Copy into your RSS Reader
Copy into your Podcast App
Baffled by buffo? Talking about opera can be like walking through a linguistic thicket.
November 3, 2011 Know your singspiel from your sitzprobe? Opera has its own special lexicon, and it can be baffling.
John McCormack could sing anything, from opera to German lieder to Irish folk songs.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
July 19, 2010 In the early 1900s, John McCormack sang in packed concert halls, without a microphone, before audiences of more than 7,000 people. He sang from the heart and the head, both spontaneously and cerebrally, and could sing anything from opera to German lieder to Irish folk songs. Although McCormack's music made NPR correspondent Susan Stamberg roll her eyes as a young girl, she now says it transports her to another world.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/128538000/128614372" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
February 12, 2008 Legendary musicians such as Arturo Toscanini, Maria Callas and Jascha Heifetz might be gone, but their performances are still alive, thanks to YouTube. Commentator Miles Hoffman considers the popular Web site a treasure trove for fans of classical music.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/18881714/18905787" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
March 17, 2004 John McCormack was one of the greatest, most versatile singers of the last century. Not only did the Irish tenor sing famous folk songs like "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," he also was a much-admired opera singer. Commentator Miles Hoffman and NPR's Bob Edwards offer a special St. Patrick's Day retrospective of McCormack's career. Hear samples of Irish folk songs performed by McCormack.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/1770553/1773411" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor