I missed out on RS' live performances, but her studio Carmen remains,
for me, the alltime favorite (and the first recording I ever heard of
She's also the prime scene-stealer in the old flick, 'Going My Way',
and as Nelson Eddy's leading lady in 'The Chocolate Soldier', plus
many great guest-shots on 'Firestone Theater' , and 'The Bell
I saw Stevens live in opera only twice. First was a Samson with del
Monaco, in 1958, and next was a Carmen with Tucker in 1960. I think by
then her voice had become a bit blowsy, but she was still a wonderful
singer, and a gorgeous woman. She retired quite young, and somewhat
unexpectedly in 1961. I later saw her in The King & I in a summer run
at the NY State Theater, in about 1964-5. She was lovely in this, and
there is a cast recording with her available on CD, as it was on LP.
When would her best years have been? 40's to early 50's? from what I
hear on MetRadio she sang a very wide repertoire and did it all well.
I would guess her best years started around the time of her Met debut,
which I believe was 1937, and lasted til perhaps 1954-5. Her Met
repertoire wasn't that vast, as she didn't consider herself a Verdi
mezzo, and sang no Verdi. She sang no traditional Italian opera at all
other than Gioconda, unless one considers Orfeo a traditional Italian
opera! She sang Rosenkavalier, Nozze di Figaro, Mignon, Carmen,
Giulietta (only one season) Khovantchina, and I am sure a couple more
but not that many more.
She really made a career with Carmen, followed by Dalilah, I would
say. Her complete recording of Carmen in 1951 still caught her at her
best, I believe, and of her two Samson hilite recordings- one in 1955
with Peerce, and one in 1959 with del Monaco, the 1955 finds her in
better and fresher voice.
Charlie knew/knows her much better than I, but the few times I met and
spoke to her, she was a really lovely, charming, and gracious lady.
I never heard her in person, but I remember a Met Carmen broadcast, back
when I was young and just discovering opera, that pretty well set the
standard by which I have judged all those I've heard subsequently! They
did the opera comique version, with spoken dialog, and even with my then
limited knowledge of French, that seductive speaking voice in the Inn
Scene made Don Jose's desertion easily understood. (Not to mention her
singing, which was equally so.)
Was the Euridice (The Divine) Hilde Gueden? I should like to have
Stevens did the spoken dialogue version at the MET????? Wagner Fan
Never that I know of. The first time this dialogue was done in the
20th century at the Met, I believe, was for the new production with
Horne and McCracken, and Bernstein conducting, in 1972. There was sooo
much dialogue, that it became boring, IMHO.
Did she not record a Carmen for Columbia with Raoul Jobin? I can't
remember whether it was complete or highlights. I remember that there
was some dialog in it.
I know that Ms. Stevens is in her mid-nineties, and I hope that she is
enjoying good health. I feel very fortunate to still be able to enjoy
her artistry on records and video tapes.
Recorded only in highlights, it also co-starred Robert Weede and
Nadine Conner (Odyssey label Y 32102).
> I know that Ms. Stevens is in her mid-nineties, and I hope that she is
> enjoying good health.
Seconded. She's one of several great divas of similar vintage, and
all are treasures.
"Pooh Bah" <edwar...@webtv.net> wrote in message
She recorded some highlights with Jobin
No..Rise did a limited number of roles..and when I post on June 11 on
the occasion of her 96th birthday,I will have more to say.She was very
smart about choosing her repertory and made a name really in only a
handful of roles:Carmen,Orfeo,Octavian,Delilah, and not much else in
the prime of her career.
Rise spoiled my completely as Carmen..I NEVER could follow her
sensational performances with ANYONE who compared in my experience.
She was the very first artist I ever met..at age 16...Her annual club
meetings ate her home were treasures I will not forget. She retired
early...in 1962....at the age of 49..never told the public it was her
farewell...we knew...(Octavian)....I hope she is well..one of the
greatest ladies.....turns 96 on June 11. More to say next week....CH
Thanks, gang, for the great memories of a wonderful singer. I see why
they resurrect her historic performances on MetRadio on Sirius/XM so
often. Her Delila was probably the best I've heard.
This was the late 1940's, probably before many here were even born! But
believe me, the only opera available to me in those days was the
Saturday Met broadcast, and her "Ecoutez, le voila!" was definitely
spoken, not sung! (The intonation still sticks in my mind.)
Yes but thats hardly the spoken dialogue version - Carmen's often speak
certain lines in the usual sung-through version. As another poster
mentioned, the actual spoken dialogue version ( a la Opera comique version)
didn't come to the MET until the Bernstein performances. Wagner fan
Her Octavian...many times at the "old" Met...I have to rate her very highly in
that role...but perhaps the Octavian of Sena Jurinac would be my all-time
favorite (saw her do it in Salzburg 1964 with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf). Still,
I think that her Octavian was one of her best roles.
Her Carmen was very "Hollywood"...I think that is the best description. I
think...at the end of the day.. I prefer Regine Crespin over Rise Stevens in
I used to know her husband Walter Surovy...we worked at the same firm for a
One day...he said to me..."You know, Rise went to Hollywood!" I said..I
recall that. He continued...Rise loved working with Bing Crosby in "Going my
She also made two other films..."Carnegie Hall" and then there was..."The
Chocolate Soldier" with Nelson Eddy.
Later on...I read somewhere that Jeanette McDonald didn't care much for Nelson
Eddy because he had bad breath and she hated the "close-ups" with him.
I forget to ask Walter if R�se had noticed Nelson Eddy's "bad breath?"
I recently read the most wonderful book by one Madame Schoen-Ren�e, a German
voice teacher who had many pupils at one time in New York...including R�se.
She was a known lesbian and was known for "coming on" to her pupils....some
even say that she had a "dalliance" with R�se. But...R�se and Walter did have
a son...Nicky Surovy who had a brief stint as Hamlet in an acting career. I
met Nicky once...he was quite handsome.
I wonder whatever happened to Nicky and his acting career?
Alas...R�se is now wheel-chair bound at her fancy digs at ger Fifth Avenue
apt... where Woody Allen has the PH.... I'm not suggesting that the two
"interface"...they don't...but might have crossed paths on the elevator...but
just to give you an idea of her present surroundings. I've been in her
apt..its nice and is one of the ones that face Central Park....but I wouldn't
say that her building is one of the "great" Fifth Avenue apt. houses where
billionaires live...such as one a few further down Fifth where Steve Balmer of
Microsoft and Mercedes Bass rest their heads...when they're in town!
Mostly know her in the '63 studio cast album Lady in the Dark, in
which she's a bit harsh but this is presumably long after her prime.
The show is a "musical" but often described as a sequence of three
"....but I wouldn't say that her building is one of the "great" Fifth
Avenue apt. houses where
billionaires live...such as one a few further down Fifth where Steve
Microsoft and Mercedes Bass rest their heads...when they're in town!"
The important thing is to have air-conditioning now that summer is
nearly here. The City can be so stifling in the summer. And of course
elevators - rappelling down through the stairwell is such a bother
when you're wearing a wheelchair. And returning home? Forget about it.
Well, it's been well over sixty years since the broadcast I mentioned,
so I won't argue - I only remember the stunning effect of the spoken words.
And they may or may not be true:
(In addition, I had heard that it was Lotte
> Lehmann who came on to Stevens; the bad breath story usually relates
> to Vivien Leigh objecting to Clark Gable's plates while filiming Gone
> with the wind
Not his dinner plates, we may assume.... It's just as well; since the
beauty he cared for was Carole Lombard.
; and the MGM abortionist was supposedly on staff to help
> Garbo out of difficulties.)
So much for her 'vanting to be ah-lone'.
In a song recital album, she sings IMO a definitive version of its 'My
Ship', rivalled only by Earl Wrightson's -both on Columbia records.
> The show is a "musical" but often described as a sequence of three
Possibly an operetta, as with most of Weill's works of this sort.
He's done various appearances in television shows, and an, alas,
unsold, pilot for a detective series. Great appearance and powerful
bass-baritone speaking voice, though I don't know if he ever did MT
One would have loved to have been there...it was a 1948 a performance of
"Madama Butterfly" in New Orleans where lLanza was Pinkerton....reports
were that he was not a good colleague...so it could be that R�se had
disdain for him as some did...
That New Orleans "Butterfly" also featured the Cio-Cio-San of Tomika
Kanazawa...she also sang the role for the Cinncinnati Summer Zoo Opera in
those years...anyone know anything of her?
Mezzo-soprano Rosalind Nadell was he Suzuki and baritone Jess Walters, was
the Sharpless back in those long gone years in New Orleans...
Wasn't Jess Walters English? Seems to have sung quite a bit in the U.K.
...roles such as ...Wozzeck, Marcello in Boheme, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut,.
Kecal in the "Bartered Bride"...Graf in "Figaro," etc...a long list...
But back to the 1948 "Butterfly"...Mezzo-soprano Rosalind Nadell returned
10 years later in the 50s...this time...her Suzuki in New Orleans opposite
Maria Di Gerlando.
Nadell also sang for the NYC Opera in the 1940's and 1950s...
IIRC, Lanza sang with both, in various concerts.
> > Lehmann who came on to Stevens; the bad breath story usually relates
> > to Vivien Leigh objecting to Clark Gable's plates while filiming Gone
> > with the wind
> Not his dinner plates, we may assume.... It's just as well; since the
> beauty he cared for was Carole Lombard.>
You can identify with this, LT:
"Clark Gable's wife Carole Lombard once gave him a hand-knitted penis
warmer as a gift. It did not require much time to produce..."
"God knows I love Clark, but he's the worst lay in town," Lombard once
explained. "If Clark had one inch less, he'd be 'the queen of
Hollywood' instead of 'the king'!" .
They don't call me "21" for nuthin'.
One hopes that your measurements are in centimeters!
Centimeters are for losers.
La Stinko The U-Nook Bollmann arose from its sewer 'cot', bent over,
spread its cheeks wide, and expelled:
><deleted: Steaming Boll-droppings >re Messrs.C. Gable and L. Tillman>
Geez, what great company I'm in! :))))
>They don't call me "21" for nuthin'.
Um.... A slight correction, DumScum:
THEY don't call you '21' at ALL;
*YOU* call you '21' - ie, a billion-fold estimation of your 'IQ'.
Your other 'endowments' are as nonexistent as your 'mentoring
My ever-sincere regards to your nonexistent 'grandkiddie Crottlin',
to your nonexistent 'pupils', and to your nonexistent jenny-talia.
The list grows - along the Boll's nose.
> One hopes that your measurements are in centimeters!
One knows that your tongue measures likewise, to fit so snugly within
Boll's tush, the source of Boll's excretions.
Whatta team you make....
> Centimeters are for losers.
Yet, winners - compared to La Stink, to which (not 'whom') even the
smallest 'Needle-D-BF's" are fertility gods!
>Minus Twenty-One Nodiq Bollmann
As 'Crottlin' surely discovered, to 'her' dismay, but never a
MA Bollmann already knew it, of course.
Speaking of men's penises that had to be manipulated...take Salvador
Dali...as an example...very tiny penis by all reports...but that Russian girl
from the "steppes"...Gala...knew how to manipulate it...was said!
I once had lunch at the St. Regis in New York...the dining room was rather
empty...then in walked Dali and Gala and sat across from me on the other side
of the smallish dining room. They both looked like death warmed over --him
with is waxed mustache and her looking very spooky! What a pair!
Dali used to stay at the St. Regis when he came to New York...but the staff
treated him horribly because he was such a lousy tipper! I recall that on
several occasions (my office was nearby) that when he came out and wanted a
cab...the St. Regis doorman would ignore him for the longest time.
What a creep! Salvador Dali seemed to think that everybody owed him
About his lousy tipping...I got this story from my barber...who then had the
shop in the St. Regis basement...so he got all of the "dirt" about hotel
guests directly from the St. Regis staff.
I don't know dick about any of that stuff. I always tip waiters five
percent whether they deserve it or not.
And what brought this on? Exactly what have I written recently that
would cause you to call me "butt-git"? Did you notice that I thanked
you for providing a site that I enjoyed, just the way I thanked
Ancona21? Why is it offensive to you when I am polite to your
enemies? Why do so many of your posts contain that special
vocabulary - this last one gave us "butt-git," "fitting snugly within
Boll's tush," and "the source of Boll's excretions."?
By the way, the source of human excretions could be described as the
kidney, bladder, or skin, to name a few, but generally NOT the
"tush." Solid wastes are more correctly "extruded", rather than
Still, I hope that your "Plonk" was genuine, and that there will be no
further communication between us. I noticed that the last thing I
wrote to you before this, was "Happy Shavuoth," accompanied by an
private email expressing my gratitude for the aforementioned
The pathetically circulated rumors about his and other obviously ultra-
macho men's 'poor endowments' exist solely an an opiate for the
genderless specimens of Non-Entity whose envy-fueled animus thrives on
While anything is theoretically possible, how likely is it, really,
that Clark Gable was 'poorly' endowed, while his posthumous snipers/
nobodies are 'well' endowed, with anything but the forward-leaning
caked-on 'klinkers' they choose to regard as genitalia?
> Speaking of men's penises that had to be manipulated...take Salvador
> Dali...as an example...very tiny penis by all reports...but that Russian girl
> from the "steppes"...Gala...knew how to manipulate it...was said!
> I once had lunch at the St. Regis in New York...the dining room was rather
> empty...then in walked Dali and Gala and sat across from me on the other side
> of the smallish dining room. They both looked like death warmed over --him
> with is waxed mustache and her looking very spooky! What a pair!
Must've made Gomez and Morticia Addams seem very conventional!
> Dali used to stay at the St. Regis when he came to New York...but the staff
> treated him horribly because he was such a lousy tipper! I recall that on
> several occasions (my office was nearby) that when he came out and wanted a
> cab...the St. Regis doorman would ignore him for the longest time.
> What a creep! Salvador Dali seemed to think that everybody owed him
Not an uncommon attitude, alas....
> About his lousy tipping...I got this story from my barber...who then had the
> shop in the St. Regis basement...so he got all of the "dirt" about hotel
> guests directly from the St. Regis staff.
> Ancona21 wrote:
<Its usual rancid, repetitious sh$tpile-glob>
And devoured it, leaving not a drop in its trough.
>I don't know d$ck
excepting the ones that have reluctantly entered you, since you've
Must be tough, being a hidden hyaenid U-Nooke.
This has been Leonardo da Vinci Tillman's piercing insights about
_And_ getting tougher, given La Nodiq21's newest 'contributions'.
"rick" <robertja...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
Somewhere have a recording of Mlle Stevens bumping and
grinding her way though "Jenny". So much for high
Didn't L. Redgrave also perform the same number and or
Cur tu me vexas?
Same number, at least.
Then, there was Merrill's '64 rendition of 'Hello, Dolly!'; As
charming as 'Satchmo's' - in his own way.
I love the opera greats' forays into MT and pop; they usually, if not
always, outdo those fachs' stars.
> Cur tu me vexas?- Hide quoted text -
I love some of those forays as well, but I would certainly change
"usually" to "sometimes." Larry Kert was a better Tony than
Carreras. Von Stade is a particular favorite of mine, and her
Magnolia (Showboat) is fine, but for me, both Barbara Cook and Jan
Clayton are better. Patrice Munsel and Dorothy Kirsten (thank you, Ed
Rosen) also recorded selections from Showboat, good, but still not as
adept in the genre as Cook or Clayton. Jan Clayton was so good, in
fact, that Kern wrote an additional song (Nobody else but me) just
for her. Von Stade sings it in her Showboat collection as well, and I
found it interesting to compare the two. (for me, Clayton wins
easily). There are some exceptions - Robert Merrill's musical
theatre recordings are outstanding, IMHO, and Ramey's recording of
Carousel (with Barbara Cook) is my favorite version of that work.
I recently (thanks to Mr. Tillman!) acquired a CD of Rise Stevens
("Dearly Beloved") singing operetta and popular (pre 1950) songs. I
enjoy it, but I can compare her rendition of
"Don't ever leave me" with Barbara Cook's, and I greatly prefer the
latter. I also own, but do not care for, crossover attempts by Eileen
Farrell and Kiri Te Kanawa.
My opinion (and probably that of others as well) is colored by the
fact that I listened to Broadway cast recordings - knew them all by
heart - long before I began to listen to opera. My sense of how those
songs ought to be sung, then, is undoubtedly influenced by my exposure
to the 1950's recordings.
In revisiting my recording of Showboat (with Jan Clayton) I found that
the male lead is sung by Charles Fredericks. I looked him up, and he
does not seem to have ever recorded anything else, but instead had a
pretty long career as a movie actor!