Saturday, March 6, 2010

Greatest Moments of Singing XI

Last Thursday was the 50th anniversary of Leonard Warren's tragic death on the stage of the Old Met. With no offense to Merrill fans, I cannot help but feel that Warren was the greatest American baritone of all time. His production had a ring and color that usually one had to travel to Europe to hear. His high notes were the envy of many tenors, yet his voice had a purely baritone timbre. A "baritenor" or "tenortone" he clearly was not. He was positively unique, and positively supreme. Here he is in Rossini's immortal Largo al factotum: