Memories of Hilarity
- From: Don Carlo <CharlesHandelman@xxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 12:21:18 -0700 (PDT)
My dear "non-purist" friends,
It has been a few years since i published some of my experiences
at the old La Puma opera company in the 60's, where it was quite
difficult to keep, a straight fave, much less not have a "pantalones
accident." Many of them,especially with the legendary geriatrics
soprano,Olive Middleton, exist on tape, but vefry few on video, and
that is a shame, because they would provide you with more hilarity
than even the voice of Charlotte Church. I list below some of my
recollections, especially for newbies who will probably say, "He's
making this up!"
1. Sieglinde(Olive) in act one with a flashlight (which was a pre-
cursor of modern stagings).
2. A chorister in Aida (age about 70...the median age) with a wrist
watch ( StandardMemphis Time??)
3. Baritone Americo Iorio(LOVE that name) falling off the Junior High
round table (the only stage scenery) in Act one of Otello. (BEVA CON
4. A prompter in Faust who SCREAMED the words offstage, even louder
than the singers.(Even prompter Joan Dorneman is not that loud.)
5. A Nedda who did not know the role after the Ballatella so when
Tonio came on, she skipped many pages, and he never got to grab
her..his part was DONE!
6. Olive trying to ring the Norma gong...trying..trying..and finally
banging it hard, to the bravoes of the cult audience. (Look,when you
are 75, do you think you can do better?)
7. On VIDEO: a Rodrigo in Don carlo who,upon getting shot, and having
people applaud and laugh, STOPS the show (he must have known
Bonisolli) and admonishes the audience. In this video the tenor sounds
as if someone is sitting on a delicate part of his lower anatomy.
8. On VIDEO: a lady (age about 150) in act one Traviata who fans
herself throughout the entire Brindisi...maybe she had hot flashes at
9. The final "straw that broke Charlie's back" (and we could not go
back for years) when a peasant woman in Don Giovanni (age about 75
with a huge white bow in her hair),upon having Leporello pinch her,
let out a GESCHREI that caused my friend and i to run like crazy out
of the place (with a man yelling at us.."Yeah, get out!!), up to
Broadway with our ribs breaking in hysterics..we were very close to
doing a great pppp.
But we had so much fun.....we miss them....wait a
moment...I sang with a few singers of this "caliber' and wondered what
I was doing there....My fault!!! CH
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