Neil Shicoff

Biography

Born: June 2, 1949; Brooklyn, NY  
Neil Shicoff is a widely-known American tenor. He has a strong, sweet lyric voice and an intensely dramatic stage presence.

His father was Sidney Shicoff, one of the most famous cantors in New York. Neil first sang in public at a wedding in his father's synagogue when he was eight, but severe panic attacks led him to stop making such appearances.

When he was fourteen, yelling at the umpire at a New York Mets baseball game, Neil
Read more realized how strong his voice was when the ump yelled back at him to shut up. He started taking lessons with his father, who died two years later. Neil says he inherited a nervous disposition, volatility, and paranoia from his father, and an obsessive perfectionism from his mother.

After failing a Juilliard School audition at eighteen, he entered Hebrew Union College as a cantorial student. He dropped out after three years, reapplied to Juilliard, and was accepted, with a Jennie Tourel Scholarship. He studied with Margaret Marshall. His official operatic debut (with orchestra) was in La Bohème at Juilliard.

He entered the apprenticeship program at the Santa Fe Opera in 1975, singing Paco in Falla's La Vida Breve in 1975. Also in 1975, James Levine called him to Cincinnati to sing in Ernani, substituting for Richard Tucker. He debuted at the Met in 1976 as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. He was quickly engaged by the house to sing in Rigoletto, La Bohème, Rosenkavalier, and Werther, the latter one of his major signature roles. In 1978 he married soprano Judith Haddon, a fellow student at Juilliard. They adopted a daughter, Aliza Danielle, in 1983.

The next year Shicoff's mother died. This began several years of personal problems which heightened his performance anxiety and gave him a reason to drink too much, practice too little, and cancel performances too often. By the end of the 1980s, his wife filed for divorce, one of the longest and bitterest in operatic history. In 1990, singing at the Met, he found Werther's troubles merging with his own in his mind, and broke into uncontrollable sobbing, a public nervous breakdown. He insisted on finishing the performance, and managed to do so.

He fled America for Europe where he built a solid European career. He became especially famous for his portrayal of another operatic emotional wreck, Offenbach's Hoffmann. Some commentators call him the best Hoffman in history. He credits the film Ordinary People with showing him that he could fight his way back to emotional control. In 1993 he met his present wife, Dawn, with whom he had a son, Alexander. They were able to marry in 1997, when the divorce case was finally settled. In 1998, he was made a Kammersänger of Vienna. By then, he was taking heavier and more dramatic tenor parts. In 1996 he sang his first Peter Grimes (the only "modern" opera in his repertory) and added that tormented character to his four signature roles (the other is Lensky in Eugene Onegin).

He returned triumphantly to the Met in 1997 as Lensky, and again in 2000 as Hoffmann. Also in 2000, he cancelled a scheduled appearance at the Vienna State Opera Ball to protest the appearance of members of the newly-elected Freedom Party, which he regarded "sympathetic to Neo-Nazi ideas." Soon after that, he contracted a severe upper respiratory infection, causing cancellation of his first scheduled performance of Andrea Chénier and all other performances until autumn. At that time, he was scheduled to return to Vienna in February 2001 to take on his second modern opera, as Captain Vere in Britten's Billy Budd. Read less
Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Lopez-Cobos, Terfel, Swenson, Shicoff
Release Date: 10/26/2010   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 107027   Number of Discs: 2
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Biography

Born: June 2, 1949; Brooklyn, NY  
Neil Shicoff is a widely-known American tenor. He has a strong, sweet lyric voice and an intensely dramatic stage presence.

His father was Sidney Shicoff, one of the most famous cantors in New York. Neil first sang in public at a wedding in his father's synagogue when he was eight, but severe panic attacks led him to stop making such appearances.

When he was fourteen, yelling at the umpire at a New York Mets baseball game, Neil
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Overture (Prelude)
"Sur la place, chacun passe"
"Regardez donc cette petite"
"Avec la garde montante"
"Il y a une jolie fille"
"Et la garde descendante"
"Dites-moi, brigadier"
"La cloche a sonné"
"Dans l'air, nous suivons des yeux la fumée"
"Mais nous ne voyons pas la Carmencita"
"Quand je vous aimerai?...L'amour est un oiseaux rebelle" (Habanera)
"Carmen! sur tes pas nous nous pressons tous!"
"Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire"
"Parle-moi de ma mère!"
"Ma mère, je la vois"
"Attends un peu maintenant"
"Au secours!"
"Voyons, brigadier.."
"Avez-vous quelque chose à repondre?" - Tra la la la. Coupe-moi, brûle-moi"
"Où me conduirez-vous?"
"Près des remparts de Séville...Tais-toi"
"Le lieutenant... prenéz garde!" - "Voici l'ordre"
Entracte (between Act I & II)
"Les tringles des sistres tintaient"
"Vous avez quelque chose à nous dire" - "Vivat! vivat le torero" - "Qu'est-ce c'est que ça?"
"Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre" - "Toréador, en garde"
"Messieurs les officiers, je vous en prie" - Marche
"Le Dancaïre et le Remendado ont à vous parler"
"Nous avons en tête une affaire!"
"En voilà assez" - "Halte-là! Qui va là? Dragon d'Alcala! - "Enfin... te voilà..."
"Je vais danser en votre honneur"
"Au quartier! pour l'appel!"
"La fleur que tu m'avais jetée"
"Non, tu ne m'aimes pas!"
"Holà! Carmen! Holà!"
"Bel officier"
Entracte (between Act II & III)
"Écoute, compagnon, écoute!"
"Halte! nous allons nous arrêter ici!"
"Mêlons! Coupons!"
"Carreau! Pique!... La mort!"
"Eh! bien?..."
"Quant au douanier, c'est notre affaire!"
"C'est ici"
"Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante"
"Mais... je ne me trompe pas..."
"Je suis Escamillo"
"Holà! holà! José!"
"Halte! quelqu'un est là"
Entracte (between Scene 1 & 2)
"A dos cuartos!"
"Qu'avez-vous donc fait de la Carmencita?"
"Les voici! voici la quadrille!"
"Si tu m'aimes, Carmen"
"C'est toi!" "C'est-moi!"
Attila: Overture
Attila, Prologue: Urli, rapine
Attila, Prologue: Eroi, levatevi
Attila, Prologue: Vival il re
Attila, Prologue: Di vergini straniere
Attila, Prologue: Allor che i forti corrono
Attila, Prologue: Bella è quell'ira, o vergine
Attila, Prologue: Da te questo or m'è concesso
Attila, Prologue: Uldino, a me dinanzi l'inviato
Attila, Prologue: Trado per gli anni, e tremulo
Attila, Prologue: Ma se fraterno vincolo
Attila, Prologue: Vanitosi!
Attila, Prologue: Qual notte!
Attila, Prologue: L'alito del mattin...Preghiam!
Attila, Prologue: Quai voci!
Attila, Prologue: Qui, qui sostiamo!
Attila, Prologue: Ella in poter del barbaro!
Attila, Prologue: Cessato alfine il turbine
Attila, Prologue: Cara patria
Attila, Act I: Liberamente or piangi
Attila, Act I: Oh! nel fuggente nuvolo
Attila, Act I: Qual suon di passi!
Attila, Act I: Sì, quell'io son
Attila, Act I: Va! Racconta al sacrilego
Attila, Act I: Oh! t'inebria nell'amplesso
Attila, Act I: Uldino! Uldini!
Attila, Act I: Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima
Attila, Act I: Raccapriccio!
Attila, Act I: Oltre a quel limite t'attendo
Attila, Act I: Parla, imponi...Vieni. Le menti visita
Attila, Act I: Di flagellar l'incarno
Attila, Act I: No!...non é sogno
Attila, Act I: Spirti, fermate
Attila, Act II: Tregua è cogl'Unni
Attila, Act II: Dagli immortali vertici
Attila, Act II: Che vien?...Salute ad Ezio
Attila, Act II: È gettata la mie sorte
Attila, Act II: Del ciel l'immensa volta
Attila, Act II: Ezio, ben vieni!
Attila, Act II: Chi dona luce al cor?..
Attila, Act II: Ah!...Lo spirto de'monti
Attila, Act II: L'orrenda procella
Attila, Act II: Si riaccendan le quercie
Attila, Act II: Oh, miei prodi!
Attila, Act III: Qui del convengo è il loco
Attila, Act III: Che non avrebbe il misero
Attila, Act III: Che più s'indugia
Attila, Act III: Tutti d'Averno i demoni
Attila, Act III: Te sol, te sol quest'anima
Attila, Act III: Non involarti, seguimi
Attila, Act III: Scellerati ....Nella tenda
Overture (Preludio)
Coro di Streghe: "Che faceste? dite su!"
Scena e Duetto: "Giorno non vidi mai"
Coro di Streghe: "S'allontanarono!"
Scena e Cavatina: "Nel dì della vittoria io le incontrai"
Scena e Marcia: "Oh donna mia"
Gran Scena e Duetto: "Sappia la sposa mia"
Scena e Sestetto - Finale I: "Di destarlo per tempo il re m'impose"
Scena: "Perché mi sfuggi"
Aria: "La luce langue"
Coro di Sicari: "Chi v'impose unirvi a noi?"
Gran Scena: "Studia il passo, o mio figlio!"
Finale II: "Salve o re"
Coro d'Introduzione - Incantesimo: "Tre volte miagola la gatta in fregola"
Ballabile I
Ballabile II
Ballabile III (Valzer)
Gran Scena della Apparizioni: "Finché appelli, silenti m'attendete!"
Coro e Ballabile: "Ondine e Silfidi"
Scena e Duetto - Finale III: "Ove son io?"
Coro di Profughi Scozzesi: "Patria oppressa"
Aria: "O figli, o figli miei!"
Scena: "Dove siam?"
Gran Scena del Sonnambulismo: "Vegliammo invan due notti"
Scena ed Aria: "Perfidi!" - "Pietà, rispetto, amore"
Scena e Battaglia: "Via le fronde"
Inno di Vittoria - Finale: "Vittoria!"
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): Prelude et Introduction - Glou, glou, glou (Chorus)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): La verité dit-on (Chorus)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): Le conseilleur Lindorf, morbleu! (Lindorf, Nicklausse, Andres)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): Voyons "Pour Hoffmann" Bon! (Lindorf)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): L'entr'acte commence ...(Luther, Chorus, Hermann, Nathanaël)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): Vive Dieu! mes amis...(Nathanaël, Chorus, Hermann, Lindorf, Luther, Hoffmann, Nicklausse)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): Notte e giorno mal dormire...Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach (Nicklausse,Hoffmann,Herman,Nathanaël,Chorus)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): A la bonne heure au moins!...(Nicklausse, Hoffmann, Hermann, Lindorf, Chorus)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act I (Prologue): Je vous dit, moi, qu'un malheur ma menace (Hoffmann, Lindorf, Nathanaël, Hermann, Chorus, Nicklausse, Luther)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Là! dors en paix (Spalanzani, Hoffmann, Cochenille)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Allons! courage et confiance (Hoffmann, Nicklausse)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Voyez-la sous son éventail (Nicklausse, Hoffman)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: C'est moi, Coppelius (Coppelius, Nicklausse, Hoffman)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Servitueur ...Monsier, je vous jure qu'ils sont noir (Hoffmann, Coppelius, Nicklausse)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Hein! Vous? Ce cher maître!... (Spalanzani, Coppelius, Hoffmann, Cochenile)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Non aucun hôte vraiment (Chorus, Spalanzani, Nicklausse, Hoffmann, Cochenille, Voix de Basse)
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Act II: Les oiseaux dans la charmille (Olympia/Choeurs)
Overture (Preludio)
Introduzione. "Della mia bella incognita borghese"
"Questa o quella"
"Partite? Crudele!" (Minuetto e Perigordino)
"Gran nuova! Gran nuova!" - "Tutto è gioia, tutto è festa" (Scena e Coro)
"Voi congiuraste contro noi" (Seguito e Stretta dell'Introduzione)
Duetto. "Quel vecchio maledivami"
"Signor?..." "Va, non ho niente"
"Pari siamo"
"Figlia!..Mio padre!"
"Deh, non parlare al misero"
"Quanto dolor"
"Veglia, o donna, questa fior"
Scena e Duetto. "Giovanna, ho dei rimorsi"
"T'amo! T'amo..." - "E il sol dell'anima"
"Che m'ami, deh, ripetimi" - "Addio... speranza ed anima"
"Caro nome - E la...Miratela"
Scena e Coro - Finale I. "Riedo!... Perché?"
"Zitti, zitti"
"Soccorso, padre mio!"
"Ella mi fu rapita"
"Parmi veder le lagrime"
"Duca, duca!" (Scena) - "Scorrendo uniti" (Coro)
"Possente amor"
"Povero Rigoletto!...La rà, la rà"
"Cortigiani, vil razza dannata"
"Ebben piango"
Scena e Duetto. "Mio padre!" "Dio! Mia Gilda!"
"Parla... siam soli" "Tutte le feste al tiempo"
"Piangi, fanciulla"
"Compiuto pur quanto" - "Schiudete..."
"Sì, vendetta"
Scena e Canzona. "E l'ami!"
"La donna è mobile"
Quartetto. "Un dì, se ben rammentomi"
"Bella figlia dell'amore"
"M'odi, ritorna a casa..." - Scena, Terzetto e Tempesta. "Venti scudi hai tu detto?" - "La donna è mobile" - "E amabile invero"
"Ah, più non ragiono!..."
Scena e Duetto - Finale. "Della vendetta alfin" - ("La donna è mobile") "Qual voce"
"Chi è mai"
"V'ho ingannato...Lassù... in cielo"
Il tabarro: Orchestra
Il tabarro: O Michele? Michele? (Giorgetta/Michele/Luigi/Il Tinca/Il Talpa/Coro - Scaricatori)
Il tabarro: O Luigi, ancora una passata (Il Talpa/Luigi/Giorgetta/Il Tinca)
Il tabarro: Dunque, che cosa credi? (Giorgetta/Michele/Un venditore di canzonette/Coro - Midinettes)
Il tabarro: O eterni innamorati, buona sera! (La Frugola/Giorgetta)
Il tabarro: To'! guarda la mia vecchia! (Il Talpa/La Frugola/Michele/Luigi/Il Tinca)
Il tabarro: Hai ben ragione; meglio non pensare (Luigi)
Il tabarro: Segui il mio esempio; bevil! (Il Tinca/Giorgetta/Il Talpa/La Frugola)
Il tabarro: E ben altro il mio sogno! (Giorgetta/La Frugola/Luigi/Il Talpa/Voci lontani)
Il tabarro: Miei vecchi, buona notte! (La Fruggola/Il Talpa/Voci lontani)
Il tabarro: O Luigi! Luigi! (Giorgetta/Luigi/Michele)
Il tabarro: Dimmi: perchè gli hai chiesto di sbarcarti a Rouen? (Giorgetta/Luigi)
Il tabarro: Come è difficile esser felici! (Giorgetta/Michele)
Il tabarro: Sgualdrina!...Bocca di rosa fresca (Michele/Due amanti)
Il tabarro: Nulla!...Silenzio! (Michele)
Il tabarro: T'ho colto!...Sangue di Dio! (Michele/Luigi/Giorgetta)
Il tabarro: Avevo ben ragione (Michele/Giorgetta)


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