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Subject: Mario del Monaco, 7/27/15 My memories
From: Charles Handelman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Charles Handelman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:39:42 -0400
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My Memories of Mario del Monaco

So there is this 15 yr.old kid, sitting in the very expensive $7.50
orchestra seat in 1951 for his very first opera, wondering what will happen
after the Aida Overture, and the curtain rises..I remember the very first
thing I saw..some dude with very white teeth coming toward the front of the
stage.

That is all I remember of Mario at that show, but 40 times later, I remember
a man with a "bronze column of tone" who thrilled us for 10 years (till
Corelli came..bye,Mario!). Mario covered low and we used to speak of his
"Celeste AidOOO" but that was the way he often entered the passaggio.

He was NOT a shouter, as some said. He tried very hard to soften, and there
are places, like the final Aida B flat with Zinka, and other sections, where
he managed some nice piano tones. No other tenor had a voice of the same
size from bottom to top;at the Callas debut, when he sang an "innocent" line
in the last act on "No, si vil non sono" I thought he was singing in my EAR!

 He did once speak in my poor ear, when he came out of the stage door and
said, "Hello,boys!"  (The men usually came out on 39th St. but he came out
on 40th....we rarely saw the guys, since we gravitated to the divas 99% of
the time.)

 I saw him in Trovatore,Carmen,Aida,Tosca,Otello,Samson (when he ran out of
the tent on the broadcast so his "Trahison" was right into the
microphones...(Hey.....The note is supposed to be backstage!),Ernani,Act One
of Butterfly in a Gala (with white hair?????),Norma, Andrea Chenier (WE
DIED!!!) and those fabulous Sunday night concerts with Tebaldi and
Bastianini before the gold curtain.

 He walked across the stage with the sword in hand at the end of the Nile
scene and the "Io resto a te" was just too much...but he holds it longer on
the 1951 Callas Mexico Perf.

   Why did those guys in the standing room have binoculars when he appeared
in the white costume in the last act of Ernani????

 He gave 1000% every night...we adored this man, and a friend of mine,John
Boni, visited him in Italy, and named his son "Jon DelMonaco Boni. 

   Sadly, the dialysis cut short his life, but even around 1976 his last TV
tape shows the top was there, but after the auto accident the middle became
very "white" and he did make some bad recordings like "Riders to the sky."
There is also a Fedora with Magda where he enters before "Amor ti vieta,"
and you hear someone say, "MA NO!!"

Going back to Chenier...we got in to the rehearsal of an opera I never
heard, and when he came down those stairs and sang the improvisso, it was
"heaven."
Well,those are some of my thoughts.
.There has never been and will NEVER BE another!!!!

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