Thursday Night Opera House

portrait of Bob Chapman, host of Opera House

Bob Chapman

Grand Opera: A Sound Delight

The Classical Station offers two wonderful opportunities each week to hear the best in opera: Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. eastern from December through May. The Thursday Night 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.

Al Ruocchio hosted The Thursday Night Opera House from 1980 until his death in 2007. On December 4, 2008, Bob Chapman became the third host of The Thursday Night Opera House, succeeding Robert Galbraith. Bob is an opera singer who continues to use his wealth of experience and talents to bring the very best works of opera to our listeners with his show.

Anna Netrebko in previous production of Lucia di Lammermoor
Photo by Ken Howard and the Metropolitan Opera

Summer 2020 Listings

June 4
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte
In this fairy tale masking a Masonic allegory, Tamino (Wunderlich) falls in love with Pamina (Lear), aided by the birdcatcher Papageno (Fischer-Dieskau). Sarastro (Crass) foils the Queen of the Night (Peters).

June 11
Mikhail Glinka: Ruslan and Lyudmila
Lyudmila (Rudenko) is wooed by the poet-prince Ratmir (Sinyavskaya), the cowardly warrior Farlaf (Morozov), and the knight Ruslan (Nesterenko) in this sprawling Russian fairy tale.

June 18
Vincenzo Bellini: I Puritani
Elvira (Sutherland) is promised to Sir Riccardo Forth (Cappuccilli), who loves her, though she loves Lord Arturo Talbo (Pavarotti) instead. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

June 25
Gustave Charpentier: Louise
Louise (Cotrubaș), a working-class young woman, escapes to Paris to avoid an arranged marriage and to be with her lover Julien (Domingo).

July 2
Irving Berlin: Annie, Get Your Gun
Cole Porter: Kiss Me, Kate
A fictionalized version of the life of Annie Oakley (Criswell) and her romance with fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler (Hampson). Divorced Broadway stars Fred Graham (Drake) and Lilli Vanessi (Morison) star in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

July 9
Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut
On her way to a convent, Manon Lescaut (Freni) falls in love with Des Grieux (Domingo). Seduced by the wealth of the elderly Geronte (Rydl), she leaves Des Grieux, but they are eventually reunited and deported.

July 16
Richard Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer
Condemned to sail the seas forever, the Dutchman (Bailey) comes ashore once every seven years to find a faithful woman (Martin). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

July 23
George Frederic Handel: Ariodante
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Polinesso (Podleś) falsely accuses Ginevra (Dawson) out of envy for Ariodante (Von Otter).

July 30
Gaetano Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia (Rost) is in love with Edgardo (Ford), but her brother Enrico (Moore) wants her to marry Arturo (Clarke) instead, and she goes mad.

August 6
Christoph Willibald Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice & Orfée et Euridice
Original 1762 Vienna version stars Forrester (Orfeo) and Stich-Randall (Euridice); 1774 Paris version features Fouchécourt (Orfée) and Dubosc (Euridice).

August 13
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Sophisticated Onegin (Hvorostovsky) rebuffs country girl Tatyana (Focile); jealous Lensky (Shicoff) is killed in a duel with Onegin, who’s flirted with his fiancée Olga (Borodina).

August 20
Giuseppe Verdi: Luisa Miller
The doomed love between Luisa (Moffo), daughter of the old soldier Miller (MacNeil), and Rodolfo (Bergonzi), son of Count Walter (Tozzi). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

August 27
Georges Bizet: La Jolie Fille de Perth
In a Scottish town, the Queen of the Gypsies (Zimmermann) foils a plot by the Duke of Rothsay (G. Quilico) to abduct Catherine Glover (Anderson), who wants to marry the armorer Henry Smith (Kraus).

Opera House Newsletter

Bob describes the story of each week’s opera in his weekly Opera House Newsletter, e-mailed each Wednesday morning. Use the sign up form below to join the mailing list.

See previous quarters’ programming for Thursday Night Opera House.

Masthead photo: Puccini’s La Bohème by Evan Zimmerman and the Metropolitan Opera