The Metropolitan Opera

Ken Howard

This week, we're back at our usual 1 pm start time! Tune in for the Met’s delightful Baroque fantasy THE ENCHANTED ISLAND. The opera returns after its critically acclaimed world-premiere run in 2011–12, bringing together the music of Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Purcell, and other composers, set to a brilliant new English libretto inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

There's an early start time for Saturday's Met Opera broadcast - it's 12 noon, an hour earlier than usual.  This week, the Met Opera presents Alexander Borodin's defining Russian epic, PRINCE IGOR. Famous for its Polovtsian Dances, the opera comes to the Met for the first time in nearly 100 years. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production is a brilliant psychological journey through the mind of its conflicted hero, with the founding of the Russian nation as the backdrop.

Few opera singers' careers begin with Daniel Barenboim telling them to prepare the title role for a season-opening new production of Carmen at La Scala. Yet this was how the Georgian mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili got her big break in 2009. 

She had been in a young singers' training program at the storied Milan opera house when Barenboim recognized her potential, and cast her as the iconic, red-dressed, raven-haired heroine.

It’s love hidden, proclaimed, delayed, found...and love not to be. Richard Strauss' bittersweet romantic comedy Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) features a superb ensemble led by Viennese soprano Martina Serafin in one of her signature roles, the Marschallin. Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote sings the trouser role of the Marschallin’s young lover, Octavian, while soprano Erin Morley is Sophie, the innocent young woman who comes between the two.

The great Renée Fleming returns to one of her signature roles, singing the enchanting “Song to the Moon” in Dvorák’s soulful fairy-tale opera. Tenor Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Prince, Dolora Zajick is Ježibaba, and our very own Philadelphia Orchestra maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium. Saturday, February 8, 1 to 5 pm on WRTI.

Singing at The Metropolitan Opera rarely means just returning to "business as usual." But - for soprano Renee Fleming, the worldwide audience for the February 8th Met Opera radio broadcast and HD simulcast in which she stars will be small change compared to the millions who watched her recent pre-Super Bowl performance.

Soprano Anna Netrebko reprises her adorable Adina in this charming production of Gaetano Donizetti’s tender comedy. Acclaimed tenor Ramón Vargas is the love-struck Nemorino, and Erwin Schrott sings the likeable quack Dulcamara, whose "magic" potion causes as many problems as it solves, and maps the destiny of a love triangle involving a lovable bumpkin, a dashing sergeant, and a bewitching town flirt.

L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elixir of Love) includes the heartbreaking aria "Una furtiva lagrima."

Join us for an archival broadcast of Tchaikovsky’s fateful romance Eugene Onegin. Valery Gergiev conducts the performance from October 5th, 2013, which features soprano Anna Netrebko as the naive heroine Tatiana, baritone Mariusz Kwiecien as the aristocratic title character, and tenor Piotr Beczala as the poet Lenski. Mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova sings the role of Tatiana’s sister, Olga, and Alexei Tanovitski sings Prince Gremin.

It's Johann Strauss Jr.'s beloved operatic confection, with a revised libretto by acclaimed playwright Douglas Carter Beane. Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, this production of DIE FLEDERMAUS (The Bat) features Susanna Phillips and Christopher Maltman leading the sparkling cast, which also includes Jane Archibald, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Michael Fabiano, and Paulo Szot. Adam Fischer conducts. Sung in English. Saturday, January 11, 1 to 5 pm.

Join us for a family favorite! Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE. This fanciful production is sung in English and runs a brisk 100 minutes - perfect for new opera listeners. The winning cast includes Alek Shrader as Tamino, Eric Owens as Sarastro, and Nathan Gunn as the winsome Papageno. Saturday, January 4, 1 to 2:45 pm.

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