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.

In addition to the full season of opera from The Metropolitan Opera, you'll hear performances from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and more.

Coming up...

Saturday, October 3, 1 to 5 pm
Giacomo Puccini: IL TRITTICO - Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi
Philharmonia Orchestra, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, October 10, 1 to 4 pm
San Francisco Opera
Gioacchino Rossini: CINDERELLA

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

Craig T. Mathew / LA Opera

The wily barber and part-time matchmaker has finally fallen in love, but - like everything else in Figaro's life - it's complicated. On the eve of Figaro’s marriage to Susanna, Count Almaviva’s wandering eye has landed on the lovely bride-to-be. Servant and master go head-to- head, and even the Countess herself gets into the action when she learns of her husband’s plans. Or is she embroiled in a liaison of her own?

Dashing Count Almaviva has lost his heart to the spunky Rosina, whose doddering guardian is determined to marry her himself. It’s Figaro to the rescue, as the resourceful barber conjures up wacky schemes and strategies to unite the young lovers.

In the giddy, glitzy world of the Roaring Twenties, a naive young man falls head over heels for a glamorous party girl. Together they trade the fast life for an idyllic love nest far from the city…until an unexpected visitor threatens to tear them apart. It's one of opera’s greatest romances, La Traviata on WRTI, July 18, 1 to 3:30 pm. James Conlon conducts.

Nino Machaidze sings Violetta, with Arturo Chacón-Cruz as her handsome Alfredo. The incomparable Plácido Domingo sings the role of the father determined to do the right thing.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



It's hard for me to believe a voice like this could ever go silent.


JON VICKERS: (Singing in foreign language).

Rome in the year 1800 is a deadly place for dissidents. The painter Cavaradossi risks everything to shelter his comrade; but his lover, the fiery Tosca, keeps playing cat and mouse with the lustful and sadistic Baron Scarpia, the chief of police. If Cavaradossi is condemned, will Tosca trade her honor to save him?  Listen to the final performance from Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2015 broadcast season, Puccini's TOSCA, Saturday, July 11th, 1 to 4 pm on WRTI.


In Opera Philadelphia's Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, composer Daniel Schnyder illuminates the life of the groundbreaking jazz saxophonist. But, as WRTI’s Kile Smith reports, while the music is all original, the composer couldn’t help slipping in just a taste of Parker for the opera’s lead tenor, Lawrence Brownlee.

What composer Daniel Schnyder did not want to write in his opera about the great Charlie Parker was warmed-over bebop. His opera, Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, is original through and through.

There’s no escaping your past. Aboard an ocean liner in the early 1960s, a West German diplomat, Walter, and his wife Liese are bound for a new posting in Brazil.

But unbeknownst to her husband, Liese served as an SS officer in Auschwitz. Haunted by her past, she is stunned when she thinks she recognizes a fellow passenger; is it really Marta, her former prisoner?

Only gods can live in endless bliss. Tannhäuser - minstrel and renegade - is lured into the erotic realm of the love goddess Venus. There he luxuriates in lust and a host of sinful pleasures. But finally it's all too much. He longs to return home, and does — to friends, rules of Christian conduct, and most of all, to Elisabeth, the warm but chaste young woman who loves him, despite the grief he's caused.

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.

The Freeshooter or The Marksman tells the story of Max, a man so in love with Agatha that he sells his soul—almost. To win her hand he must first win a shooting match, accepting an offer for magic bullets, bullets that cannot miss. They are forged in the deep forest by Samiel, the personification of Evil.