Latest Episodes

Episode 164. Mabel Mercer (Season Four Premiere)
September 30, 2022

Welcome to Season Four of Countermelody! My long-time listeners know a few things things about the podcast. First, the most important quality in a singer is not voice, but communicative skills. Second

Episode 163. Season Four Preview
September 23, 2022

Today Countermelody is in limbo: balanced between Seasons Three and Four. Over the past few months I’ve been planning the course of the upcoming season and this episode consists of musical tidbits (bo

Episode 162. NYCO Divas: An Introduction
September 16, 2022

Today is the final regular episode of Season Three of Countermelody, as well as the last of my summer series documenting musical life in New York City during the years 1950 through 1975. I am thrilled

Episode 161. Janet Baker: Subject of the Queen
September 09, 2022

The world changed yesterday with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, whose subjects in the United Kingdom just this summer celebrated the 70th year of her reign. How do I, as a progressive (and non-Briti

Episode 160. Donald Gramm
September 02, 2022

Dear ones, I present to you today the extraordinarily versatile bass-baritone and my fellow native Milwaukeean Donald Gramm (1927-1983), one of the central house singers at both the Metropolitan Opera

Episode 159. Forgotten Broadway II
August 26, 2022

The follow-up episode to my previous Forgotten Broadway episode is an epic one, chock full of fascinating composers, lyricists, performers and shows. We begin with a tribute to birthday boy Leonard Be

Episode 158. Russell Oberlin
August 19, 2022

Hearing the voice of countertenor Russell Oberlin (1928 – 2016) as a soloist with the Robert Shaw Chorale was one of the formative experiences of my early life. I doubt that I would ever have become a

Episode 157. Forgotten Broadway I
August 12, 2022

Today I begin Forgotten Broadway, a new miniseries within my summer series “Musical Life in New York City 1950-1975.” This wildly eclectic (some might say chaotic) program, the first of three, concern

Episode 156. Barely Sang at the Met II
August 05, 2022

This week is the conclusion of my presentation on world-class singers who made a minimal number of appearances at the Metropolitan Opera. My arbitrary parameters for this episode were singers who appe

Episode 155. Barely Sang at the Met I
July 28, 2022

Today’s brain teaser: What do world-class singers Irmgard Seefried, Virginia Zeani, Piero Cappuccilli, birthday girl Gundula Janowitz, Galina Vishnevskaya, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Felicia Weathers, Elisab