World of Opera on HD-2

Saturdays 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Hosted by Lisa Simeone

Weekly performances by top American and international opera companies. Host Lisa Simeone explores the World of Opera.

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When we think of opera's biggest stars and greatest hits, we tend to think of solo arias. But that overlooks another operatic goldmine: duets.

Over the years, there have been plenty of classic duet collaborations, resulting in legendary recordings and performances. Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti come to mind, singing the "Cherry Duet" from Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz. Going back a little further, there's Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill with "Au fond du temple saint," the famous duet from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers.

The Bloodiest Opera Ever? Maybe Strauss' 'Elektra'

Oct 28, 2011

It's a story that would seem excessive for even the most lurid of "real life" dramas, or blood-soaked slasher movies. But it's always been right at home in the opera house — Richard Strauss' intense, one-act opera, Elektra.

An All-Consuming Parental Love: Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

Oct 21, 2011

It's easy to wonder whether actual events in the lives of great composers are directly reflected in their music. Sometimes people even argue about it. But in the case of personal tragedies early in Giuseppe Verdi's life, the case seems like a slam dunk.

When William Bolcom's opera A View from the Bridge premiered in Chicago in 1999, one critic described it as "Brooklyn verismo," invoking the emotive style popularized by Italian composers such as Puccini. And that pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Storms And Salvation: 'The Flying Dutchman'

Oct 7, 2011

Love him or hate him, Richard Wagner has a reputation as the composer of immense, four-hour-plus dramas rooted in confusing stories and drawn from obscure mythology.