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Opera On 320130112Verdi 200 on BBC Radio 3

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth, BBC Radio 3 continues its year-long survey of all Verdi's operas.

Live from the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

Presented by Margaret Juntwait with commentary by Ira Siff.

Verdi: Il Trovatore

Jealousy, vengeance and war intertwine in Verdi's melodrama, Il Trovatore. Set in wartime Spain, it revolves around the Count di Luna and his exploits in love and in battle, and Azucena, a gyspy who took revenge for her own mother's death by killing the count's baby brother many years earlier. When her own son, Manrico, rival to the Count in love and war, is captured, the events set in motion in the past play out with inevitably tragic consequences.

Leonora - Patricia Racette (soprano)

Manrico - Marco Berti (tenor)

Count di Luna - Alexey Markov (baritone)

Azucena - Stephanie Blythe (mezzo-soprano)

Ferrando - Christophoros Stamboglis (bass)

Ines - Edyta Kulczak (soprano)

Ruiz. - Hugo Vera (tenor)

An old gypsy - Brandon Bayberry (bass)

A messenger - David Lowe (tenor)

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Daniele Callegari, conductor

Throughout the year, as part of Verdi 200, there will be added features supporting the broadcasts, including podcasts and interviews, context and synopsis that will be available all year as part of Radio 3's unmissable guide to Verdi's operas.

An old gypsy - Brandon Bayberry (bass)

Presented by Margaret Juntwait with commentary by Ira Siff.

01Opera On 320130107Presented by John Shea

Verdi 200: I Lombardi, Verdi's opera set at the time of the First Crusade, in a performance given at the Maggio Musicale 2005 in Florence, conducted by Roberto Abbado and starring Erwin Schrott and Ramon Vargas.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all of Verdi's operas during the course of 2013. Tonight John Shea presents a story of fraternal strife set in the time of the First Crusade. When I Lombardi was first performed in Milan in 1843,contemporary accounts noted that the opera touched a chord of Italian nationalism: the Milanese decided that they were the Lombards, the Holy Land they were defending was Italy, and the Austrians were akin to the Saracens. But against this background is the story of two brothers who both love the same woman, and the tragic discord that arises as a result. Arvino is the lucky one - he marries Viclinda and is chosen to lead the Lombard crusaders - but his brother Pagano, tormented by jealousy, ends up as a hermit in the hills outside Antioch, in an attempt to expatiate his past sins.

Giselda: Dimitra Theodossiou (soprano)

Oronte: Ramón Vargas (tenor)

Pagano: Erwin Schrott (bass)

Arvino: Massimiliano Pisapia (tenor)

Viclinda: Katia Pellegrino (soprano)

Pirro: Marco Spotti (bass)

Accian: Cesare Lana (bass)

Sofia: Daniela Schillaci (soprano)

Prior: Enrico Cossutta (tenor)

Orchestra and chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Roberto Abbado, conductor.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all of Verdi's operas during the course of 2013. Tonight John Shea presents a story of fraternal strife set in the time of the First Crusade. When I Lombardi was first performed in Milan in 1843,contemporary accounts noted that the opera touched a chord of Italian nationalism: the Milanese decided that they were the Lombards, the Holy Land they were defending was Italy, and the Austrians were akin to the Saracens. But against this background is the story of two brothers who both love the same woman, and the tragic discord that arises as a result. Arvino is the lucky one - he marries Viclinda and is chosen to lead the Lombard crusaders - but his brother Pagano, tormented by jealousy, ends up as a hermit in the hills outside Antioch, in an attempt to expatiate his past sins.

Presented by John Shea

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all of Verdi's operas during the course of 2013. Tonight John Shea presents a story of fraternal strife set in the time of the First Crusade. When I Lombardi was first performed in Milan in 1843,contemporary accounts noted that the opera touched a chord of Italian nationalism: the Milanese decided that they were the Lombards, the Holy Land they were defending was Italy, and the Austrians were akin to the Saracens. But against this background is the story of two brothers who both love the same woman, and the tragic discord that arises as a result. Arvino is the lucky one - he marries Viclinda and is chosen to lead the Lombard crusaders - but his brother Pagano, tormented by jealousy, ends up as a hermit in the hills outside Antioch, in an attempt to expatiate his past sins.

02Opera On 320130108Presented by Louise Fryer

Verdi 200: I Vespri Siciliani, recorded at the Vienna State Opera, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, with Gregory Kunde as Arrigo, Angela Meade as Elena, Gabriele Viviani as Monforte and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Procida.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all Verdi's operas during the course of the coming year. Tonight Louise Fryer presents a story of divided loyalties, set against the background of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Elena, a feisty young Sicilian, hates the French because they have occupied her country and killed her brother. She loves Arrigo, who like her, is a Sicilian patriot. But things get complicated when it turns out that he is actually the son of the French oppressor, Monforte.

Arrigo - Gregory Kunde (tenor)

Elena - Angela Meade (soprano)

Monforte - Gabriele Viviani (baritone)

Procida - Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass)

Bethune - Alexandru Moisiuc (bass)

Vaudemont - Hans Peter Kammerer (bass)

Ninetta - Alisa Kolosova (contralto)

Danieli - Marian Talaba (tenor)

Tebaldo - Carlos Osuna (tenor)

Roberto - Tae-Joong Yang (bass)

Wiener Staatsoper orchestra and chorus

Gianandrea Noseda, conductor.

Presented by Louise Fryer

Verdi 200: I Vespri Siciliani, recorded at the Vienna State Opera, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, with Gregory Kunde as Arrigo, Angela Meade as Elena, Gabriele Viviani as Monforte and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Procida.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all Verdi's operas during the course of the coming year. Tonight Louise Fryer presents a story of divided loyalties, set against the background of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Elena, a feisty young Sicilian, hates the French because they have occupied her country and killed her brother. She loves Arrigo, who like her, is a Sicilian patriot. But things get complicated when it turns out that he is actually the son of the French oppressor, Monforte.

Gianandrea Noseda, conductor.

03Opera On 320130110Presented by Martin Handley

Verdi 200: Verdi's Simon Boccanegra recorded at La Scala, Milan, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, with Placido Domingo in the title role.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all Verdi's operas during the course of the coming year. Tonight Martin Handley presents a story set in 14th century Genoa. The city is riven by faction between the Plebeians and the Patricians, and when Boccanegra is declared Doge, there are many out to topple him. They include Gabriele, whose loyalties are complicated when he falls in love with Boccanegra's daughter, and Paolo, who will eventually administer the poison that will kill him. Recorded in 2010.

Simon Boccanegra - Plácido Domingo (baritone)

Amelia Grimaldi - Anja Harteros (soprano)

Gabriele Adorno - Fabio Sartori (tenor)

Jacopo Fiesco - Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass)

Paolo Albiani - Massimo Cavalletti (baritone)

Pietro - Ernesto Panariello (baritone)

Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan

Daniel Barenboim, conductor.

Presented by Martin Handley

Verdi 200: Verdi's Simon Boccanegra recorded at La Scala, Milan, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, with Placido Domingo in the title role.

To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, Radio 3 will broadcast all Verdi's operas during the course of the coming year. Tonight Martin Handley presents a story set in 14th century Genoa. The city is riven by faction between the Plebeians and the Patricians, and when Boccanegra is declared Doge, there are many out to topple him. They include Gabriele, whose loyalties are complicated when he falls in love with Boccanegra's daughter, and Paolo, who will eventually administer the poison that will kill him. Recorded in 2010.

Daniel Barenboim, conductor.