This issue is dedicated to the memory of MICHAEL F. BOTT , a great, loyal and generous friend, who recently passed away. Michael will be remembered for his numerous contributions to the world of opera research and his superbly researched articles for The Record Collector. He will be greatly missed. Click here to read a sample of his work on John Brownlee


All the best wishes to our Jewish readers for the New Year !!!



Breaking news !!!!

Georgian soprano TSISANA TATISHVILI died on 23rd September in Tbilisi. (info and photo courtesy Manfred Krugmann)

Click here to watch her sing Tosca + click here to watch her sing Santuzza

Georgian tenor ZURAB SOTKILAVA died from pancreatic cancer on 18th September. Click here for his biography



American soprano BRENDA LEWIS passed away at age 96 on 16th September. (photos courtesy Charles Mintzer coll.) Click here for her obituary and here for an a video interview



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.

The current work of Darsky concludes his research trilogy about one of the world’s greatest operatic stars; however, this time he examines the life and work of the singer from a completely unexpected angle.

In multiple Russian/Soviet publications, including recollections and critical biographies about Feodor Chaliapin, not a single word accusing him of antisemitism can be found, although such rumors have never stopped circulating. Meanwhile, some predominantly American authors put such accusations in writing while failing to provide any references. Such allegations have been vehemently rejected by Chaliapin’s children in their memoirs and during interviews with the author of this book, stating that several Jews were among Chaliapin’s closest friends and that during his entire life he had helped many others.

It appears that until now, the topic of “Chaliapin and the Jews” has not attracted any scholarly interest, either in Russia or abroad, though there have been several short articles in Russian dedicated mainly to one particular event. This event took place in Soviet Russia in April of 1918, when Chaliapin participated in a so-called Zionist Concert. The story of the performance, after being forgotten for fifty years, was resurrected in an article by Professor Mikhail Goldstein that appeared in a Russian language Israeli periodical. The Professor also called for further searches of unknown and forgotten facts, showing Chaliapin’s amicable attitude toward the Jewish people.

Over twenty years ago, responding to Goldstein’s appeal and keeping in mind the statements of Chaliapin’s children, the author of this book made his first attempt to compile in a Russian essay all the facts that were known to him at that time about Chaliapin’s interactions with Jews. After acquiring additional information, learning and deeply understanding the inner essence and spirit of this great man, the author believes that the time is now ripe to present for the first time ever a book written in English with the most complete picture of Chaliapin’s good deeds, his cordial attitude toward Jews and showing how Jewish influences shaped Chaliapin’s views of life and art. Simultaneously, an effort has been made to expose the absurdity of the statements concerning Chaliapin's purported antisemitism. (Novinka)

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



Time for our associate editor Charles Mintzer to write a very personal tribute to BEVERLY SILLS - a Jewish girl from Brooklyn - a soprano he heard over fifty-five times. Click here for the article.

Operanostalgia also uploaded a seventy-five minute unique portrait of the singer illustrated with rare recordings and photographs from the Charles Mintzer collection.


PILAR LORENGAR REMEMBERED + three (!!) 'exclusive' interviews with Madame MATHILDE MARCHESI (see below)

(photos courtesy Charles Mintzer)


Just recently a first-ever biography and a DVD on the legendary Spanish soprano were released.

Click here to read our review and how to order both releases

Click here to see a trailer of the DVD + click here to see a video on a Pilar Lorengar exhibition in Saragosa



Click here to read them



(Salvatore en Blanche Marchesi, courtesy Charles Mintzer)

A fascinating look at the relationship between legendary vocal teacher MATHILDE MARCHESI and her numerous star pupils such as Australian diva Nellie Melba is what this new book offers. How did the Marchesi name become a byword internationally for female vocal excellence and operatic success? Click here to read our review and how to order the book.


New fabulous release from Desirée records in their Great Australian Voices series : the Art of JENIFER EDDY

Click here for our review and here to order it



NEW !!!! Musicfromthepast has just released two wonderful CDs featuring the greatest opera singers in rare radio broadcasts.

Click here for our review !!!!

Click here for their website



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




Johann Hofer wrote the definitive CARL GOLDMARK biography. Click here to order the book

Carl Goldmark was alive one of the most famous Austrian composers of the late 19th century.  His opera "The Queen of Sheba premiered at the Vienna Court Opera met with enormous success and eventually reached worldwide acclaim. Until his death in 1915 Goldmark's operas and orchestral works were regularly performed in prestigious venues and in all the major concert halls in the world.

The greatest conductors, famous singers and violinists took Goldmark in their repertoire. But soon after his death, his works slowly vanished from the repertoire not least by the performance ban of Jewish music by the Nazis.  The music teacher Johann Hofer has done his research into Goldmark's life consulting information and documents scattered all over the world resulting in the definitive Goldmark biography.

The 285 page opus not only deals with the composer's life and works in great detail but there's also a discography and a chronology of the creations of his operas worldwide. There's an index and greatly welcomed by me a detailed family tree as well. A major addition to the world of composer biographies.


The recording REVELATION of the year, a must have recording for all operetta fans !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A great new operetta recording JOSEPH BEER's "Polish wedding" has just been released by cpo.

Click here for a review AND sound examples

Click here for the composer's website


A FRENCH OPERA FESTIVAL : a survey of must-have rare recordings

Click here to read about Gounod's opera (French only) + click here to listen to the most famous aria from this opera Nuit resplendissante

Click here to read a review of Félicien David's Herculanum (English)

Click here to read a review of Victorin Joncières's Dimitri (English)

Click here to listen to clips from these new recordings

Click here to read for a review of Saint-Saens Les Barbares

Click here to read for a review of Massenet's Le Mage

Click here for the BRUZANE website

Click here to read all about Maurice Emmanuel and his opera Salamine (French only)




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)