Airs Saturday, December 31 at 12:00 noon
The 2011-2012 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues on New Year’s Eve afternoon with an archival broadcast of Johann Strauss Jr.’s lively operetta Die Fledermaus, originally broadcast on January 20, 1951. The light-hearted work, a traditional New Year’s favorite at opera companies, features an extraordinary cast led by longtime Philadelphia Orchestra music director Eugene Ormandy in his Met debut season: Patrice Munsel as Adele, Marguerite Piazza as Rosalinde, Risë Stevens as Prince Orlofsky, Richard Tucker as Alfred, John Brownlee as Dr. Falke, Charles Kullman as Eisenstein, and Oscar-nominated comic actor Jack Gilford in the speaking role of Frosch. This archival broadcast of Die Fledermaus will be heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12:00 noon on Saturday, December 31.
Munsel, just 25 years old at the time of this broadcast, had a major success in the role of the ambitious maid Adele. She was already an established Met star by 1951, having made her Met debut in Thomas’s Mignon eight years earlier at the age of 18. Piazza—well-known to television audiences for her regular role on Sid Caesar’s enormously popular “Your Show of Shows” —made her Met debut in the role of Rosalinde and went on to a long career in cabaret, Broadway, and television. This season’s performances of Fledermaus were the only times Stevens and Tucker sang in the operetta in their long and acclaimed Met careers, each of which spanned four decades and included hundreds of performances.
The single intermission will include “In Memoriam,” our annual tribute to Met stars who have passed away during the previous year. Among the artists to be featured are Giorgio Tozzi, Cornell MacNeil, and Salvatore Licitra.