Airs Saturday, June 30 at 12:00 noon. Here it is—the granddaddy of grand-opera spectacle—complete with pyramids and potentates, priestesses and dancing girls, plus armies of soldiers and slaves! At its heart, a treacherous love triangle and a relationship that was never meant to be. Aida, the enslaved Ethiopian princess, and Radames, leader of the Egyptian army that conquered her homeland, long to be together forever. But someone else wants Radames, too—it’s Amneris, the jealous daughter of the Pharaoh himself! Impassioned arias, surging choruses, and exhilarating orchestral music show us Verdi at the peak of his powers–masterfully balancing pomp and pageantry with a deeply moving personal tragedy.
Airs Saturday, June 16 at 12:00 noon. This spectacular new production marshals the choral and orchestral forces of our world-renowned company to present Show Boat in all its glory! Created in 1927, this seminal masterpiece gave American musical theater and opera a new voice — one with powerful subject matter, astonishing musical variety and an unmistakably American atmosphere. Moving from 1890s Mississippi to Chicago to “Roaring 20s” Broadway, Show Boat follows the lives of a company of theater folk — deeply involving us in their triumphs and sorrows, while illuminating the racial and social changes that were shaping the country. You’ll love every character: Julie, Joe, Queenie…and especially Magnolia and Ravenal. She’s an aspiring young actress; he’s an irresistible, gambling cad who leaves her when his luck runs out. But Magnolia moves on with her life — eventually becoming a major star. Unforgettable songs, dazzling choreography, and an epic story that moves us with its humanity — Show Boat is both great entertainment and great art.
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!