Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Opera Wednesday

Since this is supposed to be Retro TV Week, I thought I'd better come up with something if I wanted to remain an Our Word contributor in good stead. So let's look back at a time when you could turn on your TV and see famous opera stars singing on popular TV shows.

The Voice of Firestone was one such show, airing on radio and television for thirty-five years, first on NBC and later on ABC. Its television run began in 1949 and concluded in controversy fifteen years later, an ignominious victim of the ratings game. (For more about that, check out Mitchell's post from last fall's TV week.)

We're not here to talk about that today, however. Here's one of the great tenors of the 60s, Franco Corelli. (A shame he isn't remembered more today.) In this clip from a Voice of, I'd guess the early 60s, he signs the wonderful "Non piangere Liu" (Don't cry, Liu) from Puccini's Turandot. Some people (James Lileks, for example) have suggested that today might be television's true golden age - but are we really better off without programs like this?

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