opera

This Sunday at 8 pm The Lyric Stage presents Prokofiev's early student opera Maddelena, which wasn't produced until the 1980s because of the complexities of its singing roles. Tune in for an early glimpse at one of the 20th centuries great composers.

Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann was his last work and was left incomplete at the time of his death.  As a result, it is often staged with many changes that are against Offenbach's wishes.  On this week's Sunday Opera at 3 pm, we'll be looking at this wonderful score as it was meant to be produced and featuring a stellar cast lead by Francisco Araiza as Hoffmann, Samuel Ramey as all four of Hoffman's evil foils, Anne Sofie von Otter as The Muse / Niklausse, Eva Lind as Olympia, Jessye Norman as Antonia, and Cheryl Studer as the treacherous Giulietta.

Giuseppe di Stefano was called the bad boy of opera for choosing an exuberant life style over of a complete dedication to his art. But many still say he was one of the great tenors of the twentieth century and his early recordings show us why.

For many, Prokofiev's opera output is limited to Love for Three Oranges, but he wrote 14 in all, and on this week's Sunday Opera, we'll be looking at two of them:  Betrothal in a Monastery, the story of a young couple's trials as they try to marry against her father's wishes with often comic missteps along the way, and Maddalena, a one-act opera featuring a faithless woman who successfully rids herself of both her husband and lover in a unique way. Join Michael Kownacky at from 3 - 7 pm for this afternoon of rarely-heard operas.

The salon opera was a staple of the 19th century, and this week we have Pauline Viardot's one act Cendrillon. Based on Cinderella, it is more comic than tragic. She first presented it at her famous Parisian salon in 1904.

This week on Well-Tempered Baroque, Dr. Lewis Baratz explores the operas of Francesco Cavalli.  From humble origins in Crema to the illustrious Basicilia of St. Mark's to the opera houses of Venice and the court of Louis XIV, Francesco Cavalli was celebrated as the foremost opera composer of the mid-17th century.   Tune in this week to Well-Tempered Baroque to hear samples of this outstanding composer's music.  Friday night at 11.

The opera firmament was shaken yesterday when a New York Times article, headlined "The Diva Departs: Renée Fleming's Farewell to Opera," landed online.

This week's Sunday Opera (3 pm) will be taking two looks at operas with a connection to Gertrude Stein.  The first is The Mother of Us All, an opera about Susan B. Anthony by Virgil Thomson with a libretto by Stein that features Mignon Dunn in the title role along with James Atherton, Philip Booth, Batyah Godfrey, and the Santa Fe Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Raymond Leppard, cond.  The second is a 21st century work by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek titled "27" which looks at Stein's life with Alice B. Toklas in Paris, starring Stephanie Blythe and Elizabeth Futral.

Three singers in the early prime of their careers, Ettore Bastianini, Renata Scotto and Alfredo Krause sing highlights from Verdi's Rigoletto in this 1960 Studio Recording.

Gioachino Rossini wrote some forty operas, but only a select few are performed regularly.  On this week's Sunday Opera, hear one of his rarely performed works, the massive Matilde di Shabran, an 1821 opera that tells the story of a strong young woman who defeats her rival to win the man she's decided she wants.  Our Matilde in this live recording from the 2004 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro is Annick Massis, and her intended, although he doesn't quite know it, is the soaring Juan Diego Florez as Coradino.  Riccardo Frizza conducts the Prague Chamber Choir and the

Pages