opera

One of the world's best-known opera stars, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has announced that she will never sing in public again — bringing a long, storied career to a close.

Ken Howard

 This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent production of Jacques Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffman" from LA Opera.

The production stars Vittorio Grigolo, Diana Damrau, Kate Lindsey and Kate Aldrich, and Placido Domingo conducts. Read more about the production here. An English translation of the libretto is available here.

Karen Almond

This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Macbeth" from LA Opera.

The production stars Placido Domingo as Macbeth and Ekaterina Semenchuk as Lady Macbeth, and James Conlon conducts. Read more about the production here. An English translation of the libretto is available here.

Mark Campbell is one of the most prolific and celebrated librettists in contemporary American opera. But, as he recently told an audience at the Guggenheim Museum, not everyone thought his latest project was a good idea.

Todd Rosenberg

This Saturday at 1 p.m., Classical IPR presents a recent production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Don Giovanni" from the Lyric Opera of Chicago

The production stars Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni, Ana Maria Martinez as Donna Elvira, Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna and Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello, and Sir Andrew Davis conducts. Click here for an English translation of the libretto.

Fame Is A Boomerang

Jun 7, 2017

As far as flashy, oversize coffee table books go, opera star Maria Callas is a fitting subject. A larger-than-life figure, she had a complicated off-stage story that played out with as much searing drama as the operas she sang. With hard work and sacrifice, Callas vaulted to the top of her art while pushing it to new levels of intensity. In her personal life, she searched for love, found it, then lost it and died young.

Todd Rosenberg

This Saturday at 1 PM, Classical IPR presents a recent production of Hector Berlioz's "Les Troyens" from the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Todd Rosenberg

This Saturday at 1 PM, Classical IPR presents a recent production of Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" from the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Todd Rosenberg

This Saturday at 1 PM, Classical IPR presents the first opera of the season from the American Opera Series. This week's broadcast is a recent production of Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold" from the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Du Yun, a 39-year-old composer, musician and performance artist, today won the Pulitzer Prize for music for her opera Angel's Bone. The Pulitzer jury describes the piece as a bold work "that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world." Angel's Bone, which has a libretto by the versatile Royce Vavrek (Missy Mazzoli's Breaking the Waves and David T.

Chinese-born composer Du Yun has taken home this year's Pulitzer Prize for music for her opera Angel's Bone, it was announced today during a ceremony in New York.

The opera firmament was shaken yesterday when a New York Times article, headlined "The Diva Departs: Renée Fleming's Farewell to Opera," landed online.

The first opera hit the stage over 400 years ago. More recently, the art form has been adapted to modern media: In the 1920s and '30s, operas were written to be performed on the radio, and in 1951, NBC commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to compose Amahl And The Night Visitors for television.

Symphony orchestras and opera companies across the country continually ask the same question: How do we attract a younger and more diverse audience?

Saturday night, I discovered something of an answer at the Washington National Opera's east coast premiere of Champion, a four-year-old opera by jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard.

In 21 seasons of attending WNO performances, I've never witnessed a more diverse crowd.

Jack Mitchell

Tune in to Classical IPR on Friday, February 24 at 6 PM to celebrate the 90th birthday of American soprano Leontyne Price. Presented by the WFMT Radio Network, The Stradivarius of Singers: A Tribute to Leontyne Price is a tribute in music and words to Price's life and career.

Composer Eugene Birman (left) and librettist Scot Diel on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The two artists created a contemporary opera that had its U.S. premiere in Marquette, Michigan.
Jacques-Alain Finkeltroc

Last summer, we met Eugene Birman and Scott Diel on an island in the middle of Lake Superior. They were working on their newest opera called State of the Union.

On almost everything Birman and Diel have attempted to do, they've tried to ask themselves, "Why does it have to be this way? Can it be different?"

Eugene Birman says in most cases, other people have responded, "Well yeah, I guess it can be.”


Aaron Selbig

IPR reporters Morgan Springer and Daniel Wanschura were recognized Saturday at the annual Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) awards banquet in St. Louis.

Springer won first place in the category "Soft Feature" for her story Behind bars, transformation through poetry, which tells the story of prisoners who find solace and community in a poetry writing workshop.

Librettist Scott Diel (left) and composer Eugene Birman (right) pictured during their two-week residency on Rabbit Island just off the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Andrew Ranville

Throughout the 19th century, operas were written to address the social issues of their day. Some people think those operas and their traditional format don’t have much context or relevance in today’s world.

Meet composer Eugene Birman and librettist Scott Diel. They believe opera should be made to reflect the current times and shed some of the formalities that characterize traditional opera.

That’s why they’re creating “State of the Union,” a neo-opera that challenges how humans view their urban environment, the world and each other. 

The piece will feature 12 voices. It doesn’t have any instruments, but it will have a megaphone.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Dec 8, 2014

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Richard Wagner’s comedy about romance and music-making in 16th-century Germany, conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. German baritone Michael Volle stars as the mastersinger and cobbler Hans Sachs, with South African heldentenor Johan Botha as the knight Walther von Stolzing and German soprano Annette Dasch as Eva. The cast also features Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser, Hans-Peter König as Pogner, Paul Appleby as David, and Karen Cargill as Magdalene.  Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, December 13 at 12pm ET.  Click Read More for link to Libretto.

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Nov 30, 2014
Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Rossini’s Il Barbiere di SivigliaThe Barber of Seville.  The comedy stars mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as the feisty Rosina; tenor Lawrence Brownlee as the lovestruck Count Almaviva; and baritone Christopher Maltman in his first Met appearances in the title role of the resourceful barber Figaro. Michele Mariotti conducts the performance, which also features Maurizio Muraro as Dr. Bartolo and Paata Burchuladze as Don Basilio.  Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, December 6 at 1pm ET.
Click Read More for link to the Libretto.

Detroit sure has seen its share of challenges in the past

4o years, but all through that time the city has been home to one of the most vibrant regional opera companies in the nation: The Michigan Opera Theatre.

The founder of the MOT is Dr. David DiChiera.

He’s recently been named the 2013 Kresge Eminent Artist. That prize is the Kresge Foundation’s annual lifetime achievement award in the Arts.

It’s been called the most prestigious local prize in the field of culture. David, We welcomed David to the program today.

*Listen to the audio above.