- 11/19 How one Australian symphony orchestra protects players' ears
- 11/18 Graphing Gender in America’s Top Orchestras
- 11/18 Despite Offstage Worries, Onstage It’s All Artistry
- 11/11 Nonclassical, a London New-Music Franchise, Expanding to New York
- Special Note: A Major Mozart Discovery
- 10/31 WAO lose senior artistic staff
- 10/31 The Search for Mrs. Bach
- Special Note: Infograph: BSO 2014-15 By the Numbers
- 10/28 KC Symphony for Game 6, Joyce DiDonato for Game 7
- 10/27 John Barry’s Widow Establishes a Scholarship for Film Music
- 10/25 Did Bach’s wife write his finest works controversy
- 10/08 Australia Opera cancels Carmen over fears it promotes smoking
- 10/07 Read about the new documentary, "Maestro"
- 10/05 How to Make Music With a Whale
- 10/04 Handel & Haydn’s Bernard celebrates society’s success
- 09/30 Winners Chosen in Program to Aid Female Composers
- 09/28 Andris Nelsons Begins Tenure Leading BSO
- 09/24 Christopher Hogwood has died
- Special Note: Backstage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera! (Video)
- 09/16 2nd conductor resigns from Vienna State Opera
- 09/09 The Sixteen to tour with Monteverdi’s Vespers
- 09/02 Music Lessons Enhance Brain Function in Disadvantaged Kids
- 08/25 Frans Brüggen, Pioneer in Early Music
- 08/25 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Belohlávek-Weilerstein review
- 08/22 Metropolitan Opera Reaches Settlement With Last Unions
- 08/19 Addicts Symphony
- 08/18 Metropolitan Opera and Two Unions Reach a Tentative Deal
- 08/14 Conductor Gerard Schwarz to record Season 2 of PBS series
- 08/13 Conductor Frans Brüggen has died
- 08/07 Louisville Orchestra in the black
- 08/05 Christiane Karg carries on performance with dislocated knee
- 08/04 Saito Kinen Festival to be renamed after maestro Ozawa
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On Thanksgiving evening please join me for Luchino Visconti's historic 1955 revival of Vincenzo Bellini's La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) at Milan's Teatro alla Scala. Premiered in Milan on March 6, 1831, the role of Amina was written for Giuditta Pasta, and was subsequently "owned" by Maria Malibran. But after bel canto operas fell out of favor, few productions were mounted for nearly a century. All that changed with this revival, in which Maria Callas breathed life into the character of Amina. Callas's great success in this and other Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini roles made possible the bel canto revival of the mid-twentieth century that produced such outstanding specialists as Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, and Beverly Sills.
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In nineteenth-century Switzerland, Elvino (tenor Nicola Monti) becomes engaged to Amina (soprano Maria Callas), foster daughter of Teresa (mezzo-soprano Fiorenza Cossoto). She is complimented by a stranger who is in fact the lord of the manor, Count Rodolfo (bass Nicola Zaccaria), returning incognito after a long absence. The innkeeper, Lisa (soprano Mariella Angioletti), who is also in love with Elvino, visits the Count in his room, running away and dropping a handkerchief when she hears a noise. Amina, sleepwalking, enters the Count's bedroom and lies down. The Count tactfully leaves the room.
After Amina is found in the Count's room, Elvino refuses to believe the Count's explanation. He breaks off his engagement to Amina and decides to marry Lisa instead, but later breaks off that engagement when her handkerchief is found in the Count's room. Amina is later seen by everyone sleepwalking on the high, dangerously unstable mill bridge. When she has reached safety, Elvino awakens her and the pair is happily reunited.
Antonio Votto conducts the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus in this 1957 EMI/Angel recording.
From a 1955 La Scala recording, conducted by Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas is briefly joined by Cesare Valleti (Elvino) in the Act II aria " Ah! non credea mirarti":
Ninety-one years ago, on December 3rd, 1923, Maria Anna Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulos was born in New York City to Greek immigrant parents. Known professionally as Maria Callas, she became one of the twentieth-century's iconic singers. We'll celebrate her life and career with recordings from La Gioconda, Norma, Tristano e Isotta, and Il Pirata.
Next Thursday, December 4th, please join me for Léo Delibes's Lakmé, in which an Indian Brahmin priest kills a British officer who's been having an affair with his daughter. Natalie Dessay sings the title role, Gregory Kunde is the ill-fated Gérald, José Van Dam is Nilakantha, and Frank Leguérinel is Frédéric. Michel Plasson conducts this 1997 recording.
The WCPE Opera House is heard every Thursday evening at 7 o’clock in the Eastern time zone on 89.7 FM in central North Carolina, and we’re streamed online at http://www.theclassicalstation.org.
— W. Robert Chapman, Host of the WCPE Opera House
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My Life in Music:
Principal Timpani, North Carolina Symphony
Monday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m., EST
Sunday, December 7 at 5:00 p.m.
When John Feddersen co-hosts My Life in Music, we’ll explore a world surprising rhythms and harmonies. Feddersen is, of course, fascinated by clever rhythms, ranging from African drumming (in which he’s also trained) to classical works by Bartok and Stravinsky. Not as predictable is his commitment to early music, and small group vocal harmony. He’s been actively participating in Shape Note (ncshapenote.org) meet-ups for nearly four decades.
Burns & Allen made us laugh, Astaire & Rogers inspired us with their grace, Gilbert & Sullivan gave us unforgettable stories and songs. By working together, these artists produced their finest work.
At WCPE, we believe we accomplish our best work together too. WCPE is truly a Classic Collaboration: the collaborative efforts of our volunteers, supporters and listeners have enabled WCPE to keep the Great Classical Music playing for over thirty-seven wonderful years.
Make your pledge today and join our Classic Collaboration! You can call us at 800-556-5178 or make your pledge on-line at our Secure Pledge Page Here. When you make your pledge, please take a moment to fill out the comment area where you can share your thoughts and opinions with us. WCPE values your input!
The Metropolitan Opera Announces the 2014-15 Season
The Met’s 2014-15 Season Will Feature 26 Operas, Including Three Met Premieres, In Six New Productions and 18 Revivals!
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WCPE's Member Magazine
Published quarterly, this magazine and listener guide offers featured works and program highlights for the WCPE season to come, plus station news, reviews, interviews and other articles designed to enhance your classical music journey.
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