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:

Jules Massenet: THAIS
August 22, 1 to 4 pm

San Francisco Opera:

Giuseppe Verdi: RIGOLETTO
August 29, 1 to 4 pm

Giacomo Puccini: MADAME BUTTERFLY
September 5, 1 to 3:30 pm

Contribute here to support opera on WRTI throughout the year!

You may know Antonin Dvořák's rousing New World Symphony - but here he's at his romantic best as dark swirling undercurrents blend seamlessly with entrancing folk melodies. A witch grants a water nymph mortality so she can marry the prince she adores. But if he's unfaithful, their souls are damned for eternity. And damned they are in the darkly sensual fairytale. Saturday, June 28, 1 to 4:30 pm.

Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Rossini's music sparkles like sunshine with one hit tune after another. Not only is Figaro the Barber of Seville, he's also the ultimate Mr. Fix-It! This time he's out to ensure that Count Almaviva can marry lovely Rosina before her grumpy old guardian drags her to the altar himself. Saturday, June 21, 1 to 4 pm.

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

Dan Rest

Shameless flirting, false identities, dance-to-dawn partying, and free-flowing champagne: Johann Strauss, Jr.’s paean to Partytown, also known as Vienna in the early 1870s, delivers all manner of uproarious intrigues and complications.  Ward Stare conducts. Saturday, June 14, 1 to 4:30 pm.

Violetta is the most desirable courtesan in Paris. Sought after by society’s most important me,n and wealthy in her own right, she is perfectly content—until she falls in love with Alfredo Germont. But when Alfredo’s father insists that she’ll ruin Alfredo’s family name, she selflessly pushes away the only man she’s ever loved. Will they ever be together again? Yes, but by then it’s much, much too late. A love story as unforgettable as Verdi’s sweeping and spectacular melodies. Massimo Zanetti conducts. Saturday, June 7, 1 to 4 pm.

Star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato gave the 2014 commencement address at Juilliard Friday — and it's a memorable one, both for her words and by DiDonato's own example as someone whose own career began under low heat.

Family, fortune, and honor—the geisha Cio-Cio-San forsakes them all for the callous American naval officer who calls her his "bride." But what she sees as a lifetime commitment, he treats as just a fleeting pleasure.

Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly features some of opera's most famous music, including Cio-Cio-San's heartbreaking "Un bel di" and the beautiful "Humming Chorus." It's Puccini's heartbreaking tragedy on WRTI. Saturday, May 24, 1 to 4 pm.

Whenever Charlie Parker played a solo, you knew you'd feel good by the end. Opera Philadelphia is jumping off an even higher dive - an opera about the celebrated saxophonist, titled Charlie Parker's Yardbird that the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports will bring many unexpected things to the Perelman Theater at its 2015 premiere. 

A new season of broadcasts from the Lyric Opera of Chicago kicks off on Saturday with Giuseppe Verdi's OTELLO. Get set for eight opera broadcasts on WRTI!

Jealousy, betrayal, and murder—Shakespeare's drama finds new dimension in Verdi's blazing and revealingly expressive music. Otello seems unbeatable on the battlefield, but he's powerless against his insidious henchman Iago, who convinces him that his innocent wife has been untrue. Saturday, May 17, 1 to 4 pm on WRTI.

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