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Metropolitan Opera Radio: Verdi’s Aida

Airs Saturday, March 3, at 12 pm.  The 2011-12 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a live broadcast of Verdi’s Aida, starring Violeta Urmana as the enslaved Ethiopian princess. In house role debuts, Marcello Giordani sings the hero Radamèsand Stephanie Blythe the Egyptian princess Amneris, Aida’s rival. Lado Ataneli is Amonasro, Aida’s royal father, and James Morris is Ramfis, high priest of the Egyptians. Marco Armiliato conducts the broadcast for the third consecutive week, leading the Met orchestra and chorus in one of Verdi’s grandest scores. Aida will be heard live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 12:00 noon CST on Saturday, March 3.

Urmana sang her first Met performances as Aida in a 2009-10 revival that was transmitted around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Her Met repertory ranges from the title characters in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and Puccini’s Tosca toKundry in Wagner’s Parsifal and Odabella in Verdi’s Attila, a role she sang in that opera’s recent Met premiere. Blythe has been acclaimed for a diverse array of Met performances, many of which have also been seen as part of The Met: Live in HD, such as Fricka in the new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice; Frugola, the Principessa, and Zita in Puccini’s Il Trittico;and Eduige in Handel’s Rodelinda. Later this season she will sing Fricka in complete cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen beginning in April.

Giordani’s Met engagements this season also include the title role in Verdi’s Ernani and Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, a role he sang in the 2006 new production premiere. Last season, he made his role debut as Dick Johnson in the Met’s centennial production of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. Ataneli last sang Amonasro at the Met in the 2005-06 season. He has also sung the title roles in Verdi’s Macbeth, Rigoletto, and Nabucco, as well as Germont in La Traviata. Morris, now in his forty-first season with the Met, has also sung the King and Amonasro in Aida. His other Met roles this season are Scarpia in Tosca, Claggart in Britten’s Billy Budd, and the Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Armiliato also conducted this season’s revivals of Verdi’s Ernani and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, as well as the Met premiere performances of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. Jordan Bisch sings the King of Egypt, and 2010 National Council Auditions winner Lori Guilbeau makes her Met debut as the Priestess. 

The intermissions will include backstage interviews and the popular Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz featuring guest artist soprano Patricia Racette.