Saturday, January 22, 2011

Puccini's "Tosca" Met Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcast on January 29

Sondra Radvanovsky

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met Opera broadcast of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 3 hrs. 10 min. Intermissions at approximately 12:46 p.m. and 2:07 p.m.

From the Met's web site:
Luc Bondy’s dramatic new production returns, with Sondra Radvanovsky singing the title role for the first time at the Met. Also starring Violeta Urmana, Marcelo Álvarez, Salvatore Licitra, Falk Struckmann, and James Morris.

A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, and Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich.

From a review of the January 10 performance by Steve Smith in the New York Times:
Ms. Radvanovsky rose to the challenge of her first Met Tosca. As ever, her sound was idiosyncratic and personal, and her characterization was more kittenish than fiery and jealous during a first act that lumbered and flailed at times.

But in Act II Ms. Radvanovsky found credible ways to carry out Mr. Bondy’s unorthodox notions while remaining true to character. Her “Vissi d’Arte,” passionate and finely controlled, was a showstopper. Here and in the final act Ms. Radvanovsky was at her inspiring best, and you sensed that hers was an interpretation that could yield still greater thrills as the run settles.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Verdi's "Rigoletto" Met Saturday Afternoon Broadcast

Diana Damrau (photo by John Palmer)

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met broadcast of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 3 hours.

The Met says, "The Verdi favorite returns with great casts, including Diana Damrau, Joseph Calleja, Giuseppe Filianoti, and Željko Lucic."

Intermission #1 at approximately 1:00 p.m. features:

Backstage Pass: Loren Toolajian interviews Nino Machaidze and Giovanni Meoni, and Margaret Juntwait interviews Joseph Calleja and Dimitri Hvorostovsky

Intermission #2 at approximately 1:57 p.m. features:

Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera Quiz with moderator James Maddalena and panel including Susan Ashbaker, Michelle Krisel, and Willie Anthony Waters.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

La Traviata with Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta Met Saturday Matinee Broadcast

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met broadcast of La Traviata on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 2 hours, 35 minutes. Intermission time at approximately 12:30 p.m.

From the Met web site:
Willy Decker’s strikingly beautiful production, a hit when it premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 2005, arrives at the Met with soprano Marina Poplavskaya starring as opera’s most fascinating heroine. “Violetta is an outlaw,” Decker says. “Society shuts her out and looks down on her as a person without feeling, without love. But the further you look into the piece, you see that it’s the other way around: she is the only person in the opera who truly loves, selflessly. Verdi follows her like an obsessed lover throughout the piece, and by the end, our sympathy too is completely on her side.” Matthew Polenzani plays Alfredo with Andrzej Dobber as his father; Gianandrea Noseda conducts Verdi’s timeless tragedy.
Anthony Tommasini reviewed the New Year's Eve debut production in the New York Times:
Even die-hard fans of the director Franco Zeffirelli’s productions for the Metropolitan Opera have to concede that his 1998 staging of Verdi’s “Traviata” was terrible. With its opulently garish sets and knee-jerk realism, the production dwarfed the cast, no matter what stars were singing. So the time has long since come for something different. And the intriguing production by the German director Willy Decker that the Met introduced on New Year’s Eve could not be more different.

The entire story is played within the confines of a tall, curved grayish-white wall, as if the action were taking place in an arena under clinically bright lights. And during crucial scenes groups of choristers lean over the wall like voyeurs, watching the deteriorating relationship between the dying, defiant courtesan Violetta and her smitten lover Alfredo, here played by the glamorous Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya and the sweet-voiced American tenor Matthew Polenzani.

The costumes are modern. Violetta appears at the party in the opening scene in a short blazing red dress, and all the guests, male and female choristers alike, wear black tuxedos, making the crowd look androgynous and threatening. This “Traviata,” which originated at the Salzburg Festival in 2005 and was the hottest ticket of that summer, lives on as a popular DVD starring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Puccini’s Wild West Opera Met Saturday Matinee Broadcast on January 8

Deborah Voigt as Minnie in the San Francisco Opera's production of La Fanciulla del West

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met broadcast of La Fanciulla del West on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 3 hours, 10 minutes. Intermission times at approximately 2:00 p.m. and 3:25 p.m.

The Met's web site notes that "Puccini’s wild west opera stars all-American diva Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani, and is conducted by Nicola Luisotti. The performances mark the 100th anniversary of the opera’s world premiere at the Met."