Arts and Culture
More from Google
Get the Android app
Get the iOS app
Met Opera Guild Podcast
Metropolitan Opera Guild
Podcast by Metropolitan Opera Guild
Jul 22, 2020
Ep. 161: 21st-Century Opera Survey, Part 2, with Naomi Barrettara & Elspeth Davis
From Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun, to musical mainstay Nico Muhly, to broadway superstar Jeanine Tesori, composers are changing the perception of what an opera can be. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis continue with the second part of a two part-series from our archives, on contemporary composers and opera’s that are changing the music scene as we know it.
1 hr 13 min
Jul 8, 2020
Ep. 160: 21st-Century Opera Survey, Part 1, with Naomi Barrettara & Elspeth Davis
What will opera look like, or sound like, in 10 years? 20 years? It’s hard to predict, but one thing is for sure: there’s a whole new generation of composers creating new innovations in expression, composition, and performance. For this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have pulled a series of live event recordings from our archives to share, featuring lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis as they guide us through a two-part survey of contemporary works that are poised to be future classics of the genre. Date of event recording: 2017-18 season. Timeline referenced in the lecture can be found at https://prezi.com/p1gza7i3aknm/opera-history-timeline/ .
1 hr 31 min
Jun 24, 2020
Ep. 159: Evolution of German Opera with Victoria Bond
The evolution of German opera can be traced through the works of well known composers such as Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Wagner, as well as lesser known names in the opera canon, such as Schubert, Carl Maria von Weber, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. In this episode, composer, conductor, and lecturer Victoria Bond dives into the influential history and evolution of German opera throughout Western music.
1 hr 20 min
Jun 1, 2020
Ep. 158: The Enduring Legacy Of Black Singers in Opera, Part 2, with Tanisha Mitchell
In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we explore the incredible legacy of women who broke barriers for black artists, dating all the way back to the late 1800s! Tune in as lecturer and music librarian Tanisha Mitchell explores the trailblazers, sprinters, and torch-bearing women who are part of the enduring legacy of black singers in opera.
1 hr 22 min
May 20, 2020
Ep. 157: The Enduring Legacy Of Black Singers in Opera, Part 1, with Tanisha Mitchell
In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and music librarian Tanisha Mitchell talks about singers of the past and present who broke barriers, paved the way, and continue to carry the torch in "The Enduring Legacy of Black Singers in Opera.” In this first part of the series, Tanisha focuses on male singers spanning the 19th, 20th, and 21st century, including George Shirley, Robert McFerrin, Vinson Cole, Simon Estes, Sir Willard White, Derek Lee Ragin, Eric Owens, Morris Robinson, Russell Thomas, and many more!
1 hr 19 min
May 14, 2020
Ep. 156: Tosca with Deidre Bird
Puccini's TOSCA is an epic, theatrical tale of love, politics, murder, and suicide, all set to the backdrop of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. Although dismissed by some critics as “a shabby little shocker,” the power of its music has never failed to fascinate audiences. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have lecturer Deirdre Bird speaking about the history, life, and story of this monumental work and its place in opera history.
1 hr 10 min
May 6, 2020
Ep. 155: Magical Mezzos, Part 3, with Ira Siff
From bel canto brilliance to the earthiest chest tones, the mezzo-soprano has long been the unsung hero of the opera stage. Although they are often assigned the secondary role in an opera, make no mistake: These divas steal the scene whenever they are on stage. In this episode, Metropolitan Opera Radio commentator Ira Siff concludes his "Magical Mezzos" series some of opera’s most thrilling mezzo-sopranos, past and present!
1 hr 30 min
Apr 29, 2020
Ep. 154: Magical Mezzos, Part 2, with Ira Siff
Mezzo-soprano divas have been dominating the operatic stage, holding their own against their soprano counterparts. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Metropolitan Opera radio commentator and lecturer Ira Siff returns for Part 2 of his "Magical Mezzos" series, in which he explores some famous mezzos that you may or may not have heard of!
1 hr 27 min
Apr 22, 2020
Ep. 153: Magical Mezzos, Part 1, with Ira Siff
On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer, Metropolitan Opera Radio commentator, and audience favorite Ira Siff explores the mezzo-soprano voice – its origins, roles, and the great singers who sang those roles during their illustrious careers - in the first instalment of his "Magical Mezzos" series.
1 hr 34 min
Mar 29, 2020
Ep. 152: Wagner Across Borders, Part 4 with Matthew Timmermans
Despite their contempt for the unruly musical ideas of Richard Wagner, many connections can be made between the works of both Tchaikovsky and Janáček with Wagnerian ideas. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and musicologist Matthew Timmermans concludes our “Wagner Across Borders” series with an exploration of Slavic-Wagnerian connections.
1 hr 9 min
Mar 20, 2020
Ep. 151: Wagner Across Borders, Part 3 with Matthew Timmermans
Just as Massenet was accused of being a Wagnerian in France, so too was Puccini in Italy. From Wagnerian-sized voices to a complex orchestral sound, Wagner’s influence can be heard throughout the canon of Italian opera, but nowhere more so than in the work of Puccini. In this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and musicologist Matthew Timmermans explores the influence of Wagnerian ideas across Puccini's output.
1 hr 6 min
Mar 11, 2020
Ep. 150: Der fliegende Holländer with Victoria Bond
Wagner’s tale of the cursed sea captain and the love of a faithful maiden has captivated audiences since its premiere in 1843. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer, composer, and conductor Victoria Bond discusses the musical genius of Wagner and the power of love in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER.
1 hr 1 min
Feb 26, 2020
Ep. 149: Agrippina with Victoria Bond
Filled with familiar figures from ancient Rome, Handel creates a comedic and lighthearted score to accompany a story with some pretty sinister sub-themes. Sir David McVicar’s production of Agrippina brings this balance of darkness and light to audiences at the Met for the very first time! On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer, composer, and conductor, Victoria Bond takes a closer look at this baroque masterpiece.
Feb 12, 2020
Ep. 148: Wagner Across Borders, Part 2 with Matthew Timmermans
French grand opera was lavish and spectacular – and in many ways, the antithesis Wagner’s operatic ideals. Yet Wagner is often mentioned as a major influence in the work of French Grand Opera master, Jules Massenet. What is the common ground to be found between these two compositional giants? In this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and musicologist Matthew Timmermans guides us through the Wagnerian influences in Massenet’s masterworks.
1 hr 10 min
Feb 5, 2020
Ep. 147: Wagner Across Borders, Part 1 with Matthew Timmermans
This episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast begins with an exploration of Wagner's DER FLIEGENDE HÖLLANDER and examines how later German composers responded to Wagner’s new perspective on operatic performance. In the first of a four-part series, musicologist and lecturer Matthew Timmermans guides us through the transformative influence of Wagner’s musical ideas.
1 hr 2 min
Jan 15, 2020
Ep. 146: Porgy and Bess Pre-Performance Lecture with Ellen Noonan
Despite its initial flop in 1935, PORGY AND BESS has gone on to become one of the most enduring and popular operas of the 20th century. In fact, it was the first opera by an American-born composer to be performed at the famous La Scala opera house in Milan. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have New York University professor, director of archives, and the author of "The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera," Ellen Noonan, lecturing on this quintessential American opera.
Jan 7, 2020
Ep. 145: Wozzeck Pre-Performance Lecture with Michael Bolton
A champion of expressionism and atonality, Alban Berg wrote his first opera, WOZZECK, as a response to the chaos and tragedy he experienced during the First World War. It is generally considered to be his greatest score, and brought Berg international recognition and success. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have lecturer and Vice President of Community Initiatives for Opera Philadelphia, Michael Bolton, talking about Berg’s groundbreaking work.
1 hr 5 min
Dec 23, 2019
Ep. 144: Treasures of the Mediterranean with Naomi Barrettara
La Fenice in Venice, Italy is one of the first stops on The Metropolitan Opera Guild's upcoming “Treasures of the Mediterranean Cruise,” from September 30th to October 9th, 2020. During the cruise, Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Dr. Naomi Barrettara will be presenting a series of lectures accompanying onboard concerts and land excursions, as travellers visit Italy, Croatia, and Greece. This episode features Naomi giving you a sneak peak of what you can expect in the upcoming Metropolitan Opera Guild travel program! https://www.metguild.org/travel/
Dec 13, 2019
Ep. 143: Opera vs. Musicals with Stuart Holt
The opera stage and the Broadway stage share many conventions, such as lavish scenery, exquisite costuming, and awe-inspiring voices. For Schönberg and Boublil’s MISS SAIGON, Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY serves as the source material, while Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN and Gluck’s ORFEO ED EURIDICE are both unique interpretations of the Orpheus myth. With so many intersecting elements, what are the precise characteristics that make these dramatic forms distinct? On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, co-host Stuart Holt takes a closer look at the similarities and differences between opera and musical theater.
1 hr 15 min
Dec 5, 2019
Ep. 142: Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades with John J.H. Muller
A mysterious hand of cards, an unhappy betrothal, and a tormenting ghost all come together in Tchaikovsky’s riveting drama THE QUEEN OF SPADES. Based on a Pushkin story, this elegant fable is a tantalizing tale of love and obsession. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer John J.H. Muller explores how the composer uses 18th-century pastiche and highly original melodic and motivic elements to evoke the world of this haunting opera.
Nov 13, 2019
Ep. 141: Akhnaten Pre-Performance Lecture with W. Anthony Sheppard
For the first time in Met Opera History, Philip Glass’s AKHNATEN is coming to the stage! This much anticipated Met premiere is a deep meditation on the driving force of religion, and a powerful reminder of the fine line between revolution and destruction. Performances star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in the title role, J’Nai Bridges making her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti, and conductor Karen Kamensek making her Met debut at the podium. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer W. Anthony Sheppard discusses the story of the pharaoh who transformed ancient Egypt.
1 hr 3 min
Oct 30, 2019
Ep. 140: Orfeo ed Euridice with Tanisha Mitchell
The ancient Greek “Orpheus myth” has inspired a vast array of artistic works, and composer Christoph Willibald Gluck is known for contributing their own operatic interpretation to the canon. Gluck’s adaptation explores the profound nature of grief, the power of love, and the rousing spirit of redemption in our two young lovers, portrayed on the Metropolitan Opera stage by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and soprano Hei-Kyung Hong. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and music librarian Tanisha Mitchell guides us through Gluck’s elegant masterpiece
Oct 24, 2019
Ep. 139: Manon Pre-Performance Lecture with Naomi Barrettara
The Met Live in HD broadcast of Massenet's MANON is just around the corner! Based on Abbe Prevost's 18th-century novel, the story of Manon has inspired a variety of composers, from Auber to Puccini, to Hans Werner Henze! But none reached the emotional lyricism of Jules Massenet's operatic setting. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara takes a closer look at this French masterpiece.
Oct 9, 2019
Ep. 138: Turandot - Talking About Opera
Finished after the composer's death by Franco Alfano, Puccini’s TURANDOT is a beloved work in the opera canon, with a dramatic, imaginative, and sometimes violent score. This season at the Met, the magnificent dramatic sopranos Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme share the role of the ice princess in Franco Zeffirelli's opulent production. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a lecture from the archives of the Guild's critically-acclaimed series "Talking About Opera," with playwright and opera commentator Albert Innaurato taking a closer look at Puccini's final work.
1 hr 6 min
Sep 18, 2019
Ep. 137: 2019-20 Season Kick-Off
Coming back to the Metropolitan Opera stage for the first time in nearly 30 years, the 2019-20 season opens with the Gershwin’s PORGY AND BESS. With stars Eric Owens and Angel Blue singing the title toles, as well as a star-studded ensemble, this new production by James Robinson is sure to transport audiences to the world of Catfish Row. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll and author, lecturer, and Met radio commentator William Berger guide us through what to expect from this season’s much-anticipated opening night at the Metropolitan Opera!
Sep 4, 2019
Ep. 136: Opera in the New Millennium - Interview with Kaminsky, Cerrone, and Edelson
On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis are joined by composers Christopher Cerrone and Laura Kaminsky, as well as producer, director, and dramaturg Lawrence Edelson in an interview from this past season’s “Opera in the New Millennium” event.
1 hr 8 min
Jul 10, 2019
Ep. 133: Divas & Dinner - French Grand Opera meets French Grand Cuisine
The evolution of French grand cuisine interestingly paralleled the development of French grand opera beginning in the late 18thcentury and culminating in the late 19th century, particularly in Paris. In this episode, Food Historian and Chef Carl Raymond explores how both food and opera came to be grand against the backdrop of the 18th century Comedie Francaise, as well as the glittering world of the 1890’s Belle Epoque and the great Parisian restaurant and café society.
1 hr 10 min
Jun 19, 2019
Ep. 132: Villains And Victims, Part 3 with Ira Siff
LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN by Jacques Offenbach is a tour de force of singing for both villains and victims within the opera’s plot! Since it’s world premiere performance, the four main villainous characters were designed to be sung by the same bass-baritone. And this opera has plenty of victims too, as three tales of doomed love are told from the perspective of the lead character, Hoffmann. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Met Radio Commentator Ira Siff explores excerpts from Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Tosca, Boris Godunov, and other beloved works, in the last installment of his “Villains and Victims” series.
1 hr 11 min
Jun 5, 2019
Ep. 131: Villains and Victims, Part 2 with Ira Siff
Soprano Renata Scotto gave a famously chilling interpretation of Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s take on Shakespeare’s play. But Scotto was just as loved for tugging at our heartstrings in the title role of LUISA MILLER. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Met Radio commentator Ira Siff explores the artistry of legends such as Renata Scotto, Astrid Varnay, and others, in the second installment if his “Villains and Victims” series.
1 hr 6 min
May 24, 2019
Ep. 130: Villains and Victims, Part 1 with Ira Siff
While victimized characters often sing through their death in virtuosic song, successfully bringing a villain to life on the opera stage also takes a special kind of artistry. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have Met Radio commentator Ira Siff, in Part 1 of his “Villains and Victims” live lecture series from this past season!
1 hr 6 min
May 4, 2019
Ep. 129: Dialogues of the Carmelites with Desirée Mays
John Dexter’s classic production of Poulenc's DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES is currently on stage at the Met during the final weeks of the 2018-19 season and can be seen in cinemas worldwide on May 11th, 2019, through the Met’s upcoming Live in HD broadcast. Poulenc’s opera tells the story of a group of Carmelite nuns who refused to renounce their faith during the Reign of Terror. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Desirée Mays takes a closer look at this 20th-century French masterpiece.
Apr 25, 2019
Ep. 128: Opera Boot Camp - A Day in the Life of a Met Chorister
The Metropolitan Opera Chorus is one of the most revered opera choruses in the world, requiring long hours of rehearsal and a demanding performance schedule. What is a day, week, or year in the life of a Met chorister like? How much time is spent on learning music and rehearsing? How do you get into the chorus in the first place? In this episode, drawn from a live event in the Met Opera Guild's Opera Boot Camp series, lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara sat down with three Met Opera choristers - Ross Benoliel (baritone), Angela Deverger (soprano), and Danielle Walker (soprano)- to get the inside scoop on a day in the life of a Met Opera chorister!
Apr 11, 2019
Ep. 127: La Clemenza di Tito with Naomi Barrettara
During the last year of his life, Mozart was deep into writing THE MAGIC FLUTE when he suddenly got a commission to write a new opera seria: LA CLEMENZA DI TITO. This season, powerhouse mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sings her world-renowned portrayal of the tortured Sesto for the very first time at the Met! She is joined onstage by audience favorite, Matthew Polenzani, who adds the title role of Tito to his vast repertoire. In this episode, Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara discusses the historical context and musical highlights of this monumental work. (Musical examples from CLEMENZA within the lecture are from the Met’s 2012 Live in HD Broadcast, featuring Kate Lindsey singing Annio, Lucy Crowe singing Servilia, Elīna Garanča singing Sesto, Barbara Frittoli singing Vitellia, and Giuseppe Filianoti singing Tito.)
Mar 28, 2019
Ep. 126: Religion in Opera, Part 2 with Desirée Mays
From Puccini's SUOR ANGELICA to Wagner's PARSIFAL, opera is full of works with religious themes, drawn from a variety of different cultures, and using music to express the emotional contours of faith and devotion. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Desiree Mays continues a discussion on religion and opera throughout history.
1 hr 9 min
Mar 19, 2019
Ep.125: Religion in Opera, Part 1 with Desirée Mays
Religious themes have long been a foundational element of classical music, but what makes these divine topics such a recurrent source of operatic inspiration? On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer Desirée Mays discusses the musical and textual treatment of religion in opera throughout history.
1 hr 9 min
Feb 28, 2019
Ep. 124: A Conversation with Harolyn Blackwell and Robyn Payne, Part 2
When we first sat down with Harolyn Blackwell and Robyn Payne, we intended to record enough for one special podcast episode, in celebration of Black History Month. However, the discussion really took off, and the content was so rich, that we split things into two parts, so that our listeners could hear it all! This episode is Part 2 of 2, jumping in right where we left off!
Feb 28, 2019
Ep. 123: A Conversation with Harolyn Blackwell and Robyn Payne, Part 1
In celebration of Black History Month, this episode is Part 1 of a special conversation between operatic legend Harolyn Blackwell and Broadway veteran Robyn Payne! Harolyn is one of America’s legendary sopranos, having made her mark on both the operatic and musical theatre repertory. Her performance career began with singing in Leonard Bernstein’s stage production of West Side Story, and soon after, she began breaking into the operatic realm when she was selected as a finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Robyn Payne is a singer, actor, and producer here in New York City, known for her long run singing Sarabi in the Julie Taymor production of THE LION KING on Broadway, as well as touring roles in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE and SISTAS, the musical. On this episode, they compare musical styles and influences, share insights about their careers, and swap stories of struggles and successes along the way.
1 hr 4 min
Feb 26, 2019
Ep. 122: La Fille du Régiment Pre-Performance Lecture with Sarah Rotker
LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT is an operatic tale of young love and larger-than-life comic hijinks, featuring one dazzling vocal display after another! On this episode, Met Opera Guild Lectures and Community Engagement Senior Associate Sarah Rotker discusses this musical feast of bel canto singing, which is coming soon to movie theaters around the globe in a Met: Live in HD broadcast.
Feb 20, 2019
Ep. 121: The Inside Scoop on the Met's 2019-20 Season
Hot off the press is The Metropolitan Opera's 2019-20 season announcement! In this episode, we have a special conversation between Opera News Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll and Met Opera Radio’s William Berger. They will share insights and exciting elements of the new productions coming up next season, and listen to some favorite musical moments.
Feb 11, 2019
Ep. 120: Don Giovanni with Deidre Bird
Based on the legends of Don Juan, Mozart and Da Ponte’s DON GIOVANNI premiered in Prague in 1787, and has been performed at opera houses the world over ever since. This staple of the operatic repertoire masterfully weaves together comedy and serious drama. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, researcher and music librarian Deidre Bird takes a look at the music and history of Mozart’s famous rake!
1 hr 5 min
Jan 24, 2019
Ep. 119: Pelléas et Mélisande with Jeffrey Langford
Based on the symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck, Debussy's PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE was the only opera the composer ever completed and is heralded today as an innovative masterpiece. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have Guild lecturer Jeffery Langford exploring the revolutionary style of Debussy’s music, and the history behind his only stage work.
Jan 9, 2019
Ep. 118: Adriana Lecouvreur with Victoria Bond
This past New Year’s Eve, the Met presented a glorious new production of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. This production features the unparalleled trio of soprano superstar Anna Netrebko, tenor heartthrob Piotr Beczala, and electrifying mezzo Anita Rachellishvili. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a pre-performance lecture by composer and conductor Victoria Bond, exploring the history and lush musical writing of this rarely performed verismo masterpiece.
Dec 6, 2018
Ep. 117: Il Trittico with Naomi Barrettara
Puccini composed the three distinct operas of IL TRITTICO with the intention that they always be performed together, which is exactly how audiences are experiencing them this season as we celebrate the centenary of the world premiere at The Met. In this pre-performance lecture, lecturer Naomi Barrettara explores the musical language, source materials, and the themes that link these three short operas.
1 hr 4 min
Nov 14, 2018
Ep. 116: Mefistofele with John J.H. Muller
Frequent Verdi librettist Arrigo Boito wrote only one complete opera in his lifetime, a take on "Faust", entitled MEFISTOFELE. Sacrilegious, mystical, and captivatingly beautiful, Boito’s opera recounts the tale from the devil’s perspective, sung this season at the Met by bass-baritone Christian Van Horn. In this episode, Juilliard faculty member and Guild lecturer John J.H. Muller guides us through Boito’s work in this comprehensive pre-performance talk.
Nov 7, 2018
Ep. 115: Marnie with W. Anthony Sheppard
Winston Graham’s MARNIE is the fast-paced thriller now taking the stage at the Met, composed by Nico Muhly with a libretto by Nicholas Wright. Isabel Leonard stars as Marnie, in an alluring production by Tony award-winning stage director Michael Mayer. In this episode, Williams College music professor W. Anthony Sheppard explores the music and drama of this newly composed operatic thriller!
Oct 23, 2018
Ep. 114: La Fanciulla del West with Nimet Habachy
In just a few days, Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST will be broadcast Live in HD from The Metropolitan Opera, with Jonas Kaufmann starring opposite Eva Marie Westbroek as the lovable barmaid to his rugged outlaw. Prepare for the broadcast with this pre-performance talk, featuring Nimet Habachy, as she explores the history, music, and dramatic highlights of this romantic tale.
Oct 10, 2018
Ep. 113: Samson et Dalila with Stuart Holt
Saint-Saëns’s tale of passionate heroism, unrequited love, and shattering betrayal endures as the only opera by this brilliant French composer still regularly performed today! On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Director of School Programs and Lectures and Community Engagement at the Met Opera Guild, Stuart Holt, takes a closer look at this 19th century masterpiece!
Oct 3, 2018
Ep. 112: Verdi's Aida from the Perspective of the Clarinet
Verdi’s Aida is full of memorable moments – and a whole orchestra of instruments brings this masterpiece to life, each serving a unique and specialized function within the score. In this episode, we are pleased to welcome The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s Principal Clarinetist Anton Rist to the podcast, to take us on a journey through Verdi’s famous work from the perspective of the clarinet.
1 hr 5 min
Sep 28, 2018
Ep. 111: Opera Boot Camp Highlights - An Introduction to French Opera
From Lully to Rameau, Bizet to Berlioz, Massenet to Messiaen, French composers have given us some of the most beautiful and important works in the operatic canon. What makes French opera so unique and special? What are the musical highlights we should listen for, and the operatic conventions that set these works apart? In this episode, we have Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara in an excerpt from our recent sold out series “Opera Boot Camp: An Introduction to French Opera.”
1 hr 2 min
Sep 19, 2018
Ep. 110: 2018-19 Season Kick-Off
This year, opening night at the Metropolitan Opera features Camille Saint-Saëns' masterpiece SAMSON ET DALILA, in a new production starring operatic superstars Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna. First seen together onstage at the Met as the fiery duo of Carmen and Don José, this production promises another evening of operatic fireworks! In this episode, we welcome Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll and author, lecturer, and Met Radio commentator William Berger, as they guide you through what to expect at opening night at the Met!
Sep 13, 2018
Ep. 109: Performing Bel Canto - Do's, Don'ts, and Maybes - Part 2, with Matthew Timmermans
In our last episode, we learned all about cadenza, appoggiaturas, and variations in the interpretation of bel canto ornamentation. In this episode, we are thrilled to have Matthew Timmermans back with us, continuing the discussion on interpolated high notes, puntatura, and vanity cuts!
Sep 2, 2018
Ep. 108: Performing Bel Canto - Do's, Don'ts, and Maybes - Part 1, with Matthew Timmermans
In the bel canto repertoire, ornamentation, improvisation, and virtuosity are a singer’s calling card, and audiences wait to hear what new vocal tricks a singer will bring to a role. But how do we know what is an acceptable, or stylistically appropriate ornament, and what would sound out of place? What did composers of the time expect singers to do? In this episode, lecturer Matthew Timmermans is back to guide us through the art of beautiful singing in the bel canto!
Aug 10, 2018
Ep. 107: Divas Uncensored, Part 2 with Matthew Timmermans
Onstage magic is often paired with offstage mayhem, and the history of diva worship across centuries of opera is strewn with stories of glamour and stardom, exorbitant fees, precious friendships, vicious rivalries, and hard-earned respect, all connected to seemingly superhuman voices. In today’s episode, lecturer and scholar Matthew Timmermans continues with “Divas Uncensored – Part 2”!
1 hr 2 min
Aug 2, 2018
Ep. 106: Divas Uncensored, Part 1 with Matthew Timmermans
On this episode, we welcome musicologist and lecturer Matthew Timmermans to the microphone, in a special mini-series created especially for our podcast listeners. Matthew has extensively researched and written about the phenomenon of diva-worship, and we are thrilled to have him share with us the legends and lore behind some of opera’s most beloved divas!
Jul 19, 2018
Ep. 105: Making Met History - Famous Firsts with Naomi Barrettara
With a history as storied as The Metropolitan Opera, there have been plenty of “firsts” that have occurred on its fabled stage. In this episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara takes us on a guided tour of some of the noteworthy number ones throughout the company’s rich history.
Jul 5, 2018
Ep. 104: Making Met History - Record-Breaking Moments with Naomi Barrettara
From Charles Anthony’s record of the most performances in Met Opera history to Audrey Luna hitting a record-smashing A above high C, singers continue to break records and make history on The Metropolitan Opera stage! This episode features a celebratory tour of historic moments in "Making Met History: Record-Breaking Moments" with the Guild’s very own Naomi Barrettara.
Jun 13, 2018
Ep. 103: Opera Duos, Part 3 with Ira Siff
In the final installment of Ira Siff's "Opera Duos", we begin by stepping back in time, and listening to a recording over 100 years old! This episode spans operatic repertoire from Rossini to Wagner, highlighting operatic legends such as Enrico Caruso and Johanna Gadski, Ramon Vinay and Martha Mödl, Astrid Varnay and Hans Hotter, Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli, Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli, George London and Leonie Rysanek, Zinka Milanov and Jussi Björling, and Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi.
1 hr 1 min
Jun 6, 2018
Ep. 102: Opera Duos, Part 2 with Ira Siff
Flagstad and Melchior. Zeani and Rossi-Lemeni. Rysanek and Vickers. Price and Berganozi. Sutherland and Horne. Brownlee and Camarena. Callas and Di Stefano. Each were consummate musicians in their own right, but when they performed together, the combined force of their star power was electric! In this episode, Met Radio commentator Ira Siff takes us through the second part of his popular opera duos series.
May 30, 2018
Ep. 101: Opera Duos, Part 1 with Ira Siff
Dynamic duos are what operatic legends are made of, leaving audiences breathless, in tears, and entranced with their musical and dramatic intensity. But what stories are behind some of these great partnerships? What were the secret musical ingredients that combined with such legendary success? This episode is the first of a three-part series featuring Met Opera radio commentator Ira Siff, taking us on a musical journey through the great power duos of opera that kept audiences wanting more!
May 23, 2018
Ep. 100: Celebrating Arts Education at the Met Opera Guild
This episode marks two major milestones for The Metropolitan Opera Guild: we have reached episode 100 on our podcast, and we have reached over ½ a million listens in the previous 99 episodes! Because these are such exciting milestones for us, we wanted our 100th episode to celebrate the many efforts in arts education that The Metropolitan Opera Guild and The Metropolitan Opera have worked on over the years. We have quite the line up of special guests featured throughout the episode, along with clips from a variety of events, all in an effort to give you a special behind the scenes look at the Met Opera Guild’s rich history and current work in opera education.
Apr 25, 2018
Ep. 99: Massenet's Cendrillon with Desirée Mays
Laurent Pelly, director of the Met's premiere production of CENDRILLON, took inspiration from the pages of a classic storybook when creating his fanciful staging. In this episode, Desirée Mays traces the history of the Cinderella fairytale, explores how Massenet's operatic version of the story reflects his musical voice and French style, and compares elements of Massenet's work with Rossini's Italian operatic version of the same story, LA CENERENTOLA.
Apr 11, 2018
Ep. 98: Lucia di Lammermoor with Naomi Barrettara
We can’t let this opera season end without spending some time with LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, a Met Opera favorite. Gaetano Donizetti’s 1835 tragic opera returns to the stage in a production by Mary Zimmerman, including all the heart-breaking turns that make for a dramatic night of theatre. On today’s episode, Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara brings a fresh approach to talking about one of the most beloved tragic operas of the bel canto period.
1 hr 1 min
Apr 4, 2018
Ep. 97: Luisa Miller with Deidre Bird
Forbidden love, feuding fathers, and poison are all proven ingredients for a successful opera… and Verdi's LUISA MILLER is no exception! In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a detailed walkthrough of Verdi’s rarely performed operatic gem with librarian and music scholar Deidre Bird.
Mar 27, 2018
Ep. 96: Così fan tutte Pre-Performance Lecture with Sean Cooper
Mozart’s third collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, Così fan tutte, takes on an elaborate plot of mistaken identity to explore the nature of love, trust, and infidelity. On today’s episode, we are thrilled to have Dr. Sean Cooper, a frequent presenter for the Mozart Society of America, explore the history, music, and comic complexities of this masterpiece!
Mar 15, 2018
Ep. 95: Elektra Pre-Performance Lecture with Victoria Bond
This Saturday, March 17th, radio audiences worldwide will have the chance to experience Richard Strauss’s ELEKTRA with Christine Goerke as Elektra and the Met’s future Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin leading the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In this episode, we hear Guild lecturer Victoria Bond explore a score that some critics have said shows off Strauss’s genius at its best!
Mar 7, 2018
Ep. 94: Semiramide Pre-Performance Lecture with Dr. Jeffrey Langford
Rossini’s SEMIRAMIDE was a popular mainstay of the Italian opera circuit in the 1820s and 30s, but we rarely see it on season rosters today. In fact, it has been almost 25 years since it’s last Met appearance! To guide us through the musical and dramatic highlights, today’s episode features Dr. Jeffrey Langford, the assistant dean for doctoral studies and chair of the music history department at Manhattan School of Music.
Feb 23, 2018
Ep. 93: Puccini's La Bohème
Just like Nicolas Cage and Cher in the 1987 film "Moonstruck," seeing Puccini’s LA BOHÈME at the Met is a decades-old New York City dating ritual. It is the number one most often performed work in Met opera history, and within the top 10 most often performed operas worldwide. on Saturday, February 24th, Zeffirelli’s famous Met production will be broadcast Live in HD to movie theatres across the globe. Today’s episode features Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara, exploring the musical and dramatic elements of Puccini’s timeless masterpiece.
1 hr 10 min
Feb 16, 2018
Ep. 92: The Inside Scoop on the Met's 2018-19 Season
Hot off the press is The Metropolitan Opera’s 2018-19 season announcement, featuring four new productions, one Met premiere, and a complete Ring Cycle! Today’s episode features a special conversation between Opera News Editor-in-Chief, F. Paul Driscoll, and Met Opera Radio’s William Berger, giving us the inside scoop on the new season.
Feb 7, 2018
Ep. 91: Parsifal Pre-Performance Lecture
First conceived in 1857 but not finished for 25 years, PARSIFAL was Richard Wagner’s last completed opera. This monumental work has sparked great debate among music historians and the public alike since its first performance. In this episode, John J.H. Muller examines the musical language and history of this important work.
Jan 17, 2018
Ep. 90: Singers' Studio Sneak Peek
Since 1936, Opera News magazine has given readers an inside look at the world of opera! Opera News will be interviewing three opera stars live, in front of an audience, this winter and spring. All three singers are cast in major roles at the Met this season, and we are excited to have them join us in the Singers' Studio.For today’s episode, we caught up with Opera News editor in chief F. Paul Driscoll, to give us a sneak peek of these three upcoming interviews!
Jan 11, 2018
Ep. 89: Tosca Pre-Performance Lecture with Victoria Bond
This Puccini classic returns to the Met stage in a brand new production, starring superstar soprano Sonya Yoncheva in the title role and Vittorio Grigolo as her doomed lover, Cavaradossi. Lecturer Victoria Bond takes a further look into one of the most iconic operas in the repertoire.
Dec 14, 2017
Ep. 88: Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel
On December 18th, the holiday production of Humperdinck’s HANSEL AND GRETEL opens at the Met. While this is often the opera of choice for families with little ones, there is much more to this work than gingerbread houses and delicious treats! The music is irresistible for audiences of all ages, with rich textures and charming melodies, tied together with Wagnerian compositional techniques. In this episode, Guild Lecturer Naomi Barrettara explores the musical complexities and influences in Humperdinck’s fairytale masterpiece.
Dec 6, 2017
Ep. 87: Le Nozze di Figaro Pre-Performance Lecture
In a pre-performance lecture from our archives, stage director Jay Lesenger explores "Le nozze di Figaro," and the connections between Pierre Beaumarchais (who wrote the play on which the opera is based), Lorenzo Da Ponte (who wrote the libretto for the opera), and Mozart (who brought the story to life through music).
1 hr 1 min
Nov 21, 2017
Ep. 86: Thaïs Pre-Performance Lecture
This season at the Met, soprano Ailyn Pérez sings the title role of Massenet's "Thaïs," which is based on a novel by Anatole France. On today's episode, Metropolitan Opera Guild lecturer Dr. Jeffrey Langford delves into the famous French opera about a monk desperate to help a seductive courtesan find religion.
Nov 15, 2017
Ep. 85: The Exterminating Angel Pre-Performance Lecture
Thomas Adès’ new opera "The Exterminating Angel" is on stage at the Met, with an all-star cast including Amanda Echalaz, Alice Coote, Rod Gilfry, and Audrey Luna. In preparation for the Live in HD Broadcast this coming Saturday, November 18th, here is a pre-performance lecturer Dr. W. Anthony Sheppard, giving us a deeper look at this acclaimed new work and the surrealist movie that inspired it.
Nov 2, 2017
Ep. 84: Folksong sources in Puccini's Madama Butterfly
Composers draw inspiration from a variety of places, but they don't always reveal their sources. In today's episode, we share the story of a long-lost source of inspiration in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, discovered by Guild lecturer W. Anthony Sheppard. Guild Lecturer Naomi Barrettara tells that story and explores more of the music in Puccini's sweeping drama.
Oct 25, 2017
Ep. 83: The Exterminating Angel at Works and Process at the Guggenheim
This episode features footage from Works and Process at The Guggenheim, where Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb interviews the creative team and several cast members about Thomas Adès's opera "The Exterminating Angel," which makes its Met Opera premiere tomorrow, October 26th, 2017!
Oct 11, 2017
Ep. 82: Mozart's Die Zauberflöte from the Perspective of the Bassoon
While the flute plays a particularly magical role in Mozart's DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, there is a whole orchestra of instruments bringing the music to life, each serving a unique function within the score. In this episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara and The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra's Principal Bassoonist, William Short, take us on a journey through Mozart's famous work from the perspective of the bassoon.
1 hr 3 min
Oct 4, 2017
Ep. 81: Norma Pre-Performance Lecture
Bellini's NORMA is a landmark role for sopranos, and audiences always wait with baited breath to hear her glorious aria, "Casta Diva." But there is more to this opera, and to this role, than that famous aria. In today's episode, Nimet Habachy explores the notions of fidelity - to family, to religion, and to love - in Bellini's bel canto masterpiece.
Sep 20, 2017
Ep. 80: 2017-18 Season Kick-Off
Opening Night at the Met is less than a week away, and the excitement is palpable! Bellini's NORMA opens 2017-18 season, with a new production by Sir David McVicar, and an all-star cast featuring Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato, and Joseph Calleja, under the baton of Carlo Rizzi. Today on The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast - Your Guide to Opening Night at the Met!
Sep 6, 2017
Ep. 79: Atypical Voice Types
On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer Naomi Barrettara concludes our tour through operatic voice types with a discussion of atypical voices. From extremely high coloraturas to countertenors, zwischenfach, contraltos, and more, this episode dives into rare and special categories that continue to wow audiences.
Aug 23, 2017
Ep. 78: Voice Types - Basses
Operatic basses sing as low as the human voice can go! There are many different types of basses, bringing to life a large variety of roles. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and co-host Naomi Barrettara explores all the different types of basses and singers we find in this category of subterranean serenaders.
Aug 9, 2017
Ep. 77: Divas and Dinner - Part 3
In the final installment of our "Divas and Dinner" series, chef, food historian, and opera enthusiast Carl Raymond explores the cuisine of Spain on the opera stage!
Aug 2, 2017
Ep. 76: Divas And Dinner - Part 2
Pour yourself a glass of pink champagne and settle in! On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have our second installment of "Divas and Dinner" with Chef, food historian, and opera enthusiast Carl Raymond, exploring how the diva of all divas, Violetta, wined and dined her way through life!
Jul 26, 2017
Ep. 75: Divas and Dinner - Part 1
Rossini once said: “Appetite is for the stomach what love is for the heart…. Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life.” In this episode, renowned chef, food historian, and opera enthusiast Carl Raymond explores the culinary world of Rossini’s time, and the composer’s life long love affair with decadent cuisine!
Jul 13, 2017
Ep. 74: Voice Types - Baritones
Verdi baritone, lyric baritone, dramatic baritone... What's the difference? On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Guild lecturer and audience favorite Naomi Barrettara explores the many different kinds of baritones we find on the opera stage, highlighting the unique aspects of each vocal category and the singers that bring these roles to life.
1 hr 1 min
Jun 28, 2017
Ep. 73: Verdi All-Stars, Part 3
Singers such as Rosa Ponselle, Francesco Tamagno, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Dolora Zajick have given definitive performances of Verdi’s late works, from the first OTELLO in 1887 through to the present day. What can their recordings tell us about the evolution of Verdian singing, and career-making moments on the opera stage? Find out in our final installment of the Verdi All-Stars lecture series, featuring Met Radio commentator Ira Siff.
1 hr 1 min
Jun 21, 2017
Ep. 72: Verdi All-Stars, Part 2
Aprile Millo was once called “the high priestess of that old time operatic religion;" Fedora Barbieri had a fierce fan following and sang over 90 performances spanning 10 operas at The Metropolitan Opera. Franco Corelli was dubbed “The Prince of Tenors”. All three singers established themselves as reigning interpreters of the Verdian repertoire. How did they earn such a revered legacy? Find out on today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, featuring Part 2 of Ira Siff's Verdi All-Stars series.
Jun 14, 2017
Ep. 71: Verdi All-Stars, Part 1
This past season, Met broadcast commentator Ira Siff delighted New York audiences with his survey of the greatest Verdi singers of the past and present. Today’s episode is the first of a three-part series from Ira’s Verdi All-Stars course, discussing performances by Marisa Galvany, Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Scotto, Placido Domingo, and other legendary stars.
Jun 8, 2017
Ep. 70: Voice Types - Mezzo-Sopranos
This week’s episode is the third installment of our operatic voice types series. Our previous voice type lectures, featured in episodes 5 and 10, discussed the soprano and tenor vocal categories. We are happy to continue our exploration, focusing in this episode on mezzo-sopranos and contraltos.
May 25, 2017
Ep. 69: Mahler's Symphony No. 1 & Des Knaben Wunderhorn
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra will be performing a program of all Mahler works at Carnegie Hall on May 31st, 2017. For today’s episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barraterra discusses the life of Gustav Mahler, and the two major works on the concert program: Symphony No. 1 and selections from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn."
1 hr 5 min
May 10, 2017
Ep. 68: Der Rosenkavalier
DER ROSENKAVALIER, Richard Strauss’s most popular stage work, was first performed in Dresden in 1911, and has come to hold a special place in the repertoire. In a Talking About Opera recording from our archives, Brian Zeger explores musical and dramatic elements that have kept this masterpiece on stage for more than a century.
May 3, 2017
Ep. 67: The Met's Inaugural Season - Celebrating 50 Years at Lincoln Center
In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera moved into a glittering, state-of-the-art opera house, and launched a historic season to show off its new home. Today on the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast we explore highlights from the Met’s first season at Lincoln Center.
Apr 26, 2017
Ep. 66: Der Fliegende Holländer
Tempted by a chest of gold, Captain Daland allows his daughter Senta to marry a mysterious Dutchman. Can her vows of faithfulness break the curse that holds the stranger captive? Today on The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a Peter Allen discussing dramatic, musical and stylistic elements of Wagner's DER FLIEGENDE HÖLLANDER.
1 hr 2 min
Apr 19, 2017
Ep. 65: Eugene Onegin Pre-Performance Lecture
“Are you my guardian angel? Or a wily devil, a fatal tempter? My heart sinks with shame and terror… to your honor I entrust my destiny!” So writes Tatiana in her famous letter to the man who has captured her heart - Eugene Ongein. She’s puts her heart in his hands, but does he return the sentiment? Today we explore Tchaikovsky’s EUGENE ONEGIN with lecturer Dr. Harlow Robinson, a Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University, and specialist in Soviet and Russian cultural history.
Mar 29, 2017
Ep. 64: Fidelio Pre-Performance Lecture
Beethoven's FIDELIO is on the Met stage for the first time in over a decade, now through April 8th, 2017. Here is composer and conductor Victoria Bond exploring the themes of Beethoven’s only opera, in a pre-performance lecture originally recorded on March 20th, 2016.
Mar 22, 2017
Ep. 63: Idomeneo Pre-Performance Lecture
In Mozart's Idomeneo, a story drawn from Greek antiquity meets musical tradition and the innovative touch of Mozart. In this episode, Naomi Barrettara gives a pre-performance lecture exploring the historic and stylistic elements of this work.
1 hr 1 min
Mar 8, 2017
Ep. 62: La Traviata with Peter Allen
During the highly productive middle period of his career, Verdi created some of his most enduringly popular operas, including what might be his most beloved work: La Traviata. Today we have Peter Allen in a Talking About Opera lecture recorded in from 1989, exploring this tragic love story that has captured the hearts of opera goers for over 150 years.
Mar 1, 2017
Ep. 61: Interview with James Morris
Since his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1971, James Morris has gone on to create renowned character portrayals and share the stage with virtually every great singer of the past five decades. Here is the legendary bass-baritone in conversation with the Guild’s Executive Director of Program Development, Paul Gruber, sharing stories from across his career.
Feb 22, 2017
Ep. 60: New Season Discussion with John Fisher and F. Paul Driscoll
This episode features a special conversation between Opera News Editor-in-Chief, F. Paul Driscoll, and the Met’s Assistant General Manager for Music Administration John Fisher, providing insight into the Met's 2017-18 season.
Feb 15, 2017
Ep. 59: Rusalka
Dvořák's Czech masterpiece has opera returned to the Met this season with a new, fantastical production by Mary Zimmerman. Today’s episode features my co-host and Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara in a pre-performance talk exploring the folklore sources behind the opera plot, as well as the musical fabric that bring this story to life.
1 hr 1 min
Jan 25, 2017
Ep. 58: Musical Chairs with Donald Palumbo
Today's episode features an engaging interview with Met Opera chorus master, Donald Palumbo, originally recorded in November 2016. In it, we hear about Maestro Palumbo's path to the Met as well as his approach for preparing one of the world's best opera choruses.
Jan 18, 2017
Ep. 57: Romeo et Juliette
With the Met's new production of Romeo et Juliette coming to theaters around the world this Saturday, January 21st, seasoned stage director Jay Lesenger explores Gounod's operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's most famous play.
Jan 4, 2017
Ep. 56: Nabucco, Talking About Opera
In today's episode, a Talking About Opera lecture on Verdi's first big hit, which includes Verdi's path to success and a chorus that became an anthem of the Italian nationalist movement.
Dec 14, 2016
Ep. 55: Salome
In this episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara takes an in depth look at the musical and dramatic elements of Strauss's Salome, as well as it's scandalous 1907 Met Opera premiere.
Dec 7, 2016
Ep. 54: L'Amour de Loin Pre-Performance Lecture
Just after it's Met premiere, Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de Loin will be broadcast Live in HD to theaters around the world on Saturday, December 10, 2016. In this episode, we have a pre-performance lecture given by Naomi Barrettara with everything you need to know before seeing this stunning 21st-century opera.
Nov 9, 2016
Ep. 53: Guillaume Tell Pre-Performance Lecture
Rossini's final opera, Guillaume Tell, is the grandest of them all. Composer and conductor Victoria Bond talks about the challenges and fireworks incorporated in this work as it comes to the Met stage for the first time in 80 years.
Nov 2, 2016
Ep. 52: Aida, Talking About Opera
Perhaps Verdi's grandest opera, Aida has been a staple of the opera repertory since its first performance in 1871. Here is Bridget Paolucci talking about the musical and thematic highlights that make this opera an audience favorite.
Oct 27, 2016
Ep. 51: Jenufa, Talking About Opera
Composed by Czech nationalist, Leos Janacek, Jenufa incorporates the beauties of Czech music, language, and culture while telling a disturbing story based on true events. Here, Yveta Graff takes us through the opera's plot and music, and the tells the history of its composition and early performances.
Oct 19, 2016
Ep. 50: Don Giovanni, Talking About Opera
Don Giovanni is an ingenious fusion of bumbling comedy and the earnestness of tragedy. Here is former Met radio commentator Father Owen Lee and his Talking About Opera presentation on Mozart's hit.
Oct 5, 2016
Ep. 49: Tristan und Isolde, Talking About Opera
From the famous opening "Tristan Chord" to the final "Liebstod," Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is considered a revolutionary work. Today, a closer look at the musical and dramatic layers of Wagner's masterpiece.
Sep 21, 2016
Ep. 48: Inside Tristan und Isolde with John Fisher
Tristan und Isolde opens the Met's 2016-17 season in a new production starring Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, conducted by Simon Rattle. In this episode, an insider's perspective on Wagner's towering drama, as Opera News Editor-in-Chief, F. Paul Driscoll, sits down with the Met's Assistant General Manager for Music Administration, John Fisher.
Aug 17, 2016
Ep. 47: Opera Terminology and Pronunciation
For this episode, we are going to dip our toes into the wonderful world of languages with soprano Jane Marsh. Jane is a regular lecturer at the Met Opera Guild, and she is a language enthusiast, fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and Russian. Jane will be our language expert for today’s episode, and she will be guiding us through the pronunciation of composer, opera, and singer names that we have on the roster at the Met this season, focusing on Italian, German, and French. There are also musical examples included throughout the episode to illustrate the flavor of each language as it is sung.
Aug 12, 2016
Ep. 46: Götterdämmerung, Talking About Opera
Today’s episode features an exploration of Wagner’s GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, concluding our mini-series of episodes on Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
1 hr 15 min
Aug 10, 2016
Ep. 45: Siegfried, Talking About Opera
We are now moving into part three of a four episode series on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Each episode in this series covers one of the operas in the cycle, so you don’t necessarily have to listen to them in order to follow the content of the lecture, but if you want to get a sense of the chronology of the cycle, then we suggest listening to episodes 43 and 44 before starting this one. Our lecturer is the legendary Met Opera Radio Broadcast Host Peter Allen, and today he will be taking us through Wagner’s SIEGFRIED.
1 hr 8 min
Aug 5, 2016
Ep. 44: Die Walküre, Talking About Opera
This episode is part two of a Talking About Opera recording on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. This mammoth work is comprised of four operas with interconnected stories that Wagner fashioned by combining various elements of Old Norse mythology. So for this week and next week’s episodes, we are releasing one episode per opera, in a series of lectures featuring former Met Opera Radio Broadcast Host Peter Allen.
1 hr 12 min
Aug 3, 2016
Ep. 43: Das Rheingold, Talking About Opera
The second half of the summer is a special time for German opera fans, as people from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Germany for the annual Bayreuth Festival. This festival is entirely dedicated to the operatic output of Richard Wagner, including performances of the entire Ring Cycle. For the next several episodes, we thought it would be fitting to take a tour through these amazing works via a 4-part Talking About Opera program with former Met Opera Radio Broadcast Host Peter Allen. Episode 43 begins with the first opera in the cycle, DAS RHEINGOLD.
1 hr 14 min
Jul 27, 2016
Ep. 42: Memories from the Golden Horseshoe Part 3
This week we are happy to present our third and final instalment of Memories from the Golden Horseshoe. This series features Met radio commentator Ira Siff, regaling us with his memories of performances he witnessed at the old Metropolitan Opera house in its final years between 1961 and 1966.
Jul 21, 2016
Ep. 41, Part 2: Falstaff, Talking About Opera
Picking up right where we left off in Episode 41, Part 1, this is Part 2 of a Talking About Opera lecture, with Bridget Paolucci discussing Verdi's FALSTAFF.
Jul 20, 2016
Ep. 41, Part 1: Falstaff, Talking About Opera
The topic of today’s episode is Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera, FALSTAFF, which was also his third opera to be adapted from a Shakespeare play. This is a Talking About Opera lecture presented by Bridget Paolucci, split into two parts to ensure the length is manageable without cutting out all the great content. Today we are releasing Part 1, and tomorrow we will release Part 2!
Jul 13, 2016
Ep. 40: Così fan tutte, Talking About Opera
On July 20th, 2016, the Met will be broadcasting the last HD encore opera of the summer to theatres across the globe! The opera is Mozart’s beloved Così fan tutte, and the cast features audience favourites such as Matthew Polenzani, Isabel Leonard, and Danielle de Niese. So to get us all prepared for the broadcast, our episode today features a wonderful Talking About Opera lecture from our archives, with Bridget Paolucci discussing this beloved Mozart work.
Jul 6, 2016
Ep. 39: Da Capo Arias & Cabalettas
Great arias have long been an opportunity for singers to showcase their virtuosity and offer an intimate look at a character’s inner most feelings. In this episode, podcast host Naomi Barrettara takes a deep dive into two different aria forms - the Da Capo aria and the Cabaletta, discussing musical elements of each form, and providing examples by Handel, Rossini, and Verdi.
Jun 30, 2016
Ep. 38, Part 2: Verdi's Macbeth - Talking About Opera
This is Part 2 of Episode 38, featuring Albert Innaurato giving a Talking About Opera lecture on Verdi's Macbeth. The episode picks up right where Part 1 left off, at the beginning of Act II in the opera.
Jun 28, 2016
Ep. 38, Part 1: Verdi's Macbeth - Talking About Opera
This week we are continuing our celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a Talking About Opera lecture devoted to Verdi’s "Macbeth." This particular Talking About Opera recording is somewhat special, as it has never before been released to the public. In an effort to keep our episodes manageable and appealing to a wide audience, we typically try to limit their duration to an hour or less. Seeing as there is so much great information and wonderful musical examples included in this Talking About Opera lecture, we have split it into two parts so that you can experience the full recording.
Jun 22, 2016
Ep. 37: L'Elisir d'Amore - A Casual Conversation with Naomi and Kyle
The second of this summer’s Met Live in HD Encore presentation will be of Donizetti’s "L’Elisir d’Amore," with an exceptional cast starring Anna Netrebko as Adina, Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, Mariusz Kwiecień as Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri as the clever Dulcamara. In preparation for the broadcast, the Met Opera Guild’s Kyle Homewood joins Naomi Barrettara in a casual conversation discussing things they love about the opera and musical moments to listen for in one of the most popular operatic comedies of the last two centuries.
Jun 15, 2016
Ep. 36: Tosca - Talking About Opera
With a Met Live in HD Encore presentation of Puccini’s Tosca coming to theatres this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, today's episode once again reaches into the Talking about Opera archives to give you some added insight into one of Puccini’s dramatic works.
Jun 8, 2016
Ep. 35: A Midsummer Night's Dream - Talking About Opera
The summer of 2016 is in full swing, with festivals and performances in cities across the globe celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. This podcast episode explores the operatic adaptation of a beloved Shakespeare work - A Midsummer Night's Dream - with a musical setting composed by Benjamin Britten. This lecture is taken from our Talking About Opera archives, featuring Guild lecturer Harlow Robinson.
Jun 1, 2016
Ep. 34: Memories from the Golden Horseshoe Part 2
Today’s episode is the second installment of our Memories from the Golden Horseshoe series in which Met broadcast commentator Ira Siff speaks about the legendary performances he witnessed at the old Metropolitan Opera house in its final years between 1961 and 1966. In the episode, I hope you will enjoy remembering or perhaps discovering the likes of Leonie Rysanek, John Vickers, Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Zinka Milanov, Renata Tebaldi, and several others. This is part two of Memories from the Golden Horseshoe!
1 hr 8 min
May 25, 2016
Ep. 33: Singers' Studio with Roberto Alagna
Today we are happy to present a very special artist interview that took place in March 2016 as part of our Singers’ Studio series with Opera News. In the interview, tenor Roberto Alagna sits down with Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll to talk about his life and career. In case you don’t know or don’t remember, this interview took place just after Alagna’s successful run in the Met’s new production of Manon Lescaut in which he replaced Jonas Kaufmann as Des Grieux with only a few weeks’ notice.
May 18, 2016
Ep. 32: Meet the Met Orchestra
Ever wonder what it's like to be a Met Orchestra musician? In this episode we sit down for an informative and entertaining conversation with members of the Met Orchestra to get an inside look at this elite ensemble and some of its players. For more even more great content and to stay up to date with the Met Orchestra, visit www.metorchestramusicians.org.
1 hr 12 min
May 11, 2016
Ep. 31: Highlights from the 2015-2016 Met Season
Since the 2015-2016 Met season came to an end last week, we're taking a look back at some of its most memorable moments. With fantastic new productions like Otello, Pearl Fishers, and Elektra, as well as an outstanding Tudor Queen trilogy, there is much to look back at and reminisce upon. Make sure you comment on our various social media pages and tell us about your favorite moments of the season!
1 hr 11 min
Apr 27, 2016
Ep. 29: Memories from the Golden Horseshoe Part 1
This week we are excited to have Ira Siff on the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast for the first time. Ira is currently a commentator on the Met’s Saturday broadcasts but also teaches and coaches opera, and even used to run his own opera spoof company! His love of opera and the Met started in his teenage years as he stood in line for standing room tickets at the Old Met in the early 1960’s. Just in case any of you don’t know, the current Metropolitan Opera House opened in 1966, and before that, the opera company was based out of its original home dubbed the “Golden Horseshoe.” Today’s episode is the first of three lectures in which Ira Siff regales us with his Memories of the Golden Horseshoe, talking about his experiences and and the legendary singers that he saw along the way. And of course we will feature many musical clips from these singers as we take this walk down memory lane. So please enjoy part one of Memories from the Golden Horseshoe!
Apr 20, 2016
Ep. 28: Elektra Pre-Performance Lecture with William Berger
This week’s episode features a pre-performance lecture on the final new production of the 2015-2016 Met season, Elektra. Presenting today’s lecture is radio commentator and writer, William Berger, whom many of you may recognize from Sirius XM’s Met Opera radio and the famed Met Opera Quiz. The slideshow referenced throughout the lecture is available for download at www.metguild.org/podcast.
1 hr 3 min
Apr 13, 2016
Ep. 27: Roberto Devereux Pre-Performance Lecture
This week we are very excited to be bringing back Santa Fe Opera’s Desirée Mays to the Met Opera Guild Podcast! We have already had such a great response to last week’s episode and Desirée’s talk on The Real Madama Butterfly, and today’s episode is equally as engaging and informative as Ms. Mays fills us in on some of the confusing plot points and Donizetti’s blurring of fact and fiction in Roberto Devereux.
Apr 7, 2016
Ep. 26: The Real Madama Butterfly
This week’s episode is recorded from a live event that took place on March 29th, 2016, featuring Santa Fe Opera’s Desirée Mays as she explores the historical and literary sources that contributed to the story of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
Mar 30, 2016
Ep. 25: Simon Boccanegra - Talking about Opera
This Friday the Met Opera will begin an exciting run of one of Verdi’s more obscure operas, Simon Boccanegra, which will feature Maestro James Levine on the podium and legendary tenor/now baritone Plácido Domingo singing the title role. In preparation for this special musical event, today’s episode features Bridget Paolucci’s Talking About Opera lecture on Simon Boccanegra.
1 hr 30 min
Mar 23, 2016
Ep. 24: Donizetti's Tudor Queen Operas
Today’s episode is drawn from one of our Opera Boot Camp classes - an introductory tour through Donizetti’s Tudor Queen operas. These operas have garnered a lot of attention this spring and there is a wealth of history connected to these bel canto masterpieces. This episode explores important background information and musical highlights from "Anna Bolena," "Maria Stuarda," and "Roberto Devereux."
1 hr 1 min
Mar 16, 2016
Ep. 23: Le Nozze di Figaro - Talking about Opera
Today’s episode is drawn from a Talking about Opera excerpt, featuring Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" with lecturer Bridget Paolucci. At the time this recording was made, Bridget was a frequent lecturer at the Met Opera Guild, New York City Opera, and regularly appeared on the Met’s Radio Broadcasts. In this episode, Bridget takes us through the rich history of this opera, discussing source material, Mozart's collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, and delving into the layers of musical meaning and style.
1 hr 31 min
Mar 9, 2016
Ep. 22: Don Pasquale - Talking about Opera
Heralded by scholars and opera lovers as the “last great opera buffa,” Donizetti's DON PASQUALE has been a hit with audiences since the night it premiered in Paris in 1843. This episode features playwright and stage director Albert Innaurato as our lecturer, sharing fascinating details about the composer’s life and the musical elements that made this opera such a striking success.
1 hr 13 min
Mar 2, 2016
Ep. 21: Manon Lescaut Pre-Performance Lecture
In anticipation of the Met’s Live in HD broadcast of Manon Lescaut this Saturday, March 5th, we are happy to bring to you a Manon Lescaut pre-performance lecture that took place not even 24 hours prior to the release of this episode. Today’s lecturer, Nimet Habachy, is known in the New York City area for her more than 25 years as the host of New York at Night on the old WQXR. She now frequently gives lectures at both the Metropolitan Opera Guild as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has even joined the Met Museum as a lecturer on international tours. I hope you enjoy Ms. Habachy’s insights into Puccini’s first great hit, Manon Lescaut.
Feb 24, 2016
Ep. 20: 2016-2017 Met Season Preview
In today's episode, host Naomi Barrettara is joined by Met Guild Director of School Programs and Community Engagement, Stuart Holt, and Community Engagement Coordinator, Elspeth Davis, to discuss the newly-announced 2016-2017 Met Opera season. In this conversation the trio shares valuable insights and opinions on the new productions, intriguing revivals, and possible "sleeper hits" of the upcoming season, and informs us all on the hot tickets that we need to look out for.
Feb 17, 2016
Ep. 19: Madama Butterfly - Talking About Opera
This Friday, February 19 is the Met’s season premiere of Anthony Minghella’s celebrated production of Madama Butterfly. In anticipation of this premiere, we are once again reaching into the Talking About Opera archives to present an enthralling lecture given by the acclaimed playwright, director, and journalist, Albert Innaurato. In this lecture recorded in 1997, Mr. Innaurato explores the inner workings of Butterfly’s complicated characters and navigates through various highlights in the plot and score. I hope you enjoy this presentation on one of opera’s most beloved works.
1 hr 20 min
Feb 10, 2016
Ep. 18: Love In Opera
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this week’s episode is all about LOVE and MARRIAGE in Opera! Our content today is presented by Naomi Barrettara and drawn from a live event that happened at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York City as a pre-Valentine’s day celebration. The audio you are about to hear was taken from a dress rehearsal, so there is no real audience to laugh at the wonderful jokes, but we hope you enjoy them all the same!
Feb 3, 2016
Ep. 17: Inside the Prompter's Box
In this week’s episode, we are excited to present a talk with a very important member of the Metropolitan Opera staff. Donna Racik plays a role in Met performances that you will never see or hear. Her role is performed from a little black box at the front of the stage known as the prompter’s box. From the prompter’s box Donna conducts, mouths words, gives direction, and sometimes even sings! She does all this to help Met performers be at their very best, especially when they have had little or no rehearsal time. Enjoy fascinating insight into the life of a Met Opera prompter with interesting Q&A at the end of the episode.
1 hr 1 min
Jan 27, 2016
Ep. 16: Turandot Pre-Performance Lecture
Leading up to this weekend’s Met Live in HD broadcast of Puccini’s Turandot, we are happy to present this pre-performance lecture given by Dr. Jeffrey Langford, the Assistant Dean for Doctoral Studies and Music History Chair at the Manhattan School of Music. As you would imagine, this lecture is chalk-full of historical insights and musical analysis that will give you an entirely different perspective on this wildly popular opera. In fact, Dr. Langford included a physical handout of musical examples for the live audience that he references during the lecture. If you would like to download this handout so you can follow along you can do so at www.metguild.org/podcast. Now please enjoy Dr. Langford’s thoughts on Puccini’s Turandot.
1 hr 1 min
Jan 20, 2016
Ep. 15: Singers' Studio with Piotr Beczala
Today's episode is taken from our Singers’ Studio series, in which editors from Opera News magazine sit down in conversation with some of today’s elite singers. In these conversations, singers discuss many things from their career origins to future plans, and even their thoughts on the art form as a whole. In today’s episode, we are happy to present one such interview with renowned tenor Piotr Beczala. I hope you’ll enjoy listening in as Mr. Beczala sits down with Opera News Digital Editor Adam Wasserman in the Singers’ Studio.
Jan 13, 2016
Ep. 14: Les Pêcheurs de Perles Pre-Performance Lecture
Today’s episode features a pre-performance lecture on the opera dubbed by the New York Times as the “sleeper hit” of this year’s opera season - Bizet’s "Les Pêcheurs de Perles." The lecture is presented by Dr. Harlow Robinson, an author, lecturer, and Matthews Distinguished University Professor of History at Northeastern University.
Jan 6, 2016
Ep. 13: Massenet's Cendrillon
This episode, presented by the Met Guild’s Director of School Programs and Community Engagement, Stuart Holt, is all about a rarely-heard operatic version of the Cinderella story - Cendrillon by Jules Massenet. This opera has never appeared on the Met stage, and this lecture was originally given as part of a lecture series called “Unknown Masterworks”.
1 hr 12 min
Dec 30, 2015
Ep. 12: Die Fledermaus Pre-Performance Lecture
Today’s episode is recorded from a live pre-performance lecture that was given on December 14th by one of the Guild’s in-house lecturers and artistic consultants, Jane Marsh. Ms. Marsh is a celebrated Soprano who has sung countless opera roles all over the world, and brings a unique wealth of experience and knowledge to each of her lectures. This lecture is one of over 80 live educational events that are hosted at the Met Opera Guild this season, and as a pre-performance lecture it was given immediately prior to a Met performance of Die Fledermaus, where a majority of attendees continued on to the opera afterwards.
Dec 22, 2015
Ep. 11: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Today’s episode corresponds with the Met’s current holiday production of the The Barber of Seville, although it focuses on the original Il Barbiere di Siviglia rather than the Met’s shortened and translated version. Another revival from the Talking About Opera archives, this lecture is presented by Albert Innaurato. Mr. Innaurato has enjoyed a successful career as a playwright, stage director, journalist, and frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center among many others. His play, Gemini, brought to the Broadway stage in the late 1970s was one of the longest continually running non-musical plays with 1,819 performances. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including Opera News, The New York Times, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Currently, Albert serves as a creative consultant with Center City Opera Theater in Philadelphia, and directs nontraditional productions of class…
1 hr 21 min
Dec 16, 2015
Ep. 10: Voice Types - Tenors
This week’s episode will be the second iteration of our lectures on voice types. Our previous voice types lecture, episode 5 on the soprano voice type, is our most popular episode to date! So by popular demand, we are happy to present this lecture all about tenors.
1 hr 35 min
Dec 9, 2015
Ep. 9: The Magic Flute and Masonic Symbolism
This episode feature a discussion of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," delving into the interpretation of Masonic elements and symbolism throughout the opera.
Dec 2, 2015
Ep. 8: Musical Chairs with Grace Bumbry
Today’s episode features an engaging interview with a mezzo soprano turned soprano who just celebrated the 50th anniversary of her Met debut, Grace Bumbry. In the interview hosted by the Met Guild’s Executive Director of Program Development, Paul Gruber, Ms. Bumbry talks about some of the challenges and triumphs she experienced throughout her career that includes over 200 Met performances and countless operatic appearances and recitals around the world.
1 hr 2 min
Nov 24, 2015
Ep. 7: La Bohème - Talking About Opera
Today’s episode draws once more from the archives of the Met Opera Guild’s Talking About Opera series. This particular episode features Bridget Paolucci detailing the musical and dramatic beauty of Puccini’s La Bohème. At the time of this recording in 1991, Bridget was a frequent lecturer at the Met Opera Guild, New York City Opera, and regularly appeared on the Met’s Radio Broadcasts. Though she no longer lectures with the Guild, we are happy to bring you Bridget’s take on one of Puccini’s most popular works - La Bohème.
1 hr 17 min
Nov 18, 2015
Ep. 6: Lulu Pre-Performance Lecture
This session with Maestro Steven Osgood is an extremely valuable resource for those hoping to gain a better understanding of Berg's Lulu and 12-tone musical composition. In it, Maestro Osgood highlights hidden musical elements and plot features that will help you piece together this musical puzzle and further enjoy the compositional genius of Berg.
1 hr 20 min
Nov 11, 2015
Ep. 5: Voice Types - Sopranos
In this episode, host Naomi Barrettara provides all the information that you need to know about the soprano voice type, including the different types of sopranos, common repertoire, and stylistic tendencies. Part of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's popular Opera Boot Camp series, this session is the first of several Voice Type episodes to come in the future.
Nov 4, 2015
Ep. 4: Puccini Heroines - Tosca and Madama Butterfly
In this session, soprano and lecturer Jane Marsh discusses two of Puccini's most beloved heroines, Tosca and Butterfly. Sharing insights from her own international performance experience, Ms. Marsh delves into the motivation behind these characters, and also invites Kelly Griffin, soprano, and Djordje Nesic, pianist, to perform two of their most famous arias.
1 hr 1 min
Oct 27, 2015
Ep. 3: Tannhäuser Pre-Performance Lecture
In this episode, the Metropolitan Opera Guild is excited to present a recorded lecture by the late David Hamilton, in which he shares an abundance of information about Tannhäuser and Wagner's life leading up to its composition. Originally recorder for the Met Guild's "Talking About Opera" series, this lecture is a perfect preparation for those attending the Met's Live in HD presentation of Tannhäuser on October 31, 2015.
1 hr 2 min
Oct 21, 2015
Ep. 2: Musical Chairs with Deborah Voigt
This week’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast features an engaging interview with Deborah Voigt that was presented and recorded here at the Guild on October 5th, 2015. In it, Ms. Voigt discusses some of the struggles and triumphs she experienced in her life and storied career,
1 hr 15 min
Oct 7, 2015
Ep. 1: Otello Pre-Performance Lecture
In the first ever episode of the Met Opera Guild Podcast, Naomi Barrettara dives into the dramatic and musical elements of Verdi's penultimate opera.
1 hr 3 min