Opera

The last time New York's Metropolitan Opera presented a work written by a woman was 113 years ago. It's a drought that lasted longer than the years between the Cubs' World Series victories. That situation has finally been rectified this week with the New York premiere of the opera L'Amour de Loin by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

Christmas is coming, and soon TV screens everywhere will light up with that 1946 holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life. But the same story is coming a little early to the stage of the Houston Grand Opera. That's right: An operatic version of George Bailey's struggle with life and death opens this Friday.

Librettist Gene Scheer admits that adapting such a beloved movie has sometimes felt like a fool's errand. "It's almost secular scripture, this piece," he says. "Everyone knows all the lines."

What's the longest-running continuous classical radio series in American broadcast history? The Metropolitan Opera's Saturday matinee broadcasts, launched in 1931! The 86th season of live Saturday broadcasts begins on December 3rd. Full schedule below.

Joyce DiDonato is one of the most acclaimed opera singers of her generation; this year, she won the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Her latest album, In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music, is a collection of baroque arias from the 17th and 18th centuries divided into two sections — one addressing war, the other, peace.

Do you believe in ghosts? The age-old question pops up this time of year when Halloween looms — the answer for opera composers seems to be a resounding "yes." Many of them, from Mozart to Corigliano, have given ghosts a few choice moments on stage. Operatic apparitions arrive suddenly in the middle of the night, crash dinner parties or do their ghostly duty simply by playing tricks on the minds of the living.

Credit: Opera Philadelphia

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston considers a question of operatic proportion, with notable librettist Mark Campbell.

Grab your tissues and join us to hear one of Giacomo Puccini’s most beloved operas! Filled with beautiful arias, La Boheme is one of the composer’s most frequently performed and recorded operas. The performance we’ll hear is considered by many the finest recording of the work ever made—the 1956 La Boheme conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

The Philadelphia region is rich with music schools training the next generation of artists. South-African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, a 2014 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts, and a 2013 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, stands out and already has a busy international performance schedule.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now years into his series of Mozart opera recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, the latest being The Marriage of Figaro. But with so many recordings already on the market, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns asks what place can this one claim.



An operatic version of King Lear...why hasn't anybody thought of it before? Well, some great musical minds have indeed. And on a recent trip to Paris, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Sterns found the composer who nailed it.

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