Episode 46. Julia Migenes (Crossover Classics II)

Episode 46. Julia Migenes (Crossover Classics II)



Today’s featured artist, the cosmopolitan yet earthy Julia Migenes, is certainly one of the most compelling and successful of all “crossover artists.” Beginning early in her career, she assumed roles in musicals, operetta, opera, and beyond that showcased her versatility and contributed to her worldwide eminence. Her multilingual facility and fascinating cultural background rendered her a true artistic chameleon. I explore in particular her success in the European market, particularly Germany and France. This episode features Migenes in live and studio recordings over the course of her entire career (showcasing in particular her 1980 release, Latin Lady) in shows ranging from West Side Story to Salome, and composers from Astor Piazzolla to Richard Strauss. A celebration of a peripatetic, treasurable, idiosyncratic artist who never was afraid to be anything but herself.


Leonard Bernstein, Marcel Prawy (after Stephen Sondheim): Heut’ Nacht [Tonight] (West Side Story). Adolf Dallapozza (Tony); Lawrence Leonard, Orchester der Wiener Volksoper

As Lulu at the Met (Photo by James Hefferman)

Alban Berg: Wenn sich der Menschen (Lulu). Lorin Maazel; Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper [live 24 October 1983]

Bill Withers: Use Me. from Alter Ego (released 2006)

Leonard Bernstein, Marcel Prawy (after Stephen Sondheim): Ein Kerl wie der [A Boy Like That]… Lieb’ hab ich ihm [I Have a Love] (West Side Story). Arline Woods (Anita); Lawrence Leonard, Orchester der Wiener Volksoper

Eduard Künneke: Strahlender Mond (Der Vetter aus Dingsda). Curt Cremer; Kölner Rundfunk-Orchester

Franz Lehár: Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst (Friederike). Curt Cremer; Kölner Rundfunk-Orchester

Robert Stolz: Im Prater blüh’n wieder die Bäume, Op. 247. Iain Sutherland; BBC Concert Orchestra

Isaac Albéniz, Gerhard Bronner, Peter Wehle (arr. Hans Salomon): Sehnsucht nach vergang’nen Zeit (arranged from Tango [España, Op. 165]. Johannes Fehring, ORF-Big-Band

Michel Legrand, Eddy Marnay (after Marilyn and Alan Bergman): Les moulins de mon coeur [The Windmills of Your Mind]. Bruno Fontaine [Paris Olympia 1989]

Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin: My Ship (Lady in the Dark). Werner Eisbrenner, Münchener Rundfunkorchester [31 October 1970]

Jule Styne, Bob Merrill: People (Funny Girl). Orchester Hans Hammerschmid

George Gershwin, Buddy DeSylva, Ballard MacDonald: Somebody Loves Me (George White’s Scandals). Gershon Kingsley, Bigband und Großes Rundfunkorchester des WDR Köln

George Gershwin, Du Bose Heyward, Ira Gershwin: I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ (Porgy and Bess). Gershon Kingsley, Bigband und Großes Rundfunkorchester des WDR Köln

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. Arranged and conducted Gershon Kingsley

Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gene Lees: Desafinado. Arranged and conducted Michael Gibson

Antônio Carlos Jobim, Norman Gimbel (after Vinicius de Moraes): Garota de Ipanema [done as The Boy from Ipanema]. Arranged and conducted Gershon Kingsley

Luiz Bonfá, Normal Gimbel (after Antônio Maria): A Day in the Life of a Fool [Manhã de Carnaval] (Orfeu Negro). Arranged and conducted by Michael Gibson

Morris Albert (stolen from Loulou Gasté): Feelings. Arranged and conducted by Gershon Kingsley

Ernesto Lecuona, Al Stillman: The Breeze and I (adapted from Andalucía). Arranged and conducted by Gershon Kingsley

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (Evita). Arranged and conducted by Gershon Kingsley

Astor Piazzolla, Horacio Ferrer: Preludio para el año 3001. Le Quintet Tiempo Sur [Osvaldo Calo, Mauricio Angarita, Sébastien Couranjou, Alejandro Schwarz, Victor Villena]

Giacomo Puccini: Quando m’en vo (La Bohème). Ileana Cotrubas (Mimì), Federico Davià (Alcindoro); Silvio Varviso, San Francisco Opera Orchestra [10 November 1978]

Georges Prêtre

Francis Poulenc, Jean Cocteau: Voilà deux jours qu’il ne quitte pas l’antichambre (La voix humaine). Georges Prêtre, Orchestre National de France

Richard Strauss, Oscar Wilde: Final Scene (Salome) [excerpt]. Maximiano Valdes, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo

Francis Lai, Kurt Feltz (after Carl Sigman) : Schicksalsmelodie [Theme from Love Story]. Johannes Fehring, ORF-Big-Band

Anthony Perkins and Charmian Carr in the 1966 ABC-TV musical Evening Primrose.

Stephen Sondheim: I Remember (Evening Primrose). David Firman [live from the Barbican Centre, London 17 May 1998]

Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz: Children of the Wind (Rags). Eric Stern

Julia Migenes and Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof, Broadway 1964.

Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick: Far from the Home I Love (Fiddler on the Roof). Zero Mostel (Tevye); Milton Greene

Leigh Harline, Ned Washington: When You Wish upon a Star (Pinocchio). Michael Kamen, London Metropolitan Orchestra

2 thoughts on “Episode 46. Julia Migenes (Crossover Classics II)”

  1. I went to her high school, where she is praised. Your research is extensive, but you didn’t mention her film “Carmen (with Placido Domingo) and her film “Berlin Blues”. Yet and still your podcast was excellent.

    1. Thank you for writing, Kimako. You are absolutely correct, I did not even mention the Carmen film, because I think most people know her for that and I wanted to focus on some of her lesser-remembered contributions. Just this past week I ordered a copy of Berlin Blues and I’m looking forward to watching that. She was the ultimate crossover artist, comfortable in a wide-range of musical genres and styles. I’m so glad you enjoyed the podcast, and I look forward to producing further episodes on Migenes’s unique artistry in Season Two of Countermelody.

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