opera

In 1988 John McGlinn assembled an A list cast from opera and Broadway to record as  much of the surviving music from the 1927 musical Show Boat  that he could find- music that was cut from the original production, music written for the movie versions and music added to revivals.

Performances from the Lyric Opera of Chicago continue this Sunday (6/25 - 3:00 pm) with Mozart's perennial favorite battle of Good vs. Evil, "The Magic Flute."  The cast from Chicago includes Christiane Karg as Pamina, Matthew Polenzani as Tamino, Adam Plachetka as Papageno, and Kathryn Lewek as The Queen of the Night.  Also appearing are Christof Fischesser as Sarastro, Diana Newman as Papagena, and David Govertsen as the Speaker.  Rory MacDonald will conduct the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Miguel Cervantes' illustrious hero will be tilting at windmills this Sunday, 6/18, at 3 pm.  Jules Massenet's "Don Quichotte" from the Lyric Opera of Chicago will star Feruccio Ferlanetto in the title role with Clementine Margaine as his Dulcinee, and Nicola Alaimo as Sancho.  Sir Andrew Davis will be leading the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.  After the opera, host Michael Kownacky will continue the Massenet afternoon with a gorgeous ballet version of "Manon" compiled from pieces in Massenet's catalogue by Leighton Lucas (and Hilda Gaunt) with no music from Massenet's "Manon."   

The Lyric Stage presents Andre Gretry's one act L'epreuve Villageoise this week at 8 pm. This work is an example of what Gretry did best, which was write comic operas. It's a comedy of young love, old love, and jealousy that of course ends happily. Gretry lived from 1741 until 1813 during a time of tumult in France - a long period of tensions leading to revolution and finally dictatorship. 

The effort to keep Westminster Choir College intact and on its Princeton campus as Rider University seeks a buyer for the institution received a boost this week, as former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean Sr. stepped up as an honorary chairman of the movement.

Detail of "The Trojan Horse" by Henri Paul Motte

Sunday, June 11 at 3:00 pm:  This week's Sunday Opera will feature the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Hector Berlioz's epic "Les Troyens."   This grand opera is based on Virgil's "Aeneid," and the libretto begins with the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy and continues through to Dido's death and the impending destruction of Carthage.  

This week on the Lyric Stage we have a recording in English of Cavaleria Rusticana from 1927, in a superior performance and with excellent restored sound. The recording is by the soloists, chorus and orchestra of the British National Opera Company, a company active from 1920 until 1929, which had a strong commitment to opera in English just as its spiritual successor the, English National Opera, does today.

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Enrique Mazzola conducts this performance of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor from Lyric Opera of Chicago, featuring Albina Shagimuratova (Lucia), Piotr Beczala (Edgardo), Quinn Kelsey (Enrico) and Adrian  Sâmpetrean (Raimondo). Join us Sunday at 3 pm.

Then stay tuned as Michael Kownacky brings you more music from Donizetti, including the one-act opera Rita and dances from Les Martyrs.

This is a chance to hear a rarely performed opera that despite its premise, deserves more performances. Based on a short story by Roald Dahl, the music for the one act opera A Question of Taste is by William Schumann. The plot is about a bet concerning the hand of Scofield's daughter Louise and whether she will marry the aristocrat Pratt or her true love Tom, even if he's from "the wrong side of the tracks." It's set in the New York society of 1910. The premise is bizarre, but this is not the first opera where the music justifies a weak plot.

For many people, New Orleans is practically synonymous with jazz; it's the birthplace of both the music and many of its leading lights, from Louis Armstrong to Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. But now, one organization is working to draw attention to the city's history of opera music.

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