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...

Opera Southwest
Franco Faccio: AMLETO (Hamlet)
Saturday, November 28, 1 to 4 pm

The Metropolitan Opera Season Begins on December 5th - details here!

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The most beautiful courtesan in Alexandria, Thaïs holds an entire city in her thrall as she embraces life’s most sensual delights. One man alone, the monk Athanaël, weeps for her sins, but his pilgrimage to save the sinner’s soul becomes a tortured journey of erotic obsession. As seducer transforms into saint, the holy man falls victim to his own passions.

Craig T. Mathew

Trapped in the spirit world, the ghost of Marie Antoinette bitterly reflects on her final suffering. Her favorite playwright tries to entertain the melancholy queen with the continuing adventures of his beloved characters from The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. But sneaky Figaro refuses to play by the script, breaking free from the opera-within-the-opera in a surprise bid for a better life.

Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera

Jennfier Higdon's opera Cold Mountain premiered on August 1st at the Santa Fe Opera to a world that was obviously ready for a masterwork. It was sold out before opening, an extra performance was added, and a major recording company committed to releasing it commercially. The masterwork didn't quite emerge, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns. But many good things did. 

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.