan was that such faults would give the gods a reason not to pay the agreed wages, Freia. Loge's report is short and is quickly delivered: Walhall is flawless. Loge's second mission was to try and find something to replace Freia as payment, something the Giants would be satisfied with. This has not been so simple either. Loge has travelled around the whole world - everywhere a woman's love is appreciated above all.

He can report of one exception, though. Loge tells the story of Alberich - how Alberich has renounced love, stolen the Rhinegold and forged a Ring of power. The Giants also hear this story and they decide they may take the gold of the Nibelung as a substitute for Freia, if Wotan can supply it to them. Loge reports that the Rhinedaughters want their gold back. Wotan too wants the Ring and the gold for himself. His opinion is that this would secure eternal power and safety.

Loge's narrative
(Immer ist Undank Loges lohn - "Ingratitude is always Loge's lot!")

The Giants decide to take Freia as hostage and they carry her off. As a result of this, the Gods rapidly become old and weak - now they no longer have the eternal youth that Freia's golden apples give them.

Wotan and Loge leaves for Nibelheim. There they will try to steal Alberich's gold so that the Gods may release Freia and get their lost youth back. On their way down to Nibelheim the sound of lots of hammering dwarves is heard.

Descent to Nibelheim & Nibelung's hammering

(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic)

(Karajan Movie + Berlin Philharmonic)

Scene 3 - In Nibelheim

Alberich has forced his brother, Mime, to forge a magic helmet, Tarnhelm. The one who carries Tarnhelm and knows the magic words, can make himself invisible or transform himself into another being.

Mime tries to keep Tarnhelm to himself, but Alberich brutally takes hold of the helmet. The now invisible Alberich terrorizes Mime and the other Nibelungs.

Wotan and Loge arrive in Nibelheim. They listen to Mimes complaints of Alberich's violence.

Mime's brooding

Mime :

Wer hälfe mir?
Gehorchen muss ich dem leiblichen Bruder, der mich in Bande gelegt.

Who can help me?
I must obey my own brother,
who brought these bonds on me.

(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic [1:20])

Alberich soon reappears. He drives his workers mercilessly.

The Nibelungs produce a large hoard of gold for Alberich
Alberich considers himself to be the future ruler of the world, and he predicts his own rule over Wotan and the Gods. Wotan is provokes and moves to strike down Alberich with his Spear. Loge manages to calm Wotan down. With flattery and hypocrisy Loge tricks Alberich into demonstrating the magic power of Tarnhelm.

Loge asks Alberich to demonstrate something really frightening. Alberich transforms himself into a giant dragon. Loge and Wotan feigns fear.

Loge then claims that it must be even more difficult to change into something small. So Alberich transforms himself into a toad!

The toad is an easy prey to Wotan and Loge and Alberich is quickly captured. Loge binds him, and together they haul him up to the higher regions of the Gods.

Loge's trick to capture Alberich

(Boulez + Bayreuth Festival)

Scene 4 - An open space on a mountain summit

Wotan and Loge have returned to the higher regions of the mountains with their prisoner, Alberich. Wotan demands Alberich's hoard of gold in return for the freedom of the dwarf. Using his magic Ring, Alberich summons the Nibelungs, which bring the hoard. The Nibelungs again disappear and Alberich demands to be set free. Wotan first claims Tarnhelm, and finally also the Ring. Alberich refuses to give up the Ring, but Wotan forcefully tears it from Alberich's finger. The furious Alberich now feels that his life has lost all meaning.

Alberich places a terrible curse on the Ring and all its future owners. This curse will cling to the Ring through the rest of the opera cycle.

Alberich's wrath & curse "Bin ich nun frei?"

Bin ich nun frei? Wirklich frei?

Am I free now? Truly free?
now may its magic bring
death to whoever wears it!
It shall gladden
no happy man;
guard it well;
my curse you cannot escape!

(Solti + Vienna Philharmonic [5:40])

Alberich has disappeared, and the gods are generally quite satisfied with what Wotan has achieved. Fasolt and Fafner return with Freia. Her presence quickly restores the youth of the gods.

The Giants, especially Fasolt, will really miss Freia. To ease their loss, they demand so much gold that the pile should cover Freia completely and hide her from their sight. All the gold must be used to achieve this, and even the Tarnhelm is necessary, - to cover her hair. But Fasolt is still able to glimpse Freia's eye through a crack in the pile of gold. Fafner rightly points out that Wotan's Ring is exactly right to fill the crevice. Wotan stubbornly refuses to let the Ring go. The conjectured promise of power that is associated with the Ring makes Wotan want to keep this for himself. The Giants are not willingly accepting this, and they again start to leave with Freia. In this most dramatic moment, Erda, the earth goddess and ur-mother, appears from the ground!

Erda implores Wotan to give up the Ring. She also declares that the end of the gods (Götterdämmerung) is near.

Erda'a warning "Weiche, Wotan! Weiche!"

Weiche, Wotan! Weiche!

Yield, Wotan, yield!
Escape from the ring's curse.
To dark destruction irredeemably
its possession dooms you.

I know whatever was;
whatever is,
whatever shall be
I also see:
the eternal world's
first ancestress,
Erda, warns you.
My womb bore
three daughters,
conceived before the start of time;
what I see,
the Norns nightly tell you.
But direst danger
today brings me
in person to you.
Hear me! Hear me! Hear me!
All that is shall come to an end.
A dark day
dawns for the gods:
I charge you, shun the ring!

I have warned you,
you know enough:
reflect in fear and dread!

(Sawallisch + Bayerischen Staatsoper)

Erda's message has made a powerful impression on Wotan, and he finally gives the Ring to the Giants. Freia is released and the gods are reunited, apparently in happiness. Wotan is left with a new longing - he needs to see Erda again...

The Giants immediately starts a quarrel over the golden treasure and the Ring, a quarrel ending with Fafner killing his brother. Seemingly Alberich's curse on the Ring is already working!

The gods now intend to celebrate their apparent victory and they prepare to enter Walhall for the first time. After the late events, however, the mood is not exactly too bright. To clear the air Donner calls forth a storm. Lightning and thunder appears on his demand.

Froh follows suit and summons forth the rain. The rainbow forms a heavenly bridge for the gods to enter Walhall.

Rainbow Scene "Heda!, Heda!, Hedo!"

(Karajan Movie + Berlin Philharmonic)

Wotan is uncertain with regard to what the future will bring. His hope is that the fortress will keep the gods safe and secure.

Wotan is struck by a new thought - and what this thought is will not be evident until the next opera, Die Walküre.

The Rhinedaughters mourn their lost gold while the gods march across the rainbow and enter Walhall - to the accompaniment of all to pompous music. Loge is ashamed to be associated with the gods. He ironically contemplates changing himself to fire again and consume the entire company.

Finale : Entering into Valhalla

(Boulez + Bayreuth Festival)

Bonus clip : Das Rheingold rehearsal · Bayreuth 1965 (The period of "Neue Bayreuth")

* Synopsis from these sites : Synop1 [ Click ], Synop2 [ Click ]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

[Wagner Highlights(1)] Der fliegende Holländer

Character :

Daland, a Norwegian skipper (Bass)
Senta, his daughter (Soprano)
Erik, a hunter (Tenor)
Mary, Senta's nurse (Mezzo-Soprano)
Sterrsman, Pilot of Daland's vessel (Tenor)
The Dutchman (Baritone)
Norwegian Sailors, Crew of the "Flying Dutchman" and maids.

Setting :

A Norwegian Fishing Village in the Eighteenth Century

Overture : Conducted by Karl Böhm,Bayreuth Festival Orchestra

Act I

Setting:a Norwegian seashore with steep cliffs. A violent storm rages.

A sudden violent storm has driven Daland's ship seven miles off course. His port had evidently been in sight because Daland thought he had seen his home and Senta waiting to greet him. The storm abates as all settle down for a rest. Sleep even overcomes Daland's Steersman who is alone on deck. The Flying Dutchman's ship suddenly approaches the shore and drops anchor next to Daland's ship. The Dutchman goes ashore and laments his fate (Die Frist ist um).

"Die Frist ist um" : Conducted by Woldemar Nelsson, Baritone Simon Estes

He has been condemned to sail the oceans of the earth until doomsday. His only chance for rest is to find a woman who will be faithful to him until death. Every seven years he is allowed to land and search out just such a woman. He calls for the end of time to come and take him to his final rest.

Daland comes up on the deck of his ship and notices the Dutchman's ship anchored next to his. The Steersman awakens and calls to the other ship. They do not answer and the call is repeated. This time the Dutchman appears on shore. Daland joins him on the beach and greets him. The Dutchman tells Daland his ship is full of treasures; if Daland will grant him shelter for the evening, he will be richly rewarded (Durch Sturm und bösen wind verschlagen).

"Durch Sturm und bösen wind verschlagen" :
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan, Berlin philharmonic, José van Dam(Holländer), Kurt Moll(Daland)

Two of the Dutchman's crew enter carrying a chest of jewels and the Dutchman says that this is just a small part of the collection he has on-board. He goes on to ask if Daland has a daughter, and Daland replies that he does. The Dutchman says that if Daland will give him his daughter in marriage, Daland can have all the treasure on the Dutchman's ship. Daland promises Senta's hand to the Dutchman. The Dutchman admits apprehension over the promise, but also excitement over the prospect of ending his torment (Wenn aus der Qualen Schreckgewalten). Daland expresses joy over his new found treasures and gladly gives Senta to the stranger. Daland departs for his home port. The Dutchman declares that his ship will rest for a while, but soon over-take Daland's in their trip home.

Act II

Setting: A large room in Daland's house.

Mary and the girls are seated around the stove spinning and singing (Summ' und brumm', du gutes Rädchen). Senta is chastised for not spinning and instead gazing at the picture of a man with a pale face and dark beard wearing a black cloak. Senta turns to Mary and asks why she told her the story behind the man in the picture. The girls chide Senta for being in love with the man in the picture when she could have the hot-blooded Erik. Senta calls for Mary to sing the ballad of the Flying Dutchman. She refuses, so Senta sings it instead (Johohohe!).

Have you met the ship at sea with blood-red sails and black mast?
On the high deck, the pale man, the master of the ship, keeps endless watch.
Hoo! How the wind howls - Yo ho hey!
Hoo! How it whistles in the rigging, Yo ho hey!
Hoo! Like an arrow he flies, without aim, without rest, without peace!
But redemption may one day come to the pale man,
if he but find a woman on earth true unto death.
Oh, when will you find her, wan mariner?
Pray to Heaven that soon a woman will stay true to him!
In bitter gale and raging storm, he once tried to round a cape;
he cursed in, mad fury, and swore: "Never will I give up!"
Hoo! And Satan heard it! Yo ho hey!
Hoo! Took him at his word! Yo ho hey!
Hoo! And, damned, he now roams the sea without rest or peace!
But the poor man may still find salvation on earth
for an angel of God showed him how one day he might be redeemed.
Ah, wan mariner, could you but find it!
Pray to Heaven that soon a woman will stay true to him!

At anchor every seven years, a wife to woo he goes ashore:
he wooed every seven years, but never a true wife he found.
Hoo! "Hoist sails!" Yo ho hey!
Hoo! "Weigh anchor!" Yo ho hey!
Hoo! "False love, false faith! Back to sea, without rest or peace!"

Senta's Ballad "Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff im Meere an"
Conducted by Woldemar Nelsson, Soprano Lisbeth Balslev(live performance at Bayreuth festival)

Soprano Nina Stemme(live performance at Wiener Staatsoper)

The girls ask who is the angel that will save the poor captain. Senta answers it is herself as the girls express horror. Erik has heard Senta's last words and asks if she wishes to destroy him Erik reports sighting Daland's ship approaching their cliff. The girls and Mary leave to prepare for his return when Erik halts Senta. Erik tells her that before Daland goes back out to sea, he will give Senta a groom. He adds that his heart will be true until death. He has not much to offer her, but asks for her hand anyway. Senta deflects his plea and tells him she should go and greet Daland. Erik asks who will comfort his heart-break if she leaves with the stranger. She tells him not to doubt her affection for him and asks what has made him so sad and suspicious. He tells her that her father thinks only of wealth. He asks her to forget her mad infatuation at which she tells him it is not her fault her face shows pity. She tells him his anguish is nothing compared with the Dutchman's fate. Erik remembers a dream in which her father brought home a stranger. Senta embraced him and then disappeared with him on the sea. He realizes that his dream is about to become reality and rushes from the room.

Duet : Senta - Erik "Mein Herz, voll Treue bis zum"
Tenor Thomas Moser, Soprano Dunja Vejzovic

Senta is startled by the sudden appearance at the door of her father and the Dutchman. She recognizes the Dutchman and looks at him spellbound. Daland chides her for not embracing him, and she does so. Daland then introduces the Dutchman to her and asks if she will be kind to the stranger. Neither are paying him any attention so he leaves them alone. The Dutchman comments quietly, as if in a trance, that he has seen her before in his dreams (Wie aus der Ferne).

Duet : Holländer - Senta "Wie aus der Ferne"
Baritone Wolfgang Brendel, Cheryl Studer

He talks of the warmth he feels wondering if it is love or the yearning for redemption. Senta feels compassion for him and hopes his salvation will come true through her. The Dutchman asks if she agrees with her father's decision and if he can depend on her (Wirst du des Vaters). She responds that regardless of his past she will obey her father. He comments on her quick answer and asks if she has pity for his suffering To herself, Senta wonders if she can console him. The Dutchman overhears her and his ecstasy soars as he begins to believe his redemption is at hand. He warns her of the sacrifices she will have to make at which she tells him she knows about the sacred duty of a woman. This soothes the Dutchman. Daland returns to see how things are progressing and asks Senta if she consents to marriage with the Dutchman. Senta agrees as the three join in a joyful trio filled with hope and love.


Setting: A cove with a rocky beach overlooking the Norwegian and Dutch Ships. It is evening.

The Norwegian Sailors are celebrating Daland's return (Steuermann, laß die wacht!). The crowd has grown curious about the Dutch ships eery appearance and unearthly silence. They begin to call for the Dutch crew to join them in the celebration. Girls from the village offer wine and food to the Dutchman's crew. Several attempts are made to hail them. All their calls go unanswered and the crowd thinks them dead. The Norwegian sailors claim the wine and food as their own and they return to drinking and revelry.

"Steuermann, laß die wacht!" (live performance at Bayreuth festival)

A blue flame suddenly flares up on the Dutch ship. The sea around the ship becomes violent and the wind whistles through its rigging. The crew is suddenly illuminated in the flickering flame. In an evil chorus they declare that Satan has blessed their ship (Johohoe!). They call upon their captain to return as he will never find a woman to redeem his soul. The chorus grows in volume until the Norwegian crew retreats below deck making the sign of the cross as they leave. The ghostly crew mocks them and silence once more returns to their ship and the surrounding area.

Senta rushes from the house pursued by Erik. He says that he cannot comprehend what he has seen or heard. He has been told of her promise to marry the Dutchman. He goes on to ask how she could marry someone she barely knows. She admits that a noble duty has decreed her destiny. He reminds her of the countless risks he took to get her flowers and of her protection he was sworn to provide. He reminds her of her declaration of love for him.

The Dutchman has been quietly observing the two and rushes forward declaring, "Lost! My redemption is lost forever!" He bids farewell to Senta and begins to leave. Senta holds him back as the Dutchman whistles and shouts for his crew to get underway. Senta tells him she will fulfill her promise to marry him. Erik, unbelieving her words, tries to drag her away. The Dutchman tells her that since she has not married him yet, her vow means nothing. Senta tells him she knows who he is and insists that through her he will find salvation. The villagers arrive, summoned by Erik's cries for help.

Erik "Willst jenes Tags du nicht mehr entsinnen?"
Tenor Rene Kollo

The Dutchman turns on Senta and tells her that she has no idea who or what she is getting involved with. "I am the terror of all devout men: The Flying Dutchman I am called!" He rushes aboard his ship and instantly it puts out to sea. Senta tries to follow but is held back by Daland and Erik. She struggles and tears herself away from them and runs to a cliff overhanging the sea. She calls after the Dutchman, "Here I am, true to you even until death!" She leaps into the sea and the Dutchman's ship sinks with all of her crew still on the ship. The sun begins to ascend and in its glow, the Dutchman and Senta can be seen, embracing, ascending from the ocean to the heavens.

Finale : Soprano Nina Stemme(live performance at Wiener Staatsoper)

[ Top 3 CD Recommendations ]

Karl Böhm / Gwyneth Jones, Thomas Stewart, Karl Ridderbusch etc.
(Bayreuth Festival Live)

Otto Klemperer / Anja Silja, Theo Adam, Martti Talvela
(New Philharmonia Orchestra)

Woldemar Nelsson / Lisbeth Balslev, Simon Estes, Matti Salminen
(Bayreuth Festival Live) It's My Choice ★★★ :D

** Synopsis from here :

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Fav. 10 Tenors(2) Jussi Björling(1911-1960)

Jussi Björling, his silver voice make me crying every time. Though some people said his diction was not clear and italian intonation not good, he sang like canary with ardent passion. He could sing lyric repertoire , even spinto or dramatic roles such as radames(Aida), calaf(Turandot). He was the most beloved tenor of the Met in 1930-50s. "La boheme" in Covent Garden was also legendary. In Korea, many older opera fans adore his artistry too. He can be called as "Swedish Caruso"!

Video Clip : "Ah, si ben mio" Trovatore(live)

[ Top 5 CD Recommendations ]
La Boheme / de los Angeles, Merrill, Beecham [EMI]
IL Trovatore / Cigna, Basiola, Gui [Live Recording in ROH Covent Garden, his london debut in 1939]
Cavalleria Rusticana / Tebaldi, Bastianini, Erede [Decca]
Madama Butterfly / de los Angeles, Sereni, Santini [EMI]
Rigoletto / Peters, Merill, Perlea [RCA]

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Fav. 10 Tenors(1) Mario del Monaco(1915-1982)

Mario Del Monaco(MDM), this great florentine tenore was(and is) a first Idol of mine. He sang opera with very unique method - no pianissimo, no mezza voce, no vibrato [though there were some exceptions]. His muscular singing, sometimes too nasal voice provoked many cricitisms. But though not delicated as Di Stefano, his dramatic insight to music and stage made many people excited. MDM - the greatest dramatic tenor in the 20th century opera stages.

Video Clip : "No, Pagliaccio non son" Pagliacci(live)

[ Top 5 CD Recommendations ]
Otello / Tebaldi, Protti, Karajan [Decca]
Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci / Simionato, Tucci, Serafin [Decca]
La Forza del Destino / Tebaldi, Bastianini, Siepi, Simionato Molinari-Pradelli [Decca]
Aida / Callas, Taddei, De Fabritiis [Live Recording in Mexico]
IL Tabarro / Tebaldi, Merrill, Gardelli [Decca]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Caballe's Mimi with stunning pianissimo

Monserrat Caballe sang Mimi in Teatro del Liceo de Barcelona, December, 1980. She looks somewhat bigger Mimi phisically, but her music is so fascinating, can't be compared to others. Escpecially her floating pianissimo is miracle itself!!

Franco Corelli's historical Met Debut

Franco Corelli Met debut(27th, Jan 1961) was really historical event. Rudolf Bing(General Manager of Met) heard Mr. Corelli's opera at La Scala and invited him to Met's Stage. New Yorkers were very surprised and enthusiastic about such a handsome and thunder-like voice tenor. He was real something! Here he sang 'Di qullea pira' in 'Il Trovatore'

Young Alfredo Kraus sing "GRANADA"

Alfredo Kraus, spanish tenor with sophisticated voice and interpretation sing 'Granada' in 1959.