Airs Friday, February 14 at 11 p.m. Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians. Hosted by Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, I, Too, Sing America will dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen. As he did with his poetry, Hughes used music to denounce war, combat segregation and restore human dignity in the face of Jim Crow. His musical adventures included writing lyrics for stage pieces such as Black Nativity and Tambourines to Glory, works that helped give birth to the genre of Gospel Play, as well as songs for radio plays and political campaigns, and the libretto for Kurt Weill’s Street Songs.
Airs Saturday, January 25 at 12 noon. The 2013-14 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Donizetti’s comic romance L’Elisir d’Amore. Soprano Anna Netrebko reprises her portrayal of the irresistible heroine Adina, and tenor Ramón Vargas sings the role of Nemorino, the peasant who loves her, in a cast that also includes baritone Nicola Alaimo as Sergeant Belcore and bass-baritone Erwin Schrott as Doctor Dulcamara. Maurizio Benini returns to conduct the bel canto favorite. L’Elisir d’Amore will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.
Airs Saturday, January 5 at 11:00 a.m. The 2012-13 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Les Troyens, led by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. The cast for Berlioz’s epic, which travels from war-ravaged Troy to the North African shores of Carthage, is led by Bryan Hymel as the Trojan hero Aeneas; Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, the cursed prophetess; Susan Graham as Dido, Queen of Carthage; Dwayne Croft as Cassandra’s fiancé, Coroebus; Karen Cargill as Dido’s sister, Anna; Eric Cutler as Dido’s court poet, Iopas; and Kwangchul Youn as Narbal, Dido’s advisor. Les Troyens will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, January 5. The performance will also be transmitted worldwide as part of The Met: Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 1,900 movie theaters in 64 countries.
Air Saturday, December 1 at 12:00 noon The ultimate blend of action, music, scene and dramatic expression was Richard Wagner's goal in his "total work of art." Deutsche Welle brings you another performance from the Festspielhaus, which Wagner designed explicitly for his music dramas. This year the festival, still in the hands of Wagner's descendents, currently led by his great-granddaughters Eva Wagner-Pasquier and Katharina Wagner, begins with a new production of Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) as staged by Jan Philipp Gloger and conducted by Christian Thielemann. Deutsche Welle's Rick Fulker is there, introducing you to the production team and soloists and looking forward to sharing the Wagner fun with those who can't make it to the festival. With the demand for tickets exceeding the supply by a factor of ten, they are not lacking in numbers and have responded warmly to the radio transmissions, which convey the sense of event.
Airs Saturday, November 24 at 12:00 noon Recorded this summer in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden between two gala performances celebrating the 20th anniversary of Angela Gheorghiu's international debut appearances, the acclaimed soprano specially made time available to look back on her legendary career and discuss some of her most famous roles, in conversation with Jon Tolansky.
In this intimate and revealing portrait of one of the very greatest artists of our time, Verdi's La traviata, Massenet's Manon, Puccini's La boheme, Puccini's Madama Butterfly and also Vladimir Cosma's Marius et Fanny are on the bill, and there is an aria that Angela Gheorghiu will be singing when she is the star soloist in the World Orchestra for Peace's Sir Georg Solti Centennial Concerts in New York and Chicago later this fall.