ARSC New York Chapter
*MARCH 2014 Meeting*


7 P. M. Thursday, 3/27/14
at the CUNY Sonic Arts Center
West 140th Street & Convent Avenue, New York
or, enter at 138th Street off Convent Avenue
Shepard Hall (the Gothic building) – Recital Hall (Room 95, Basement level)

An elevator is located in the center of the building

ARSCNY is again pleased to present

“The Two Gary’s”

(Galo and Thalheimer, respectively)

...reprising their gala presentations of recordings by Lauritz Melchior (“The
Great Dane: Lauritz Melchior – A 40th Anniversary Tribute”)

and German singers in Verdi roles.

Both are expanded versions of presentations given at the ARSC national
conference in Kansas City, MO in May 2013.

Danish tenor Lauritz Melchior (1890-1973) was arguably the greatest
Wagnerian tenor in the history of that species. Melchior began his career
as a baritone, making his operatic debut as Sivlio in Leoncavallo’s
Pagliacci at the Royal Opera, Copenhagen in 1913. On the advice of Mme.
Charles Cahier, Melchior restudied as a tenor with Vilhelm Herold, and made
a second debut in 1918 in the title role of Wagner’s Tannhäuser. After
further studies with Anna Bahr-Mildenburg, Melchior began his international
career at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1924 as Siegmund in
Wagner’s Die Walküre, followed by a Bayreuth debut later that year, and a
Metropolitan Opera debut in 1926. Melchior combined a voice of unrivalled
power with a true bel canto production, allowing him to remain virtually
unchallenged in the heldentenor repertoire until his retirement from the
stage in 1950. His totals in the Wagner repertoire are staggering,
encompassing over 600 performances including over 220 as Tristan. Yet,
after all this, his voice remained in remarkable condition. Melchior’s
career is surveyed through his recorded output, beginning with his first
recording as a baritone in 1913, and continuing with samplings of his major
recordings in both the Wagner and non-Wagner tenor repertoire, and song
literature. In addition to commercial recordings, excerpts from several
live performances will also be included. A few Melchior myths and
exaggerations will be challenged during this presentation, not the least of
which is the view the he was a sloppy musician with little regard for the
letter of musical score. The recorded examples will also illustrate the
excellence of Melchior’s vocal technique, belying the notion that he relied
on natural ability alone.

Wagnerians in Verdi and Vice-Versa

The 2013 bicentennial of Wagner and Verdi seemed a good time to explore
artists associated primarily with one of these composers performing the
other's music. As we are able to expand time limits at the Chapter
meetings, we can hear more examples of artists performing works not
normally associated with them.

Prior to the simultaneous 1950s reign of Karajan at La Scale in Milan and
the Vienna State Opera performances were in the vernacular. But he intended
the same productions and casts in multiple venues. So the new generation of
singers had to relearn their roles in the original language, and audiences
spend more time looking up or down to see what's going on. As a result,
many listeners today seem to think that performing both composers is
somehow unsuitable.

Radames and Otello were favorites of several Heldentenors, and we shall
hear Melchior, Max Lorenz, Wolfgang Windgassen and Franz Völker. Among the
ladies, Maria Callas and Frida Leider overlapped in several roles, while
Astrid Varnay was type-cast by the Met for Wagner. Mezzos included Marta
Mödl, Margarete Klose and Ebe Stignani.


“Liberace: Entertainer at the Piano”

presented by Dennis D. Rooney


Subway: Take the 1 train to 137th Street City College and walk north to 140
th St. & Broadway,
then go east to 140th St. & Convent Avenue. Take the A, B, C, or D trains
to 145th St, go south on St. Nicholas to 141st St, (one long block), then
west one block to Convent Avenue.and south one more block to 140th &
Convent Avenue.
Bus: M4 and M5 on Broadway; M 100, 101 on Amsterdam Ave (one block West of
Convent Avenue.)


The Sonic Arts Center at CCNY offers 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees
in Music with a concentration in Music and Audio Technology. Their program
provides an in-depth curriculum emphasizing real-world skills with a
project-based approach. Students enjoy a well-rounded program, with
emphasis on audio technology, music theory, orchestration, and history to
help them compete in a field that today demands an ever-growing and highly
diverse skill set.


All ARSC NY Chapter meetings are free and open to the public.

Voluntary contributions to help defray our expenses are welcome!

To join ARSC, visit