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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

The 2023-2024 Metropolitan Opera | Saturdays at 1 pm

WNED Classical is proud to share performances by the Metropolitan Opera, based in New York City, on the radio. Join us weekly on Saturdays at 1pm (December through June) for a variety of productions performed by one of the country’s premiere opera companies.

The Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday Matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical music program in radio history. For more than nine decades, the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts have brought opera into millions of homes, playing a vital and unparalleled role in the development and appreciation of opera in this country. The broadcasts debuted on Dec. 25, 1931, with Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and are now the longest-running classical music series in American broadcast history.

Broadcasts can be heard on WNED Classical at 1pm every Saturday except as noted.

 

Tune in at 94. FM in Buffalo or anywhere in the world our website's live player or WNED Classical app.

 

See what’s coming up below:

February 24 | Mozart and Beethoven in Concert at the Met | Mozart/Beethoven

Mozart's Requiem from February 24, 2023 and the finale of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 from March 14, 2022 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, led the Met Orchestra and Chorus in a program of Mozart’s Requiemto mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. In the Requiem, the soloists are soprano Golda Schultz, who last season at the Met sang the role of Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore; mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo; tenor Dmytro Popov, who sang Alfredo in the run of Verdi’s La Traviata; and bass-baritone Vladyslav Buialskyi, a member of the company’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Both Popov and Buialskyi are Ukrainian. 

“Music truly has the power to heal, and I hope this special concert will demonstrate our unwavering support for the suffering people of Ukraine,” said Maestro Nézet-Séguin. “In times of crisis, it is so important that artists unite and provide consolation and inspiration through our work.”

 

 

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Ludwig van Beethoven 

Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin 

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

 

SOLOISTS: 

Golda Schultz 

Emily D’Angelo 

Dmytro Popov 

Vladyslav Buialskyi 

Elza van den Heever 

Jamie Barton 

Piotr Beczala 

Ryan Speedo Green 

March 2 | Listener’s Choice: Great Met Broadcasts 

Listeners’ Choice returns!  As part of the 2023–24 season of Saturday Matinee Broadcasts, the Met will present a historic broadcast from our archives—chosen by you, our listeners. We invite you to select a favorite Met performance from the list below, and the one that receives the most votes will be aired on March 2, 2024.

MORE INFORMATION

March 9 | La Forza del Destino | Verdi  (12pm)

Woman standing with her arms crossed, looking down dramatically in a tattered dress and covered in dirt.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Verdi’s grand tale of ill-fated love, deadly vendetta, and family strife, with stellar soprano Lise Davidsen following a string of recent Met triumphs with her role debut as the noble Leonora, one of the repertory’s most tormented—and thrilling—heroines. Director Mariusz Treliński delivers the company’s first new Forza in nearly 30 years, setting the scene in a contemporary world and making extensive use of the Met’s turntable to represent the unstoppable advance of destiny that drives the opera’s chain of calamitous events. The distinguished cast also features tenor Brian Jagde as Leonora’s forbidden beloved Don Alvaro, baritone Igor Golovatenko as her vengeful brother Don Carlo, mezzo-soprano Judit Kutasi as the fortune teller Preziosilla, bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Fra Melitone, and bass Soloman Howard as both Leonora’s father and Padre Guardiano. For the final three performances, soprano Elena Stikhina and mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova take over as Leonora and Preziosilla. 

READ SYNOPSIS 

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi 

Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave 

Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin 

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

 

CAST: 

Leonora: Lise Davidsen 

Don Alvaro: Brian Jagde 

Don Carlo di Vargas: Igor Golovatenko 

Marquis of Calatrava/Padre Guardiano: Soloman Howard 

Preziosilla: Judit Kutasi 

Fra Melitone: Patrick Carfizzi

March 16 | Turandot| Puccini  (12pm) 

Scene from Turandot with a woman dressed regally standing in front of a throne.

Franco Zeffirelli’s dazzling vision of mythic China retakes the stage, with soprano Elena Pankratova making her Met debut as the legendary—and lethal—title princess, opposite tenor SeokJong Baek as the valiant prince who puts his life on the line to win her love. Later in the spring, a pair of audience favorites, soprano Christine Goerke and tenor Roberto Alagna, assume the starring roles. Sopranos Gabriella Reyes, Aleksandra Kurzak, and Olga Kulchynska alternate as Liù, with basses Vitalij Kowaljow, Peixin Chen, and Soloman Howard as Timur. Maestro Oksana Lyniv makes her Met debut leading Puccini’s rousing score, sharing conducting duties with Marco Armiliato. 

READ SYNOPSIS  

MUSIC 

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. 

Composer: Giacomo Puccini 

Libretto: Giuseppe Adami & Renato Simoni 

Conductor:Oksana Lyniv 

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

 

CAST: 

Turandot:Elena Pankratova 

Calàf: SeokJong Baek 

Liù : Aleksandra Kurzak 

Timur: Vitalij Kowaljow

March 23 | Roméo et Juliette | Gounod

Scene from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette

Two singers at the height of their powers—radiant soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor sensation Benjamin Bernheim—come together as the star-crossed lovers in Gounod’s sumptuous Shakespeare adaptation, with Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium to conduct one of the repertoire’s most romantic scores. Bartlett Sher’s towering staging also features baritone Will Liverman and tenor Frederick Ballentine as the archrivals Mercutio and Tybalt, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as the mischievous pageboy Stéphano, and bass-baritone Alfred Walker as Frère Laurent. 

READ SYNOPSIS 

MUSIC 

Gounod infuses this classic drama with an elegant musical aura that reflects the soaring poetry of the original. When the composer explores the darker and more violent side of the story, his music creates drama without resorting to bombast. A reserved melancholy creates all the necessary tension. For the story’s more lighthearted moments, Gounod supplied the sort of buoyant melodies that made his Faust a huge hit with audiences. Midway through Act I, the heroine takes the stage with the giddy coloratura gem “Je veux vivre dans ce rêve.” Moments such as these add musical and dramatic texture to the tragedy, admired for its contrast of light and dark. 

Composer: Charles Gounod 

Libretto: Jules Barbier, Michel Carré 

Conductor:Yannick Nézet-Séguin 

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

 

CAST: 

Juliette: Nadine Sierra 

Roméo: Benjamin Bernheim 

Mercutio: Will Liverman 

Frère Laurent: Alfred Walker 

Stéphano: Samantha Hankey 

Tybalt: Frederick Ballentine 

March 30 | Requiem | Verdi

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus onstage for Requiem

(Performance from September 27, 2023) 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin takes the podium for three performances of Verdi’s soul-stirring Requiem, a unique and towering masterpiece that stands as one of the repertory’s great showcases of vocal, choral, and orchestral writing. A thrilling quartet of soloists joins the magnificent Met Orchestra and Chorus: soprano Leah Hawkins, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy. 

PROGRAM 

MUSIC 

The score calls for a large chorus, orchestra, and four soloists. The sensational effects found in Verdi’s operas are also in full force here—the thundering drama of the “Dies irae,” repeated at key moments throughout the piece, captures the terror associated with contemplating the end of time. Orchestral commentary on the “action” recalls the sophisticated techniques found in the operas of this mature phase of Verdi’s career—from the loud rumble of the trombones at the end of the “Sanctus” to the pictorial use of the oboe, as the text refers to herding sheep, in the beautiful tenor solo “Ingemisco.” Having the chorus available throughout allows for it to participate in many different ways. They respond to the soloists in quiet moments, such as the wrenching “Lacrimosa,” as well as in the monumental “Libera me” finale. Verdi even gives two of the most unforgettable passages of the score entirely to the chorus: the “Dies irae” and the complex “Sanctus” fugue. But the four soloists bear the greatest share of communicating the ideas at stake in the monumental text. This is nowhere more apparent than in the final “Libera me.” The greatest emotional power here derives from the solo soprano part, which climaxes with a run up to a high C that seems to embody the sum total of human fear and aspiration. 

Composer: Charles Gounod 

Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin 

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

 

CAST 

Soprano: Leah Hawkins 

Mezzo-Soprano:  Karen Cargill  

Tenor: Matthew Polenzani 

Bass:  Dmitry Belosselskiy  

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus 

April 6 | L'Elisir d'Amore | Donizetti

Scene from L'Elisir d'Amore at the MET Opera

(Performance from April 6, 1974) 

Few roles captured the artistry of the great Luciano Pavarotti as completely as the loveable, simple farmer Nemorino. This is the first time the tenor starred in a broadcast of L’Elisir from the Met, and it shows just why he, his incomparable voice, and his charm were embraced by the entire world. It’s also no wonder that Adina (a sparkling Judith Blegen) finally admits she returns his love. John Reardon is the dashing Sergeant Belcore who momentarily throws a wrench into things, but with some help from Ezio Flagello (Dr. Dulcamara) everything turns out as it should. 

READ SYNOPSIS 

MUSIC 

What separates L’Elisir d’Amore from dozens of charming comedies composed around the same time is not only the superiority of its hit numbers but the overall consistency of its music. It represents the best of the bel canto tradition that reigned in Italian opera in the early 19th century—from funny patter songs to rich ensembles to wrenching melody in the solos, most notably the tenor’s show-stopping “Una furtiva lagrima” in Act II. Its variations between major and minor keys in the climaxes are one of opera’s savviest depictions of a character’s dawning consciousness. 

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti 

Libretto: Felice Romani 

Conductor:Max Rudolf 

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

CAST: 

Nemorino: Luciano Pavarotti 

Adina: Judith Blegen 

Belcore: John Reardon 

Dr. Dulcamara: Ezio Flagello

April 13 | Die Fledermaus | Strauss

A scene from Die Fledermaus at the MET Opera with a Christmas tree and a man and woman in fancy clothing

Celebrating the opera’s 150th anniversary with a performance from December 31, 1986 

“A sumptuous fantasy out of some grand hotel of the Belle Epoch”—this was one critic’s comment when this production of the most Viennese of all operettas opened at the Met. Staged by Vienna’s own Otto Schenk (who also does a star turn as the jailer Frosch), with gorgeous sets and costumes by Günther Schneider-Siemssen and Peter J. Hall, it’s the essence of a carefree, slightly naughty take on the myth of the Imperial city by the Danube. Of course it helps to have an all-star cast: from Tatiana Troyanos’s arch, smoldering Prince Orlofsky to Kiri Te Kanawa’s dreamy, elegant Rosalinde to Judith Blegen’s pert Adele. No wonder all the men involved are completely smitten—and everybody is having the time of their lives. 

READ SYNOPSIS 

Composer: Johann Strauss Jr. 

Libretto: Karl Haffner And Richard Genée 

Conductor: Jeffrey Tate 

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

CAST: 

Eisenstein: Håkan Hagegård 

Prince Orlofsky: Tatiana Troyanos 

Adele: Judith Blegen 

Dr. Falke: Michael Devlin 

Rosalinde: Kiri Te Kanawa 

Alfred: David Rendall