Opera on The Classical Station


The Classical Station offers two wonderful opportunities each week to hear the best in opera: Thursday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoons at 1:30 from December through May. The WCPE Opera House has been a regular Thursday night feature on The Classical Station since April of 1980. On Saturday afternoons from December through May we broadcast the Metropolitan Opera Saturday afternoon matinees.

Robert Chapman

The late Al Ruocchio hosted Opera House from 1980 until his death in 2007. On December 4th, 2008, Bob Chapman became only the third host in the history of the WCPE Opera House, succeeding Robert Galbraith. Bob is an experienced opera singer himself, and continues to use his wealth of experience and talents to bring the very best works of opera to our listeners with his show. Bob describes the story of each week's opera in his weekly Opera House Newsletter. To receive your personal copy, use the sign up form at the bottom of this page. Bob emails his newsletter on Wednesday mornings. Click on the link on each opera title below to read Bob's synopsis for that opera. We also maintain a channel on YouTube so that you can watch the operas which we feature on Opera House.


Opera House Performances for Fall 2018


September 6

Igor Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress

Tom Rakewell (Bostridge), engaged to Anne Trulove (York), inherits a fortune and is lured to London to a life of vice and dubious business ventures by Nick Shadow (Terfel).

September 13

Camille Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Samson (Domingo) leads a successful Hebrew revolt against the Philistines. Prompted by the High Priest of Dagon (Fondary), Dalila (Meier) robs Samson of his power by cutting off his hair.

September 20

George Frederic Handel: Amadigi di Gaula

The jealous sorceress Melissa (Harrhy) is determined to break the relationship between Amadis (Stutzmann) and Oriana (J. Smith). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

September 27

Giachino Rossini: La Scala di Seta and Il Signor Bruschino

The silken ladder is used nightly by Dorvil (Matteuzzi) to rejoin Giulia (Serra), to whom he’s secretly married. In Il Signor Bruschino, Sofia (Battle), ward of Gaudenzio (Ramey), is engaged to marry the son (Arevalo) of Bruschino (Desderi), but she’s in love with Florville (Lopardo).

October 4

Jules Massenet: Don Quichotte and Mitch Leigh: Man of La Mancha

Don Quixote (Ghiaurov) is a moonstruck old knight while Dulcinée (Crespin) becomes a beautiful courtesan. The 1964 Broadway adaptation of Cervantes’s classic novel stars Domingo, Migenes, Patinkin, Ramey, Hadley, and Elias.

October 11

Giuseppe Verdi: Macbeth

The ambitious Lady Macbeth (Rysanek) persuades Macbeth (Warren) to murder King Duncan (Hines). Rebels led by Macduff (Bergonzi) eventually kill the usurper.

October 18 Charles Gounod: Mireille

Mireille (Freni) loves Vincent (Vanzo), but her father, Ramon (Bacquier), wants her to marry Ourrias (Van Dam). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

October 25

Fall Membership Drive

Bob Chapman and Christine Weidinger will play recent recordings to encourage you to support Opera House.

November 1

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Castor et Pollux

Heavenly twins Castor (Jeffes) and Pollux (Huttenlocher) are both in love with Télaïre (J. Smith), but after Castor is killed, she wants Pollux to ask Jupiter (Wallington) to bring his brother back to life.

November 8

Richard Strauss: Arabella

Count Waldner (Gutstein) tries to arrange a marriage for his elder daughter Arabella (Te Kanawa) and sends her picture to a rich, elderly friend. But it’s the friend’s son, Mandryka (Grundheber), who wants to marry her.

November 15

Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto

After court jester Rigoletto’s (Milnes) daughter Gilda (Sutherland) is seduced by the Duke of Mantua (Pavarotti), the aggrieved father puts out a contract on the duke’s life. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

November 22

Benjamin Britten: Gloriana

Queen Elizabeth I (Barstow) is torn between her duty as monarch and her love for the Earl of Essex (Langridge).

November 29

Gaetano Donizetti: Il Furioso all’Isola di San Domingo

A Spanish gentleman, Cardenio (Antonucci), escapes to San Domingo, driven mad by the infidelity of his wife Eleonora (Serra) with his brother, Fernando (Canonici).