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 1:00 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. We also maintain a channel on YouTube so that you can watch the operas which we feature on Opera House.


Opera House Performances for Spring 2019


March 7

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas; King Arthur

Misled by the sorceress (Tucker) and her witches, Aenaeas (Braun) abandons Dido (Maultsby). King Arthur centers on Arthur's efforts to recover his fiancée, the Cornish princess Emmeline, abducted by the Saxon king Oswald.

March 14

Verdi: La Forza del Destino

Don Alvaro (Bergonzi) accidentally kills the father of Leonora (Arroyo) and later befriends her unsuspecting brother Don Carlo (Cappuccilli) while Leonora becomes a hermit at a monastery.

March 21

Spring Membership Drive

Bob Chapman and Rob Kennedy play arias, ensembles, and choruses as you pledge your support for Opera House.

March 28

Boito: Mefistofele

Based on Goethe's magnum opus, the devil, Mefistofele (Ghiaurov), bets God that he can successfully ensnare the elderly Faust (Pavarotti) by matching him with the young Margherita (Freni). Helen of Troy (Caballé) is briefly smitten by Faust.

April 4

Dvořák: Rusalka

A water sprite, Rusalka (Fleming), falls in love with a mortal prince (Heppner) and wants to take on human form. Warned by her father Vodník (Hawlata) of the dangers of such a transformation, Rusalka nevertheless seeks help from the witch Jezibaba (Zajick).

April 11

Erkel: Hunyadi László

King László V (Molnár) befriends László Hunyadi (Gulyás), son of a popular Hungarian military hero, but soon plots to have him murdered. The king then falls in love with Hunyadi's fiancée, Mária (Kalmár).

April 18

Wagner: Parsifal

A foolish young man, Parsifal (Hofmann), gains wisdom through compassion and brings healing to Amfortas (Van Dam), leader of the Grail Knights. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

April 25

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

North Carolina Opera's performance of this Russian classic, recorded January 24, 2016, at Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall, features Kang, El-Khoury, Barry, Svede, and Kellogg.

May 2

Nicolai: Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor

Gottlob Frick is John Falstaff in this delightful German operatic version of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.

May 9

Handel: Faramondo

The legendary and benevolent Frankish king Faramondo (Fortunato) is a lifelong rival of Gustavo (Castaldi), leader of a tribe called the Cimbrians. Pawns in their personal enmity are Faramondo's sister Clotilde (Baird) and Gustavo's daughter Rosimonda (Lane).

May 16

Rossini: Il Viaggio a Reims

European aristocrats on the way to the coronation of Charles X in Rheims are stranded in a hotel. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

May 23

Harbison: The Great Gatsby

This adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel recounts the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby (Hadley) and his love for Daisy Buchanan (Upshaw), wife of the brutish Tom (Baker).

May 30

Verdi: La Traviata

Alfredo (Lopardo) falls in love with a Parisian courtesan, Violetta (Gheorghiu), but his father Giorgio (Nucci) foolishly convinces her to leave his son.