George Frederic Handel: Rodelinda
Rodelinda is stricken with grief, believing that her husband, Bertirino, is dead, but is he? Several suitors try to steal her heart, yet she remains faithful to her husband’s memory. All is well that ends well and her husband returns, making a joyous ending to this masterpiece.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Cosi fan tutte
Comic opera at its best! Two gentlemen are in love with women who are sisters, and they devise a plot to test their fidelity. The men go off to a fictitious war and return disguised as Balkan soldiers. They try to seduce each other’s lover. Do the sisters give in? Tune in and find out.
Georges Bizet: Les Pêcheurs de Perles
Georges Bizet burst onto the colorful Parisian operatic scene with Les Pêcheurs de Perles in 1863, just a few months shy of his 25th birthday. It contains the most beautiful tenor and baritone duet in all the operatic repertoire. In the last act two lovers are scheduled to be executed. How do they escape their plight? (Archival broadcast by the late Al Ruocchio)
Great moments, scenes, and acts from the 19th-century Italian operatic master, Giuseppe Verdi. Music from Rigoletto, La Traviata, Otello, Don Carlos and more.
Douglas Moore and John Latouche: The Ballad of Baby Doe
A truly American opera, based on a true story and set in Leadville, Colorado. The young Elizabeth (Baby) Doe has left her husband and moves to Leadville. She meets and falls in love with Horace Tabor, a politician and investor in silver. However, HoracTabor is married to Augusta Tabor. It is quite the scandal for the day.
Giacomo Puccini: Il Trittico
Angelica belongs to an aristocratic Florentine family and is forced to don a nun’s habit after she gave birth to an illegitimate child. There is no respite for Angelica at the convent, only tragedy.
At sunset on the Seine sits an old cargo barge owned by an equally old Michele. Michele has married the much younger Giorgetta. However, Giorgetta is passionate for another.
In this comic opera, wealthy Buosu Donati has died leaving his assets to the monks, not his family. Outraged, greedy and wanting to be rich, his heirs engage in a ruse with the wily Gianni Schicchi. Amid the mayhem, Lauretta sings the beloved aria, “O mio babbino caro”, pleading with her father to marry her true love, Rinuccio.
Charles Gounod: Romeo and Juliet
Juliet wants to enjoy her life to the fullest before she gets married, however, her father has other ideas and has promised her to Count Paris. When Romeo enters the scene, all bets are off. It is love at first sight, even though they are from two different feuding families.
Almicare Ponchielli: La Gioconda
When La Gioconda, a street singer, crosses paths with Barnaba, an evil-hearted spy, a tangled web ensues. This opera has everything: deception, deceit, intrigue, suicide, murder, disguises, trickery, evil characters and more than a few poison elixirs.(An archival broadcast hosted by the late Al Ruocchio)
Giuseppe Verdi: Falstaff
Falstaff was Verdi’s second comic opera and his third work based on a Shakespeare play, following Macbeth and Otello. The plot revolves around the thwarted, sometimes farcical, efforts of the obese knight Sir John Falstaff while he tries to seduce two married women. Why? So that he may gain access to their family’s wealth!
Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas; The Fairy Queen
Dido, the queen of Carthage is in love with Aeneas, but a sorceress and her witches plan her downfall. They conjure up a storm and Aeneas believes that the gods are telling him to set sail and leave Dido forever.
By law, Demetrius must marry Hermia, but Hermia is in love with another. Meanwhile, Titiana, the fairy queen, is trying to hide a changeling boy from her husband, Oberon.
Francesco Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur
The actress Adriana has been waiting for many years for her lover, Maurizio, and tonight he is at the theatre to see her perform. Maurizio claims to have been called away on business. At a party she learns that Maurizio
is not who he claims to be. (An archival broadcast hosted by the late Al Ruocchio)
Franz Lehar: Die Luftige Witwe
The Merry Widow is Franz Lehar’s most celebrated and successful operetta. It is filled with uplifting waltzes, comical and tender moments and the eloquent aria, “Villia, O Villia”.
Richard Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg
Walther and Hans Sachs battle it out, each of them wanting to win the heart of Eva. Wagner’s only comic opera and his only opera that is based on an original story.