Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Nostalgia…

OBIT-ALBANESE-master495I’ve been thinking lots about the fate of the Corcoran recently, and of course, there’s the ever-present sadness about City Opera (whose home page is terribly depressing). If you’d like a glance back at “the golden age,” here’s as good a chance as you’ll get:

A Puccini-loving mentor of mine shared this NYT obit with me a couple days ago. Honestly, I’d never heard of Madame Albanese, but reading her obituary is a who’s who of opera in the 20th century, with several staggering statistics and some of the most sentimental images throughout.

And, if you’re interested, I’ve also selected a few recordings:
– “Mi Chiamo Mimi” from “Madama Butterfly”, Metropolitan Opera, 1952
– “Un bel di Vedremo” from “Madama Butterfly”, Metropolitan Opera, 1953
– “O Mio Babino Caro” from “Gianni Schicchi”, NBC Radio Broadcast, 1949

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5 comments on “Nostalgia…

  1. jessicamallow
    August 28, 2014

    She was truly one of the greats! There are very few singers left that fell into this particular school of training, and of this realm of “bel canto” singing. Singers have very different standards in today’s market as you well know, and it seems heavily based on changes in media and promotional materials- looking the part is almost more important than sounding the part! You no longer need a voice authentically large enough to fill the Met house (this wonderful soprano actually did!), you just need to know the right people, have the right level of fame, and look the part. How interesting for singers today!

  2. shrulala
    August 29, 2014

    I had never been to a live opera performance until this summer. I signed up for the Wolftrap Opera Newbie program. I thought it was a great way to introduce uninitiated audience to something that seems inaccessible. I enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing the videos

    • benjamendouglas
      August 29, 2014

      VERY cool. I love the way you’re up for trying anything!

  3. hgenetos
    August 29, 2014

    Such a sad loss for the community, the loss of a spirit that fascinating and the loss of such an institution.

    I do love her spirit even in her late age. This line “‘Only God makes a diva. No, just call me a plain singer with lots of expression’” is something I will keep with me even as a non-singer. It reminds me of my best friend who has had health problems and can no longer sing to the same extent when she was studying opera.

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