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.
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!