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...

November 22, 1 to 5 pm
Bayreuth Opera
Richard Wagner: TANNHAUSER

November 29, 1 to 4 pm
Rossini Opera Festival presents: ARMIDA

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions

The Metropolitan Opera has settled labor contracts with two of its largest unions.
Jonathan Ticler Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 10:55 pm

A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera — the largest opera house in the world — appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:11 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Centenarian Soprano Licia Albanese Dies

Soprano Licia Albanese in an undated photo, posing as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata.
Sedge LeBlang courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 8:59 am

Italian-American lyric soprano Licia Albanese, known for her deeply felt character portrayals, died Friday at her home in New York, her son, Joseph Gimma, told NPR Music Saturday. She was 105 years old.

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Creatively Speaking
5:44 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Musa: A Name You'll Remember...

South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana

The Philadelphia region is rich with music schools training the next generation of artists. South-African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, a recent 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 in the upcoming season.

WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks with Musa about his career thus far, and the road ahead.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Meet The Cast Of The Met Opera's Labor Drama

Members of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the American Federation of Musicians, two of the unions embroiled in contract negotiations with Metropolitan Opera management, rally this morning at Dante Park across from Lincoln Center.
Jeff Lunden for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 1:37 pm

Think opera plots are tough to follow? Try wading through the complicated drama playing out offstage at the Metropolitan Opera. At its most basic, it's the story of management and labor unions fighting over a supposedly dwindling pot of money.

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Opera on WRTI
5:17 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

LA Opera on WRTI: Britten's BILLY BUDD, August 2, 1 PM

Baritone Liam Bonner sings the title role of Billy Budd, the perfect British seaman.

James Conlon leads the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus for one of Benjamin Britten's masterpieces. Based on Herman Melville’s classic American tale, adapted into a libretto by English novelist E.M. Forster and writer Eric Crozier, Billy Budd tells the story of the persecution and destruction of a pure-hearted sailor by a predatory master-at-arms. It's a tragedy of "sexual discharge gone evil," as Forster described it, and a work that has captivated audiences around the world since its 1951 world premiere.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

War Of Words At Met Opera May Signal Shutdown

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in the Met's production of Wagner's Ring cycle, one of the productions that has been criticized by some as too costly.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:32 pm

When an opera company is in the midst of contentious labor negotiations, the results can be dramatic. This week, the war of words between unions and management at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera company, escalated. An Aug. 1 shut down now seems likely.

At the center of the debate is the ballooning Met budget, which stood at $200 million in 2006 but has since climbed to more than $325 million. Met General Manager Peter Gelb asserts that union salaries and benefits are his biggest costs, accounting for two-thirds of the operating budget.

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Opera on WRTI
5:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

LA Opera on WRTI: Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE, July 26, 1 PM

The magic flute shields Tamino (Lawrence Brownlee) and Pamina (Janai Brugger) from the trial by fire.
Robert Millard

A celebration of true love conquering all, The Magic Flute transports us into an enchanted world where good faces the forces of darkness.  Packed with exquisite singing, Mozart's delightful blend of high comedy and serious drama enchants young and old alike.

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Opera on WRTI
4:25 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

LA Opera on WRTI: Bizet's CARMEN, July 19, 1 PM

Carmen (Patricia Bardon) expresses her love for the matador Escamillo (Ildebrando D'Arcangelo) as he prepares to enter the bullring.

No man can resist Carmen’s gypsy charms. But when she’s ready to move on, watch out! A riveting drama of love and jealousy, filled with famously alluring melodies and captivating dances, Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas. Georges Bizet’s immortal score overflows with one delight after another - a music lover’s hit parade of opera’s most intoxicating melodies. Placido Domingo conducts. Saturday, July 19, 1 to 4 pm.

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Creatively Speaking
1:09 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A German Soprano Finds Freedom In Singing Mahler In America

Soprano Christiane Karg

On this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast, Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts works by Britten and Strauss, along with Mahler's Symphony No. 4. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the German soprano in the Mahler work is singing a piece that is revered in her homeland.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:51 am
Tue July 15, 2014

A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90

Tenor Carlo Bergonzi as Radames in Verdi's Aida in 1956, the year of his Metropolitan Opera debut.
Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:03 am

Carlo Bergonzi endures. Not only is the Italian tenor approaching his 90th birthday (on July 13) but for decades he sang with tireless warmth and precision, representing a certain old school approach to carefully cultivating one's vocal resources.

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