Opera on WRTI

Saturday, 1 to 5 pm

Saturday is always opera day at WRTI! We bring you top performances from some of the finest opera companies in the world, every week of the year.

You'll hear the full season from The Metropolitan Opera, and performances from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, and more.

Coming up...

The Metropolitan Opera on WRTI - view the weekly opera schedule here

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

Ways to Connect

The Curtis Institute of Music is in the midst of an all-school, all-year project for 2015/2016 devoted to avant-garde music that Philadelphians often avoided when it was new 50 years ago - works by the so-called "Darmstadt" composers. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks just how well the music has aged.




This year’s One Book One Philadelphia selection is Charles Frazier’s novel Cold Mountain.  From now until March 30th, the Free Library will host a series of reading groups, lectures, cooking classes and more as part of this mass reading event. This year, One Book coincides with the East Coast premiere of the opera, Cold Mountain, adding a musical dimension to its literary litany. 

If you missed your chance to see the Academy of Vocal Arts production of Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re, you can hear it on Sunday, from 3 to 5 pm on WRTI. Check out our Arts Desk feature all about the opera!

The opera, at one time extremely popular after its 1913 Philadelphia debut, is rarely performed today, and AVA Opera Theater brought it back into the limelight this season, renewing interest in an almost-forgotten masterpiece.   

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly, you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera

Opera Philadelphia is presenting the East Coast premiere of Jennifer Hidgon's first opera, Cold Mountain. As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, the opera adds another dimension to the Civil War story from the critically acclaimed novel by Charles Frazier.

Cold Mountain opens Friday, February 5th and runs through Sunday, February 14th at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.


The Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) is making a rare appearance at the Kimmel Center on January 26th to perform an opera that few have ever heard live - L'amore dei tre re - (The Love of the Three Kings.) The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns found out about the opera, and why AVA has been longing to perform it. 

Before Richard Strauss, before Richard Wagner, more than Hansel and Gretel, and even more than Mozart, the most German opera is, and always will be, Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber.

Željko Lučić reprises his acclaimed performance of the title role in this electrifying production of Giuseppe Verdi's RIGOLETTO, set in 1960 in a Las Vegas casino. Piotr Beczala sings the licentious Duke and Nadine Sierra, in her Met debut, is Gilda, Rigoletto’s innocent daughter. Roberto Abbado conducts Verdi’s timeless tragedy. Nancy Fabiola Herrera sings Maddalena, and Dmitry Ivaschenko sings Sparafucile. Saturday, December 12, 1 pm on WRTI.

What's the longest-running continuous classical radio series in American broadcast history? The Metropolitan Opera's Saturday matinee broadcasts, launched in 1931! The 85th season of live Saturday broadcasts begins on December 5th with Puccini's LA BOHEME, followed by Verdi's RIGOLETTO on December 12th.

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