Opera Bash 2013

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!

la fanciulla del west
Deborah Voight sings in the Metropolitan Opera's production of La Fanciulla del West, commemorating
the 100th anniversary of the opera's 1910 world premiere at the Met.

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.

michelle deyoung
Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung
Saturday, August 31
12pm on WGBX 44
Puccini:  La Fanciulla del West 
A commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the opera's 1910 world premiere at the Met. Deborah Voigt sings the role of Minnie.

2:30pm on WGBX 44
Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
David Daniels and Natalie Dessay star in David McVicar's imaginative take on Handel's opera about Caesar and Cleopatra. 
6:30pm on WGBX 44
Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera
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.
7pm on 99.5 WCRB
BSO: All-Wagner program
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.
Richard Croft portrays Gandhi in Satyagraha
9pm on WGBX 44
Glass: Satyagraha
Richard Croft once again portrays Gandhi in Philip Glass’ unforgettable opera, which the Washington Post calls “a profound and beautiful work of theater.”
9pm on 99.5 WCRB
It’s already being discussed as one of the most memorable nights of music in Tanglewood’s storied history: the steamy night in July when Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel offered a mesmerizing account of Wotan in Act III of Die Walküre, the second of Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle. Terfel heads up an outstanding cast that includes soprano Katarina Dalayman as Brünnhilde, soprano Amber Wagner as Sieglinde and German conductor Lothar Koenigs, making his Boston Symphony debut.
Midnight on WGBH 2
Verdi: Don Carlo
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
12pm on WGBX 44
Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Angela Meade in Ernani.
Verdi: Ernani
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.
2pm on 99.5 WCRB
Handel: Almira 
Boston Early Music Festival 2013
This standout production, recorded in concert at the Cutler Majestic Theatre by 99.5 WCRB, includes sopranos Ulrike Hofbauer as Almira and Amanda Forsythe as Edilia, tenor Colin Balzer as Fernando, and baritone Tyler Duncan as Raymondo. Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs are musical directors, and Robert Mealy leads the splendid Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra.
2:30pm on WGBX 44
Wagner: Siegfried
Almira at The Boston Early Music Festival
Conducted by Fabio Luisi and starring Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde, Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried, and Bryn Terfel as The Wanderer, the third opera in Wagner's Ring Cycle focuses on the young hero Siegfried, who grows up in the wilderness, raised by Alberich’s conniving brother Mime. He puts together the broken pieces of the sword Nothung, uses it to slay the fearsome dragon Fafner, and takes the ring for himself. To fulfill his destiny, he must overcome one more opponent—Wotan, now disguised as the Wanderer, who knows the world of the gods is coming to an end—and cross through the magic fire to awaken his true love, Brünnhilde.

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. 
7pm on WGBX 44
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
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.

7pm on 99.5 WCRB
Arias and Barcarolles: Natalie Dessay 
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. 
7:30pm on 99.5 WCRB
Handel: Agrippina
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.
9:30pm on WGBX 44
Strauss: Capriccio
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.    
Midnight on WGBH 2
Gound: Faust
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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