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

Saxophonist Charlie Parker is returning to Harlem's Apollo Theater more than 60 yeas after his death thanks to Opera Philadelphia's production of Charlie Parker's Yardbird. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports from Harlem.

In our jobs, when we're told to redo something, it usually means we've made a mistake. That's not the case for Javier Camarena. Earlier this month at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the tenor had the chance to retake an aria during a performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale because the audience went bonkers after the first time he sang it.

How does a widely acknowledged great singer completely disappear into obscurity, turn up in a classic film, and then retire to Wilmington, Delaware? Such is the story of Latvian soprano Mascia Predit, whose few but great recordings are newly reissued - leaving the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns both enraptured and puzzled.

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 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.