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 1:00 p.m. 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.


Fall 2019


September 5

Rodgers & Hammerstein: Carousel
Wright/Forrest: Kismet
Billy Bigelow (Ramey) captivates and marries Julie Jordan (Cook). Beggar Hajj (Ramey) drowns the evil Wazir (DeLuise), catches the eye of Lalume (Migenes), and sees Marsinah (Swenson) wed to the handsome Caliph (Hadley).

September 12

Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia (Damrau) is in love with Edgardo (Calleja), but her brother Enrico (Tézier) wants her to marry Arturo (Lee), and she goes mad.

September 19

Puccini: Manon Lescaut
On her way to a convent, Manon Lescaut (Freni) falls in love with Des Grieux (Domingo). Seduced by the wealth of Geronte (Rydl), she leaves Des Grieux, but they are eventually reunited and deported. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

September 26

Wagner: Tannhäuser
Seduced by Venus (Baltsa), the knight Tannhäuser (Domingo) takes part in a minstrel contest for the hand of Elisabeth (Studer), the daughter of the landgrave Hermann (Salminen).

October 3

Verdi: Nabucco
Fenena (Obraztsova), daughter of King Nabucco of Babylon (Manuguerra), is in love with Ismaele (Luchetti), the nephew of the king of Jerusalem, while Fenena’s half-sister Abigaille (Scotto) is also in love with him.

October 10

Thomas: Hamlet
The melancholy Danish prince Hamlet (Hampson) reacts badly to the marriage of his mother Gertrude (Graves) to his uncle Claudius (Ramey), who murdered Hamlet’s father to gain the throne. The prince’s girlfriend Ophélie (Anderson) goes mad and drowns herself.

October 17

Massenet: Thaïs
The monk Athanaël (Hampson) wants to convert the courtesan Thaïs (Fleming) to Christianity, but his obsession with her is rooted in lust. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

October 24

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana
Leoncavallo: Pagliacci
Cavalleria Rusticana: After returning from war to find that his girlfriend has married Alfio (Bardelli), Turiddu (Tucker) briefly takes up with Santuzza (Farrell) before resuming his relationship with Lola (Miller).
Pagliacci: Spurned by Nedda (Amara), Tonio (Colzani) gets revenge by staging a play in which Canio (Corelli) becomes jealous after learning that his real-life wife is having an affair.

October 31

Fall Membership Drive
Bob Chapman and Rob Kennedy play arias, ensembles, and choruses as you pledge your support for the WCPE Opera House.

November 7

Handel: Alcina
Enchantress Alcina (Sutherland) lives in a palace on an island to lure her lovers, including Ruggiero (Wunderlich), who has betrayed his fiancée, Bradamante (Procter).

November 14

Bizet: Carmen
Naïve soldier Don José (Shicoff) falls for freespirited Carmen (Norman), helps her escape from jail, goes AWOL, and joins her in a smuggling gang, only to lose her to the dashing Escamillo (Estes). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

November 21

Rossini: La Cenerentola
Angelina (Berganza) is magnanimous toward her father Don Magnifico (Montarsolo) and stepsisters after marrying Don Ramiro (Alva).

November 28

Mozart: Idomeneo, Re di Creta
To escape a storm that’s keeping him from his native Crete, Idomeneo (Pavarotti) promises Neptune to sacrifice the first living being he encounters—who turns out to be own son, Idamante (Baltsa), who’s in love with the Trojan captive Ilia (Popp).

Bob prepares a synopsis of each opera which we email every Wednesday morning. Use the form below to subscribe to this informative newsletter.