opera

LA Opera on Air begins a three opera series featuring Beaumarchais’ best-known character, Figaro, on this week’s Sunday Opera (8/20 3:00 p.m.) with Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”  Our Figaro in this production is Rodion Pogossov, and the couple he helps to find true love (for now), Count Almaviva and Rosina, are performed by Rene Barbera and Elizabeth DeShong.  Rosina’s peevish and somewhat lascivious guardian, Doctor Bartolo, is sung by LA favorite, Kristinn Sigmundsson.  After the opera, please join host Michael Kownacky for more music by Rossini, his Cantata in Honor of Pop

You are in love with one who does not return your love, so to prove how much you love her, you serve her your beloved pet cat for dinner  because there is nothing else in the house. She is impressed by the gesture, and agrees to marry you. Basically that is the story of La Colombe, Charles Gounod's one act comic opera he wrote only a year after setting Faust to music with its triumph of God over Mephistopheles, and its cosmic backdrop. Horace does not serve Sylvie a cat, but he does have an adored dove he tells Sophie he has sacrificed for her dinner.

A six-year initiative by the Houston Grand Opera will explore human and universal themes in operas new and old, and this week on A Tempo (Saturday 8/12 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz touches base with the opera company to learn more. She'll speak with HGO's Assistant Artistic Director, Paul Hopper, about the themes that will be covered in the initial years of "Seeking the Human Spirit", plans for new commissions, and community partnerships with hospitals, museums and other organizations to bring members of the broader community along on this operatic journey.

Jacques Offenbach’s charming setting of stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann will be on air for this week’s Sunday Opera (8/13 – 3:00 p.m.).  This performance from the Los Angeles Opera stars Vittorio Grigolo in as Hoffmann and Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse and The Muse of Poetry.  Nicolas Teste appears as the four foils in Hoffmann’s life, Lindorf, Coppelius,  Dapertutto, and Dr.

Our Sunday Opera continues from LA Opera on Air this week (8/6 – 3:00 p.m.) with Giuseppe Verdi’s tenth opera from 1847 “Macbeth.”  With a libretto based on the Shakespeare original by Francesco Maria Piave and Andrea Maffei, the tale of unbridled ambition features Placido Domingo in the title role.  As his Lady, you’ll hear Ekaterina Semenchuk, and the Banquo, Macduff, and Malcolm are Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Arturo Chacon-Cruz, and Josh Wheeker.  James Conlon conducts the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and Orchestra.  The afternoon continues with more Macbeths when Michael Kownacky will include

The late South African tenor Johan Bohta excels in the title role in Wagner’s “Tannhauser” in this week’s Sunday Opera (7/30 3:00 p.m.).  This 2015 performance from the Lyric Opera of Chicago which follows the poet / knight Tannhauser’s struggle between the love of the worldly pleasures in abundance in Venusberg and the emotional love he finds with Elisabeth also includes Amber Wagner as Elisabeth, Michaela Schuster as the jealous Venus, Gerald Finley as another poet Wolfram, and John Relyea as Elisabeth’s uncle Landgraf.  Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus and Orch

The music of Lakme by Leo Delibes is wonderfully French and served well by Mady Masple and the French cast conducted by Alain Lombard in this week's recording. The Flower Duet from Act One is justly included on many highlights recordings. But the plot has not aged well, and that is probably a reason why only three companies in America have produced it in the last several years.

Mozart’s much loved “Don Giovanni” is this week’s Sunday Opera (7/23 - 3:00 pm).  This performance of the story surrounding the nefarious doings and ultimate punishment of the licentious Don Juan comes from the 2015 season of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  Mariusz Kwiecien reprises his performance in the title role from the previous season, and he is joined by Kyle Ketelsen as Leoporello, Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna, Ana Maria Martinez as Donna Elvira, and Andrea Churchman as Zerlina with Sir Andrew Davis conducting the Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra.  After the opera, join Michael Kownacky

The the young, beautiful but waspish Vespetta tames her husband, the aging, vainglorious Pimpinone, in Georg Phillipe Teleman's one act comic opera Pimpinone. Granted, he is something of a dunce and it isn't much of a challenge. From 1725, Telemann wrote Pimpinone as comic relief between the acts of a much longer and more serious opera, and it influenced many of the comic operas that followed. Erna Roscher and Rudolf Brodner are the unlikely couple and Helmut Koch conducts the Berlin State Orchestra this Sunday night at 8 on the Lyric Stage.

Performances from The Lyric Opera of Chicago continue this week (7/16 3:00 p.m.) with their production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” featuring Mariusz Kwiecien as Onegin.  Joining him will be Ana Maria Martinez as Tatyana, Charles Castronovo as Lensky, Alisa Kolosova as Olga, and as Prince Gremin, Dmitry Belosselskiy.  Alejo Perez conducts the Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra.  Tchaikovsky’s music will also be featured after the opera when Michael Kownacky will conclude the program with the Manfred Symphony, Op. 58 performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Ricardo Chailly.

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