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!

San Francisco Opera:

Saturday, August 27, 1 to 3:30 pm
Gaetano Donizetti: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Synopsis, articles, video, photos, and more

Cast:
Lucia di Lammermoor: Nadine Sierra; Edgardo: Piotr Beczala; Enrico: Brian Mulligan; Raimondo: Nicolas Testé; Alisa: Zanda Švēde; Normanno: AJ Glueckert; Arturo: Chong Wang

Saturday, September 3, 1 to 5:45 pm
Richard Wagner: DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG (in German)

Synopsis, articles, video, photos, and more

Cast:
Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
Walther von Stolzing: Brandon Jovanovich
Eva: Rachel Willis-Sørensen
Magdalene: Sasha Cooke
David: Alek Shrader
Sixtus Beckmesser: Martin Gantner
Veit Pogner: Ain Anger
Fritz Kothner: Philip Horst
Kunz Vogelgesang: AJ Glueckert
Balthasar Zorn: Joel Sorensen

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

Ways to Connect

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.

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.

Lanz Ozier

Get ready to hear something very special! Originally premiered in 1865 in Genoa, and then performed again in 1871 in Milan, Franco Faccio’s Amleto (Hamlet) was thought lost for over 135 years. Opera Southwest Artistic Director Anthony Barrese spent nearly a decade in libraries and the Ricordi archives recovering the work from a microfilm of the composer's autograph. What resulted was The Amleto Project.

Does everything happen for the best? Not according to Voltaire’s satirical novella, which offers a dizzying display of human depravity, with a couple of natural disasters thrown in for good measure. Funny, fast-moving and philosophical, Candide includes such classic tunes as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

When the opera Appomattox premiered in 2007, it put on stage a piece of history that was more than 140 years old.

But creators Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton recently decided the story wasn't over.

When the Washington National Opera wanted to stage the opera, Glass said it needed a rewrite — to reflect what's happened in the U.S. since the premiere.

"In the last seven or eight years there have been profound and really horrific changes in the way this country understands itself," Glass says.

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