From the Vaults: George Jellinek Pays Tribute to Pavarotti and Freni

Friday, October 01, 2010

A trip into the WQXR archives brings us a 2000 episode of The Vocal Scene in which the late host George Jellinek pays tribute to opera's great on-stage power couple: Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni. As Mr. Jelinek reminds us, the two singers were childhood friends in Modena, Italy, and they went on to make many classic recordings together. This broadcast came in recognition of their 65th birthdays, both being born in 1935.

A particular focus is given to Pavarotti and Freni's early careers, starting with their joint appearances as Rodolfo and Mimi in La Bohème, a pivotal opera for the two singers. We hear them together in two separate live recordings from 1967. Also included is a 1969 performance of Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment; the "Cherry Duet" from Mascagni's L'amico Fritz; love duets from La Traviata, Gianni Schicchi, L'Elisir d'amore, and more. 

Courtesy of the WQXR Collection-NYPR Archives

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Comments [4]

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

George Jellinek's cornucopia of interviews and recordings upon which he commented should be archived in such a manner as to be accessible to students, artists and the general public.

May. 19 2012 10:51 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

On September 5, 1997, George spoke and played recordings at the Vocal Record Collector's Society and in June 2001 for the Jussi Bjorling Society, George moderated a panel of perforners who had partnered Bjjorling: Robert Merrill, Regina Resnik, Licia Albanese, and Lucine Amara, and his sons Anders and Lars. His scholarship and personal warmth were endearing to us as attending members.

Oct. 23 2010 05:04 PM
LJLubin from Ft Lee, NJ

When I was a young voice student I coached with an elderly gentleman who had studied in Paris in the 20s-30s with Bernac and Emma Eames. He played us 78s and compared nuances of performances from the great singers: Ponselle, Caruso, de Luca, de Lucia, Rethberg, Galli-Curci, Journet, Vanni-Marcoux, Fleta, Pertile, Gadski, Homer…I could go on for hours.
I worked at Juilliard in the early 90s. Few voice students had heard a Callas record, or even heard of Ponselle!
WQXR MUST find funding to preserve, catalogue, and make available the great legacy of “Vocal Scene” programs. The traditions of our Art are being forgotten without continuity will be lost forever. I would gladly work on such a project.
And bring back David Dubal, please. He did for the piano what Mr. Jellinek did for singers.

Oct. 05 2010 01:15 PM
Bernie from Philadelphia

I think WQXR should market podcasts of as many Vocal Scene programs as possible, instead of just releasing an occasional one now and then. There are countless fans of this great program who would welcome hearing them again, and even more potential listeners who never had the privilege of hearing them.

George Jellinek was one of the true "mavens" of the operatic world, and some of the interviews are true collector items that deserve a re-hearing.

Oct. 03 2010 03:10 PM

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