Opera on WRTI

Saturday, 1 to 5 pm

Join us every Saturday throughout the year for opera broadcasts from some of the most well-known and beloved opera companies in America. The list includes live broadcasts of The Metropolitan Opera's entire Saturday Matinee season, and recorded performances—distributed by WFMT in Chicago—from recent seasons of Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the San Francisco Opera. You'll also hear recorded opera broadcasts of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) on selected Sundays, and some other surprises throughout the year!

Coming up...


Saturday, October 29, 1 to 3:30 pm
Stephen Sondheim: Sweeney Todd
Libretto: Hugh Wheeler

Sweeney Todd: Greer Grimsley
Mrs. Lovett: Luretta Bybee
Anthony Hope: Harry Greenleaf
Johanna: Emily Pogorelc
Tobias Ragg: Nicholas Nestorak
Judge Turpin: Peter Volpe
Beggar Woman: Patricia Schuman
Adolfo Pirelli: Christopher Bozeka
Beadle Bamford: Bille Bruley


Saturday, October 29, 1 to 4 pm
Gioachino Rossini: The Thieving Magpie (in Italian)

Ninetta: Rachele Gilmore
Gottardo: Musa Ngqungwana
Fernando Villabella: Dale Travis
Giannetto: Michele Angelini
Pippo: Allegra De Vita
Isacco/Antonio: Brad Raymond
Lucia: Leah Hawkins
Fabrizio Vingradito: Calvin Griffin
The Magpie: Meg Gillentine


Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

Ways to Connect

Credit: Diana Pinto Photography

Thank you for listening to our 2016 broadcast of the Academy of Vocal Arts' popular Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, recorded live at the Kimmel Center on October 15th. Voting is now over!

The song “Some Enchanted Evening” is a sublime moment in the post-war production South Pacific that continues to inspire. Louis Armstrong, Billy Eckstine, Placido Domingo, The Temptations, Barbra Streisand, José Carreras, Bob Dylan, Jane Oliver and lots of other artists have recorded it.

Credit: Opera Philadelphia

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston considers a question of operatic proportion, with notable librettist Mark Campbell.

Opera Philadelphia’s latest new opera Breaking the Waves turned into one of the company’s big successes. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns considers how this story of a Scottish woman whose marital devotion takes her to a sordid end could be something to sing about.

This week, a new opera based on the popular but controversial Lars von Trier film, Breaking the Waves, opened in Philadelphia. With its potent combination of sex, religion and transgression, the subject matter seems ripe for operatic treatment.

Grab your tissues and join us to hear one of Giacomo Puccini’s most beloved operas! Filled with beautiful arias, La Boheme is one of the composer’s most frequently performed and recorded operas. The performance we’ll hear is considered by many the finest recording of the work ever made—the 1956 La Boheme conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

Which recording of the famous aria "Quando m'en vo" also known as "Musetta's Waltz" is your favorite? Musetta sings the aria in the second act of Puccini's La Boheme. Please let us know in the comments section below!

The Philadelphia region is rich with music schools training the next generation of artists. South-African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, a 2014 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts, and a 2013 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, stands out and already has a busy international performance schedule.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now years into his series of Mozart opera recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, the latest being The Marriage of Figaro. But with so many recordings already on the market, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks what place can this one claim.

Even if you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical Carousel, you’re likely to have heard the uplifting message and melody of the song "You’ll Never Walk Alone." Its roots in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical extend far beyond the story of love and loss.