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...

LA Opera:

Double Bill - Purcell: DIDO AND AENEAS; Bartok: BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE
July 25, 1 to 3:30 pm

A riveting pairing of one-act masterpieces, written more than two centuries apart, explores the fine line between devotion and obsession. In Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas , a queen falls prey to the machinations of a formidable enemy, losing her heart to a man who abruptly abandons her. In Bartók’s suspenseful orchestral showpiece Bluebeard's Castle, an impulsive young bride turns her back on her family, only to uncover increasingly dark truths about her new husband.

Gioachino Rossini: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
August 1, 1 to 4 pm

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
August 8, 1 to 4 pm

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

No man can resist Carmen's 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. Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca sings the title role. Saturday, March 7, 1 to 4: 30 pm on WRTI. Sung in French.

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert walks across Lincoln Center Plaza to conduct the Metropolitan Opera in this perennial favorite of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Peter Mattei is the rakish Don, Elza van den Heever is Donna Anna, Luca Pisaroni as Leporello declaims his catalog aria, and James Morris takes Don Giovanni to his judgment as The Commendatore.

What's the news about Opera Philadelphia’s just-announced 2015-2016 season? As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the season is the company’s most far-reaching yet.

Radio script:

The Cold Wrath Of Nature, Given Operatic Voice

Feb 7, 2015

Opera Philadelphia Gets Wilde

Feb 5, 2015
Ken Howard / The Santa Fe Opera

The East Coast premiere of an opera about the 19th-century, Anglo-Irish writer Oscar Wilde is from Feb. 6th t0 15th at the Academy of Music. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, Wilde's life story is as compelling as his work.

Oscar Wilde came to America early in his career, even before he’d written anything of any consequence. He was already a gifted raconteur.

Historian John Cooper is an authority on Wilde in America. He says many of Wilde’s most-quoted phrases, like much of his writings, have a timeless quality.

Tenor Vittorio Grigolo sings the title role of Hoffmann, the tortured poet and unwitting adventurer who is looking for love in Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, a fantasy opera based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann. The libretto was written by Jules Barber; the opera was first performed in 1881 in Paris. Saturday, January 31, 1 to 4:30 pm on WRTI.

One of the most-beloved opera arias is The Tales of Hoffmann's Barcarolle, Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour:

Opera star Deborah Voigt has always been a straight-shooting diva, openly discussing her weight problems, the surgery she underwent to address them, and the possible effects that had on her voice. Yet as The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, the singer goes well beyond that in her new autobiography, Call Me Debbie.

Marco Borggreve

Franco Zeffirelli’s classic take on Puccini’s most popular opera, the immortal tale of tragic young love, is set among the rooftops of bohemian Paris. Soprano Kristine Opolais sings the role of the fragile Mimì, with Jean-François Borras as the love-sick poet Rodolfo. Riccardo Frizza conducts. Puccini's La Boheme, Saturday, January 24, 1 to 4 pm.

Do you know the astonishing story about how Kristine Opolais made history at The Met? Read about it here!

Over the weekend, soprano Kristine Opolais sang her heart out — and died twice.

Friday evening she had sung the lead in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. It was her debut in that role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was a big deal. Opolais was so excited about it that she stayed up until five the next morning.

The great Renée Fleming stars as the beguiling femme fatale who captivates all of Paris in Franz Lehár’s enchanting operetta, The Merry Widow. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story – concerning a rich widow, and her countrymen's attempt to keep her money in the principality by finding her the right husband – on an 1861 comedy play, L'attaché d'ambassade (The Embassy Attaché) by Henri Meilhac. Saturday, January 17, 1 to 4 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM.

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