Friday, March 30, 2012

Donizetti’s "L'Elisir d'Amore" Met Saturday Matinee Broadcast

Diana Damrau as Adina and Juan Diego Flórez as Nemorino

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met Opera broadcast of Donizetti’s L'Elisir d'Amore on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 2 hours, 35 minutes, intermission at 1:05 p.m.

The Met says:
Donizetti’s melodic classic is well served by a quartet of bel canto stars: Juan Diego Flórez and Diana Damrau are the unlikely lovers, Mariusz Kwiecien the vainglorious sergeant, and Alessandro Corbelli the dispenser of the elixir.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Verdi's "Macbeth" Met Saturday Matinee Broadcast

Nadja Michael and Thomas Hampson

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met Opera broadcast of Verdi’s Macbeth on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 3 hours, intermission at 1:20 p.m.

The Met says:
As the doomed couple, Thomas Hampson and Nadja Michael deliver the vocal fireworks of two of Verdi’s most challenging roles, Hampson for the first time at the Met and Michael in her company debut.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mussorgsky's "Khovanshchina" Met's Saturday Matinee Broadcast

Anatoli Kotscherga

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met Opera broadcast of Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 11 a.m. Note one hour earlier than usual starting time. Approximate running time 4 hours, 10 minutes, with intermissions at approximately 11:50 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Matthew Baird of the CBC's Radio 2 asks
Where else are you likely to get a history lesson that explores human motivations and our common frailties so well? As a bonus you also get the emotional tension and release provided by a superb musical score. This week the Met presents Modest Mussorgsky's opera Khovanshchina. The 2011-12 season continues with a live broadcast conducted by Kirill Petrenko and featuring an acclaimed Russian, Georgian, and Ukrainian cast.

Among the cast, the Ukrainian bass Anatoli Kotscherga makes his Met debut in the central role of Ivan Khovansky, the leader of a conspiracy against Peter the Great, and the Ukrainian tenor Misha Didyk sings the role of his skirt-chasing son, Andrei. Mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina portrays Marfa, Andrei's one-time love interest, a fortune-telling member of the Old Believers. Bass Ildar Abdrazakov sings Dosifey, the leader of the movement while Vladimir Galouzine portrays the liberal-minded aristocrat Vasily Golitsin and George Gagnidze sings Shaklovity, a boyar who is loyal to the Tsar.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mozart's "Don Giovanni" Met Saturday Matinee Broadcast

Isabel Leonard and Gerald Finley. Photo by Mort Sahl/Metropolitan Opera.

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met Opera broadcast of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Please note the one hour earlier than usual starting time. Approximate running time 3 hours, 25 minutes, with intermission at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Matthew Baird of CBC Music reports:
The lecherous Don Juan is back in town. He's a serial womanizer of the worst sort, and a murderer to boot, but still charming and, well, kind of fun to have around. His conquests take on comic proportions in Mozart's playfully dramatic opera Don Giovanni.

Baritone Gerald Finley stars in the title role with Andrew Davis (conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra) on the podium. Bryn Terfel will be heard in the role of Leporello, and the cast of refined Mozarteans also includes Marina Rebeka, Ellie Dehn, Isabel Leonard, Matthew Polenzani, Shenyang, and James Morris.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Visual Peek at Winter Opera Saint Louis' "La Bohème"

Winter Opera Saint Louis' La Bohème opened last night. Take a look at these production photos and be sure not to miss the final performance, tomorrow at 3pm!

Photographs © Ron Lindsey, 2012, All rights reserved.
Pictured: Trevor Scheunemann (Marcello), Dan Cole (Colline) John-Andrew Fernandez (Schaunard), Gary Seydell (Rodolfo), Mark Freimann (Benoît and Alcindoro) Gina Galati (Mimì), Philip Touchette (Parpignol) and Ashley Yvonne Wheat (Musetta)
La Bohème runs for one more performance tomorrow March 2nd at 3pm in the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade located at 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd (map). Tickets will be available at the door, and you may purchase them for a limited time online at or by calling 314-865-0038. For more information, visit

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Verdi's "Aida" Met Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcast

Marcelo Álvarez and Violeta Urmana (Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

St. Louis Public Radio will carry the Met Opera broadcast of Giuseppe Verdi's Aidi on their HD channel, KWMU-3 beginning at 12 noon. Approximate running time 3 hours, 40 minutes, with intermissions at approximately 12:40 p.m. and 1:50 p.m.

Matthew Baird of the CBC's Radio 2 reports:
If you like to indulge in the grandest of the grand operas, Verdi's passionate portrayal of love in ancient Egypt is for you.

Imagine walking in Aida's shoes (or sandals!). As a low-born slave, you find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place. Should you side with your handsome and powerful lover, a general with the Royal household? Or do you remain loyal to your family roots, and protect your father who is leading a rebellion against the King? And what to do about the pesky Princess who has her eye on the very man you love? That's your predicament to ponder as you follow the story of Aida, in the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season.

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida was written for the opening of the Cairo Opera House, and premiered there in 1871. The composer missed the debut though, as he was already overseeing rehearsals for the work's Italian premiere at La Scala in Milan. Critics at both openings were lukewarm, but the public loved the spectacle, the rousing choruses, the memorable melodies and the whole sense of pomp and circumstance.

Plus, of course, there's the love story. Starring in the Met's production of this evergreen opera is Violeta Urmana as Aida, the enslaved Ethiopian princess. Tenor Marcello Giordani sings the role of the heroic general Radamès, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is the Egyptian princess Amneris, Aida’s rival. Lado Ataneli portrays Aida’s rebellious father, Amonasro, and James Morris is Ramfis, high priest of the Egyptians. The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is led by Marco Armiliato.
In a review in the February 10, 2012, review in the New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer said:
One of the most manipulative moments in opera occurs in Act II of Verdi’s Aida, when the jealous Princess Amneris tricks Aida into revealing her love for the warrior Radamès.

The mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, who made her house role debut as Amneris when the Metropolitan Opera’s grand production returned for the first performance of the season on Thursday, sang with a luminous sweetness while manipulating Aida, her voice taking on a more steely tone after learning that her slave is her rival in love.

Ms. Blythe offered a nuanced psychological portrayal that traced Amneris’s evolution from a spoiled princess frustrated that she can’t have what she wants to a more mature woman, vulnerable and heartbroken. While not always sounding entirely idiomatic in the role (a relatively new one in her repertory), her huge voice was powerful and alluring, audible even over the orchestra and chorus in Act II. She nailed the high notes in the Judgment Scene with confidence.