Donald Macleod presents Le Nozze di Figaro, K492, with the Chicago Lyric Opera conducted by Andrew Davis, and La Clemenza di Tito, K621, conducted by Rene Jacobs.
Le Nozze di Figaro, K492
When Count Almaviva decides to exercise his droit de seigneur and sample the delights of Figaro's bride-to-be, Susanna, he sets off a train of events which do not make his life any easier.
Figaro - Kyle Ketelsen
Susanna - Danielle de Niese
Countess - Anne Schwanewilms
Count - Mariusz Kwiecien
Cherubino - Joyce DiDonato
Marcellina - Lauren Curnow
Bartolo - Andrea Silvestrelli
Basilio - Keith Jameson
Antonio - Philip Kraus
Barbarina - Angela Mannino
Curzio - David Portillo
Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Conducted by Andrew Davis
La Clemenza di Tito, K621
Based on the life of the Roman Emperor Titus, the work was commissioned to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor as King of Bohemia, in September 1791.
At the core of the opera is Vitellia's plot to assassinate Titus, but there is also unrequited love, a great deal of intrigue, and some heart-stopping reversals of fortune along the way.
In this acclaimed recording, Rene Jacobs conducts an all-star cast.
Tito - Mark Padmore
Vitellia - Alexandrina Pendatchanska
Sesto - Bernarda Fink
Annio - Marie-Claude Chappuis
Servilia - Sunhae Im
Publio - Sergio Foresti
RIAS Kammerchor, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, conductor René Jacobs.
Donald Macleod presents performances of Le nozze di Figaro and La clemenza di Tito.  Mozart - Idomeneo, Re Di Creta20110109 Idomeneo, K366
Idomeneo, at risk of drowning at sea, makes a vow to Neptune: to sacrifice, if he arrives safely on land, the first living creature he should meet.
Unfortunately, when he is washed up on a Cretan beach, the first person he sees is his own son.
Idomeneo - Anthony Rolfe Johnson
Idamante - Anne Sofie von Otter
Ilia - Sylvia McNair
Elettra - Hillevi Martinpelto,
Arbace - Nigel Robson
Monteverdi Choir,
English Baroque Soloists,
John Eliot Gardiner.
A complete performance of Mozart's opera Idomeneo, re di Creta, K366.  Live From The Met, Verdi's La Traviata20110115 The Met season continues with Verdi's ever-popular La Traviata.
The consumptive courtesan Violetta renounces her life of parties to settle down with the devoted Alfredo.
But when Alfredo's father asks her to give Alfredo up for the sake of his family's reputation, she agrees to this terrible sacrifice.
By the time Alfredo finds out the truth, it's too late for them.
Gianandrea Noseda conducts a cast including Marina Poplavskaya and Matthew Polenzani as the ill-fated lovers.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Violetta Valéry - Marina Poplavskaya (Soprano)
Alfredo Germont - Matthew Polenzani (Tenor)
Giorgio Germont - Andrzej Dobber (Baritone)
Flora Bervoix - Jennifer Holloway (Mezzo-soprano)
Annina - Maria Zifchak (Soprano)
Gastone - Scott Scully (Tenor)
Barone Douphol - Jason Stearus (Baritone)
Marchese d'Obigny - Kyle Pfortmiller (Bass)
Dottore Grenvil - Luigi Roni (Bass)
Giuseppe - Juhwan Lee (Tenor)
Flora's servant - Seth Malkin (Bass)
Commissioner....Joseph Turi (Bass)
Gianandrea Noseda - (Conductor)
Orchestra and Chorus of Metropolitan Orchestra.
Gianandrea Noseda conducts Verdi's La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.  Live From The Met, Verdi's Rigoletto20110122 This year's Met season continues with Verdi's Rigoletto, based on Victor Hugo's play 'Le roi s'amuse'.
The Duke of Mantua's hunchbacked jester Rigoletto has raised his daughter Gilda in seclusion from the world.
When Count Monterone's daughter is seduced by the Duke, Rigoletto mocks him, causing Monterone to curse him.
Then Gilda is also seduced by the Duke, and the curse begins to take terrible effect.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Rigoletto, the Duke's jester - Giovanni Meoni (Baritone)
Gilda, his daughter - Nino Machaidze (Soprano)
Duke of Mantua - Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Sparafucile, an assassin - Stefan Kocán (Bass)
Maddalena, his sister - Kirstin Chávez (Contralto)
Giovanna, Gilda's nurse - Kathryn Day (Mezzo-soprano)
Count Ceprano - David Crawford (Bass)
Countess Ceprano, his wife - Edyta Kulczak (Mezzo-soprano)
Matteo Borsa, a courtier - Eduardo Valdes (Tenor)
Count Monterone - Quinn Kelsey (Baritone)
Marullo - Malcolm MacKenzie (Baritone)
A Court Usher - Joseph Pariso (Bass)
A Page - Patricia Steiner (Mezzo-soprano)
Paolo Arrivabeni - Conductor
Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera.
Paolo Arrivabeni conducts Verdi's opera Rigoletto, based on a Victor Hugo play.  Live From The Met, Puccini's Tosca20110129 Live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York: Tosca, Puccini's tale of love, lust, corruption and revenge.
In this revival of Luc Bondy's dramatic production, Sondra Radvanovsky sings the title role for the first time at the Met, starring as the prima donna with the firebrand artist lover, who thinks she knows how to outwit the notorious Baron Scarpia - the vicious Police Chief, who will stop at nothing to have her.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer - Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Mario Cavaradossi, a painter - Marcelo Álvarez (Tenor)
Baron Scarpia, chief of police - Falk Struckmann (Baritone)
Cesare Angelotti, former Consul of the Roman Rep.
Peter Volpe (Bass)
A Sacristan - Paul Plishka (Bass)
Spoletta, a police agent - Dennis Petersen (Tenor)
Sciarrone, a gendarme - James Courtney (Bass)
A Jailer - Harold Wilson (Bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera
Marco Armiliato - Conductor.
From the Metropolitan Opera in New York, a performance of Puccini's Tosca.  Live From The Met, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra20110205 Dmitri Hvorostovsky stars in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, live from the Met, conducted by James Levine.
Barbara Frittoli sings Amelia, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Fiesco, and Ramón Vargas, Adorno.
In fourteenth-century Genoa, there is a conspiracy afoot to overthrow the aristocracy.
Popular former pirate Simon Boccanegra will be made doge, but this public success is complicated by a private tragedy involving an illegitimate child he had by the daughter of a nobleman.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Simon Boccanegra, a corsair - Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Baritone)
Maria Boccanegra, his daughter, aka Amelia - Barbara Frittoli (Soprano)
Jacopo Fiesco, a Genoese nobleman - Ferruccio Furlanetto (Bass)
Gabriele Adorno, a Genoese gentleman - Ramón Vargas (Tenor)
Paolo Albiani, a goldsmith - Nicola Alaimo (Bass)
Pietro, a Genoese popular leader - Richard Bernstein (Baritone)
Captain of the Crossbowmen - Adam Laurence Herskowitz (Tenor)
Amelia's maid - Edyta Kulczak (Mezzo-soprano)
James Levine - Conductor
Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera.
James Levine conducts Verdi's opera Simon Boccanegra, featuring Dmitri Hvorotovsky.  John Adams's Nixon In China20110212 
Live from the New York Metropolitan Opera, John Adams's Nixon in China makes its debut at the Met in the same production first seen at ENO in 1987.
In February 1972 President Nixon and his wife visit Chairman Mao in Communist China.
The opera explores this legendary moment in American history, and the political and cultural differences which arise between the two leaders.
Adam's wonderfully energetic score is conducted by the composer, with James Maddalena reprising Nixon, a role which he has made his own.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Richard Nixon - James Maddalena (Baritone)
Pat Nixon - Janis Kelly (Soprano)
Chou En-lai - Russell Braun (Baritone)
Mao Tse-tung - Robert Brubaker (Tenor)
Henry Kissinger - Richard Paul Fink (Bass)
Chiang Ch'ing - Kathleen Kim (Soprano)
Nancy T'sang, first secretary to Mao - Ginger Costa-Jackson (Mezzo-soprano)
Second secretary to Mao - Teresa S.
Herold (Contralto)
Third secretary to Mao - Tamara Mumford (Contralto)
John Adams - Conductor
Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera.
From New York's Metropolitan Opera, John Adams conducts his 1987 opera Nixon in China.  Live From The Met, Donizetti's Don Pasquale20110219 Live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In Donizetti's brilliant comedy, the elderly bachelor Don Pasquale plans to marry and produce an heir in order to disinherit his nephew, Ernesto, who has become infatuated with a young widow, Norina.
Don Pasquale asks his doctor to help fix him up with a suitable woman but the cunning doctor tricks Pasquale into marrying a disguised Norina, who promptly begins to drive him to distraction.
Anna Netrebko returns to the role of Norina, in which she made her Met debut.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Norina - Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Ernesto - Matthew Polenzani (Tenor)
Dr Malatesta - Mariusz Kwiecien (baritone)
Don Pasquale - John Del Carlo (bass)
Notary....Bernard Fitch (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera
conductor James Levine.
James Levine conducts soprano Anna Netrebko in Donizetti's last comic opera, Don Pasquale.
   Live From The Met, Gluck's Iphigenie En Tauride20110226 Another day in ancient Greece.
Iphigenia is sacrificed by her father, but is saved by a goddess who transports her to Tauris, where she becomes High Priestess.
Her brother Orestes, after murdering their mother (who had murdered their father, to avenge the sacrifice of Iphigenia), is pursued by the Furies.
Fast forward fifteen years.
Orestes and his friend Pylades are washed up on to the beach at Tauris by a storm.
Time for a happy reconciliation? Not yet: neither Orestes nor Iphigenia recognize each other, and neither reveals to the other their true identity.
As a recent and unknown arrival in Tauris it begins to look bad for Orestes when, in the course of her High Priestess duties, Iphigenia is ordered by her boss (Thoas, king of the Scythians) to sacrifice all strangers.
Luckily, Iphigenia is reluctant to do the deed, and Thoas is prevented from finishing off Orestes himself by the timely arrival of Pylades with a group of Greek soldiers.
Now, at last, it really is time for a happy ending.
Ever since its 1779 Paris premiere, Gluck's potent take on post-Trojan War practical and psychological family problems has gripped audiences and attracted the great singers of the day.
Soprano Susan Graham and tenor-turned-baritone Plácido Domingo play the siblings who unexpectedly wind up together and have to contend with all the usual predicaments of ancient Greek drama.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait.
Iphigénie - Susan Graham (soprano)
Oreste - Plácido Domingo (baritone)
Pylade - Paul Groves (tenor)
Thoas - Gordon Hawkins (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of the New York Metropolitan Opera
Patrick Summers (conductor).
Susan Graham and Placido Domingo in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, based on the Greek myth.
   Live From The Met, Rossini's Armida20110305 Live from the Metropolitan Opera.
Rinaldo is a fierce warrior, determined to play his part in the crusades.
But when he encounters Armida, who is on the opposing side, he loses sight of his Christian duties and idles as a lovesick prisoner in her enchanted garden.
It is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue.
Renée Fleming and Lawrence Brownlee star in the Met's new production.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait.
Armida - Renee Fleming (soprano)
Rinaldo - Lawrence Brownlee (tenor)
Goffredo - John Osborn (tenor)
Gernando - Antonino Siragusa (tenor)
Carlo - Barry Banks (tenor)
Ubaldo - Kobie van Rensburg (tenor)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
Riccardo Frizza (conductor).
From the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Riccardo Frizza conducts Rossini's Armida.  Live From The Met, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov20110312 Tonight's Live from the Met is Mussorgsky's dramatic Pushkin-based opera Boris Godunov.
René Pape takes on one of the great operatic bass roles of Boris, who kills the heir to the Russian throne and subsequently becomes Tsar himself.
Plagued by guilt and political problems, there's now a new claimant to power, threatening his own future, and that of his troubled country.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Boris Godunov - René Pape (bass)
Marina - Ekaterina Semenchuk (mezzo-soprano)
Dimitri - Aleksandrs Antonenko (tenor)
Shuisky - Oleg Balashov (tenor)
Rangoni - Evgeny Nikitin (bass-baritone)
Pimen - Mikhail Petrenko (bass)
Varlaam - Vladimir Ognovenko (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan opera
Valery Gergiev - conductor.
Valery Gergiev conducts bass Rene Pape in Mussorgsky's Pushkin-based opera Boris Godunov.  Live From The Met, Donizetti's Lucia Di Lammermoor20110319 Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Natalie Dessay stars as the innocent Lucia, forced by her brother into a political marriage with Arturo when she's desparately in love with Edgardo.
The heartbreak and ruthlessness of her brother become too much for the fragile heroine, with tragic consequences.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Lucia - Natalie Dessay (soprano)
Edgardo - Joseph Calleja (tenor)
Enrico - Ludovic Tezier (baritone)
Raimondo - Kwangchul Youn (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
Patrick Summers - conductor.
Patrick Summers conducts soprano Natalie Dessay in Donizetti's tragic Lucia di Lammermoor.
   Live From The Met, Tchaikovsky's The Queen Of Spades20110326 Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Tchaikovsky's opera tells the tragic tale of the young officer Hermann's obsession with gambling.
An old Countess knows the secret of the winning cards, but, when Hermann confronts her and demands to know what it is, she dies.
Returning later as an apparition, she offers Hermann the secret as a reward if he will marry her granddaughter Lisa.
In the final scene of the opera Hermann wagers everything he has; the first two cards he chooses are winners, but the third, instead of being the winning ace, is the queen of spades.
In desperation, Hermann stabs himself pleading for Lisa's forgiveness.
Lisa - Karita Mattila (soprano)
Paulina - Tamara Mumford (mezzo soprano)
The Countess - Dolora Zajick (mezzo soprano)
Ghermann - Vladimir Galouzine (tenor)
Tomsky - Alexej Markov (baritone)
Yeletsky - Peter Mattei (baritone)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
Andris Nelsons - conductor.
Andris Nelsons conducts a performance of Tchaikovsky's tragic opera The Queen of Spades.  Live From The Met, Wagner's Das Rheingold20110402 Tonight's Live from the Met is the first installment of Wagner's Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold, in which all the problems for the gods in Valhalla and mortals on earth are set up for the rest of the epic cycle.
A stellar cast includes Bryn Terfel as Wotan with Fabio Luisi conducting.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Freia - Wendy Bryn Harmer (soprano)
Fricka - Stephanie Blythe (mezzo-soprano)
Erda - Patricia Bardon (mezzo-soprano)
Loge - Arnold Bezuyen (tenor)
Mime....Gerhard Siegel (tenor)
Wotan - Bryn Terfel (baritone)
Alberich - Eric Owens (bass)
Fasolt - Franz-Josef Selig (bass)
Fafner - Hans-Peter Konig (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan opera
Conductor - Fabio Luisi.
Fabio Luisi conducts the first installment of Wagner's Ring cycle, Das Rheingold.
   Turnage's Anna Nicole20110402 Mark Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole
From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Presented by Suzy Klein
Written in partnership with librettist Richard Thomas, the creator of Jerry Springer: the Opera, Turnage's critically acclaimed new opera takes a close look at the life of Anna Nicole Smith, the Playboy bunny who married an octogenarian billionaire, only to discover that "there's no such thing as a free ranch".
Anna Nicole - Eva-Maria Westbroek (Soprano)
Old Man Marshall - Alan Oke (Tenor)
The Lawyer Stern - Gerald Finley (Bass)
Virgie - Susan Bickley (Mezzo soprano)
Cousin Shelley - LorÃ(c) Lixenberg (Mezzo soprano)
Larry King - Peter Hoare (Tenor)
Aunt Kay - Rebecca de Pont Davies (Soprano)
Blossom - Allison Cook (Mezzo soprano)
Doctor - Andrew Rees (Baritone)
Billy - Grant Doyle (Baritone)
Daddy Hogan - Jeremy White (Bass)
John Parricelli (Guitarist)
John Paul Jones (Bass Guitarist)
Peter Erskine (Drummer)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House,
Conductor - Antonio Pappano.
From the Royal Opera House, Suzy Klein presents the world premiere of Anna Nicole.
   Live From The Met, Le Comte Ory20110409 Count Ory is determined to win the countess Adele, and will do anything to get access to the castle where the women are, including disguising himself and his men as nuns.
Rossini's sparkling comedy Le Comte Ory has its Metropolitan Opera premiere with tenor star Jan Diego Florez as the count, Diana Damrau as Adele and Joyce DiDonato in the trouser role of Isolier.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Countess Adele - Diana Damrau (soprano)
Isolier - Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)
Ragonde - Susanne Resmark (mezzo-soprano)
Count Ory - Juan Diego Florez (tenor)
Rimbaud - Stephane Degout (baritone)
The Prompter - Rob Besserer (baritone)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
Conductor - Maurizio Benini.
Maurizio Benini conducts Rossini's opera Le Comte Ory in its Metropolitan Opera premiere.
   Berg: Wozzeck20110416 Berg's Wozzeck
Live from the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Here we go: jealousy, humiliation, murder and suicide.
It sounds as if it could be any night at the opera.
But Alban Berg's Wozzeck is one of the 20th century's greatest dramatic works, the story of a man at the bottom of the heap who goes to pieces under unrelenting pressure.
It's an opera of extraordinary power which combines traditional musical forms with a plot of crushing despair, leaving no hint of hope or redemption.
Berg's masterpiece calls for great singer-actors on stage and a virtuoso orchestra and conductor in the pit.
Things are set fair with baritone Alan Held in the title role, mezzo Waltraud Meier as his common law wife, and an equally impressive supporting cast including Australian tenor-of-the-moment Stuart Skelton.
James Levine conducts: over the past four decades, he has been the driving force behind the Met Orchestra's rise to the premiere league of US ensembles.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Wozzeck - Alan Held (Baritone)
Marie - Waltraud Meier (Mezzo-soprano)
Drum Major - Stuart Skelton (Tenor)
Captain - Gerhard Siegel (Tenor)
Doctor - Walter Fink (Bass)
Andres - Russell Thomas (tenor)
Margret - Wendy White (contralto)
First Apprentice - Richard Bernstein (bass)
Second Apprentice - Mark Schowalter (baritone)
Madman - Philippe Castagner (tenor)
A Soldier - Daniel Clark Smith (tenor)
New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor - James Levine.
Berg's Wozzeck, with Alan Held and Waltraud Meier.
James Levine conducts.
   Live From The Met, Richard Strauss's Capriccio20110423 Richard Strauss's Capriccio
Live from the Metropolitan Opera
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
In Strauss's last opera, a poet and a musician vie for the attentions of a young widowed countess.
It opens with a string sextet prelude, the work of the hopeful young composer, Flamand.
The poet Olivier is preparing a new play for the Countess's birthday celebrations, and the two love rivals argue on a sensitive subject: which is of primary importance artistically - words or music? The Countess finds it impossible to choose between her two suitors.
In one of Strauss's most intimate operas, he explores the nature of his own art.
Countess - Renee Fleming (soprano)
Clairon - Sarah Connolly (mezzo soprano)
Flamand - Joseph Kaiser (tenor)
Olivier - Russell Braun (tenor)
The Count - Morten Frank Larsen (bass-baritone)
La Roche - Peter Rose (bass)
Monsieur Taupe - Bernard Fitch (tenor)
Italian Singer - Olga Makarina (soprano)
Barry Banks (tenor)
The Major-Domo - Michael Devin (bass)
New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
conductor Andrew Davis.
Richard Strauss's Capriccio, with Renee Fleming and Joseph Kaiser.
Andrew Davis conducts.  Live From The Met, Verdi's Il Trovatore20110430 Verdi's Il Trovatore
Live from the New York Metropolitan Opera
Presented by Margaret Juntwait
Leonora - Sondra Radvanovsky (soprano)
Count di Luna - Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone)
Manrico - Marcelo Álvarez (tenor)
Azucena - Dolora Zajick (mezzo-soprano)
Ines - Maria Zifchak (soprano)
Ruiz - Eduardo Valdes (tenor)
An Old Gypsy - Robert Mahler (bass)
A Messenger - Raymond Aparentado (tenor)
Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Conductor - Marco Armiliato.
From New York's Metropolitan Opera, a performance of Verdi's Il trovatore.  Live From The Met, Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos20110507 Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos
Live from the New York Metropolitan Opera
In the grand house of an 18th century nobleman preparations are underway for the performance of a serious new opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, to be followed by an Italian comic opera.
But due to a mix up with the timings, the performers are told that both operas are going to have to be performed at the same time.
The composer will have to cut his opera, and the troupe of comedians will be let loose on the opera seria, trying to cheer Ariadne up with singing, dancing and advice about love.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait and Ira Siff.
Ariadne - Violeta Urmana (soprano)
The Composer - Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)
Zerbinetta - Kathleen Kim (soprano)
Harlequin - Vasili Ladyuk (baritone)
Scaramuccio - Mark Schowalter (tenor)
Truffaldino - Joshua Bloom (bass)
Brighella - Paul Appleby (tenor)
The Music Master - Thomas Allen (baritone)
Bacchus - Robert Dean Smith (tenor)
The Dancing Master - Tony Stevenson (tenor)
A Wigmaker - David Crawford (baritone)
A Footman - James Courtney (bass)
An Officer - Noah Baetge (tenor)
The Major-Domo - Michael Devlin (spoken role)
Metropolitan Opera Chorus
Conductor - Fabio Luisi.
From New York's Metropolitan Opera, a performance of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos.  Live From The Met, Wagner's Die Walkure20110514 The Met's lavish production of Wagner's epic four-opera Ring reaches its second instalment, Die Walküre.
If only Top God and serial philanderer Wotan had been able to keep his trousers on, he would have saved himself a great deal of trouble.
As it is, eleven of his children stalk the stage, causing havoc in one way or another.
Nine of them have chosen the career path of warrior-maidens - the Valkyries - including their leader (and Wotan's favourite) Brünnhilde.
The other two are a pair of twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde.
They have chosen the rather more questionable use of their time to be lovers - a relationship not only incestuous but also adulterous, since Sieglinde is already married.
Wotan sends Big Sister Brünnhilde to guard the lovers, much to the chagrin of his missus, Fricka.
Chagrin, because her job (ironically enough considering what her husband has put her through) is Goddess of the Sanctity of Marriage.
Throw in a magic sword and the usual disobedience a father can expect from his kids and, sure as eggs is eggs, there'll be tears before bedtime.
The no-expense-spared cast includes Bryn Terfel as the prodigious bed-hopper Wotan and Stephanie Blythe as his long-suffering wife, Fricka.
Deborah Voight is the disobedient daughter and protective sister Brünnhilde, and Eva Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann the incestuous twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde.
James Levine conducts.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Siegmund - Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)
Sieglinde - Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano)
Hunding - Hans-Peter König (bass)
Wotan - Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)
Fricka - Stephanie Blythe (mezzo-soprano)
Brünnhilde - Deborah Voigt (soprano)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Conductor - James Levine.
From the Metropolitan Opera, New York, James Levine conducts Wagner's Die Walkure.  Wagner's Parsifal20110521 From the English National Opera
Presented by Donald Macleod
Mark Wigglesworth conducts ENO's highly acclaimed production of Wagner's last opera.
The knights of the Holy Grail are in disarray.
Only a blameless fool, made wise through compassion, can cure Amfortas's wound and so set them on the way to recovery.
Unlikely as it seems at first, Parsifal might well be that saviour.
Parsifal - Stuart Skelton (tenor)
Amfortas - Iain Paterson (bass)
Titurel - Andrew Greenan (bass)
Gurnemanz - John Tomlinson (bass)
Klingsor - Tom Fox (bass)
Kundry - Jane Dutton (mezzo soprano)
English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor - Mark Wigglesworth.
Mark Wigglesworth conducts ENO's celebrated production of Wagner's last opera, Parsifal.  Weinberg's The Portrait20110528 The Jewish composer Moisey (Mieczyslaw) Weinberg was born in Poland, but fled from the Nazis to Russia where he became a close friend of Shostakovich.
However, today his music is much less well known than that of his contemporaries.
His 3-act opera The Portrait is based on a short story by Nikolai Gogol, and tells the cautionary tale of the painter Chartkov who yearns for fame and fortune until he acquires a portrait which brings him exactly that.
Blinded by the attentions of the rich and famous he betrays his artistic integrity and, distraught at his own actions, resorts to desperate measures.
This new production by Opera North is directed by David Poutney, a leading figure in the revival of Weinberg's music.
Acclaimed tenor Paul Nilon takes the lead role of Chartkov and the Orchestra of Opera North is conducted by Rossen Gergov.
Presented by Christopher Cook with David Nice, an expert on Russian music.
Chartkov - Paul Nilon (tenor)
Liza - Katherine Broderick (soprano)
Nikita - Richard Burkhard (baritone)
Professor of Fine Arts/Journalist/Art Dealer/Landlady/Earl - Peter Savidge (baritone)
Lamplighter/Noble Gentleman - Nicholas Sharratt (tenor)
3rd Seller/Dignitary - Jonathan Best (bass)
Policeman/General - Richard Angas (bass)
Female Seller/Lady in Waiting - Helen Field (soprano)
1st Seller/1st Waiter/Turk - Mark Le Brocq (tenor)
2nd Seller/2nd Waiter/Cavalry Officer - Christopher Steele (tenor)
Noblewoman - Carole Wilson (mezzo-soprano)
Orchestra of Opera North conducted by Rossen Gergov.
An Opera North production of Moisey Weinberg's three-act opera The Portrait.  Massenet's Werther20110604 The passionate young poet Werther meets Sophie, and falls instantly in love with her.
Sophie falls for him too, but had promised her dying mother she'd marry Albert, and can't break her vow.
Werther won't accept this, leading to tragic consequences for everybody.
Massenet's Goethe-based opera is performed at the Royal Opera House with star tenor Rolando Villazon and Sophie Koch as the doomed lovers.
Antonio Pappano conducts, and talks to Andrew McGregor about his view of the opera.
Presented by Andrew McGregor
Werther - Rolando Villazon (tenor)
Charlotte - Sophie Koch (mezzo-soprano)
Albert - Audun Iversen (baritone)
Sophie - Eri Nakamura (soprano)
Magistrate - Alain Vernhes (bass)
Johann - Darren Jeffrey (baritone)
Schmidt - Stuart Patterson (tenor)
Conductor - Antonio Pappano
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Tenor Rolando Villazon and mezzo Sophie Koch star in Massenet's opera Werther.  Rimsky-korsakov's The Tsar's Bride20110611 Presented by Martin Handley
The Tsar has been looking for a bride, and assembled some 2000 girls for inspection.
The one he's taken with is Marfa, but she is already promised in marriage to her childhood sweetheart Ivan.
The situation is already complicated enough, but Marfa is also loved by another powerful man, Grigory, who's one of the Tsar's secret police.
It's a love-triangle which has all the makings of catastrophe.
Marfa Sobakina - Marina Poplavskaya (soprano)
Grigory Gryaznoy - Johan Reuter (baritone)
Lyubasha - Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo-soprano)
Ivan Sergeyevich Lïkov - Dmitry Popov (tenor)
Elisa Bomelius - Vasily Gorshkov (bass)
Vasily Sobakin - Paata Burchuladze (bass)
Dunyasha Saburova - Jurgita Adamonyte (mezzo-soprano)
Domna Saburova - Elizabeth Woollett (soprano)
Malyuta-Skuratov - Alexander Vinogradov (bass)
Petrovna - Anne-Marie Owens (mezzo-soprano)
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor - Sir Mark Elder.
Martin Handley presents Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride, with baritone Johan Reuter.  Verdi's Macbeth20110618 Presented by Andrew McGregor
When witches prophesy that Macbeth will be made thane of Cawdor and eventually King of Scotland, they unleash in him a turmoil of anticipation and misery.
But Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty.
She covets the kingship for him and is prepared to go to any length to obtain it.
Simon Keenlyside plays Macbeth and Liudmyla Monastyrska Lady Macbeth in this acclaimed revival from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Antonio Pappano conducts.
Macbeth - Simon Keenlyside (baritone)
Lady Macbeth - Liudmyla Monastyrska (soprano)
Banquo - Raymond Aceto (bass)
Macduff - Dmitri Pittas (tenor)
Malcolm - Steven Ebel (tenor)
Lady-In-Waiting - Elizabeth Meister (soprano)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Conductor - Antonio Pappano.
Andrew McGregor presents a performance of the celebrated revival of Verdi's Macbeth.  Beethoven's Fidelio20110625 Presented by Martin Handley
The opera that cost Beethoven so much time and energy tells the story of a woman's determination to rescue her husband from imprisonment at the hands of an evil governor.
Leonora disguises herself as a man - Fidelio - and takes a job as a guard at the prison where she believes her husband, Florestan, is interred.
She manages to charm the prison warden and his family (to the extent that his daughter falls in love with her) before taking on the governor and achieving her aim.
The Swedish soprano Nina Stemme tackles the demanding title-role for the first tme on stage and is supported by a highly experienced cast and conductor.
Leonore - Nina Stemme (soprano)
Florestan - Endrik Wottrich (tenor)
Jaquino - Steven Ebel (tenor)
Marzelline - Elizabeth Watts (soprano)
Don Pizarro - John Wegner (bass)
Don Fernando - Willard White (bass)
Rocco - Kurt Rydl (bass)
Prisoner - Dawid Kimberg (baritone)
Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Director Renato Balsadonna)
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor - Mark Elder.
Martin Handley presents a performance of Beethoven's opera Fidelio, starring Nina Stemme.


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Live From the met

  • The operas broadcast under the Live From The Met title are relays from the US broadcasting station, and the BBC is not allowed to make then available to listeners outside the UK, or to make them available on Listen Again or iPlayer services.
  • Sometimes they include the US programmes that go in the interval, e.g. a quiz, or sometimes they go to Radio 3 for the interval, which often is Twenty Minutes.



Programme Id

  • Programme ID: b006tnpy