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...

Saturday, October 3, 1 to 5 pm
Giacomo Puccini: IL TRITTICO - Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi
Philharmonia Orchestra, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, October 10, 1 to 4 pm
San Francisco Opera
Gioacchino Rossini: CINDERELLA

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

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.

Ken Howard / The Metropolitan Opera

This is grand opera at its grandest! Verdi’s mythic love triangle features soprano Tamara Wilson, who makes her network broadcast debut as the Ethiopian princess Aida, opposite tenor Marcello Giordani as the Egyptian warrior Radamès. Soprano Violeta Urmana sings Amneris.  Marco Armiliato conducts. Mary Jo Heath is sitting in for Margaret Juntwait. The Metropolitan Opera, Saturday, January 10, 1 to 4 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM or online at wrti.org

It was conductor Arturo Toscanini who said a voice like Marian Anderson's comes around only once in a century.

Happy New Year! Join us for our annual Met Opera broadcast of Hansel and Gretel - perfect for listeners of all ages! This witty production of Humperdinck's fairy-tale opera is conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Listen as two children face off against a wicked witch. Aleksandra Kurzak as Gretel and Christine Rice as Hansel lead a delightful feast for the entire family. Saturday, January 3, 1 to 3:30 pm.



Verdi's consumptive courtesan returns in Willy Decker's timeless setting, with rising soprano Marina Rebeka as the title heroine, Stephen Costello as Alfredo, and Quinn Kelsey as Germont.  Marco Armiliato conducts.  Saturday, December 27th from 1 to 4:45 PM.


Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Violetta Valéry: Marina Rebeka
Alfredo Germont: Stephen Costello
Giorgio Germont: Quinn Kelsey

Richard Eyre's season-opening new production of Mozart's eternal masterpiece is set in an 18th-century manor house in Seville during the 1930s. Erwin Schrott in the title role leads a stellar cast that also includes Mariusz Kwiecien as the Count and Danielle de Niese as Susanna, along with Met debutantes Rachel Willis-Sørensen as the Countess and Serena Malfi as Cherubino. Edo de Waart conducts. Saturday, December 20th from 1 to 4:45 pm.


James Levine returns to Wagner with a signature run of the epic comedy, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, back at the Met for the first time in eight years. Michael Volle is in the central role of Hans Sachs. Johan Botha reprises his indomitable Walther, and the elegant Annette Dasch is Eva. Saturday, December 13, 12 noon to 6 pm (***Note early start time and later end time.)

Richard Nixon, Patty Hearst, and J. Robert Oppenheimer are just three of the historic figures that have been portrayed on the modern opera stage. Next is the most beloved icon of all, John F. Kennedy, in an opera that will premiere in Fort Worth, but is being partly developed by Opera Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns is finding out just what might make JFK sing.

Launched in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical music program in radio history.

The 84th broadcast season begins on Saturday, December 6th with Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, starring Isabel Leonard as Rosina, followed by Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg on December 13th, and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro on December 20th.