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Whenever Donald Collup presents a program for the VRCS, we can be sure of something unusual, even unique. A decade back he gave us the honor of premiering his documentary NEVER BEFORE: THE LIFE, ART & FIRST NEW YORK CAREER OF ASTRID VARNAY, then came his second VRCS premiere, a documentary called FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS: A WORLD OF HER OWN. Mr. Collup is currently working on his third documentary, utilizing 83 minutes of silent movie footage commissioned by Mme. Jenkins that he unearthed in September 2016. He also was given access to a personal scrapbook of Mme. Jenkins. Other VRCS programs followed, including one in which he interviewed Alfred Hubay on his “Met Memories” website from 1943 to 1966 (http://www.alfredhubay.com). He also presented a memorable program involving a close and riveting examination of the career of the late Italian-American soprano Elisabeth Carron. His last three VRCS programs were Parts I, II and III of HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2,500 REELS, and he promised further examples from this treasure trove, which we will now hear as Part IV of this wonderful series.
Singers in Part IV will include: Janet Baker, Kurt Baum, Gino Bechi, Teresa Berganza, Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giuseppe di Stefano, Geraldine Farrar, Mario Filippeschi, Nicolai Gedda, Gwyneth Jones, Sena Jurinac, George London, Cornell MacNeil, Luisa Maragliano, Zinka Milanov, Gino Penno, Guerrando Rigiri, Eleanor Steber, Antonietta Stella and Joan Sutherland.
To remind members of this project, without again going into its full genesis: Donald gained access to 2,500 reels of unusual material, about half of it from the Met, then transferring the entire collection from 2013 to 2015 with the generous help of collectors Tim Lockley and Michael Scarola. He has said about it, “There were several great things about the collection: 1) The collector purchased reels of Met broadcasts from collectors/recordists in Manhattan, which meant they were very often in FM, whereas the rest of the U.S. received broadcasts in AM only. 2) The purchased reels were not multi-generational, meaning less possibility of gradation of quality via copies of copies of copies. 3) Most of the reels I’ve transferred have announcements/curtain calls by Milton Cross, intermission features and/or radio station signoffs. Many of the 1940s reels are rather pristine single-digit-generation transfers of transcription discs that were sent to South America and Mexico for re-broadcast, utilizing a Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking announcer. 4) This collector took his reel-to-reel Uher deck into opera houses all over the world and made in-house recordings. 5) The reels were rarely if ever played!”
Donald Collup has had a wide-ranging career, first as a noted boy soprano, then as both lyric baritone and pianist. As a pianist, he did a good deal of solo and accompaniment work, and then studied at both the Peabody and Curtis Institutes and at Yale University. He has participated in many master classes with Gerard Souzay, Dalton Baldwin, Hans Hotter and Martial Singher. In 1984, he garnered prizes in the international singing competitions of Paris, s’Hertogenbosch and Toulouse. He has given recitals across the Eastern seaboard as well as a recital for Netherlands Radio. He was resident baritone at the Marlboro Music Festival for three consecutive summers. In 1995, he also appeared as Pelleas in several concert performances of the Debussy opera conducted by Michel Singher, son of Martial Singher.
We urge your attendance at another excursion through varied vocal excellence with Donald Collup!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 (THE FIRST
FRIDAY!) TIME: 7:30PM SHARP
This page last revised 9/6/19 1:05 AM EST
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