A Rendezvous with Opera's Favorite Bad Girl

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Carmen’s creator, French author Prosper Merimée wrote that a woman has two good hours: one in bed, and the other at her death.  Marilyn Horne adds: "I hope I had a few good ones on stage!"

Today, we hear about those good times, and pay tribute to other great Carmens, including Geraldine Farrar, Rosa Ponselle, Regina Resnik and Risë Stevens. The latter of whom once said Carmen is desired by every man and envied by every woman. Carmen is a fascinating creature, for sure.

On February 23, Operavore will be looking at uses of opera in film, in advance of the Academy Awards. Results from our poll on the best uses of opera in the movies. You can see the results on the February 23rd episode page.


Comments [5]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The great ROSA PONSELLE performed in the 1930s the title role in a lusty risque manner but probably the most full-throated rich-toned voice ever to assay that role. Shew was damnned by the reviewers, not for her vocal performance but for her iunprecedented, for that time, implicit sexy dramaturgy. One of my voice teachers, a legendary mezzo/contralto AND dramatic soprano who sang DELILAH opposite CARUSO at the MET OPERA and other major opera houses MARGARETE MATZENAUER was far too heavy for the role of Carmen and TOSCA both of which she performed opposite CARUSO. MATZENAUER sang KUNDRY, BRUNNHILDE, ISOLDE, AMNERIS, AZUCENA, ERDA, BRANGAENE and sang in 5 languages, many, many roles in a widely diverse rep. RISE STEVENS was THE CARMEN for more than 25 years at the MET and she had movie star looks, appeearing in movies with BING CROSBY AND NELSON EDDY. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer, "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare" and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. My websites where one may download, FREE, my singing in four solo concerts at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall by going to "Recorded Selections"; www.WagnerOpera.com, www.ShakespeareOpera.com and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. Roles that are represented in my singing to be heard on my websites are: Tristan, Siegfried, Goetterdaemmerung Siegfried, Lohengrin, Parsifal, Siegmund, Walther von Stolzing, Florestan, Federico and Eleazar.

Feb. 17 2013 06:07 PM
Pearl from Old Bridge, NJ

I enjoyed listening the Operavore yesterday with regard to the Opera Carmen. I've always enjoyed Marilyn Horne's rendition of it. The played an exerpt of it with Rise Stevens singing the role. I didn't realize that Miss Stevens had an amazing voice. I was thoroughly impressed with the program.

Feb. 17 2013 01:08 PM
Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

Last night,the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe held a special showing of "Moonstruck" as a Valentine's Day treat and the place was packed. Not having seen the film since the first run, I was struck by how well the "Boheme" music was used to deepen the story-not to forget Dean Martin and Vicki Carr. Now, today, I have no other recourse but to "snap out of it",ahime.

Feb. 15 2013 02:49 PM
Suzanne from New York

Mine was "O mio babbino caro" right at the beginning of "A Room with a View." For me, it just set the atmosphere of the film perfectly!
Incidentally, Maria Callas does not "sing Andrea Chenier" in "Philadelphia." She sings Maddalena's aria "La mamma morta" FROM "Sndrea Chenier." She was a soprano, not a tenor!

Feb. 15 2013 11:46 AM
Susan from Manhattan

I liked Moonstruck, clearly the work of an opera lover, but I was surprised at the omission of the beautiful "age of Innocence", with a sumptuous production of Faust wittily described w/ a VoiceOver in Edith Wharton's own words.

Feb. 15 2013 09:33 AM

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