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Classical 89.9 WDAV
World of Opera
Saturdays at 6 p.m.

Lisa SimeoneWorld of Opera with host Lisa Simeone brings listeners compelling performances from top American and international opera companies. World of Opera encompasses the seminal operas of centuries past as well as today's masterpieces.
World of Opera is a co-production of WDAV Classical Public Radio, a service of Davidson College and South Carolina Public Radio.

World of Opera Site     Lisa Simeone's bio

Program Schedule
May 7, 2016
RICHARD WAGNER: Das Liebesverbot

woo-1619-daslieberstat-story.jpgTeatro Real Orchestra and Chorus
Ivor Bolton, conductor

Wagner’s early and rarely-heard comedy has so many "non-Wagnerian" elements that the composer himself, in his later years, looked back on it with a slightly bemused eye. Based on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, it comes to as one of many commemorations of the playwright's anniversary year.
April 30, 2016
GIUSEPPE VERDI: Stiffelio

woo-160416squareTeatro Regio Orchestra and Chorus
Jan Latham-Koenig, conductor

Based on an illustrated tale, published as a newspaper serial, Janácek's fanciful opera is one of his true masterworks. Once charming and frightening, this one-of-a-kind drama tells an enchanting story that's both tragic, and in the end, life-affirming.

April 23, 2016
World of Opera: Madame Butterfly
Jung Nan Yoon (Cio-Cio San) Photo Credit: Göteborg Opera, SwedenGöteborg Opera, Sweden
GIACOMO PUCCINI:  Madame Butterfly
Göteborg Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Manlio Benzi, conductor


A much-loved masterpiece, Puccini’s Butterfly combines an exotic setting with verismo intensity.  It's both a passionate romance and a cautionary tale, warning that the meeting of divergent cultures can lead to both rich rewards, and tragic misunderstanding.

April 16, 2016
LEOS JANÁCEK: The Cunning Little Vixen

woo-160409squareRoyal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
Semyon Bychkov, conductor

Like The Queen of Spades, another popular psychodrama by Tchaikovsky, this brooding masterpiece is based on the writing of Alexander Pushkin. Its darkly dramatic story portrays a caddish aristocrat whose indifference towards others turns full circle, and comes back to destroy him.  This production features the great baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, making a heroic and much-acclaimed appearance in the title role -- interrupting treatment for a recently-diagnosed brain tumor which had forced him to curtail his schedule. 

April 9, 2016
World of Opera: Eugene Onegin
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Cast of Eugene Onegin Photo Credit: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
P. I. TCHAIKOVSKY:  Eugene Onegin
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
Semyon Bychkov, conductor

Like The Queen of Spades, another popular psychodrama by Tchaikovsky, this brooding masterpiece is based on the writing of Alexander Pushkin. Its darkly dramatic story portrays a caddish aristocrat whose indifference towards others turns full circle, and comes back to destroy him.  This production features the great baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, making a heroic and much-acclaimed appearance in the title role -- interrupting treatment for a recently-diagnosed brain tumor which had forced him to curtail his schedule.

April 2, 2016
Special Broadcast

World of Opera logoWorld of Opera will not be heard Saturday, April 2, so that we can bring you a live broadcast of the Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Oxford from Davidson College Presbyterian Church. To learn more about that broadcast, click here.  World of Opera will return at its usual time Saturday, April 9th.

March 26, 2016
BENJAMIN BRITTEN: Peter Grimes
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Cast of Peter GrimesArnold Schoenberg Chorus
ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra
Cornelius Meister, conductor

The seeds for this powerfully emotional drama were sewn while Britten was in California, where an encounter with George Crabbe's poem The Borough left the composer nostalgic for Aldeburgh, his coastal hometown in Suffolk.

March 19, 2016
W. A. MOZART: Idomeneo

woo-160319squareLa Fenice Orchestra and Chorus
Jeffrey Tate, conductor

Idomeneo is a masterpiece that’s only beginning to gain its rightful place in Mozart’s canon.  The opera may have an outlandish plot -- complete with conniving gods and a marauding sea monster -- but it’s also blessed with some of Mozart’s most beautiful music and a troupe of opera’s most touchingly human characters.

March 12, 2016
GIUSEPPE VERDI: La Traviata

Cast of La Traviata

Teatro San Carlo Orchestra and Chorus
Nello Santi, conductor

When the diva dies just as the final curtain falls, it may seem like an operatic cliché -- but not in the hands of Giuseppe Verdi.  He made the final scene of La Traviata one of the most profound of them all. In this production, Maria Grazia Schiavo, famous for her interpretations of Baroque opera, brings a fresh and vivid approach to one of opera's greatest romantic characters.

March 5, 2016
WORLD OF OPERA SPECIAL EDITION: W. A. Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
Wolfgang Amadeus MozartThis week, join host Lisa Simeone for an in-depth look at one of opera's greatest masterpieces.  We'll explore the entire opera, from the first notes of the overture, through to the final curtain, by listening to several of the finest of recordings of the opera ever made.  Featured artists include Frederica von Stade, Samuel Ramey, Kiri Te Kanawa, Anna Moffo, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Giuseppe Taddei and many others, in performances led by conductors Carlo Maria Giulini, Georg Solti, Erich Kleiber, René Jacobs and Zubin Mehta.
February 27, 2016
CHRISTOPH WILLBALD GLUCK: Orphée et Eurydice
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Cast of Orphee et Eurydice. ©2015 Royal Opera House. Photograph by Bill CooperMonteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

Gluck's Orfeo, his original, Italian opera based on the Orpheus legend, was a landmark event in operatic history. He then followed it with this French version of the story, which may be even more striking, including a new, bravura tenor aria. That aria is performed here by tenor Juan Diego Flórez, in his first-ever appearance in the opera. 

February 20, 2016
GAETANO DONIZETTI: The Elixir of Love
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woo-160220squareParis Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Donato Renzetti, conductor

On its face, the story of L'elisir d'amore features little to be taken seriously. Yet Donizetti's music transports the opera beyond the world of farce to a place where simple confidence leads to life-changing revelations.  This Paris production features renowned tenor Roberto Alagna as Nemorino, a role that including the widely-popular aria, "Una furtive lagrima." 

February 13, 2016
MAURICE RAVEL: L'Heure espagnole and L'Enfant et les sortilèges
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Victoria Hall, GenevaSuisse Romande Orchestra
Geneva Grand Theater Chorus
Charles Dutoit, conductor

Ravel composed only two operas, and both are too short for a full evening's entertainment.  Fortunately, they combine to make an outstanding operatic double-bill, as we hear in this production from Geneva, featuring the renowned Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, with conductor Charles Dutoit.

February 6, 2016
GIUSEPPE VERDI: Ernani
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Giuseppe Verdi's ErnamiRoyal Opera of Wallonie Orchestra and Chorus
Paolo Arrivabeni, conductor

After his first few operas Verdi was marked as a composer with a political message, speaking out for Italian unity and freedom.  When it came time for opera number five he tried something different, dipping into Romantic literature for Ernani, after a play by Victor Hugo.  It touches on politics, but at its heart the story is pure passion, with a title character choosing love over life itself.



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