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, 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:

The 2017/2018 broadcast season of The Metropolitan Opera!

Dec. 9:  Mozart's The Magic Flute
Dec. 16: Bellini's Norma
Dec. 23: Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro
Dec. 30: Lehár's The Merry Widow
Jan. 6: Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel
Jan. 13: Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana / Leoncavallo's Pagliacci
Jan. 20: Massenet's Thaïs
Jan. 27: Puccini's Tosca

Feb. 3: Verdi's Il Trovatore
Feb. 10: Donizetti's L'Elisir D'Amore
Feb. 17: Wagner's Parsifal, (12 noon)
Feb. 24: Puccini's La Bohème
March 3: Puccini's Madama Butterfly
March 10: Rossini's Semiramide
March 17: R. Strauss' Elektra
March 24: Puccini's Turandot
March 31: Mozart's Così Fan Tutte
April 7: Donizetti's Lucia Di Lammermoor
April 14: Verdi's Luisa Miller
April 21: Thomas Adès' The Exterminating Angel, libretto by Tom Cairns
April 28: Massenet's Cendrillon
May 5: Gounod's Roméo et Juliette

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Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

Ways to Connect

Join us on Saturday afternoon after the The Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Richard Strauss' ELEKTRA (at approximately 3 pm) to hear the mega-talented resident artists of the Academy of Vocal Arts sing Puccini! You'll hear two of the one-act operas from Il Trittico - GIANNI SCHICCHI AND IL TABARRO (the cloak).

Charlie Parker Returns To The Apollo

Mar 28, 2016

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.

Discovering Mascia Predit...15 Years After Her Death

Feb 29, 2016

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.   

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