This Labor Day weekend, 99.5 WCRB Classical New England again joins WGBH 2 and WGBX 44 to present our annual Opera Bash, featuring some of the finest operas ever heard on the planet!
On television, revel in more than 30 solid hours of opera. Meanwhile, 99.5 WCRB will bring you special “Opera Without Words” programming all weekend long, as well as some of our stunning operatic productions made right here in the Hub of the Universe.
Sponsorship of Opera Bash is generously provided by Boston Lyric Opera.
A commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the opera's 1910 world premiere at the Met. Deborah Voigt sings the role of Minnie.
David Daniels and Natalie Dessay star in David McVicar's imaginative take on Handel's opera about Caesar and Cleopatra.
Leading Met stars take on the central roles in Verdi's classic drama of political intrigue and thwarted romance: Marcelo Álvarez as the ill-fated King Gustavo III; Dmitri Hvorostovsky as his best friend and eventual rival, Count Anckarström; and Sondra Radvanovsky as Amelia, Anckarström’s wife and the object of the king’s secret passion. Kathleen Kim sings the coloratura role of Oscar and Stephanie Blythe is fortune-teller Mme. Ulrica Arvidsson.
It’s a Wagner double bill on our Saturday night broadcasts of the BSO, beginning with an encore presentation of a concert featuring some of the most thrilling music from Wagner’s operas, including selections from Götterdämmerung, Parsifal, Lohengrin and Tristan und Isolde. Italian conductor Daniele Gatti conducts the BSO in concert at Symphony Hall with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung as featured soloist.
A Spanish prince falls for the French princess he's supposed to marry as part of a Spanish-French peace treaty, only to have his father decide to wed her himself.
Sunday, September 1
Marco Armiliato conducts Verdi’s thrilling early gem, featuring Marcello Giordani in the title role. Angela Meade takes center stage as Elvira, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto rounding out the cast in Pier Luigi Samaratini’s colorful production.
6pm on 99.5 WCRB
Together in Song: The Chorus…At the Opera!
Host Anthony-Trecek King explores the phenomenon of choral music in the opera house…where some of the most magical moments are not created by the Prima Donna Diva or the handsome heroic tenor, but by the peasants, prisoners, orphans, soldiers and slaves, poorly-lit, scruffily-clad, and performing a vital musical role. Featuring some great choral moments from Monteverdi all the way to the “Moonrise Kingdom” music of Benjamin Britten.
Anna Netrebko stars as Norina, the irresistible and clever romantic heroine of Donizetti’s comic opera. James Levine, in his first-ever performances of this opera, conducts a cast that also features Matthew Polenzani as the lovelorn Ernesto, Mariusz Kwiecien as the duplicitous Dr. Malatesta, and John Del Carlo as the title character. Renowned Austrian director Otto Schenk returns to the Met to direct the first revival of his production, which The New York Times praised as “wonderful” and “insightful” when it premiered in 2006.
Host Cathy Fuller plays and profiles some of the great arias by soprano Natalie Dessay, appearing earlier on Opera Bash in Handel's Guilo Cesare, who recently announced she's quitting the opera house for the stage, screen, and concert tours.
World of Opera host Lisa Simeone rounds out our weekend of opera with another great, this time in a production from the Flemish Opera in Ghent led by noted Baroque conductor Paul McCreesh. Ann Hallenberg stars as Agrippina, Nero’s shrewd and savvy mother, without whom the infamous emperor could never have fiddled while Rome burned.
Richard Strauss uses the romantic indecision of a widowed Countess—who is pursued by both a composer and a poet—as the opportunity for a sophisticated, breezy examination of aesthetics. Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles as the elegant Countess, Joseph Kaiser as the composer Flamand, Russell Braun as the poet Olivier, Sarah Connolly as Clairon, Morten Frank Larsen in his Met debut as the Count, Peter Rose as the flamboyant La Roche, and Barry Banks and Olga Makarina as a temperamental Italian tenor and soprano.
Three of the opera world’s leading stars—Jonas Kaufmann, Marina Poplavskaya, and René Pape—sing the principal roles in a new production of Gounod’s Faust, directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff in his Met debut. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts. McAnuff's production sets the action in the mid-20th century, with Faust as a nuclear scientist who sees the terrible effects of his life’s work and longs to return to a simpler time.
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