Music and Video

The Greatest Basses

Russian Basso Profundo ---  Fantastic Low Voices

Russian Basso Profundo

Cesare Siepi : Some Enchanted Evening
  Not the fantastic low voice, but utter vocal perfection and beauty.  Better in his Operas (the best singing mode ever).  I think he's my choice for the best bass of all time.  What's even
  more fantastic is that he has largely developed on his own.

A Program to Use You Tube In a Big Way!

Jerome Hines : The Holy City
  Not the consistent vocal perfection of Siepi, but the probably the biggest booming bass voice ever.  "And he's big as a house," some of my friends who had seen him remarked.

Jerome Hines

Cathedrals Quartet

The Greatest Coloraturas

Roberta Peters
   I'm trying to get everything by her that I can.  If you know of any DVD's, CD's, even LP's  I'd sure like to hear about them.  Here she sings "Uno voce poco fa," from Rossini's Barber of Seville.  Rosina (Roberta Peters) has just been serenaded by Count Almaviva at daybreak, outside her window, posing as a student, "Lindoro," and she is intending that he will win her; she's ecstatic!  "Si Lindoro . . ." "Yes, Lindoro, you will be mine!"  There are complications, however, and she is also singing about them, and her scheming plans, in her song.  They involve her boorish old ward, Dr. Bartolo, who is keeping her a virtual prisoner in the house, and will do anything to keep her from even seeing anyone who might be a suitor, intending to marry her himself, for her money.

Here she is, at the close of the opera, after she and the count, with the help of the wily Figaro (the Barber of Seville), have outwitted Dr. Bartolo and his aiding schemer, Don Basilio, and it's the finale celebration music for the wedding of Rosina and the Count.  Peters adds a surprise embellishment at the end, not in the script, showing Rosina's delight and happiness:

Another great soprano in recent times is Diana Damrau.  Not quite the precision, highs, and vocal gymnastics as Peters, but tremendous as a vocal actress.  And her voice has an amazing mysterious beautiful sort of color to it that seems almost unreal, at least in this opera.  Peters' is just simple delightful ultra-femininity, at least in her earlier years.  Here is a version of Uno voce poco fa done by her.  Are those little squeals of delight from her at the beginning?  I've never heard anything like that before in probably 10 versions of Barber of Seville (nor have I ever heard a finale like Peters did, either).

Very shortly afterward, in the opera, the barber Figaro pays her a visit, and rather toys with her (and she with him) regarding this "Lindoro," her suitor. The count and Figaro are old friends; but Figaro keeps it secret that Lindoro is actually a count, so that Count Almaviva can test Rosina that she isn't attracted to his rank and wealth, but to him. Figaro and Rosina toy with each other, and Rosina is way ahead of Figaro in her plans, and gives him a letter for Lindoro to tell him she's interested in him, but informing him of the problems. He must find a way to get in to see her. She and Figaro end with a delightful duet with terrific vocal acting and gymnastics: she squealing with delight over her prospects with Lindoro, and he marvelling at her wiles and ability.  This is very common in opera: people singing together, but each completely separate from one another in their thoughts and subject.

If anyone knows where I can buy this Bel Canto Opera presentation of Flotow's Martha please email. Thank you. (email is >br />