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Opera on WNED Classical

Enjoy complete performances of world famous operas from Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and many more Saturdays at 1pm.

 

For many years, radio broadcasts from "The Metropolitan Opera" have been a Saturday tradition in many American households. Met Opera broadcasts are usually performed live from Lincoln Center in New York City and can be heard from December through May on WNED Classical.    

The WFMT Radio Network Opera series complements the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, filling in the schedule to complete the year. From Milan to New York, Barcelona to Chicago, you'll have  a front-row seat to performances from some of the world’s greatest opera companies and performers.

Listen Live: Classical 94.5 WNED FM

Celebrate the return of Met Opera Radio live broadcasts for the 2021-22 season

After the longest shutdown in its history, The Metropolitan Opera is ready to resume live broadcasts on WNED Classical for the 2021-22 season. 

 

Launched in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical program in radio history. The 2021-22 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season opens on December 4th, 2021 – the Met’s 91st consecutive year on the air and a milestone for the longest-running classical music series in American broadcast history. Hear thrilling live performances by today’s most celebrated artists, as well as legendary singers originally captured live in broadcasts spanning almost nine decades of Met history.

 

Host Mary Jo Heath and commentator Ira Siff return each week, and intermissions will include new interviews with artists, special features, and a virtual Opera Quiz. Broadcasts can be heard on WNED Classical, part of the Toll Brothers– Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 1pm every Saturday through June 11, 2022.

WNED Classical Opera Broadcast Schedule | Saturdays at 1 pm

May 7 | Turandot (in Italian) / Puccini

Turandot

One of today’s most thrilling voices performs the title role of the legendary cold-hearted princess. Ssuperstar Anna Netrebko, makes her long-awaited Met role debut after providing a hair-raising preview in 2019’s New Year’s Eve Gala. Tenor Yonghoon Lee is the bold prince determined to win Turandot’s love, alongside soprano Ermonela Jaho as the devoted servant Liù and bass-baritone James Morris and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto as the blind king Timur. Marco Armiliato conducts Puccini’s stirring score.

The large Turandot orchestra calls for a wide variety of instruments, including alto saxophones, celesta, bass xylophone, harps, and an organ. There are several genuine Chinese themes that are integrated into the score in a suave and brilliantly original manner, including the big imperial anthem in Act II. The opera also contains moments of sheer melodic beauty in Puccini’s most lyrical vein, most notably in the tenor’s unforgettable song of triumph, “Nessun dorma,” which opens Act III.

READ SYNOPSIS

 

COMPOSER: Giacomo Puccini

LIBRETTO: Giuseppe Adami & Renato Simoni

VENUE: The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts NYC

PRESENTING COMPANY: The Metropolitan Opera

 

CAST:

Anna Netrebko:Turandot

Yonghoon Lee: Calàf

Ermonela Jaho: Liù 

Ferruccio Furlanetto: Timur

 

CONDUCTOR: Marco Armiliato

 

May 14 | Die Meistersinger vonNürnberg (in German) / Wagner

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Performance from Fall 2021

Wagner’s sublime comedy takes the Met stage for the first time in seven years. Antonio Pappano conducts an unbeatable cast led by renowned baritone Michael Volle as the wise cobbler Hans Sachs and sensational soprano Lise Davidsen—returning triumphantly following her rapturously hailed 2019 company debut—as Eva. Tenor Klaus Florian Vogt and baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle join them as Walther von Stolzing and Beckmesser.

The score of Meistersinger is a sublime achievement, at once lyric, grand, and amazingly detailed. It shows Wagner’s absolute command of his craft, from the lush orchestration to the soaring vocal solos to stirring ensembles. The many choruses also demonstrate the scope of Wagner’s genius, most notably the foursquare chorale that opens the work, the near anarchy of the complex riot scene in Act II, and the playful apprentices’ songs in Act III.

READ SYNOPSIS

 

 

COMPOSER: Richard Wagner

LIBRETTO: Richard Wagner

VENUE: The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts NYC

PRESENTING COMPANY: The Metropolitan Opera

 

CAST:

Michael Volle: Hans Sachs

Klaus Florian Vogt: Walther Von Stolzing

Lise Davidsen: Eva

Johannes Martin Kränzle: Beckmesser

Georg Zeppenfeld: Pogner

Paul Appleby: David

Claudia Mahnke: Magdalene

Martin Gantner: Kothner

Alexander Tsymbalyuk: Nightwatchman

 

 

 

May 21 | Lucia di Lammermoor (in Italian) / Donizetti

Lucia di Lammermoor

In recent seasons, soprano Nadine Sierra has brought down the house at the Met with virtuosic vocalism and captivating stage presence as Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Ilia in Idomeneo. Now, she takes on one of the repertory’s most formidable and storied roles, the haunted heroine of Lucia di Lammermoor, in an electrifying new staging by in-demand Australian theater and film director Simon Stone, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. Show-stopping tenor Javier Camarena adds to the bel canto fireworks as Lucia’s beloved, Edgardo, with baritone Artur Ruciński as her overbearing brother, Enrico, and bass Matthew Rose as her tutor, Raimondo.

Donizetti’s operas and those of his Italian contemporaries came to be classified under the heading of bel canto (“beautiful singing”), a genre that focused on vocal agility and lyrical beauty to express drama. Today, the great challenge in performing this music lies in finding the right balance between elegant but athletic vocalism and dramatic insight. Individual moments from the score that can be charming on their own take on increased dramatic force when heard within the context of the piece, perhaps most apparent in the soprano’s extended Mad Scene in Act III.

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COMPOSER: Gaetano Donizetti

LIBRETTO: Salvadore Cammarano

VENUE: The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts NYC

PRESENTING COMPANY: A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and LA Opera

 

CAST:

Nadine Sierra: Lucia

Javier Camarena: Edgardo

Artur Ruciński: Enrico

Matthew Rose: Raimondo

 

CONDUCTOR: Riccardo Frizza

 

May 28 | Akhnaten / Glass

Akhnaten

Philip Glass’s mesmerizing modern masterpiece—a smash-hit in its 2019 company-premiere run—returns in Phelim McDermott’s unforgettable production, which brings ancient Egypt to vivid life with striking stage tableaux and a troupe of jugglers. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo reprises his celebrated turn as the revolutionary pharaoh Akhnaten, with mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb as his wife and queen, Nefertiti. Once again at the helm is conductor Karen Kamensek, a noted master of Glass’s music.

The score of this opera is lyrical, elegiac, and, while clearly a product of its famous composer (whose intricate, repetitive sonic textures unfold differently than most other classical music), is among the most easily appreciated of his creation. The vocal lines also tend toward the melodic, even if they are original and remarkable. The enigmatic title role is sung by a countertenor, and the chorus also has an important role throughout, appearing as priests in the beginning, people of Egypt throughout, and the spirits of the departed at the end. 

READ SYNOPSIS

 

COMPOSER: Philip Glass

LIBRETTO:  Philip Glass

VENUE: The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts NYC

PRESENTING COMPANY: The Metropolitan Opera in collaboration with Improbable

 

CAST:

Anthony Roth Costanzo: Akhnaten

Rihab Chaieb: Nefertiti

Zachary James: Amenhotep III

Disella Lárusdóttir: Queen Tye

Aaron Blake: High Priest of Amon

Richard Bernstein: Aye

Will Liverman: Horemhab

 

June 4 | Hamlet / Dean

Hamlet

When Australian composer Brett Dean’s Hamlet had its world premiere at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2017, The Guardian declared, “New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good … Shakespeare offers a gauntlet to composers that shouldn’t always be picked up, but Dean’s Hamlet rises to the challenge.” Now, this riveting contemporary masterpiece arrives at the Met, with Neil Armfield, who directed the work’s premiere, bringing his acclaimed staging to New York. Many of the original cast members have followed, including tenor Allan Clayton in the title role. Nicholas Carter makes his Met debut conducting a remarkable ensemble, which also features soprano Brenda Rae as Ophelia, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly as Gertrude, baritone Rod Gilfry as Claudius, and legendary bass John Tomlinson as the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

READ SYNOPSIS

 

COMPOSER: Brett Dean

LIBRETTO: Matthew Jocelyn

VENUE: The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts NYC

PRESENTING COMPANY: The Metropolitan Opera

 

CAST:

Allan Clayton: Hamlet

Brenda Rae: Ophelia

Rod Gilfry: Claudius

Sarah Connolly: Gertrude

William Burden: Polonius

Jacques Imbrailo: Horatio

John Tomlinson: Ghost

David Butt Philip: Laertes

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen: Rosencrantz

Christopher Lowrey: Guildenstern

 

CONDUCTOR: Nicholas Carter