Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way.

A “complete failure” will air as this week’s Sunday Opera (12/31  3:00 p.m.) when Handel’s “Serse” (“Xerxes”) will be presented.  In 1738, this mix of high tragedy and low comedy went against the desires of audiences of the day, but it is this mix that has made it one of Handel’s most beloved and staged operas after, possibly, “Julius Caesar.”  Add to the tragi-comic mix that the king does not get what he wants, accepts it with humility, and lives to tell about it, well, it just made for a bad night of 18th century theatergoing.  Our cast from a 1998 recording includes Judith Malafronte as Xerxes, Jennifer Smith as Romilda, the object of his desire, Susan Bickley as Amastre, the princess to whom he’s been betrothed, and Brian Asawa as Xerxes’ brother Arsamene, the man who loves and is loved by Romilda.  

Enjoy this Christmas Eve edition of Sounds Choral as Ryan James Brandau continues his exploration of the Christmas music of JS Bach this week on Sounds Choral, Sunday (12/24) at 2 pm.

Two Christmas themed operas, and some additional holiday music, will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (12/24  3:00 p.m.).   The first is Hans Pfitzner’s charming fantasy entitled “Das Christ-Elflein” about a wood elf who travels with the Christ Child in order to find out more about humans and the celebration of Christmas.  The cast includes Helen Donath, Janet Perry, Alexander Malta, and Nikolaus Hilebrand with Kurt Eichhorn conducting.  

Penna Rose directs the Princeton Chapel Choir in a special Advent program, made up entirely of music and readings for the season.  Among the featured highlights will be Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata,” this Tuesday at 12 pm.

This Monday (12-18) on Bach at One Julian Wachner leads the Choir & Orchestra of Trinity Wall Street in J.S. Bach's Cantata 13, "Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen" (My sighs, my tears) and BWV 39, "Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot" ("Break with hungry men thy bread."

This week’s Sunday Opera (12/17  3:00 p.m.) is one of understanding, love, and compassion in Alexander von Zemlinsky’s “Der Traumgorge” which follows Gorge who loses his love Grete because of the fairytale world in which he lives.  He travels to find his idealized fairytale princess only to find another, Gertraud, who lives in pain, poverty, and loneliness, being accused of witchcraft and arson.  As he comes to understand Gertraud, and through his own poverty, Gorge finds meaning in his life.  David Kuebler is Gorge, and the three women in his life, Gertraud, Grete, and the Princess are Pa

Friday's Noontime Concert on 12-15 features the Dolce Suono Ensemble with music of Mozart, Delibes, Weber, Foumai, Stucky, Piazolla & Zhou Tian.

This Monday (12-11) on Bach at One Julian Wachner leads the Choir of Trinity Wall St. in music by Isaac, Webern, Sheppard, Dorman & Tallis. The performance, recorded in September from the Time's Arrow festival, features music by several 16th century composers that Webern particularly admired.

A forgotten tragedy from 1839 will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (12/10  3:00 p.m.) with the broadcast of Saverio Mercadante’s “Il Bravo.”  Based on a play that was, in turn, based on the novel “The Bravo” by James Fenimore Cooper, the libretto explores the inability of the Venetian government to properly care for its citizens.  Dino Di Domenico leads the cast as Il Bravo in this 1991 recording, and he’s joined by Adelisa Tabiadon, Janet Perry, Sergio Bertocchi, and Stefano Antonucci along with the Bratislava Philharmonic Chorus and The Italian International Orchestra with Bruno A

Friday's Noontime Concert (12/8) from Astral Artists, recorded at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia, features Debussy's "Ariettes oubliees" and Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2.

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