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.

Photo of Der Rosenkavalier by Ken Howard courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Fall 2020 Listings

September 3
Jerome Kern: Show Boat
Magnolia (Von Stade) marries river boat gambler Gaylord (Hadley) and moves with him to Chicago, where he deserts her and their daughter. Julie (Stratas) and her mixed-race husband Steve (Barton) are charged with miscegenation, while dock worker Joe (Hubbard) praises “Ol’ Man River.”

September 10
Gaetano Donizetti: La Favorita
An ill-fated love affair between the king’s mistress, Léonor de Guzman (Kasarova), and a young monk, Fernand (Vargas), who, not knowing her true identity, betrays his vows to pursue her.

September 17
Giuseppe Verdi: Simon Boccanegra
Genoese nobleman Fiesco (Ghiaurov) hates the doge, Boccanegra (Cappuccilli), for seducing his daughter. Boccanegra wants his long-lost daughter Amelia (Freni) to marry Paolo (Van Dam), but she loves Adorno (Carreras). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

September 24
Vincenzo Bellini: Il Pirata
Deprived of his estates, Gualtiero (Marti) turns to piracy. Learning that his beloved Imogene (Caballé) has married his enemy Ernesto (Cappuccilli), he kills the latter—and Imogene goes mad.

October 1
Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
This comic opera involves the aristocratic Marschallin (Te Kanawa), her lover Octavian (Von Otter), her cousin Baron Ochs (Rydl), and Sophie (Hendricks).

October 8
Fromental Halévy: La Juive
Rachel (Várady), daughter of the goldsmith Eléazar (Carreras), discovers her lover “Samuel” is a Christian prince, Léopold (Gonzales), who’s married to Eudoxie (Anderson).

October 15
Gaetano Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia
Orsini (Horne) tells how Alfonso (Wixell) suspects the infamous Lucrezia (Sutherland) of an affair with her own son Gennaro (Aragall). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

October 22
Erich Korngold: Die Tote Stadt
In the Belgian city of Bruges, Paul (Kollo) is seduced by the dancer Marietta (Neblett), who reminds him of his late wife Marie, in this fantasy opera.

October 29
Fall Membership Drive
Bob Chapman and Rob Kennedy play arias, ensembles, and choruses as you pledge your support for the Thursday Night Opera House.

November 5
Jacques Offenbach: La Vie Parisienne
This tangled tale of flirtatious masquerading and romantic intriguing has irresponsible men-about-town, fashionable courtesans, aristocratic visitors looking for a good time, and a motley assortment of flamboyant characters.

November 12
Alexander Borodin: Prince Igor
Igor (Kit) and his son Vladimir (Grigorian) are captured by the Polovtsians, led by Konchak (Minjelkiev). Igor escapes and rejoins his wife Yaroslavna (Gorchakova), but Vladimir marries Konchak’s daughter Konchakovna (Borodina).

November 19
Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto
After Gilda (Sutherland), daughter of court jester Rigoletto (Milnes), 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 26
Richard Rodgers: Oklahoma & South Pacific
Frederick Loewe: Gigi
Alfred Drake lends his operatic voice to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma and Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi, while former Met star Ezio Pinza turns to Broadway in South Pacific.

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