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Happy Birthday Birgit Nilsson

La Cieca (not pictured) wants to get a jump on this busy birthday season by offering a remembrance of Birgit Nilsson a day early. After the jump, a souvenir of one of La Nilsson’s greatest nights in New York (but weren’t they all?)

Highlights from the October 4, 1968 performance of Tosca, with Nilsson, Franco Corelli and Gabriel Bacquier; Francesco Molinari-Pradelli conducting.

Birgit Nilsson as Tosca

The cher public are as always invited to share YouTube clips of favorite Nilssoniana.

41 comments

  • Camille says:

    Today, I had every intention of listening to the webcast of Capuletti. I mean, how often does that happen.

    When I got in the car en route to café, I turned on Sirius. Birgit et Cie. In a Götterdämmerung from ’62. And that day, I webcast no more….

    Does anyone know who was Siegfried? Gut.

    • Batty Masetto says:

      According to the archives, Camille, it was (of all people) Hans Hopf. Not a name I normally associate with “gut” (at least not in the German sense).

      The Third Norn / Woglinde was … Martina Arroyo! Roz Elias as Wellgunde, Dalis as Second Norn and Waltraute, Leinsdorf in the pit.

      I’ll bet that *was* good….

      • Camille says:

        It was DAMN gut!! I am surprised as well as what I remember of him — what little —is so-so and blah. Oh YES, these were Rheintöchtern mit cojones!!! Them ladies meant business!!!! For once, not a bunch of silly nixies. It made quite some difference and as Die Loreleien were creatures that lured and lyred mem to the wat’ry depths with their Wei-a-la-la-ing, gut denn…..

        Even Gutrune (Gladys Kuchta) meant business. Hans Hopf, huh? I am really surprised. Alberich was a weak sister, however. Birgit sounded bitchen’!!!! Junge.

        Thank you for looking it up Batti-M. Hope you’re not arbeitin’ too hard.
        Gratamente. Kamille Tee

        • Nerva Nelli says:

          That weak Alberich was Ralph Herbert. I have never heard anything well sung by him--yet there are good reviews on the Archive site for his early years. He seems to have been a Volksoper-style routine baritone. What sustained him at the Met for 8 years? Bing’s charity towards fellow Austrian refugees? Personal ties? Any memories?

          • Camille says:

            Nerva Augusta,
            It could have been Ralph Kramden, of The Honeymooners, as far as I was concerned. Just nada.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

            He was also a terrible stage director.