Breaking news: Spanish soprano MARIA ORAN (click here for more info) (born 1943) died in Tenerife on 10th March

RENE KOLLO - at age 80 - is now touring Germany with a farewell concert. But how did he sound as a "Paul Anka clone" (click here) at age 20-23 ?? Did the pop world lose a star to the operatic stage?




An early Easter egg for AUBER devotees :

A world premiere recording? Just found this recording amongst my tapes of Auber's ouverture to his opera ZANETTA. I don't think - afaik - the opera or the ouverture has ever been recorded. Albert Wolff conducts the whole thing in a 1960 live b'cast for Vara radio.



Breaking news : Lithuanian tenor VIRGILIJUS NOREIKA (born 1935) died in Vilnius on 3rd March. Click here for his biography; in his tribute we uploaded excerpts from a 2001 live concert where he sings Ponchielli's I Lituani and even much rarer Balys Dvarionas's opera Dalia. He's partnered by VIOLETA URMANA


*slippedisc announced that JESUS LOPEZ COBOS (born 1940) died from cancer in Berlin on March 2nd. Click here for his website


NEW !!!! A book on OMIKE has recently been published. OMIKE was a Hungarian Jewish cultural organisation during World War Two (1939-1944). Its history is now available in English.

A fascinating book and recommended to all interested in the Holocaust and in particular its impact on Jewish cultural life in Budapest including several important opera legends such as Deszo Ernster or Vera Rosza. See below for our comments and links.


(Dezso Ernster, courtesy Charles Mintzer collection + book cover)

In response to anti-Semitic laws passed in 1938 in Hungary, barring Jewish artists from practising their professions, Budapest’s Jewish community leaders organized an artistic group under the aegis of OMIKE Országos Magyar Izraelita Közművelődési Egyesület (Hungarian Jewish Education Association) to provide employment opportunities for Jewish actors, musicians, singers, composers, writers and artists. Carrying out its activities primarily in Goldmark Hall in Budapest, OMIKE organized at least one thousand performances by Jewish performers which took place between 1939 and 1944. These included plays, concerts, cabaret, ballet, operas, and operettas.

This expanded English edition is based on the original 1943 Hungarian language book written by Jeno Lévai. The new publication includes the history of the OMIKE and provides an overview of the numerous contributions of musicians and artists to Jewish cultural life during the Holocaust period in Hungary. These include such legendary international operatic artists as DEZSO ERNSTER, MIKLOS GAFNI, DAVID NEY, VERA ROSZA and numerous Hungarian opera stars such as Pal Feher etc.

Click here for our comments and much more !!!!!!!!!!



A TRIBUTE TO TENOR CHARLES ANTHONY (1929-2012) , click here for his full biography

Charles Anthony Caruso (né Calogero Antonio Caruso), better known by his stage name of Charles Anthony, was an American tenor of Sicilian origin noted for his portrayal of comprimario characters in opera. Anthony had the distinction of appearing in more performances at the Metropolitan Opera than any other performer. He celebrated his fiftieth anniversary with the company in 2004, and gave his farewell in the role of the aged Emperor Altoum in Turandot, at the Met, on January 28, 2010. Following his retirement from the Metropolitan Opera, he lived in Tampa (Florida) where he died at his home from kidney failure at the age of 82.

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Another treasure offered by operanostalgia :

PLINIO CLABASSI (1919 -1984) sings arie antiche in a rare live broadcast from Hilversum in 1959 !!!!!!

(w. Rina Gigli)

Born in Sedegliano, Italy, Plinio Clabassi began to sing at an early age with his native city's men's chorus, "Cantario Santo Stefano", of which he was director from 1946 to 1947. During WWII, he served in the campaign of Albania. After the war, he joined the Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade in Rome. It was during that period that he began his operatic career on local radio broadcasts (RAI).

He soon was invited to sing at most of the opera houses and concert halls throughout Italy. His career of some thirty years would also take him to many European countries, to North and South America, as well as to South Africa and Australia. His repertoire was vast, ranging from Caldara and Paisiello to Pizetti and Alfano, but he was mostly admired for the 19th-century romantic works by composers such as Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini.

A basso cantante with a beautiful even voice, he was admired for his scenic intelligence and dignity. He can be heard on several studio and live recordings. In 1956 Clabassi married opera singer Rina Gigli -a marriage which didn't last - with whom he appeared on a number of occasions, including a 1966 production of Turandot  at the San Carlo theatre in Naples. Clabassi remarried in 1983 yet he died only 19 months later. He was only 64.

Plino Clabassi died in San Vito al Tagliamento, on 22 October 1984. In May 2012, a new theatre in his native city was named in his honour.




RIP : RAIMUND HERINCX (London 1926), British bass-baritone of Flemish parentage died on 10th February

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NEW !! Stefan Zucker just released his second volume of FRANCO CORELLI A REVOLUTION IN SINGING.

A "to be read to be believed" publication. Click here for our comments on the book and how to order it.


NEW !!!! A JOSEPH SCHMIDT EXHIBITION in Meersburg's Augustinum from 6th February till 17 March 2018. Opened daily.

Click here for all info

Click here for our Joseph Schmidt article + click here to read about the latest Joseph Schmidt biography


NEW !!! The Belgian-Walloon CD label "Musique en Wallonie" issued a two CD set of the Belgian basso PIERRE D'ASSY (1868-1910)

Click here for an extended review of this very welcome release + click here to order the CD

(cd cover) (the only LP release of some of his recordings)



LEGENDA BAŁTYKU live from Poznań Opera !!!!

English subtitles provided

Under the waves of the Baltic Sea lies the lost city of Vineta. Legends swirl around this place; legends so powerful that young Doman (Pavlo Tolstoy) will dive down into an unforgiving ocean to find it, in order to win the hand of his beloved Bogna (Wioletta Chodowicz)... this production of Legenda Bałtyku (The Baltic Legend) by Polish composer Feliks Nowowiejski (click here for more on the composer) is directed by Robert Bondara and conducted by Tadeusz Kozłowski. This is the first live stream in the history of Teatr Wielki - Opera Poznań.




NEW !!

Maurizio Tiberi from Rome just released his new state-of-the-art biography of BENVENUTO FRANCI

Click here for our review and how and where to order this magnificent publication


NEW !!! A BOOK RELEASE BY CHALIAPIN EXPERT JOSEPH DARSKY, click here to read our comments on this new book release


Joseph Darsky (pen name of Joseph Stremlin) has completed his Chaliapin trilogy, this new one is about his relationship to Jews; his other books were about Chaliapin’s huge career in the Western Hemisphere, mostly the USA, and the other is about the women in Chaliapin’s life. This new release is massively researched and deals frankly with complicated and sensitive issues in the great artist’s life. Ward Marston (click here) has also announced his 13-cd set of the complete (!!!) Chaliapin recorded output, due out shortly. Darsky (Stremlin) collaborated with Marston on the large booklet (167 pages) which will accompany the cds.

Click here to order the book or send an email for a pre-order at a serious discount (mentioning the code Leaflets20) to or call them at (631)-299-0024


NEW : a wonderful and moving documentary of the life and career of REGINA RESNIK produced by her son !!




NEW : a fine book release exploring the development of vocal and dramatic interpretations from generation to generation. Click here to read our comments on this new work + click here to order it.



LOTTE LEHMANN, the accoustic recordings a 4 CD release by Marstonrecords and not to be missed !!!

Lotte Lehmann enjoyed a forty-year career spanning 1910 to 1950 on stage in opera and on the concert platform. Remembered now primarily for her portrayals of Wagner and Strauss roles and as a consummate interpreter of German lieder, her early recordings, not widely known, give us a broader picture of this great artist. It will, perhaps, not come as a surprise to hear Lehmann in her now familiar roles: Sieglinde, Elsa, Eva, and the Marschallin. What really makes these records outstanding is the ease and beauty of Lehmann's vocal production, and the opportunity of hearing her in repertoire not associated with her. We are treated to a generous sprinkling of Mozart, including three duets with baritone Heinrich Schlusnus, as well as arias by Weber, Lortzing, and Nicolai. Although she sings in German, you can hear French opera arias from La JuiveFaustMignonCarmenTales of Hoffmann, and Manon. From Italian opera, we hear the Willow Song from Otello and Puccini arias from Manon LescautLa BohèmeToscaButterfly, and two rare recordings from Suor Angelica. Other highlights include Lehmann's recording of Tatyana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin, an aria from d'Albert's Die toten Augen, and the exquisite aria and duet from Korngold's Die tote Stadt with tenor Richard Tauber. These are among the greatest treasures of the acoustic recording era. The booklet contains a biographical essay by Dr. Daniel Jacobson, Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, an essay on the recordings by Michael Aspinall, and a personal reminiscence by André Tubeuf, who has also provided numerous rare and lovely photos from Lehmann’s early career prior to her emergence on to the international operatic scene. Since there is some extra space at the end of the fourth CD, we are offering a selection of operatic and lieder recordings from her electric Odeon discography, 1927-1932.

Click here to read all about it


REYNALDO HAHN TRIBUTE : A Proust/Hahn and music conference.

Click here to watch the videos of the conference




Carlo Enrico PASTA, cousin of Giuditta Pasta, at least some sources claim him to be, was an Italian opera composer who fled to Peru and became a sort of Carlo Gomes for the Peruvian nation. His Atahualpa has now been released, read all about it here and get the release before it's sold out as it is a must-have recording for every lover of 19th century opera.


Remarkable and heart-warming : a museum devoted to the tenor AMEDEO BASSI has been opened in Montespertoli. Click here for more information

Exclusive : a few photos from the Amedeo Bassi museum (courtesy and copyright Museo Amedeo Bassi/Francesca Di Natali)