Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Russell Christopher

There's an obituary notice in today's New York Times for Russell Christopher. He did many of the character roles at the Met.  I don't have everything digitalized, but had this one delicious image from October 1976, GIANNI SCHICHI.  From left to right,  Russell Christopher as Betto,  Shirley Love as Ciesca, Italo Tajo as Simone, behind him Ron Boucher as Marco, Fedora Barbieri as Zita, above Neil Shicoff as Rinuccio, in front Charlie Anthony as Gherardo, Betsy Nordon as Nella.  This was one fun cast.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Leonie Rysanek

There's a link on www.parterre.com   to the Rysanek 25th Anniversary Concert, an audio of this event, brilliant, gorgeous. Into the files I went to find images that were already digitalized. Memory Lane time.  Totally emotional. Feelings, not furniture.  First- the Bing Gala with Vickers.
Fidelio, Vickers and Leonie, the old house.
Frau in 1978 with James King as the Kaiser
At home, August 1972
Parsifal, Act II with Vickers
Salome 1972
Elizabeth, Tannhauser, "Dich teure Halle"  new Met
Same thing, old Met
Marschallin, Rosenkavalier.

There are more images in the files, but not yet digitalized. Opera is about feelings, emotions. Here they are, total love and respect for the integrity and the glory of it all.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Carlo Bergonzi, a Tribute

Radames, October 1978  AIDA
Riccardo, October 1982  BALLO IN MASCHERA
Turridu  September 1971 CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA with Jean Kraft as Mama Lucia
Nemorino 1987  L'ELISIR D'AMORE
Enzo Grimaldi  1979    GIOCONDA
Canio  1979  PAGLIACCI.  Cornell MacNeil as Tonio in background.
Rehearsal  1996  LEVINE GALA
Every session with Mr. Bergonzi was thrilling. He was an elegant singer. He sang, I smiled. Thank goodness there are recordings to cherish.  We never spoke. I regret that. I would have expressed profound thanks for his artistry.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Maestro Julius Rudel, RIP

Maestro Rudel passed away this morning.  He was all that is wonderful in opera, respect  for the music, a sense of adventure, giving the audience excitement and wonder. Instead of selecting posed, editorial images I've gone into the files, the candid behind the scene images, the work before the audience got the polished production. It was hard work, frustrating work, but satisfying and fun. First, in the auditorium during a BALLO rehearsal with John White. Mr. White watched the money.
MAGIC FLUTE rehearsal. Veronica Tyler as Pamina. 1967. David Bamberger stage director.
Working with Patricia Brooks,TRAVIATA 1967
Before a performance with Spiro Malas, MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, 1967
Before ROSENKAVALIER 1967  with Felix Popper and Hans Sondheimer. Julius knew every light cue and where every bulb was.
Rehearsing CAVALLERIA 1967 with Frank Corsaro
More CAVALLERIA 1967, Corsaro and Francesca Roberto
Sills and Rudel before Act II MANON, 1969
Rehearsing 1968
FAUST rehearsal 1968 with Norman Treigle and Corsaro
Also with Sills  1968
MEFISTOFELE rehearsal 1969 with Tito Capobianco
MEFISTOFELE 1969 with Robert Nagy
MANON rehearsal  1970 with Placido Domingo and Felix Popper at piano
Rehearsal room, wide angle lens, 1970
ROBERTO DEVEREUX rehearsal with Sills, 1970
YOUNG LORD rehearsal 1973 with Sarah Caldwell
YOUNG LORD rehearsal 1973 with Sir Rudolf Bing
YOUNG LORD rehearsal 1973 with Christopher Keene and Sarah Caldwell
TURK IN ITALY rehearsal with Donald Gramm 1978
Birthday party 2011 with Placido Domingo
Birthday party 2011 with Sherrill Milnes
Maestro Rudel, we'll never forget what you gave us.   We love you.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jean Kraft, A Tribute Afternoon

Jean Kraft was honored this afternoon with a musical tribute for her many years as a glorious performer.
Jean was in the audience as the program was led by Louis M. Barrella.  He had a number of video segments from the Met Archives.
Suor Angelica
The 1983 Centennial Gala with Mirella Devia
After the presentation with Mr. Barrella
With Batyah Godfrey Ben-David
Fabrizio Milano, Claudia Catania, Brian Kellow, Jean, Batyah and Mr. Barrella
Claudia taking a group picture with her cell phone.
A quiet moment, Fabrizio and Jean.
A tribute such as this can be intensely emotional, gorgeous musical memories the likes of which we don't hear anymore.  Musical friendships, true human friendships, huge thankfulness.  None of the video segments were high-tech but the impact was gut wrenching.  We were all shattered.  This was a difficult chore for the camera. Some moments were too personal to make public.  This event was all about love for a very dear person.