14 January 2008

Separated at death?

Joan Ingpen and Rosina Lickspittle

In related macabre news, (reportedly) gay tenor Sergej Larin died this weekend, and La Cieca has just heard an unconfirmed report that another gay tenor, Giuliano Ciannella, has also passed away.

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09 January 2008

Joan Ingpen 1916-2007

Legendary opera administrator Joan Ingpen died on December 29 at the age of 91. The Telegraph has an appreciation of her life and career that includes this observation: "She had wonderful teeth that sparkled like diamonds when they caught the light."

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10 December 2007

Zara Dolukhanova 1918-2007

The legendary mezzo-soprano of the Russian Soviet period, Zara Dolukhanova, died last week at the age of 89. Though she excelled in brilliant Rossini roles in the opera house, her greatest success was as a recitalist. Dolukhanova's broad repertoire included music from arie antiche to Prokofiev and Stravinsky; unusually for Soviet-era singers, she often included Lieder by German composers such as Schumann and Wolf in her programs. She was one of the first major Soviet stars to appear in the United States, making her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1959. In the later years of her career, she made a successful transition to the soprano range; however, she is best remembered for the warmth and elegance of her mezzo-soprano in a series of studio recordings made in the 1950s.

Zara Dolukhanova sings "Oh! quand je dors."

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31 October 2007

Robert Goulet, 1933-2007

The Broadway baritone, star of Camelot, died yesterday at the age of 73. Goulet won a Tony Award for for the 1968 Kander and Ebb musical The Happy Time, and most recently appeared on Broadway as Georges in the 2004 revival of La Cage aux Folles. An obituary and appreciation of the performer can be found at Playbill News.

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06 September 2007

Luciano Pavarotti 1935 - 2007

23 August 2007

Rose Bampton, 1908-2007

The American dramatic soprano is heard in the final scene of Daphne (R. Strauss) in a performance from Buenos Aires, 1948. Set Svanholm is Apollo; Erich Kleiber conducts.

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22 July 2007

Teresa Stich-Randall 1927-2007

The American soprano, whose voice Toscanini called "the find of the century," died Tuesday in Vienna.

She is heard here singing "Crudele... Non mi dir" from a 1960 performance of Don Giovanni.

Teresa Stich-Randall

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05 July 2007

Régine Crespin, 1927-2007

Régine Crespin in Recital
  • Wolf: Blumengruß - Der Schäfer - Die Spröde - Anakreons Grab -Epiphanias - Mignon I, II and III - Philine - Kennst du das Land
  • Debussy: Le Promenoir des deux amants: Auprès de cette grotte sombre -Crois mon conseil, chère Climène - Je tremble en voyant ton visage
  • Milhaud: Poèmes Juifs (exc.): Chant d'amour - Chant de forgeron -Chant de nourrice
  • Rosenthal: Chansons du Monsieur Bleu: Quat' et trois sept - L'éléphant du Jardin des Plantes - Fido, Fido - Le petit chat est mort - La souris d'Angleterre
  • Encores: Berlioz: Le spectre de la rose; Poulenc: Fêtes galantes; Wolf: Ich hab' in Penna
John Wustman, piano. Hunter College, New York City, November 11, 1967.


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18 April 2007

Kitty Carlisle Hart, 1910-2007

Actress, singer, arts advocate, socialite, TV personality (and New Orleans native) Kitty Carlisle Hart has died at the age of 96. La Carlisle made her Broadway debut in 1933 in the musical Champagne Sec (a version of Die Fledermaus), then went to Hollywood for a brief stay highlighted by her turn as "Rosa Castaldi" in A Night at the Opera. (To die-hard opera queens, no performance of the "Miserere" from Il trovatore is complete without the interpolation of "the Kitty Carlisle high C.") In 1948 the mezzo-soprano starred in the New York premiere of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia; later she appeared on the "Straw Hat Circuit" in Carmen and The Merry Widow as well as classic American musicals. On New Year's Eve 1966, Ms. Hart made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Prince Orlovsky in Fledermaus, a role she reprised for the company's Parks performances in 1973, and again in 1980 at the New York City Opera for Beverly Sills' farewell gala.

A more detailed obituary may be found at broadwayworld.com.

Here's Kitty Carlisle Hart in a scene from A Night at the Opera, with Allan Jones (and, of course, the Marx Brothers!)

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04 February 2007

Weekend roundup

Future plans for ur-diva Ewa Podles include Azucena in Il trovatore at Caramoor (July 2007) with Julianna D’Giacomo, Simon Neill, Daniel Sutin and Daniel Mobbs; then Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia in the spring of 2008 opposite Edita Gruberoba, Jose Bros and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo.

A company debuts in Manhattan when Ottocento Opera presents a concert of arias and songs by Giovanni Pacini and Saverio Mercadante on Sunday, February 11 at 7:00 PM. The venue is Christ & St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at 120 West 69th Street. For more information, email info@ottocentoopera.org.

A propos of the death of Gian Carlo Menotti, an essay from the G. Schirmer web site by Paul Wittke. Actually it's specifically about Samuel Barber, but it does dwell at some length on the composers' romantic relationship.

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02 February 2007

Here's our genius!

Goya, a later (and lesser) work by Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007).

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11 January 2007

She got through all of last year

Good times and bum times --
She saw them all, but my dear,
She's no longer here.

The actress everyone is eulogizing as the "definitive Lily Munster" had another, in La Cieca's opinion far more important credit. In 1971 Yvonne de Carlo created the role of Carlotta Campion in Follies, and introduced the showbiz anthem "I'm Still Here."

As we all know, Stephen Sondheim wrote that song while out of town, replacing "Can That Boy Foxtrot." Which, La Cieca supposes, makes La de Carlo responsible for the cult status of that more racy Sondheim ditty as well.

Yvonne de Carlo died on Monday, January 8 at the age of 84.


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20 December 2006

Sad news

We have just heard that critic and opera fan Stephanie von Buchau has died.

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