- 07/25 Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra showed the many faces of Beethoven
- 07/20 Kentucky Opera director dies in car crash in Illinois
- ♬ Special Note: On the Organ Trail in Manhattan
- 07/12 R.I.P. Jon Vickers, Tenor
- 07/06 Self-taught Frenchman takes Russia by storm
- 06/29 Facing the music: Eric Whitacre
- 06/22 Kirill Petrenko to succeed Simon Rattle at the Berlin Philharmonic
- 06/22 James Horner, Film Composer, Dies in Plane Crash
- 06/22 Recognition of Ernest Tomlinson, orchestral composer
- 06/21 R.I.P. Gunther Schuller, Pulitzer-winning jazz and classical musician
- 06/06 Are We All Mistuning Our Instruments, and Can We Blame the Nazis?
- ♬ Special Note: Carla Dirlikov becomes first opera singer to be named to The
President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities' Turnaround Arts
- 06/03 Remembering Margaret Juntwait
- ♬ Special Note: Kansas City Symphony players take Haydn, Mozart to prison
- 05/30 JoAnn Falletta to remain at BPO through 2021
- ♬ Special Note: Daniel Barenboim reveals radical new piano design
- 05/28 UB chamber music series combines classical music, architectural history
- 05/20 Minnesota Orchestra signs deals with Vänskä, musicians
- 05/16 Leif Ove Andsnes: my key to a modern Beethoven
- 05/11 Symphonic diplomacy is goal of Minnesota Orchestra's Cuba trip
- 05/08 How the CSO engineered its turnaround
- 05/05 The little orchestra that leads itself
- 05/04 Eric Jacobsen new music director of Orlando Philharmonic
- 05/04 ‘The Rake’s Progress’ Makes a Brief Visit at the Met
- 05/03 Paul Bryan inducted into the NC Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame
- 04/29 Iconic Portrait of Composer J.S. Bach Returns to Germany
- 04/28 Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig Dies Suddenly
- 04/27 A World of Spanish Songs
- 04/20 Julia Wolfe Wins Music Pulitzer
- 04/15 North Carolina native Caroline Shaw ignores the divides
- 04/14 ECU Chamber Singers win international choral competition
- 04/11 Listen to the Future
- 04/09 Twitter Outrage Takes Toronto, Canceling Two Pianists
- 04/09 Music by living composers is faring well
- 04/02 Vienna Philharmonic will do 3-year residency in Naples
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On this week's WCPE Opera House I'm presenting a delightful Russian fairy tale featuring sea kings and princesses, nymphs, and golden fish. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko is based on legends about the life of a twelfth-century guslyar, a musician who entertained the nobility by singing bilini--a distinctive type of Russian heroic ballad. He began writing music based on the Sadko legend three decades earlier with a tone poem that quickly achieved national fame. The opera Sadko, which recycled much of the music from the tone poem, was first performed on December 26, 1897 at the Solodonikov Theater in Moscow.
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The merchants of Novgorod, who are celebrating, invite Sadko (tenor Vladimir Galusin) to entertain them with a song. Instead, he tells them he would not spend his time feasting if he had their money, so they exile him from the city. Later, by Lake Ilmen, Sadko sees swans transformed into the daughters of the Sea King (bass Sergei Alexaskin). He and the Sea Princess, Volkhova (soprano Valentina Tsidipova), fall in love. The daughters again become swans. Sadko's wife, Lyubava Buslayevna (mezzo-soprano Marianna Tarassova), welcomes him home, but he rebuffs her. Sadko wagers his head that there are fish with golden scales in the lake. With Volkhova's help, he is proved correct. Sadko collects a group of followers and buys ships with which to explore and trade. After talking to three foreign merchants--Viking (bass Bulat Minjelkiev), Indian (tenor Gegam Grigorian), and Venetian (baritone Alexander Gergalov)— Sadko sets sail for Venice.
For twelve years Sadko has plied the sea without paying homage to the Sea King, who now takes revenge by becalming Sadko's ships. Sadko appeases the aquatic monarch by setting himself adrift on a plank, and then descends to the Sea King's underwater palace. Impressed by Sadko's singing, the King lets him marry his daughter Volkhova. The dancing after the wedding is so frenzied it causes a hurricane. An Apparition (baritone Nikolai Putilin) appears to put a stop to the destruction and admonishes Sadko for wasting his time. Volkhova and Sadko return to Novgorod. When Volkhova is transformed into the Volkhova River, Sadko goes back to his wife. The people of Novgorod praise Volkhova for giving them direct access to the Baltic Sea.
Next Thursday evening, August 6, please join me for Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, with Joan Sutherland singing the title role, Luciano Pavarotti as her lover Edgardo, and Sherrill Milnes as her brother Enrico. Richard Bonynge conducts this 1971 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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We spoke with the Grammy Award nominated, prize-winning Steinway Artists Ensemble ZOFO this week on "Preview!" The group's name is derived from shorthand for "20 Finger Orchestra". Since 20089, pianists Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmerman have been forging a new path for piano-four-hands with their annual commissions. Their latest release, ZOFO Plays Terry Riley, includes the ensemble's own piano-four-hand arrangements as well as a newly commissioned work by Riley. We discuss the process of creating arrangements and sharing such a small and lovely workspace.
Please click here to listen to this, and many other Preview Interviews!
WCPE FM, The Classical Station, announces five grants totaling more than $8,000 from its WCPE Education Fund for the 2015–16 season.
When your contribution is at least $50.00, you may, in lieu of choosing a gift, designate that 10% of your donation go toward the WCPE Education Fund. Please check the appropriate box in the Secure Pledge Form!
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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