Airs Saturday, July 14 at 7 p.m. It was in the notoriously opera-critical country of Italy that Joan Sutherland was christened “The Stunning One” after her debut in Venice in 1960. The previous year, after her “Mad Scene” in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the applause lasted 20 minutes. The next year, in anticipation of her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the same role, the queue for standing room tickets began at 7.30 that morning.
Airs Saturday, June 23 at 12:00 noon. With Jerusalem as the prize, General Goffredo and his chief knight Rinaldo are battling it out with King Argante. But the king’s lover and ally is the sorceress Armida — and she uses every trick in her arsenal to help win the war. Good thing Rinaldo has some supernatural reinforcements of his own! Handel wanted to make it big in England, and he did it in spades with Rinaldo! For the first time he specified sorcery and magic in the plot — hiring an illustrious producer to bring it off, and booking a megastar for the lead. Three hundred years later, Lyric follows suit! Fabulous David Daniels headlines this amazing new production.
Rinaldo Features charismatic virtuoso singers. David Daniels as Rinaldo, one of the world’s top countertenor; As Armida, Elza van den Heever who offers an astonishing performances filled with emotional conviction and originality; As Argante, the phenomenal Luca Pisaroni, whose lightning vocal attack, nimble upper range, and ringing vivacity will leave you spell bound; and ss Rinaldo’s inamorata, you’ll love Julia Kleiter, the young German soprano who appears to rave reviews with major conductors, including Riccardo Muti!
Airs Saturday, June 9 at 12:00 noon. Vienna’s richest man is planning an incredible party. First — guests will enjoy a serious opera (the Prima Donna plays Ariadne, who’s ready to die on the island of Naxos because her lover’s jilted her). Then comes a ribald comedy, starring saucy Zerbinetta (who’s got a Ph.D. in flirting). And finally, there’s to be a pyrotechnic display. But the host suddenly decides both productions must take place simultaneously so the fireworks can start promptly at nine! The Composer’s aghast and the Prima Donna’s horrified. But watch what happens when Zerbinetta gets into the act and determines that Ariadne’s “tragedy” shouldn’t end unhappily after all! This is Strauss à la Rosenkavalier, with sparkling, luscious music that wraps itself around a witty comedy.
As Ariadne, Amber Wagner is vocally thrilling. Her voice is truly dramatic, with both amplitude and nuance. Zerbinetta’s all about stratospheric vocal acrobatics — ideal for Anna Christy, who entrances listeners with her coloratura fireworks display. The Composer is a poster child for impetuosity, and Alice Coote’s portrayal oozes emotional energy — her singing is glorious. Bacchus must sweep Ariadne off her feet — and tenor sensation Brandon Jovanovich will do just that, vocally descending from the heavens with swashbuckling boldness!
Airs Saturday, June 2 at 12:00 noon. Look out for dancing bears and dinosaurs as into the enchanted forest we go! Lyric’s inspired production reflects the composer himself — seamlessly blending emotional profundity with slapstick humor that appeals to the kid in us all. With a hapless and endearing birdcatcher as his sidekick, Prince Tamino is searching for the girl of his dreams. The mysterious Queen of the Night says her daughter’s the one — and just waiting to be rescued from the evil wizard, Sarastro. But it turns out he’s not the evil one at all! A young couple’s journey to adulthood, the search for universal truths, Masonic rituals and religious allegory — Flute gives us much to ponder, and music that’s a wondrous joy!
The performance is crowned by the passionate, womanly Pamina of Nicole Cabell...her vibrant lyric soprano floats exquisitely above the staff. Looking every inch the prince with charisma to spare, the extravagantly gifted Charles Castronovo gives a wonderful performance as Tamino. With his marvelously rich sound, Austrian bass Günther Groissböck makes an impressive and sonorous Sarastro. Stéphane Degout’s Papageno is funny, sexy and touching. Audrey Luna brings down the house as Queen of the Night.
Giuseppe Filianoti, Susanna Phillips, Brian Mulligan in Lucia di Lammermoor
Credit Dan Rest / Lyric Opera
Airs Saturday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. “Both heaven and earth have abandoned me.” Lucia In Scotland, Lucia and Edgardo are breathlessly, desperately in love. But their two clans are bitter rivals, so Lucia’s villainous brother Enrico sets out to kill his young sister’s romance. And he deploys every devious device he can muster, including lies, forgery, and finally the false revelation of Edgardo’s infidelity. Little wonder that Lucia is mentally crushed and destroyed, driven to madness and murder before she dies of a broken heart.