Met Opera Guild Podcast

Met Opera Guild Podcast

By Metropolitan Opera Guild

Podcast by Metropolitan Opera Guild

Episodes

Ep. 224: Expanding the Canon Part III - Foreign Works

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have the last of three episodes exploring how the operatic canon is being expanded, featuring Guild lecturer Matthew Timmermans. In this final episode, he will dive into how the Met’s production of foreign works such as Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Britten’s Peter Grimes have expanded the boundaries of the canon. This marks our final podcast episode of this season, but we will return on August 9 with a brand new season! Until then, make sure to follow The Metropolitan Opera Guild, Opera News, and The Metropolitan Opera on your favorite social media platforms to keep up to date on all things opera!
05/07/23·1h 9m

Ep. 223: Expanding the Canon Part II - Star-Studded Revivals

Today, we have the second of three episodes exploring how the operatic canon is being expanded, featuring Guild lecturer Matthew Timmermans. In this episode, he will dive into star-studded revivals —looking at somewhat unknown operas that are often revived with all-star casts, such as Cherubini’s Medea and Giordano’s Fedora.
21/06/23·1h 4m

Ep. 222: Expanding the Canon Part I - New Works

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have the first of three episodes exploring how the operatic canon is being expanded, featuring Guild lecturer Matthew Timmermans. In this first episode, he will dive into two new productions that have pushed the boundaries of the canon—Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Kevin Puts’s The Hours.
07/06/23·1h 11m

Ep. 221: Talking About Opera on Die Zauberflöte

On today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we are delving into our archives to explore Die Zauberflöte with the late renowned music scholar Father Owen Lee. Die Zauberflöte is a sublime and magical fairytale full of mysticism, love, and humor. Listen to learn more about the opera’s fantastical drama and ethereal score.
31/05/23·53m 45s

Ep. 220: Opera Outlook on Don Giovanni

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we are joined by lecturer Phillip Gainsley as he explores the music and drama of Don Giovanni. Based on the legend of Don Juan, Mozart’s masterpiece has remained on the operatic stage since its premiere in 1787 and has gone on to become a cultural behemoth, inspiring playwrights such as Peter Shaffer and other composers such as Liszt and Tchaikovsky. On today’s episode, we will delve into what makes this evergreen opera as popular today as it was in the 18th century.
17/05/23·1h 2m

Ep. 219: Opera Outlook on Champion

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we are joined by lecturer Tanisha Mitchell as she discusses the music and real-life themes of Champion, an “opera in jazz.”
26/04/23·50m 18s

Ep. 218: The Mythos and Myths of Wagner's Male Characters Part II

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have the second of two episodes exploring the mythos and myths of Wagner’s male characters, featuring Guild lecturer Desiree Mays. In this second episode, she will continue to explore the ideas of myth and mythos and how they are presented in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Lohengrin.
29/03/23·1h 12m

Ep. 217: The Mythos and Myths of Wagner's Male Characters Part I

Mythos, myth, legend and folk art were all topics that captivated Richard Wagner when he was no longer satisfied with realistic situations and the confines of time and space. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have the first of two episodes exploring the myth and mythos of Wagner’s male characters, featuring Guild lecturer Desiree Mays. In this first episode she will explore the idea of myth and mythos and how it is presented through the doom-ridden Dutchman.
22/03/23·1h 20m

Ep. 216: Opera Outlook on Lohengrin

Lohengrin is a pivotal work in Wagner’s stylistic development, showcased by his tremendous ability to represent the psychology of his characters through music. Lohengrin returned to the Met stage this season, in a brand-new production by director François Girard, whose previous work includes the Met’s stunning production of Parsifal in 2013. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we are joined by Guild lecturer John J. H. Muller as he explores the history and music of this epic tale of the mysterious swan knight.
15/03/23·57m 20s

Ep. 215: L'Elisir d'Amore

On today's episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we are joined by soprano and the Guild's School Programs Senior Associate, Alyson Sheehan, as she discusses the bel canto classic, L'Elisir d'Amore.
08/03/23·52m 38s

Ep. 214: Operatic Singing And Recording

On today's Met Opera Guild podcast, we are joined by musicologist and lecturer Diana Maron as she discusses the evolution of early recording technology and opera.
22/02/23·40m 38s

Ep. 213: Verdi's Merry Masterpiece – Falstaff

Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff, is based on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Part 1, but it did not become a huge success until Arturo Toscanini insisted on reviving it at La Scala, and later The Metropolitan Opera, in the 1890s. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, we are joined by Voice Teacher, Stage Director and Educator, Doreen Hutchings as she discusses the humor, music, and staging challenges within Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff.
15/02/23·44m 17s

Ep. 212: Talking about Opera on Dialogues des Carmélites

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a historic recording from our Talking About Opera archives featuring Guild Lecturer Father Owen Lee. The musical examples come from the Virgin Classics recording with Catherine Dubosc, Rita Gorr, Martine Dupuy, Rachel Yakar, and Jose van Dam, conducted by Kent Nagano.
24/01/23·1h 6m

Ep. 211: Opera Outlook on Fedora

Returning to the Met after an absence of 25 years, Giordano’s opera Fedora is full of murder, political intrigue and many more melodramatic twists and turns. Perhaps best known for its famous tenor aria, “Amor ti vieta,” the opera is nonetheless a stage vehicle for the prima donna. On today’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, join the Guild’s Director of Learning and Engagement, Stuart Holt, as he explores the drama and music of Fedora.
11/01/23·57m 52s

Ep. 210: Opera Outlook The Hours

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and made a household name by the Oscar-winning 2002 film version starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman, this powerful story concerns three women from different eras who each grapple with their inner demons and their roles in society. On this episode we join Guild lecturer and musicologist W. Anthony Sheppard discusses The Hours.
07/12/22·59m 37s

Ep. 209: Don Carlos Talking about Opera

On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a historic recording from our Talking About Opera archives featuring Guild Lecturer Albert Innaurato.
23/11/22·57m 34s

Ep. 208: Opera Outlook Peter Grimes

On this episode of the Met Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer Michael Bolton explores Britten’s magnificent meditation on isolation and persecution.
09/11/22·54m 7s

Ep. 207: Opera Outlook Medea

Cherubini was a child prodigy who composed several works by the time he was thirteen, before turning his sights to the operatic stage. Perhaps his most famous work, Medea opened the 2022-23 Met Opera season, marking the company premiere of the opera. We welcomeD lecturer and radio personality, Nimet Habachy, as she explores the life and times of Cherubini and his most famous opera, Medea.
19/10/22·49m 1s

Ep. 206: Opera Outlook Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Based on Nikolai Leskov’s novella, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and seen as one of the most significant operas of the 20th century, Shostakovich’s work returns to the Met this season, featuring soprano Svetlana Sozdateleva and tenor Brandon Javonovich as the deadly Katerina and her lover. Today’s episode features lecturer Harlow Robinson as he explores this story of adultery and murder.
05/10/22·1h

Ep. 205: Met Opera Guild Season Announcement

Opera Outlooks, Master Classes, Boot Camps, and more are back LIVE and online at the Metropolitan Opera Guild! Find out more about the exciting array of Met Opera Guild learning opportunities in this season on today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast!
17/08/22·23m 3s

Ep. 204: Opera and Greek Drama Part IV

In the last part of our series Opera and Greek Drama, we’ll conclude our journey of Greek drama after the Trojan War with arguably the most violent and bloodthirsty of Greek myths, the saga of Agamemnon. Lecturer Matthew Timmermans will begin by returning to Gluck, looking at his Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), one of the many operas he wrote for the French stage after his career in Italy. Then, he will discuss one of operas most powerful, beautiful, and disturbing musical adaptations, Strauss’s Elektra.
27/07/22·56m 17s

Ep. 203: Opera and Greek Drama Part III

Virgil’s Aeneid, perhaps the most famous adaptation of a Greek myth, tells the story of the Trojan war and later Aeneas’s journey to Carthage. The appropriately epic nature of this poem beginning with Troy’s destruction and ending tragically with Dido's suicide has been adapted in a myriad of ways by opera composers. In this podcast episode, join Guild lecturer Matthew Timmerman in the third part of our series Opera and Greek Drama
20/07/22·1h 5m

Ep. 202: Opera and Greek Drama Part II

In this podcast episode, join Guild lecturer Matthew Timmermans as he chronologically traces how Greek myths have been adapted by putting them in their historical context, and by comparing and contrasting performances.
13/07/22·58m 17s

Ep. 201: Opera and Greek Drama Part I

Published histories of opera differ in a myriad of ways, but one thing that they all agree upon is that opera was born out of Greek drama. On this episode of the Met Opera Guild Podcast, we have the first part from our Opera Boot Camp, Opera and Greek Drama, which took place as a live course earlier this spring. Guild lecturer Matthew Timmermans explores stereotypes of Greek drama found in examples including the vengeful Medea, Wagner’s unavoidable legacy, and finally a twist in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
06/07/22·1h 5m

Ep. 200: Lucia and Madness Study Day- Part II

We have reached podcast episode #200! In today’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Dr. Mark Pottinger leads us through the second part of his Study Day all about Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and the fascinating history of madness in opera.
22/06/22·56m 1s

Ep. 199: Lucia and Madness Study Day Part I

On today’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Dr. Mark Pottinger uses Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor as a jumping-off point to take a deeper look at madness, murder, and the supernatural.
15/06/22·46m 59s

Ep. 198: Opera Outlook on Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of the most influential and important works of literature and has inspired ballets, orchestral works, choral works, and more than one opera. On today’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Michael Bolton tackles the significant history of this masterwork and the Met’s inspiring new production of this brand new opera by composer Brett Dean.
02/06/22·44m 44s

Ep. 197: Opera Outlook on Lucia di Lammermoor

From the vocal fireworks featured in the famous “mad scene” to the popularized sextet Lucia continues to fascinate audiences today. Many sopranos have taken the role, including, Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Renata Scotto, Lisette Oropesa and the current Lucia, Nadine Sierra. On today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have lecturer Tanisha Mitchell discussing the inner workings of this operatic staple.
18/05/22·53m 23s

Ep.196: Opera Outlook Don Carlos

For the first time in the company’s history, the Metropolitan Opera is presenting Verdi’s tragic opera Don Carlos in its original five act French version. Set during the period of the tumultuous Spanish Inquisition, this opera boasts a super star cast including Matthew Polenzani, Sonya Yoncheva, Jamie Barton, and Eric Owens. Join lecturer John J.H. Muller as he explores the music and history of this French Grand Opera.
23/03/22·59m 12s

Ep. 195: Opera Outlook: Ariadne auf Naxos

Of Strauss' many operatic, symphonic, and vocal compositions, his opera Ariadne auf Naxos has remained a staple of the operatic repertoire for decades. Considered by many to be his master work, it’s intricate play-within-a-play structure tackles the ideas of the power of art, music, and mythology. Join lecturer Phillip Gainsley as he explores the history and music of this difficult work
10/03/22·49m 57s

Ep. 194: Talking About Opera on Rigoletto

Rigoletto was based on Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse, literally, “the king enjoys himself.” However, since opera houses were under strict control of government censors, it was too controversial for a king to be portrayed as a serial seducer. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a historic recording from our Talking About Opera archives featuring Guild Lecturer Bridget Paloucci.
26/01/22·1h 7m

Ep. 191: Opera Outlook: Eurydice with W. Anthony Sheppard

With music by Genius grant recipient Matthew Aucoin, libretto by recipient Sarah Ruhl, and stage direction by recipient Mary Zimmerman, Eurydice is a new examination of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice from Eurydice’s point of view. This co-commission and co-production arrives at the Met after a successful premiere at LA Opera in February 2020. On today’s episode, professor W. Anthony Sheppard takes us into the underworld and explores our protagonist’s tale.
01/12/21·48m 17s

Ep. 190: Meistersinger Study Day Part II with Desirée Mays

Instead of all of the mythological figures we are used to seeing in Wagner’s operas, the story of Die Meistersinger is set in a community of artisans. The main character, Hans Sachs is even based on a real life historical figure. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s podcast, we welcome back Guild lecturer Desiree Mays for the second part of our discussion on Die Meistersinger.
24/11/21·1h 13m

Ep. 189: Meistersinger Study Day Part I with Desirée Mays

Though thought of as Wagner’s only comic opera, Die Meistersinger can also be seen as an artistic manifesto. With a six-hour running time, Die Meistersinger is the longest opera in the Met’s repertory. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, we welcome Guild lecturer Desiree Mays for the first of two episodes on Die Meistersinger.
18/11/21·1h 18m

Ep. 188: Opera Boot Camp Introduction to Operatic Staging Promo with Matthew Timmermans

From more traditional staging to more boundary-pushing productions, operatic staging has been evolving and changing since the advent of opera. In fact, what we see on the stage can directly affect what the audience hears and understands, and vice versa. In this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we talk with lecturer Matthew Timmermans about his virtual Opera Boot Camp, all about the history and legacy of operatic staging!
03/11/21·14m 31s

Ep. 187: Opera Outlook: Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Featuring a score by renowned jazz musician Terence Blanchard, and a libretto by actor and director Kasi Lemmons, Fire Shut Up in My Bones was this year’s Opening Night performance, marking the return of live opera to the Met stage after the longest closure in company history. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, librettist and author Joanne Sydney Lessner explores this exciting new work!
20/10/21·45m 31s

Ep. 186: Opera Outlook: Boris Godunov

Modest Mussorgsky sought to create a national school of Russian music, free from western influences. His most notable work, Boris Godunov, was initially brutally rejected by the board of the Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg in 1871. However, it went on to become one of the most popular works in the Russian repertoire. On today's episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer Jane Marsh explores the history and highlights of this operatic work.
06/10/21·54m 13s

Ep. 185: LCE Season Announcement

A brand new season of Metropolitan Opera Guild programs is ready to go on sale next week! After a successful season of virtual programming, we are excited to return with a combination of in-person and virtual events.
08/09/21·22m 10s

Ep. 184: Great Divas I Have Seen Part IV with Ira Siff

By turns regal and opulent, rich and astounding, the operatic diva has the ability to move you with performances that you will remember for the rest of your life. In the final episode of our four-part series, we’re joined by lecturer Ira Siff as he discusses the lives and careers of the great divas Christa Ludwig, Aprile Millo, Krassmira Stoyanova, Teresa Stratas, and, of course, Jessye Norman.
28/07/21·44m 51s

Ep. 183: Great Divas I Have Seen Part III with Ira Siff

In today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, we are joined by lecturer Ira Siff to discuss his experiences and memories of watching Marilyn Horne perform, and divas Shirley Verrett, Montserrat Caballe, Magda Olivero, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Virginia Zeani!
14/07/21·46m 13s

Ep. 182: Great Divas I Have Seen Part II with Ira Siff

In today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, join Ira Siff as he discusses diva powerhouses like Maria Callas, Renata Scotto, and the incomparable Leontyne Price.
30/06/21·45m 20s

Ep. 181: Great Divas I Have Seen Part I with Ira Siff

Worshipped, adored, and celebrated for their singing, the operatic diva has been thrilling audiences since the beginning of opera as an art form. In today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we join lecturer Ira Siff as he tells of the great divas, such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi, and Leonie Rysanek, that he has had the pleasure of seeing live on the operatic stage.
16/06/21·45m 35s

Ep. 180: Opera and the Sea with Desirée Mays Part II

Whether you consider yourself a Wagnerian, or perhaps you are more drawn to the 20th Century nature of Benjamin Britten’s music, the sea has inspired some of opera’s most creative works. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we are excited to welcome back lecturer Desirée Mays for Part 2 of Opera and the Sea.
02/06/21·43m 22s

Ep. 179: Opera and the Sea with Desirée Mays Part I

The sea provides a vast array of opportunities for storytelling in operas. Despite being composed at different times and locations, composers and librettists have adapted the theme of the sea in unique ways. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we begin the first of two episodes with Guild lecturer Desiree Mays as she takes a detailed examination of these operas relating to the sea.
26/05/21·44m 40s

Ep. 178: Maria Callas Course Promo Episode

How did Maria Callas become a household name, and what happens when a singer’s vocal powers diminish? Who were Maria Callas’s contemporaries, and what stars have carried on her vocal legacy? Today lecturer Matthew Timmermans discusses Maria Callas and the Metropolitan Opera Guild Online Learning course that aims to examine these enduring questions about La Divina herself.
05/05/21·11m 20s

Ep. 177: Opera in England Part II

Known for operatic works such as Peter Grimes, Turn of the Screw, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benjamin Britten drastically modernized opera in England, evolving it to become incredibly important in the operatic canon. Today on the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Dr. Naomi Perley will explore why the works of Benjamin Britten have had such tremendous popularity.
28/04/21·55m 43s

Ep. 176: Die Frau ohne Schatten Talking About Opera

“Die Frosch” is the German word for “The Frog.” While Strauss may have playfully given this unfavorable nickname to Die Frau Ohne Schatten due to the many difficulties in staging the opera, he also regarded it as one of his greatest achievements, saying “it has succeeded nevertheless and has made a deep impression ... and music lovers, in particular, consider it to be my most important work.” On today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, pianist Brian Zeger takes a closer look at this staple of the operatic repertoire.
21/04/21·1h 7m

Ep. 175: Opera in England Part I

John Blow, Thomas Arne, Henry Purcell, and George Fredric Handel all had great success composing in England. They all also have music strongly associated with British Monarchy - Blow, Arne, and Purcell all wrote Coronation Anthems and Arne wrote: “Rule Britannia”. Today we present the first of a two-part series on Opera in England. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, Stuart Holt explores these four composers in early British operatic history.
09/04/21·1h 2m

Ep. 174: Jazz and Opera Part II with Deidre Bird

Featuring jazz rhythms, blues, banjos, and African American spirituals, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess challenged pre-existing notions of what an American opera could be. Although Porgy and Bess has a complicated history, Gershwin’s innovative music has had a lasting impact on opera. I’m your host, Stuart Holt, and on today’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Deidre Bird will explore how jazz played a role in making Porgy and Bess such a successful work. Many thanks to composer and performer Matt Herskowitz for his gracious contribution of an entirely original and improvised cadenza for this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's podcast - www.mattherskowitzpiano.com
01/04/21·46m 11s

Ep. 173: Jazz and Opera Part I with Deidre Bird

In recent years, DiDonato, Racette, and Upshaw have all released jazz albums, such as Songplay, Diva on Detour, and Winter Morning Walks. Sometimes we think that singers are either categorized as opera singers, or as singers of popular music, including jazz. However, these two genres are actually very closely linked together and share a lot of similarities. I’m your host, Stuart Holt, and on today’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Deidre Bird will discuss how aspects of jazz, such as improvisation, have also had a long-standing history in other forms of vocal music.
24/03/21·33m 1s

Ep. 172: Opera In The Soviet Era Part II

Opera, like all art, is frequently a reflection of the current political and social climate, and operas composed during the Soviet Era were no exception. Despite the oppressive environment, composers like Prokofiev managed to be extremely prolific during those times.
03/03/21·1h 14m

Ep. 171: Opera in the Soviet Era Part 1

In the 1930s there was a push to make Moscow the center of art and music, which started a cultural struggle between modern European innovation and the folk traditions of the past. On today's episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, guild lecturer Dr. Naomi Perley takes a closer look at the music of the Soviet era.
17/02/21·43m 47s

Ep. 170: Talking About Opera: Faust with Father Owen Lee

This classic tale of a man who makes an ill-advised deal with the devil has inspired many operas over the years, including Busoni’s Doktor Faust, Boito’s Mefistofele, and Lutz’s Faust et Marguerite. But no operatic version of this legend has come close to the instant success and enduring popularity of Gounod’s version. Today we have a pre-performance lecture from our “Talking about Opera” archives, featuring lecturer and writer Father Owen Lee, giving us an in-depth history and analysis of the music and creative inspiration behind this legendary work.
27/01/21·1h 1m

Ep. 169: Met Opera Guild Season Preview Podcast

While the stage of the Met Opera may be dark we are excited to give you a sneak peak of the virtual content that will be coming in this new year as part of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's Season of Learning.
06/01/21·28m 34s

Ep. 168: Holiday Episode - LCE Staff Share Favorites

Whether you prefer operatic arias and classic carols, or more upbeat contemporary tunes, every home can hear holiday favorites sung by some of the worlds greatest opera singers. Today on the Met Opera Guild podcast, our Community Engagement staff will share highlights from their favorite albums from this time of the year.
16/12/20·23m 19s

Ep.167: Fidelio Pre-Performance Lecture with Philip Gainsley

Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera Fidelio had a long and complicated compositional history. In fact, Beethoven went through three different versions of the opera during his lifetime. No other composition gave him such frustration. So much so that he never attempted to write an opera again. Today we explore themes of freedom and love in Beethoven's only operatic work.
09/12/20·1h 9m

Ep.166: Celebrating Beethoven's 250th Birthday with Victoria Bond

Born in 1770, this year marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig Van Beethoven. His influence in western classical music is unparalleled. His transformative works especially The Ninth Symphony took music in a new direction.
02/12/20·1h 7m

Ep.165: Il Trovatore: A Tale of Love and Revenge

Perhaps best known for its popular Anvil Chorus, Giuseppi Verdi's opera Il Trovatore has dazzled audiences since its premiere in 1853. Its intricate plot and dramatic music have helped it become a staple of the operatic repertoire. In this episode, composer, conductor, and lecturer Victoria Bond guides us through this thrilling work.
04/11/20·1h 13m

Ep. 164: Exploring Tristan und Isolde with Harlow Robinson

In today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, we have lecturer Harlow Robinson discussing the intricacies of Wagner’s evergreen hit opera, Tristan und Isolde.
21/10/20·54m 27s

Episode 163: New Fall Virtual Programming Announcement

Here at the Guild we have been busy adapting our Fall programming to continue learning in the virtual classroom! We are thrilled to announce that two of the Guild’s most popular programs, our Opera Boot Camp and our Score Reading series will be presented via our online learning platform. On today’s podcast episode, we’ll learn a bit more about these exciting digital offerings!
17/09/20·23m 33s

Ep. 162: Opera in the New Millennium - Interview with Prestini, Puts, and Mazzoli

How do composers pick subject matter for a new opera? What is the composing process like? How does a composer work with a librettist? How much time do composers get to create an opera? In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guilld Podcast, we explore all of those questions and more in the release of an archival recording from 2017! This event featured a live interview panel as part of our Opera in the New Millennium program, when lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis sat down with composers Missy Mazzoli, Paola Prestini, and Kevin Puts to learn more about their work as contemporary opera composers. (Please Note: Due to the live and archival nature of the original recording, there were some microphone glitches throughout the track. We have attempted to balance the recording and smooth out glitches as much as possible for this episode!) Track photo credits (from left to right): Paola Prestini, by Caroline Tompkins Kevin Puts, by David White Missy Mazzoli, by Caroline Tompkins
03/08/20·57m 45s

Ep. 161: 21st-Century Opera Survey, Part 2, with Naomi Barrettara & Elspeth Davis

From Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun, to musical mainstay Nico Muhly, to broadway superstar Jeanine Tesori, composers are changing the perception of what an opera can be. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis continue with the second part of a two part-series from our archives, on contemporary composers and opera’s that are changing the music scene as we know it.
22/07/20·1h 13m

Ep. 160: 21st-Century Opera Survey, Part 1, with Naomi Barrettara & Elspeth Davis

What will opera look like, or sound like, in 10 years? 20 years? It’s hard to predict, but one thing is for sure: there’s a whole new generation of composers creating new innovations in expression, composition, and performance. For this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have pulled a series of live event recordings from our archives to share, featuring lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis as they guide us through a two-part survey of contemporary works that are poised to be future classics of the genre. Date of event recording: 2017-18 season. Timeline referenced in the lecture can be found at https://prezi.com/p1gza7i3aknm/opera-history-timeline/ .
08/07/20·1h 30m

Ep. 159: Evolution of German Opera with Victoria Bond

The evolution of German opera can be traced through the works of well known composers such as Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Wagner, as well as lesser known names in the opera canon, such as Schubert, Carl Maria von Weber, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. In this episode, composer, conductor, and lecturer Victoria Bond dives into the influential history and evolution of German opera throughout Western music.
24/06/20·1h 19m

Ep. 158: The Enduring Legacy Of Black Singers in Opera, Part 2, with Tanisha Mitchell

In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we explore the incredible legacy of women who broke barriers for black artists, dating all the way back to the late 1800s! Tune in as lecturer and music librarian Tanisha Mitchell explores the trailblazers, sprinters, and torch-bearing women who are part of the enduring legacy of black singers in opera.
01/06/20·1h 22m

Ep. 157: The Enduring Legacy Of Black Singers in Opera, Part 1, with Tanisha Mitchell

In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and music librarian Tanisha Mitchell talks about singers of the past and present who broke barriers, paved the way, and continue to carry the torch in "The Enduring Legacy of Black Singers in Opera.” In this first part of the series, Tanisha focuses on male singers spanning the 19th, 20th, and 21st century, including George Shirley, Robert McFerrin, Vinson Cole, Simon Estes, Sir Willard White, Derek Lee Ragin, Eric Owens, Morris Robinson, Russell Thomas, and many more!
20/05/20·1h 19m

Ep. 156: Tosca with Deidre Bird

Puccini's TOSCA is an epic, theatrical tale of love, politics, murder, and suicide, all set to the backdrop of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. Although dismissed by some critics as “a shabby little shocker,” the power of its music has never failed to fascinate audiences. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have lecturer Deirdre Bird speaking about the history, life, and story of this monumental work and its place in opera history.
15/05/20·1h 10m

Ep. 155: Magical Mezzos, Part 3, with Ira Siff

From bel canto brilliance to the earthiest chest tones, the mezzo-soprano has long been the unsung hero of the opera stage. Although they are often assigned the secondary role in an opera, make no mistake: These divas steal the scene whenever they are on stage. In this episode, Metropolitan Opera Radio commentator Ira Siff concludes his "Magical Mezzos" series some of opera’s most thrilling mezzo-sopranos, past and present!
06/05/20·1h 29m

Ep. 154: Magical Mezzos, Part 2, with Ira Siff

Mezzo-soprano divas have been dominating the operatic stage, holding their own against their soprano counterparts. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Metropolitan Opera radio commentator and lecturer Ira Siff returns for Part 2 of his "Magical Mezzos" series, in which he explores some famous mezzos that you may or may not have heard of!
29/04/20·1h 27m

Ep. 153: Magical Mezzos, Part 1, with Ira Siff

On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer, Metropolitan Opera Radio commentator, and audience favorite Ira Siff explores the mezzo-soprano voice – its origins, roles, and the great singers who sang those roles during their illustrious careers - in the first instalment of his "Magical Mezzos" series.
22/04/20·1h 33m

Ep. 152: Wagner Across Borders, Part 4 with Matthew Timmermans

Despite their contempt for the unruly musical ideas of Richard Wagner, many connections can be made between the works of both Tchaikovsky and Janáček with Wagnerian ideas. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and musicologist Matthew Timmermans concludes our “Wagner Across Borders” series with an exploration of Slavic-Wagnerian connections.
29/03/20·1h 9m

Ep. 151: Wagner Across Borders, Part 3 with Matthew Timmermans

Just as Massenet was accused of being a Wagnerian in France, so too was Puccini in Italy. From Wagnerian-sized voices to a complex orchestral sound, Wagner’s influence can be heard throughout the canon of Italian opera, but nowhere more so than in the work of Puccini. In this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and musicologist Matthew Timmermans explores the influence of Wagnerian ideas across Puccini's output.
20/03/20·1h 6m

Ep. 150: Der fliegende Holländer with Victoria Bond

Wagner’s tale of the cursed sea captain and the love of a faithful maiden has captivated audiences since its premiere in 1843. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer, composer, and conductor Victoria Bond discusses the musical genius of Wagner and the power of love in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER.
11/03/20·1h 1m

Ep. 149: Agrippina with Victoria Bond

Filled with familiar figures from ancient Rome, Handel creates a comedic and lighthearted score to accompany a story with some pretty sinister sub-themes. Sir David McVicar’s production of Agrippina brings this balance of darkness and light to audiences at the Met for the very first time! On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer, composer, and conductor, Victoria Bond takes a closer look at this baroque masterpiece.
26/02/20·57m 1s

Ep. 148: Wagner Across Borders, Part 2 with Matthew Timmermans

French grand opera was lavish and spectacular – and in many ways, the antithesis Wagner’s operatic ideals. Yet Wagner is often mentioned as a major influence in the work of French Grand Opera master, Jules Massenet. What is the common ground to be found between these two compositional giants? In this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and musicologist Matthew Timmermans guides us through the Wagnerian influences in Massenet’s masterworks.
12/02/20·1h 10m

Ep. 147: Wagner Across Borders, Part 1 with Matthew Timmermans

This episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast begins with an exploration of Wagner's DER FLIEGENDE HÖLLANDER and examines how later German composers responded to Wagner’s new perspective on operatic performance. In the first of a four-part series, musicologist and lecturer Matthew Timmermans guides us through the transformative influence of Wagner’s musical ideas.
05/02/20·1h 1m

Ep. 146: Porgy and Bess Pre-Performance Lecture with Ellen Noonan

Despite its initial flop in 1935, PORGY AND BESS has gone on to become one of the most enduring and popular operas of the 20th century. In fact, it was the first opera by an American-born composer to be performed at the famous La Scala opera house in Milan. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have New York University professor, director of archives, and the author of "The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera," Ellen Noonan, lecturing on this quintessential American opera.
15/01/20·56m 34s

Ep. 145: Wozzeck Pre-Performance Lecture with Michael Bolton

A champion of expressionism and atonality, Alban Berg wrote his first opera, WOZZECK, as a response to the chaos and tragedy he experienced during the First World War. It is generally considered to be his greatest score, and brought Berg international recognition and success. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have lecturer and Vice President of Community Initiatives for Opera Philadelphia, Michael Bolton, talking about Berg’s groundbreaking work.
07/01/20·1h 4m

Ep. 144: Treasures of the Mediterranean with Naomi Barrettara

La Fenice in Venice, Italy is one of the first stops on The Metropolitan Opera Guild's upcoming “Treasures of the Mediterranean Cruise,” from September 30th to October 9th, 2020. During the cruise, Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Dr. Naomi Barrettara will be presenting a series of lectures accompanying onboard concerts and land excursions, as travellers visit Italy, Croatia, and Greece. This episode features Naomi giving you a sneak peak of what you can expect in the upcoming Metropolitan Opera Guild travel program! https://www.metguild.org/travel/
23/12/19·55m 1s

Ep. 143: Opera vs. Musicals with Stuart Holt

The opera stage and the Broadway stage share many conventions, such as lavish scenery, exquisite costuming, and awe-inspiring voices. For Schönberg and Boublil’s MISS SAIGON, Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY serves as the source material, while Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN and Gluck’s ORFEO ED EURIDICE are both unique interpretations of the Orpheus myth. With so many intersecting elements, what are the precise characteristics that make these dramatic forms distinct? On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, co-host Stuart Holt takes a closer look at the similarities and differences between opera and musical theater.
13/12/19·1h 15m

Ep. 142: Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades with John J.H. Muller

A mysterious hand of cards, an unhappy betrothal, and a tormenting ghost all come together in Tchaikovsky’s riveting drama THE QUEEN OF SPADES. Based on a Pushkin story, this elegant fable is a tantalizing tale of love and obsession. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer John J.H. Muller explores how the composer uses 18th-century pastiche and highly original melodic and motivic elements to evoke the world of this haunting opera.
05/12/19·55m 58s

Ep. 141: Akhnaten Pre-Performance Lecture with W. Anthony Sheppard

For the first time in Met Opera History, Philip Glass’s AKHNATEN is coming to the stage! This much anticipated Met premiere is a deep meditation on the driving force of religion, and a powerful reminder of the fine line between revolution and destruction. Performances star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in the title role, J’Nai Bridges making her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti, and conductor Karen Kamensek making her Met debut at the podium. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer W. Anthony Sheppard discusses the story of the pharaoh who transformed ancient Egypt.
13/11/19·1h 2m

Ep. 140: Orfeo ed Euridice with Tanisha Mitchell

The ancient Greek “Orpheus myth” has inspired a vast array of artistic works, and composer Christoph Willibald Gluck is known for contributing their own operatic interpretation to the canon. Gluck’s adaptation explores the profound nature of grief, the power of love, and the rousing spirit of redemption in our two young lovers, portrayed on the Metropolitan Opera stage by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and soprano Hei-Kyung Hong. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and music librarian Tanisha Mitchell guides us through Gluck’s elegant masterpiece
30/10/19·48m 14s

Ep. 139: Manon Pre-Performance Lecture with Naomi Barrettara

The Met Live in HD broadcast of Massenet's MANON is just around the corner! Based on Abbe Prevost's 18th-century novel, the story of Manon has inspired a variety of composers, from Auber to Puccini, to Hans Werner Henze! But none reached the emotional lyricism of Jules Massenet's operatic setting. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara takes a closer look at this French masterpiece.
24/10/19·58m 16s

Ep. 138: Turandot - Talking About Opera

Finished after the composer's death by Franco Alfano, Puccini’s TURANDOT is a beloved work in the opera canon, with a dramatic, imaginative, and sometimes violent score. This season at the Met, the magnificent dramatic sopranos Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme share the role of the ice princess in Franco Zeffirelli's opulent production. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a lecture from the archives of the Guild's critically-acclaimed series "Talking About Opera," with playwright and opera commentator Albert Innaurato taking a closer look at Puccini's final work.
09/10/19·1h 5m

Ep. 137: 2019-20 Season Kick-Off

Coming back to the Metropolitan Opera stage for the first time in nearly 30 years, the 2019-20 season opens with the Gershwin’s PORGY AND BESS. With stars Eric Owens and Angel Blue singing the title toles, as well as a star-studded ensemble, this new production by James Robinson is sure to transport audiences to the world of Catfish Row. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll and author, lecturer, and Met radio commentator William Berger guide us through what to expect from this season’s much-anticipated opening night at the Metropolitan Opera!
18/09/19·25m 33s

Ep. 136: Opera in the New Millennium - Interview with Kaminsky, Cerrone, and Edelson

On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis are joined by composers Christopher Cerrone and Laura Kaminsky, as well as producer, director, and dramaturg Lawrence Edelson in an interview from this past season’s “Opera in the New Millennium” event.
04/09/19·1h 7m

Ep. 133: Divas & Dinner - French Grand Opera meets French Grand Cuisine

The evolution of French grand cuisine interestingly paralleled the development of French grand opera beginning in the late 18thcentury and culminating in the late 19th century, particularly in Paris. In this episode, Food Historian and Chef Carl Raymond explores how both food and opera came to be grand against the backdrop of the 18th century Comedie Francaise, as well as the glittering world of the 1890’s Belle Epoque and the great Parisian restaurant and café society.
10/07/19·1h 9m

Ep. 132: Villains And Victims, Part 3 with Ira Siff

LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN by Jacques Offenbach is a tour de force of singing for both villains and victims within the opera’s plot! Since it’s world premiere performance, the four main villainous characters were designed to be sung by the same bass-baritone. And this opera has plenty of victims too, as three tales of doomed love are told from the perspective of the lead character, Hoffmann. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Met Radio Commentator Ira Siff explores excerpts from Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Tosca, Boris Godunov, and other beloved works, in the last installment of his “Villains and Victims” series.
19/06/19·1h 10m

Ep. 131: Villains and Victims, Part 2 with Ira Siff

Soprano Renata Scotto gave a famously chilling interpretation of Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s take on Shakespeare’s play. But Scotto was just as loved for tugging at our heartstrings in the title role of LUISA MILLER. On this episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Met Radio commentator Ira Siff explores the artistry of legends such as Renata Scotto, Astrid Varnay, and others, in the second installment if his “Villains and Victims” series.
05/06/19·1h 5m

Ep. 130: Villains and Victims, Part 1 with Ira Siff

While victimized characters often sing through their death in virtuosic song, successfully bringing a villain to life on the opera stage also takes a special kind of artistry. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have Met Radio commentator Ira Siff, in Part 1 of his “Villains and Victims” live lecture series from this past season!
24/05/19·1h 5m

Ep. 129: Dialogues of the Carmelites with Desirée Mays

John Dexter’s classic production of Poulenc's DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES is currently on stage at the Met during the final weeks of the 2018-19 season and can be seen in cinemas worldwide on May 11th, 2019, through the Met’s upcoming Live in HD broadcast. Poulenc’s opera tells the story of a group of Carmelite nuns who refused to renounce their faith during the Reign of Terror. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Desirée Mays takes a closer look at this 20th-century French masterpiece.
04/05/19·49m 36s

Ep. 128: Opera Boot Camp - A Day in the Life of a Met Chorister

The Metropolitan Opera Chorus is one of the most revered opera choruses in the world, requiring long hours of rehearsal and a demanding performance schedule. What is a day, week, or year in the life of a Met chorister like? How much time is spent on learning music and rehearsing? How do you get into the chorus in the first place? In this episode, drawn from a live event in the Met Opera Guild's Opera Boot Camp series, lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara sat down with three Met Opera choristers - Ross Benoliel (baritone), Angela Deverger (soprano), and Danielle Walker (soprano)- to get the inside scoop on a day in the life of a Met Opera chorister!
25/04/19·54m 4s

Ep. 127: La Clemenza di Tito with Naomi Barrettara

During the last year of his life, Mozart was deep into writing THE MAGIC FLUTE when he suddenly got a commission to write a new opera seria: LA CLEMENZA DI TITO. This season, powerhouse mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sings her world-renowned portrayal of the tortured Sesto for the very first time at the Met! She is joined onstage by audience favorite, Matthew Polenzani, who adds the title role of Tito to his vast repertoire. In this episode, Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara discusses the historical context and musical highlights of this monumental work. (Musical examples from CLEMENZA within the lecture are from the Met’s 2012 Live in HD Broadcast, featuring Kate Lindsey singing Annio, Lucy Crowe singing Servilia, Elīna Garanča singing Sesto, Barbara Frittoli singing Vitellia, and Giuseppe Filianoti singing Tito.)
11/04/19·58m 1s

Ep. 126: Religion in Opera, Part 2 with Desirée Mays

From Puccini's SUOR ANGELICA to Wagner's PARSIFAL, opera is full of works with religious themes, drawn from a variety of different cultures, and using music to express the emotional contours of faith and devotion. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast, lecturer Desiree Mays continues a discussion on religion and opera throughout history.
28/03/19·1h 8m

Ep.125: Religion in Opera, Part 1 with Desirée Mays

Religious themes have long been a foundational element of classical music, but what makes these divine topics such a recurrent source of operatic inspiration? On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer Desirée Mays discusses the musical and textual treatment of religion in opera throughout history.
19/03/19·1h 9m

Ep. 124: A Conversation with Harolyn Blackwell and Robyn Payne, Part 2

When we first sat down with Harolyn Blackwell and Robyn Payne, we intended to record enough for one special podcast episode, in celebration of Black History Month. However, the discussion really took off, and the content was so rich, that we split things into two parts, so that our listeners could hear it all! This episode is Part 2 of 2, jumping in right where we left off!
28/02/19·23m 12s

Ep. 123: A Conversation with Harolyn Blackwell and Robyn Payne, Part 1

In celebration of Black History Month, this episode is Part 1 of a special conversation between operatic legend Harolyn Blackwell and Broadway veteran Robyn Payne! Harolyn is one of America’s legendary sopranos, having made her mark on both the operatic and musical theatre repertory. Her performance career began with singing in Leonard Bernstein’s stage production of West Side Story, and soon after, she began breaking into the operatic realm when she was selected as a finalist in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Robyn Payne is a singer, actor, and producer here in New York City, known for her long run singing Sarabi in the Julie Taymor production of THE LION KING on Broadway, as well as touring roles in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE and SISTAS, the musical. On this episode, they compare musical styles and influences, share insights about their careers, and swap stories of struggles and successes along the way.
28/02/19·1h 4m

Ep. 122: La Fille du Régiment Pre-Performance Lecture with Sarah Rotker

LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT is an operatic tale of young love and larger-than-life comic hijinks, featuring one dazzling vocal display after another! On this episode, Met Opera Guild Lectures and Community Engagement Senior Associate Sarah Rotker discusses this musical feast of bel canto singing, which is coming soon to movie theaters around the globe in a Met: Live in HD broadcast.
26/02/19·54m 50s

Ep. 121: The Inside Scoop on the Met's 2019-20 Season

Hot off the press is The Metropolitan Opera's 2019-20 season announcement! In this episode, we have a special conversation between Opera News Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll and Met Opera Radio’s William Berger. They will share insights and exciting elements of the new productions coming up next season, and listen to some favorite musical moments.
20/02/19·21m 30s

Ep. 120: Don Giovanni with Deidre Bird

Based on the legends of Don Juan, Mozart and Da Ponte’s DON GIOVANNI premiered in Prague in 1787, and has been performed at opera houses the world over ever since. This staple of the operatic repertoire masterfully weaves together comedy and serious drama. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, researcher and music librarian Deidre Bird takes a look at the music and history of Mozart’s famous rake!
11/02/19·1h 4m

Ep. 119: Pelléas et Mélisande with Jeffrey Langford

Based on the symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck, Debussy's PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE was the only opera the composer ever completed and is heralded today as an innovative masterpiece. In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have Guild lecturer Jeffery Langford exploring the revolutionary style of Debussy’s music, and the history behind his only stage work.
25/01/19·52m 25s

Ep. 118: Adriana Lecouvreur with Victoria Bond

This past New Year’s Eve, the Met presented a glorious new production of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. This production features the unparalleled trio of soprano superstar Anna Netrebko, tenor heartthrob Piotr Beczala, and electrifying mezzo Anita Rachellishvili. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a pre-performance lecture by composer and conductor Victoria Bond, exploring the history and lush musical writing of this rarely performed verismo masterpiece.
09/01/19·49m 12s

Ep. 117: Il Trittico with Naomi Barrettara

Puccini composed the three distinct operas of IL TRITTICO with the intention that they always be performed together, which is exactly how audiences are experiencing them this season as we celebrate the centenary of the world premiere at The Met. In this pre-performance lecture, lecturer Naomi Barrettara explores the musical language, source materials, and the themes that link these three short operas.
07/12/18·1h 4m

Ep. 116: Mefistofele with John J.H. Muller

Frequent Verdi librettist Arrigo Boito wrote only one complete opera in his lifetime, a take on "Faust", entitled MEFISTOFELE. Sacrilegious, mystical, and captivatingly beautiful, Boito’s opera recounts the tale from the devil’s perspective, sung this season at the Met by bass-baritone Christian Van Horn. In this episode, Juilliard faculty member and Guild lecturer John J.H. Muller guides us through Boito’s work in this comprehensive pre-performance talk.
14/11/18·50m 37s

Ep. 115: Marnie with W. Anthony Sheppard

Winston Graham’s MARNIE is the fast-paced thriller now taking the stage at the Met, composed by Nico Muhly with a libretto by Nicholas Wright. Isabel Leonard stars as Marnie, in an alluring production by Tony award-winning stage director Michael Mayer. In this episode, Williams College music professor W. Anthony Sheppard explores the music and drama of this newly composed operatic thriller!
07/11/18·40m 56s

Ep. 114: La Fanciulla del West with Nimet Habachy

In just a few days, Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST will be broadcast Live in HD from The Metropolitan Opera, with Jonas Kaufmann starring opposite Eva Marie Westbroek as the lovable barmaid to his rugged outlaw. Prepare for the broadcast with this pre-performance talk, featuring Nimet Habachy, as she explores the history, music, and dramatic highlights of this romantic tale.
23/10/18·57m 46s

Ep. 113: Samson et Dalila with Stuart Holt

Saint-Saëns’s tale of passionate heroism, unrequited love, and shattering betrayal endures as the only opera by this brilliant French composer still regularly performed today! On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Director of School Programs and Lectures and Community Engagement at the Met Opera Guild, Stuart Holt, takes a closer look at this 19th century masterpiece!
10/10/18·52m 10s

Ep. 112: Verdi's Aida from the Perspective of the Clarinet

Verdi’s Aida is full of memorable moments – and a whole orchestra of instruments brings this masterpiece to life, each serving a unique and specialized function within the score. In this episode, we are pleased to welcome The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s Principal Clarinetist Anton Rist to the podcast, to take us on a journey through Verdi’s famous work from the perspective of the clarinet.
04/10/18·1h 4m

Ep. 111: Opera Boot Camp Highlights - An Introduction to French Opera

From Lully to Rameau, Bizet to Berlioz, Massenet to Messiaen, French composers have given us some of the most beautiful and important works in the operatic canon. What makes French opera so unique and special? What are the musical highlights we should listen for, and the operatic conventions that set these works apart? In this episode, we have Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara in an excerpt from our recent sold out series “Opera Boot Camp: An Introduction to French Opera.”
28/09/18·1h 2m

Ep. 110: 2018-19 Season Kick-Off

This year, opening night at the Metropolitan Opera features Camille Saint-Saëns' masterpiece SAMSON ET DALILA, in a new production starring operatic superstars Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna. First seen together onstage at the Met as the fiery duo of Carmen and Don José, this production promises another evening of operatic fireworks! In this episode, we welcome Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll and author, lecturer, and Met Radio commentator William Berger, as they guide you through what to expect at opening night at the Met!
19/09/18·25m 39s

Ep. 109: Performing Bel Canto - Do's, Don'ts, and Maybes - Part 2, with Matthew Timmermans

In our last episode, we learned all about cadenza, appoggiaturas, and variations in the interpretation of bel canto ornamentation. In this episode, we are thrilled to have Matthew Timmermans back with us, continuing the discussion on interpolated high notes, puntatura, and vanity cuts!
13/09/18·51m 24s

Ep. 108: Performing Bel Canto - Do's, Don'ts, and Maybes - Part 1, with Matthew Timmermans

In the bel canto repertoire, ornamentation, improvisation, and virtuosity are a singer’s calling card, and audiences wait to hear what new vocal tricks a singer will bring to a role. But how do we know what is an acceptable, or stylistically appropriate ornament, and what would sound out of place? What did composers of the time expect singers to do? In this episode, lecturer Matthew Timmermans is back to guide us through the art of beautiful singing in the bel canto!
02/09/18·59m 57s

Ep. 107: Divas Uncensored, Part 2 with Matthew Timmermans

Onstage magic is often paired with offstage mayhem, and the history of diva worship across centuries of opera is strewn with stories of glamour and stardom, exorbitant fees, precious friendships, vicious rivalries, and hard-earned respect, all connected to seemingly superhuman voices. In today’s episode, lecturer and scholar Matthew Timmermans continues with “Divas Uncensored – Part 2”!
10/08/18·1h 1m

Ep. 106: Divas Uncensored, Part 1 with Matthew Timmermans

On this episode, we welcome musicologist and lecturer Matthew Timmermans to the microphone, in a special mini-series created especially for our podcast listeners. Matthew has extensively researched and written about the phenomenon of diva-worship, and we are thrilled to have him share with us the legends and lore behind some of opera’s most beloved divas!
02/08/18·56m 6s

Ep. 105: Making Met History - Famous Firsts with Naomi Barrettara

With a history as storied as The Metropolitan Opera, there have been plenty of “firsts” that have occurred on its fabled stage. In this episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara takes us on a guided tour of some of the noteworthy number ones throughout the company’s rich history.
19/07/18·54m 52s

Ep. 104: Making Met History - Record-Breaking Moments with Naomi Barrettara

From Charles Anthony’s record of the most performances in Met Opera history to Audrey Luna hitting a record-smashing A above high C, singers continue to break records and make history on The Metropolitan Opera stage! This episode features a celebratory tour of historic moments in "Making Met History: Record-Breaking Moments" with the Guild’s very own Naomi Barrettara.
05/07/18·59m 20s

Ep. 103: Opera Duos, Part 3 with Ira Siff

In the final installment of Ira Siff's "Opera Duos", we begin by stepping back in time, and listening to a recording over 100 years old! This episode spans operatic repertoire from Rossini to Wagner, highlighting operatic legends such as Enrico Caruso and Johanna Gadski, Ramon Vinay and Martha Mödl, Astrid Varnay and Hans Hotter, Renata Tebaldi and Franco Corelli, Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli, George London and Leonie Rysanek, Zinka Milanov and Jussi Björling, and Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi.
13/06/18·1h

Ep. 102: Opera Duos, Part 2 with Ira Siff

Flagstad and Melchior. Zeani and Rossi-Lemeni. Rysanek and Vickers. Price and Berganozi. Sutherland and Horne. Brownlee and Camarena. Callas and Di Stefano. Each were consummate musicians in their own right, but when they performed together, the combined force of their star power was electric! In this episode, Met Radio commentator Ira Siff takes us through the second part of his popular opera duos series.
06/06/18·58m 32s

Ep. 101: Opera Duos, Part 1 with Ira Siff

Dynamic duos are what operatic legends are made of, leaving audiences breathless, in tears, and entranced with their musical and dramatic intensity. But what stories are behind some of these great partnerships? What were the secret musical ingredients that combined with such legendary success? This episode is the first of a three-part series featuring Met Opera radio commentator Ira Siff, taking us on a musical journey through the great power duos of opera that kept audiences wanting more!
30/05/18·58m 19s

Ep. 100: Celebrating Arts Education at the Met Opera Guild

This episode marks two major milestones for The Metropolitan Opera Guild: we have reached episode 100 on our podcast, and we have reached over ½ a million listens in the previous 99 episodes! Because these are such exciting milestones for us, we wanted our 100th episode to celebrate the many efforts in arts education that The Metropolitan Opera Guild and The Metropolitan Opera have worked on over the years. We have quite the line up of special guests featured throughout the episode, along with clips from a variety of events, all in an effort to give you a special behind the scenes look at the Met Opera Guild’s rich history and current work in opera education.
23/05/18·41m 12s

Ep. 99: Massenet's Cendrillon with Desirée Mays

Laurent Pelly, director of the Met's premiere production of CENDRILLON, took inspiration from the pages of a classic storybook when creating his fanciful staging. In this episode, Desirée Mays traces the history of the Cinderella fairytale, explores how Massenet's operatic version of the story reflects his musical voice and French style, and compares elements of Massenet's work with Rossini's Italian operatic version of the same story, LA CENERENTOLA.
25/04/18·1h

Ep. 98: Lucia di Lammermoor with Naomi Barrettara

We can’t let this opera season end without spending some time with LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, a Met Opera favorite. Gaetano Donizetti’s 1835 tragic opera returns to the stage in a production by Mary Zimmerman, including all the heart-breaking turns that make for a dramatic night of theatre. On today’s episode, Guild lecturer and podcast co-host Naomi Barrettara brings a fresh approach to talking about one of the most beloved tragic operas of the bel canto period.
12/04/18·1h

Ep. 97: Luisa Miller with Deidre Bird

Forbidden love, feuding fathers, and poison are all proven ingredients for a successful opera… and Verdi's LUISA MILLER is no exception! In this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a detailed walkthrough of Verdi’s rarely performed operatic gem with librarian and music scholar Deidre Bird.
04/04/18·43m 6s

Ep. 96: Così fan tutte Pre-Performance Lecture with Sean Cooper

Mozart’s third collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, Così fan tutte, takes on an elaborate plot of mistaken identity to explore the nature of love, trust, and infidelity. On today’s episode, we are thrilled to have Dr. Sean Cooper, a frequent presenter for the Mozart Society of America, explore the history, music, and comic complexities of this masterpiece!
27/03/18·1h

Ep. 95: Elektra Pre-Performance Lecture with Victoria Bond

This Saturday, March 17th, radio audiences worldwide will have the chance to experience Richard Strauss’s ELEKTRA with Christine Goerke as Elektra and the Met’s future Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin leading the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In this episode, we hear Guild lecturer Victoria Bond explore a score that some critics have said shows off Strauss’s genius at its best!
15/03/18·46m 19s

Ep. 94: Semiramide Pre-Performance Lecture with Dr. Jeffrey Langford

Rossini’s SEMIRAMIDE was a popular mainstay of the Italian opera circuit in the 1820s and 30s, but we rarely see it on season rosters today. In fact, it has been almost 25 years since it’s last Met appearance! To guide us through the musical and dramatic highlights, today’s episode features Dr. Jeffrey Langford, the assistant dean for doctoral studies and chair of the music history department at Manhattan School of Music.
07/03/18·55m 8s

Ep. 93: Puccini's La Bohème

Just like Nicolas Cage and Cher in the 1987 film "Moonstruck," seeing Puccini’s LA BOHÈME at the Met is a decades-old New York City dating ritual. It is the number one most often performed work in Met opera history, and within the top 10 most often performed operas worldwide. on Saturday, February 24th, Zeffirelli’s famous Met production will be broadcast Live in HD to movie theatres across the globe. Today’s episode features Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara, exploring the musical and dramatic elements of Puccini’s timeless masterpiece.
23/02/18·1h 9m

Ep. 92: The Inside Scoop on the Met's 2018-19 Season

Hot off the press is The Metropolitan Opera’s 2018-19 season announcement, featuring four new productions, one Met premiere, and a complete Ring Cycle! Today’s episode features a special conversation between Opera News Editor-in-Chief, F. Paul Driscoll, and Met Opera Radio’s William Berger, giving us the inside scoop on the new season.
16/02/18·32m 18s

Ep. 91: Parsifal Pre-Performance Lecture

First conceived in 1857 but not finished for 25 years, PARSIFAL was Richard Wagner’s last completed opera. This monumental work has sparked great debate among music historians and the public alike since its first performance. In this episode, John J.H. Muller examines the musical language and history of this important work.
07/02/18·49m 22s

Ep. 90: Singers' Studio Sneak Peek

Since 1936, Opera News magazine has given readers an inside look at the world of opera! Opera News will be interviewing three opera stars live, in front of an audience, this winter and spring. All three singers are cast in major roles at the Met this season, and we are excited to have them join us in the Singers' Studio.For today’s episode, we caught up with Opera News editor in chief F. Paul Driscoll, to give us a sneak peek of these three upcoming interviews!
17/01/18·28m 40s

Ep. 89: Tosca Pre-Performance Lecture with Victoria Bond

This Puccini classic returns to the Met stage in a brand new production, starring superstar soprano Sonya Yoncheva in the title role and Vittorio Grigolo as her doomed lover, Cavaradossi. Lecturer Victoria Bond takes a further look into one of the most iconic operas in the repertoire.
11/01/18·56m 25s

Ep. 88: Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel

On December 18th, the holiday production of Humperdinck’s HANSEL AND GRETEL opens at the Met. While this is often the opera of choice for families with little ones, there is much more to this work than gingerbread houses and delicious treats! The music is irresistible for audiences of all ages, with rich textures and charming melodies, tied together with Wagnerian compositional techniques. In this episode, Guild Lecturer Naomi Barrettara explores the musical complexities and influences in Humperdinck’s fairytale masterpiece.
14/12/17·52m 32s

Ep. 87: Le Nozze di Figaro Pre-Performance Lecture

In a pre-performance lecture from our archives, stage director Jay Lesenger explores "Le nozze di Figaro," and the connections between Pierre Beaumarchais (who wrote the play on which the opera is based), Lorenzo Da Ponte (who wrote the libretto for the opera), and Mozart (who brought the story to life through music).
06/12/17·1h 1m

Ep. 86: Thaïs Pre-Performance Lecture

This season at the Met, soprano Ailyn Pérez sings the title role of Massenet's "Thaïs," which is based on a novel by Anatole France. On today's episode, Metropolitan Opera Guild lecturer Dr. Jeffrey Langford delves into the famous French opera about a monk desperate to help a seductive courtesan find religion.
21/11/17·54m 10s

Ep. 85: The Exterminating Angel Pre-Performance Lecture

Thomas Adès’ new opera "The Exterminating Angel" is on stage at the Met, with an all-star cast including Amanda Echalaz, Alice Coote, Rod Gilfry, and Audrey Luna. In preparation for the Live in HD Broadcast this coming Saturday, November 18th, here is a pre-performance lecturer Dr. W. Anthony Sheppard, giving us a deeper look at this acclaimed new work and the surrealist movie that inspired it.
15/11/17·56m 4s

Ep. 84: Folksong sources in Puccini's Madama Butterfly

Composers draw inspiration from a variety of places, but they don't always reveal their sources. In today's episode, we share the story of a long-lost source of inspiration in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, discovered by Guild lecturer W. Anthony Sheppard. Guild Lecturer Naomi Barrettara tells that story and explores more of the music in Puccini's sweeping drama.
02/11/17·40m 51s

Ep. 83: The Exterminating Angel at Works and Process at the Guggenheim

This episode features footage from Works and Process at The Guggenheim, where Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb interviews the creative team and several cast members about Thomas Adès's opera "The Exterminating Angel," which makes its Met Opera premiere tomorrow, October 26th, 2017!
25/10/17·54m 30s

Ep. 82: Mozart's Die Zauberflöte from the Perspective of the Bassoon

While the flute plays a particularly magical role in Mozart's DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, there is a whole orchestra of instruments bringing the music to life, each serving a unique function within the score. In this episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara and The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra's Principal Bassoonist, William Short, take us on a journey through Mozart's famous work from the perspective of the bassoon.
11/10/17·1h 2m

Ep. 81: Norma Pre-Performance Lecture

Bellini's NORMA is a landmark role for sopranos, and audiences always wait with baited breath to hear her glorious aria, "Casta Diva." But there is more to this opera, and to this role, than that famous aria. In today's episode, Nimet Habachy explores the notions of fidelity - to family, to religion, and to love - in Bellini's bel canto masterpiece.
04/10/17·49m 38s

Ep. 80: 2017-18 Season Kick-Off

Opening Night at the Met is less than a week away, and the excitement is palpable! Bellini's NORMA opens 2017-18 season, with a new production by Sir David McVicar, and an all-star cast featuring Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato, and Joseph Calleja, under the baton of Carlo Rizzi. Today on The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast - Your Guide to Opening Night at the Met!
20/09/17·27m 13s

Ep. 79: Atypical Voice Types

On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer Naomi Barrettara concludes our tour through operatic voice types with a discussion of atypical voices. From extremely high coloraturas to countertenors, zwischenfach, contraltos, and more, this episode dives into rare and special categories that continue to wow audiences.
06/09/17·58m 26s

Ep. 78: Voice Types - Basses

Operatic basses sing as low as the human voice can go! There are many different types of basses, bringing to life a large variety of roles. On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, lecturer and co-host Naomi Barrettara explores all the different types of basses and singers we find in this category of subterranean serenaders.
24/08/17·59m 12s

Ep. 77: Divas and Dinner - Part 3

In the final installment of our "Divas and Dinner" series, chef, food historian, and opera enthusiast Carl Raymond explores the cuisine of Spain on the opera stage!
10/08/17·53m 7s

Ep. 76: Divas And Dinner - Part 2

Pour yourself a glass of pink champagne and settle in! On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have our second installment of "Divas and Dinner" with Chef, food historian, and opera enthusiast Carl Raymond, exploring how the diva of all divas, Violetta, wined and dined her way through life!
03/08/17·52m 17s

Ep. 75: Divas and Dinner - Part 1

Rossini once said: “Appetite is for the stomach what love is for the heart…. Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life.” In this episode, renowned chef, food historian, and opera enthusiast Carl Raymond explores the culinary world of Rossini’s time, and the composer’s life long love affair with decadent cuisine!
26/07/17·57m 49s

Ep. 74: Voice Types - Baritones

Verdi baritone, lyric baritone, dramatic baritone... What's the difference? On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, Guild lecturer and audience favorite Naomi Barrettara explores the many different kinds of baritones we find on the opera stage, highlighting the unique aspects of each vocal category and the singers that bring these roles to life.
13/07/17·1h

Ep. 73: Verdi All-Stars, Part 3

Singers such as Rosa Ponselle, Francesco Tamagno, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Dolora Zajick have given definitive performances of Verdi’s late works, from the first OTELLO in 1887 through to the present day. What can their recordings tell us about the evolution of Verdian singing, and career-making moments on the opera stage? Find out in our final installment of the Verdi All-Stars lecture series, featuring Met Radio commentator Ira Siff.
28/06/17·1h

Ep. 72: Verdi All-Stars, Part 2

Aprile Millo was once called “the high priestess of that old time operatic religion;" Fedora Barbieri had a fierce fan following and sang over 90 performances spanning 10 operas at The Metropolitan Opera. Franco Corelli was dubbed “The Prince of Tenors”. All three singers established themselves as reigning interpreters of the Verdian repertoire. How did they earn such a revered legacy? Find out on today’s episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, featuring Part 2 of Ira Siff's Verdi All-Stars series.
21/06/17·58m 15s

Ep. 71: Verdi All-Stars, Part 1

This past season, Met broadcast commentator Ira Siff delighted New York audiences with his survey of the greatest Verdi singers of the past and present. Today’s episode is the first of a three-part series from Ira’s Verdi All-Stars course, discussing performances by Marisa Galvany, Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Scotto, Placido Domingo, and other legendary stars.
14/06/17·58m 45s

Ep. 70: Voice Types - Mezzo-Sopranos

This week’s episode is the third installment of our operatic voice types series. Our previous voice type lectures, featured in episodes 5 and 10, discussed the soprano and tenor vocal categories. We are happy to continue our exploration, focusing in this episode on mezzo-sopranos and contraltos.
08/06/17·59m 3s

Ep. 69: Mahler's Symphony No. 1 & Des Knaben Wunderhorn

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra will be performing a program of all Mahler works at Carnegie Hall on May 31st, 2017. For today’s episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barraterra discusses the life of Gustav Mahler, and the two major works on the concert program: Symphony No. 1 and selections from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn."
25/05/17·1h 4m

Ep. 68: Der Rosenkavalier

DER ROSENKAVALIER, Richard Strauss’s most popular stage work, was first performed in Dresden in 1911, and has come to hold a special place in the repertoire. In a Talking About Opera recording from our archives, Brian Zeger explores musical and dramatic elements that have kept this masterpiece on stage for more than a century.
10/05/17·1h

Ep. 67: The Met's Inaugural Season - Celebrating 50 Years at Lincoln Center

In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera moved into a glittering, state-of-the-art opera house, and launched a historic season to show off its new home. Today on the Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast we explore highlights from the Met’s first season at Lincoln Center.
03/05/17·39m 23s

Ep. 66: Der Fliegende Holländer

Tempted by a chest of gold, Captain Daland allows his daughter Senta to marry a mysterious Dutchman. Can her vows of faithfulness break the curse that holds the stranger captive? Today on The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have a Peter Allen discussing dramatic, musical and stylistic elements of Wagner's DER FLIEGENDE HÖLLANDER.
26/04/17·1h 1m

Ep. 65: Eugene Onegin Pre-Performance Lecture

“Are you my guardian angel? Or a wily devil, a fatal tempter? My heart sinks with shame and terror… to your honor I entrust my destiny!” So writes Tatiana in her famous letter to the man who has captured her heart - Eugene Ongein. She’s puts her heart in his hands, but does he return the sentiment? Today we explore Tchaikovsky’s EUGENE ONEGIN with lecturer Dr. Harlow Robinson, a Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University, and specialist in Soviet and Russian cultural history.
19/04/17·1h

Ep. 64: Fidelio Pre-Performance Lecture

Beethoven's FIDELIO is on the Met stage for the first time in over a decade, now through April 8th, 2017. Here is composer and conductor Victoria Bond exploring the themes of Beethoven’s only opera, in a pre-performance lecture originally recorded on March 20th, 2016.
29/03/17·52m 43s

Ep. 63: Idomeneo Pre-Performance Lecture

In Mozart's Idomeneo, a story drawn from Greek antiquity meets musical tradition and the innovative touch of Mozart. In this episode, Naomi Barrettara gives a pre-performance lecture exploring the historic and stylistic elements of this work.
22/03/17·1h

Ep. 62: La Traviata with Peter Allen

During the highly productive middle period of his career, Verdi created some of his most enduringly popular operas, including what might be his most beloved work: La Traviata. Today we have Peter Allen in a Talking About Opera lecture recorded in from 1989, exploring this tragic love story that has captured the hearts of opera goers for over 150 years.
08/03/17·1h

Ep. 61: Interview with James Morris

Since his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1971, James Morris has gone on to create renowned character portrayals and share the stage with virtually every great singer of the past five decades. Here is the legendary bass-baritone in conversation with the Guild’s Executive Director of Program Development, Paul Gruber, sharing stories from across his career.
01/03/17·1h

Ep. 60: New Season Discussion with John Fisher and F. Paul Driscoll

This episode features a special conversation between Opera News Editor-in-Chief, F. Paul Driscoll, and the Met’s Assistant General Manager for Music Administration John Fisher, providing insight into the Met's 2017-18 season.
23/02/17·26m 16s

Ep. 59: Rusalka

Dvořák's Czech masterpiece has opera returned to the Met this season with a new, fantastical production by Mary Zimmerman. Today’s episode features my co-host and Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara in a pre-performance talk exploring the folklore sources behind the opera plot, as well as the musical fabric that bring this story to life.
15/02/17·1h 1m

Ep. 58: Musical Chairs with Donald Palumbo

Today's episode features an engaging interview with Met Opera chorus master, Donald Palumbo, originally recorded in November 2016. In it, we hear about Maestro Palumbo's path to the Met as well as his approach for preparing one of the world's best opera choruses.
25/01/17·54m 42s

Ep. 57: Romeo et Juliette

With the Met's new production of Romeo et Juliette coming to theaters around the world this Saturday, January 21st, seasoned stage director Jay Lesenger explores Gounod's operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's most famous play.
18/01/17·49m 11s

Ep. 56: Nabucco, Talking About Opera

In today's episode, a Talking About Opera lecture on Verdi's first big hit, which includes Verdi's path to success and a chorus that became an anthem of the Italian nationalist movement.
04/01/17·59m 53s

Ep. 55: Salome

In this episode, Guild lecturer Naomi Barrettara takes an in depth look at the musical and dramatic elements of Strauss's Salome, as well as it's scandalous 1907 Met Opera premiere.
14/12/16·58m 23s

Ep. 54: L'Amour de Loin Pre-Performance Lecture

Just after it's Met premiere, Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de Loin will be broadcast Live in HD to theaters around the world on Saturday, December 10, 2016. In this episode, we have a pre-performance lecture given by Naomi Barrettara with everything you need to know before seeing this stunning 21st-century opera.
07/12/16·58m 52s

Ep. 53: Guillaume Tell Pre-Performance Lecture

Rossini's final opera, Guillaume Tell, is the grandest of them all. Composer and conductor Victoria Bond talks about the challenges and fireworks incorporated in this work as it comes to the Met stage for the first time in 80 years.
09/11/16·50m 30s

Ep. 52: Aida, Talking About Opera

Perhaps Verdi's grandest opera, Aida has been a staple of the opera repertory since its first performance in 1871. Here is Bridget Paolucci talking about the musical and thematic highlights that make this opera an audience favorite.
02/11/16·59m 3s

Ep. 51: Jenufa, Talking About Opera

Composed by Czech nationalist, Leos Janacek, Jenufa incorporates the beauties of Czech music, language, and culture while telling a disturbing story based on true events. Here, Yveta Graff takes us through the opera's plot and music, and the tells the history of its composition and early performances.
27/10/16·59m 57s

Ep. 50: Don Giovanni, Talking About Opera

Don Giovanni is an ingenious fusion of bumbling comedy and the earnestness of tragedy. Here is former Met radio commentator Father Owen Lee and his Talking About Opera presentation on Mozart's hit.
19/10/16·57m 49s

Ep. 49: Tristan und Isolde, Talking About Opera

From the famous opening "Tristan Chord" to the final "Liebstod," Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is considered a revolutionary work. Today, a closer look at the musical and dramatic layers of Wagner's masterpiece.
05/10/16·59m 7s

Ep. 48: Inside Tristan und Isolde with John Fisher

Tristan und Isolde opens the Met's 2016-17 season in a new production starring Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, conducted by Simon Rattle. In this episode, an insider's perspective on Wagner's towering drama, as Opera News Editor-in-Chief, F. Paul Driscoll, sits down with the Met's Assistant General Manager for Music Administration, John Fisher.
21/09/16·24m 9s

Ep. 47: Opera Terminology and Pronunciation

For this episode, we are going to dip our toes into the wonderful world of languages with soprano Jane Marsh. Jane is a regular lecturer at the Met Opera Guild, and she is a language enthusiast, fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and Russian. Jane will be our language expert for today’s episode, and she will be guiding us through the pronunciation of composer, opera, and singer names that we have on the roster at the Met this season, focusing on Italian, German, and French. There are also musical examples included throughout the episode to illustrate the flavor of each language as it is sung.
18/08/16·58m 3s

Ep. 46: Götterdämmerung, Talking About Opera

Today’s episode features an exploration of Wagner’s GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, concluding our mini-series of episodes on Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
13/08/16·1h 14m

Ep. 45: Siegfried, Talking About Opera

We are now moving into part three of a four episode series on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Each episode in this series covers one of the operas in the cycle, so you don’t necessarily have to listen to them in order to follow the content of the lecture, but if you want to get a sense of the chronology of the cycle, then we suggest listening to episodes 43 and 44 before starting this one. Our lecturer is the legendary Met Opera Radio Broadcast Host Peter Allen, and today he will be taking us through Wagner’s SIEGFRIED.
11/08/16·1h 7m

Ep. 44: Die Walküre, Talking About Opera

This episode is part two of a Talking About Opera recording on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. This mammoth work is comprised of four operas with interconnected stories that Wagner fashioned by combining various elements of Old Norse mythology. So for this week and next week’s episodes, we are releasing one episode per opera, in a series of lectures featuring former Met Opera Radio Broadcast Host Peter Allen.
05/08/16·1h 11m

Ep. 43: Das Rheingold, Talking About Opera

The second half of the summer is a special time for German opera fans, as people from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Germany for the annual Bayreuth Festival. This festival is entirely dedicated to the operatic output of Richard Wagner, including performances of the entire Ring Cycle. For the next several episodes, we thought it would be fitting to take a tour through these amazing works via a 4-part Talking About Opera program with former Met Opera Radio Broadcast Host Peter Allen. Episode 43 begins with the first opera in the cycle, DAS RHEINGOLD.
04/08/16·1h 14m

Ep. 42: Memories from the Golden Horseshoe Part 3

This week we are happy to present our third and final instalment of Memories from the Golden Horseshoe. This series features Met radio commentator Ira Siff, regaling us with his memories of performances he witnessed at the old Metropolitan Opera house in its final years between 1961 and 1966.
28/07/16·59m 35s

Ep. 41, Part 2: Falstaff, Talking About Opera

Picking up right where we left off in Episode 41, Part 1, this is Part 2 of a Talking About Opera lecture, with Bridget Paolucci discussing Verdi's FALSTAFF.
21/07/16·52m 14s

Ep. 41, Part 1: Falstaff, Talking About Opera

The topic of today’s episode is Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera, FALSTAFF, which was also his third opera to be adapted from a Shakespeare play. This is a Talking About Opera lecture presented by Bridget Paolucci, split into two parts to ensure the length is manageable without cutting out all the great content. Today we are releasing Part 1, and tomorrow we will release Part 2!
20/07/16·34m 34s

Ep. 40: Così fan tutte, Talking About Opera

On July 20th, 2016, the Met will be broadcasting the last HD encore opera of the summer to theatres across the globe! The opera is Mozart’s beloved Così fan tutte, and the cast features audience favourites such as Matthew Polenzani, Isabel Leonard, and Danielle de Niese. So to get us all prepared for the broadcast, our episode today features a wonderful Talking About Opera lecture from our archives, with Bridget Paolucci discussing this beloved Mozart work.
13/07/16·59m 52s

Ep. 39: Da Capo Arias & Cabalettas

Great arias have long been an opportunity for singers to showcase their virtuosity and offer an intimate look at a character’s inner most feelings. In this episode, podcast host Naomi Barrettara takes a deep dive into two different aria forms - the Da Capo aria and the Cabaletta, discussing musical elements of each form, and providing examples by Handel, Rossini, and Verdi.
07/07/16·1h

Ep. 38, Part 2: Verdi's Macbeth - Talking About Opera

This is Part 2 of Episode 38, featuring Albert Innaurato giving a Talking About Opera lecture on Verdi's Macbeth. The episode picks up right where Part 1 left off, at the beginning of Act II in the opera.
30/06/16·36m 6s

Ep. 38, Part 1: Verdi's Macbeth - Talking About Opera

This week we are continuing our celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a Talking About Opera lecture devoted to Verdi’s "Macbeth." This particular Talking About Opera recording is somewhat special, as it has never before been released to the public. In an effort to keep our episodes manageable and appealing to a wide audience, we typically try to limit their duration to an hour or less. Seeing as there is so much great information and wonderful musical examples included in this Talking About Opera lecture, we have split it into two parts so that you can experience the full recording.
29/06/16·48m 14s

Ep. 37: L'Elisir d'Amore - A Casual Conversation with Naomi and Kyle

The second of this summer’s Met Live in HD Encore presentation will be of Donizetti’s "L’Elisir d’Amore," with an exceptional cast starring Anna Netrebko as Adina, Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, Mariusz Kwiecień as Belcore, and Ambrogio Maestri as the clever Dulcamara. In preparation for the broadcast, the Met Opera Guild’s Kyle Homewood joins Naomi Barrettara in a casual conversation discussing things they love about the opera and musical moments to listen for in one of the most popular operatic comedies of the last two centuries.
22/06/16·1h

Ep. 36: Tosca - Talking About Opera

With a Met Live in HD Encore presentation of Puccini’s Tosca coming to theatres this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, today's episode once again reaches into the Talking about Opera archives to give you some added insight into one of Puccini’s dramatic works.
15/06/16·57m 46s

Ep. 35: A Midsummer Night's Dream - Talking About Opera

The summer of 2016 is in full swing, with festivals and performances in cities across the globe celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. This podcast episode explores the operatic adaptation of a beloved Shakespeare work - A Midsummer Night's Dream - with a musical setting composed by Benjamin Britten. This lecture is taken from our Talking About Opera archives, featuring Guild lecturer Harlow Robinson.
09/06/16·59m 42s

Ep. 34: Memories from the Golden Horseshoe Part 2

Today’s episode is the second installment of our Memories from the Golden Horseshoe series in which Met broadcast commentator Ira Siff speaks about the legendary performances he witnessed at the old Metropolitan Opera house in its final years between 1961 and 1966. In the episode, I hope you will enjoy remembering or perhaps discovering the likes of Leonie Rysanek, John Vickers, Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Zinka Milanov, Renata Tebaldi, and several others. This is part two of Memories from the Golden Horseshoe!
01/06/16·1h 8m

Ep. 33: Singers' Studio with Roberto Alagna

Today we are happy to present a very special artist interview that took place in March 2016 as part of our Singers’ Studio series with Opera News. In the interview, tenor Roberto Alagna sits down with Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll to talk about his life and career. In case you don’t know or don’t remember, this interview took place just after Alagna’s successful run in the Met’s new production of Manon Lescaut in which he replaced Jonas Kaufmann as Des Grieux with only a few weeks’ notice.
25/05/16·47m 20s

Ep. 32: Meet the Met Orchestra

Ever wonder what it's like to be a Met Orchestra musician? In this episode we sit down for an informative and entertaining conversation with members of the Met Orchestra to get an inside look at this elite ensemble and some of its players. For more even more great content and to stay up to date with the Met Orchestra, visit www.metorchestramusicians.org.
18/05/16·1h 12m

Ep. 31: Highlights from the 2015-2016 Met Season

Since the 2015-2016 Met season came to an end last week, we're taking a look back at some of its most memorable moments. With fantastic new productions like Otello, Pearl Fishers, and Elektra, as well as an outstanding Tudor Queen trilogy, there is much to look back at and reminisce upon. Make sure you comment on our various social media pages and tell us about your favorite moments of the season!
11/05/16·1h 10m

Ep. 29: Memories from the Golden Horseshoe Part 1

This week we are excited to have Ira Siff on the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast for the first time. Ira is currently a commentator on the Met’s Saturday broadcasts but also teaches and coaches opera, and even used to run his own opera spoof company! His love of opera and the Met started in his teenage years as he stood in line for standing room tickets at the Old Met in the early 1960’s. Just in case any of you don’t know, the current Metropolitan Opera House opened in 1966, and before that, the opera company was based out of its original home dubbed the “Golden Horseshoe.” Today’s episode is the first of three lectures in which Ira Siff regales us with his Memories of the Golden Horseshoe, talking about his experiences and and the legendary singers that he saw along the way. And of course we will feature many musical clips from these singers as we take this walk down memory lane. So please enjoy part one of Memories from the Golden Horseshoe!
27/04/16·58m 30s

Ep. 28: Elektra Pre-Performance Lecture with William Berger

This week’s episode features a pre-performance lecture on the final new production of the 2015-2016 Met season, Elektra. Presenting today’s lecture is radio commentator and writer, William Berger, whom many of you may recognize from Sirius XM’s Met Opera radio and the famed Met Opera Quiz. The slideshow referenced throughout the lecture is available for download at www.metguild.org/podcast.
20/04/16·1h 3m

Ep. 27: Roberto Devereux Pre-Performance Lecture

This week we are very excited to be bringing back Santa Fe Opera’s Desirée Mays to the Met Opera Guild Podcast! We have already had such a great response to last week’s episode and Desirée’s talk on The Real Madama Butterfly, and today’s episode is equally as engaging and informative as Ms. Mays fills us in on some of the confusing plot points and Donizetti’s blurring of fact and fiction in Roberto Devereux.
13/04/16·1h

Ep. 26: The Real Madama Butterfly

This week’s episode is recorded from a live event that took place on March 29th, 2016, featuring Santa Fe Opera’s Desirée Mays as she explores the historical and literary sources that contributed to the story of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
07/04/16·53m 54s

Ep. 25: Simon Boccanegra - Talking about Opera

This Friday the Met Opera will begin an exciting run of one of Verdi’s more obscure operas, Simon Boccanegra, which will feature Maestro James Levine on the podium and legendary tenor/now baritone Plácido Domingo singing the title role. In preparation for this special musical event, today’s episode features Bridget Paolucci’s Talking About Opera lecture on Simon Boccanegra.
31/03/16·1h 29m

Ep. 24: Donizetti's Tudor Queen Operas

Today’s episode is drawn from one of our Opera Boot Camp classes - an introductory tour through Donizetti’s Tudor Queen operas. These operas have garnered a lot of attention this spring and there is a wealth of history connected to these bel canto masterpieces. This episode explores important background information and musical highlights from "Anna Bolena," "Maria Stuarda," and "Roberto Devereux."
23/03/16·1h

Ep. 23: Le Nozze di Figaro - Talking about Opera

Today’s episode is drawn from a Talking about Opera excerpt, featuring Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" with lecturer Bridget Paolucci. At the time this recording was made, Bridget was a frequent lecturer at the Met Opera Guild, New York City Opera, and regularly appeared on the Met’s Radio Broadcasts. In this episode, Bridget takes us through the rich history of this opera, discussing source material, Mozart's collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, and delving into the layers of musical meaning and style.
16/03/16·1h 30m

Ep. 22: Don Pasquale - Talking about Opera

Heralded by scholars and opera lovers as the “last great opera buffa,” Donizetti's DON PASQUALE has been a hit with audiences since the night it premiered in Paris in 1843. This episode features playwright and stage director Albert Innaurato as our lecturer, sharing fascinating details about the composer’s life and the musical elements that made this opera such a striking success.
09/03/16·1h 12m

Ep. 21: Manon Lescaut Pre-Performance Lecture

In anticipation of the Met’s Live in HD broadcast of Manon Lescaut this Saturday, March 5th, we are happy to bring to you a Manon Lescaut pre-performance lecture that took place not even 24 hours prior to the release of this episode. Today’s lecturer, Nimet Habachy, is known in the New York City area for her more than 25 years as the host of New York at Night on the old WQXR. She now frequently gives lectures at both the Metropolitan Opera Guild as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has even joined the Met Museum as a lecturer on international tours. I hope you enjoy Ms. Habachy’s insights into Puccini’s first great hit, Manon Lescaut.
02/03/16·1h

Ep. 20: 2016-2017 Met Season Preview

In today's episode, host Naomi Barrettara is joined by Met Guild Director of School Programs and Community Engagement, Stuart Holt, and Community Engagement Coordinator, Elspeth Davis, to discuss the newly-announced 2016-2017 Met Opera season. In this conversation the trio shares valuable insights and opinions on the new productions, intriguing revivals, and possible "sleeper hits" of the upcoming season, and informs us all on the hot tickets that we need to look out for.
24/02/16·52m 31s

Ep. 19: Madama Butterfly - Talking About Opera

This Friday, February 19 is the Met’s season premiere of Anthony Minghella’s celebrated production of Madama Butterfly. In anticipation of this premiere, we are once again reaching into the Talking About Opera archives to present an enthralling lecture given by the acclaimed playwright, director, and journalist, Albert Innaurato. In this lecture recorded in 1997, Mr. Innaurato explores the inner workings of Butterfly’s complicated characters and navigates through various highlights in the plot and score. I hope you enjoy this presentation on one of opera’s most beloved works.
17/02/16·1h 20m

Ep. 18: Love In Opera

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this week’s episode is all about LOVE and MARRIAGE in Opera! Our content today is presented by Naomi Barrettara and drawn from a live event that happened at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York City as a pre-Valentine’s day celebration. The audio you are about to hear was taken from a dress rehearsal, so there is no real audience to laugh at the wonderful jokes, but we hope you enjoy them all the same!
11/02/16·54m 9s

Ep. 17: Inside the Prompter's Box

In this week’s episode, we are excited to present a talk with a very important member of the Metropolitan Opera staff. Donna Racik plays a role in Met performances that you will never see or hear. Her role is performed from a little black box at the front of the stage known as the prompter’s box. From the prompter’s box Donna conducts, mouths words, gives direction, and sometimes even sings! She does all this to help Met performers be at their very best, especially when they have had little or no rehearsal time. Enjoy fascinating insight into the life of a Met Opera prompter with interesting Q&A at the end of the episode.
03/02/16·1h

Ep. 16: Turandot Pre-Performance Lecture

Leading up to this weekend’s Met Live in HD broadcast of Puccini’s Turandot, we are happy to present this pre-performance lecture given by Dr. Jeffrey Langford, the Assistant Dean for Doctoral Studies and Music History Chair at the Manhattan School of Music. As you would imagine, this lecture is chalk-full of historical insights and musical analysis that will give you an entirely different perspective on this wildly popular opera. In fact, Dr. Langford included a physical handout of musical examples for the live audience that he references during the lecture. If you would like to download this handout so you can follow along you can do so at www.metguild.org/podcast. Now please enjoy Dr. Langford’s thoughts on Puccini’s Turandot.
27/01/16·1h

Ep. 15: Singers' Studio with Piotr Beczala

Today's episode is taken from our Singers’ Studio series, in which editors from Opera News magazine sit down in conversation with some of today’s elite singers. In these conversations, singers discuss many things from their career origins to future plans, and even their thoughts on the art form as a whole. In today’s episode, we are happy to present one such interview with renowned tenor Piotr Beczala. I hope you’ll enjoy listening in as Mr. Beczala sits down with Opera News Digital Editor Adam Wasserman in the Singers’ Studio.
21/01/16·55m 27s

Ep. 14: Les Pêcheurs de Perles Pre-Performance Lecture

Today’s episode features a pre-performance lecture on the opera dubbed by the New York Times as the “sleeper hit” of this year’s opera season - Bizet’s "Les Pêcheurs de Perles." The lecture is presented by Dr. Harlow Robinson, an author, lecturer, and Matthews Distinguished University Professor of History at Northeastern University.
14/01/16·58m 1s

Ep. 13: Massenet's Cendrillon

This episode, presented by the Met Guild’s Director of School Programs and Community Engagement, Stuart Holt, is all about a rarely-heard operatic version of the Cinderella story - Cendrillon by Jules Massenet. This opera has never appeared on the Met stage, and this lecture was originally given as part of a lecture series called “Unknown Masterworks”.
07/01/16·1h 11m

Ep. 12: Die Fledermaus Pre-Performance Lecture

Today’s episode is recorded from a live pre-performance lecture that was given on December 14th by one of the Guild’s in-house lecturers and artistic consultants, Jane Marsh. Ms. Marsh is a celebrated Soprano who has sung countless opera roles all over the world, and brings a unique wealth of experience and knowledge to each of her lectures. This lecture is one of over 80 live educational events that are hosted at the Met Opera Guild this season, and as a pre-performance lecture it was given immediately prior to a Met performance of Die Fledermaus, where a majority of attendees continued on to the opera afterwards.
31/12/15·47m 53s

Ep. 11: Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Today’s episode corresponds with the Met’s current holiday production of the The Barber of Seville, although it focuses on the original Il Barbiere di Siviglia rather than the Met’s shortened and translated version. Another revival from the Talking About Opera archives, this lecture is presented by Albert Innaurato. Mr. Innaurato has enjoyed a successful career as a playwright, stage director, journalist, and frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center among many others. His play, Gemini, brought to the Broadway stage in the late 1970s was one of the longest continually running non-musical plays with 1,819 performances. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including Opera News, The New York Times, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Currently, Albert serves as a creative consultant with Center City Opera Theater in Philadelphia, and directs nontraditional productions of classic operas and new works alike. We hope you enjoy Mr. Innaurato’s take on Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, or, The Barber of Seville.
22/12/15·1h 20m

Ep. 10: Voice Types - Tenors

This week’s episode will be the second iteration of our lectures on voice types. Our previous voice types lecture, episode 5 on the soprano voice type, is our most popular episode to date! So by popular demand, we are happy to present this lecture all about tenors.
16/12/15·1h 34m

Ep. 9: The Magic Flute and Masonic Symbolism

This episode feature a discussion of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," delving into the interpretation of Masonic elements and symbolism throughout the opera.
10/12/15·57m 58s

Ep. 8: Musical Chairs with Grace Bumbry

Today’s episode features an engaging interview with a mezzo soprano turned soprano who just celebrated the 50th anniversary of her Met debut, Grace Bumbry. In the interview hosted by the Met Guild’s Executive Director of Program Development, Paul Gruber, Ms. Bumbry talks about some of the challenges and triumphs she experienced throughout her career that includes over 200 Met performances and countless operatic appearances and recitals around the world.
03/12/15·1h 2m

Ep. 7: La Bohème - Talking About Opera

Today’s episode draws once more from the archives of the Met Opera Guild’s Talking About Opera series. This particular episode features Bridget Paolucci detailing the musical and dramatic beauty of Puccini’s La Bohème. At the time of this recording in 1991, Bridget was a frequent lecturer at the Met Opera Guild, New York City Opera, and regularly appeared on the Met’s Radio Broadcasts. Though she no longer lectures with the Guild, we are happy to bring you Bridget’s take on one of Puccini’s most popular works - La Bohème.
24/11/15·1h 16m

Ep. 6: Lulu Pre-Performance Lecture

This session with Maestro Steven Osgood is an extremely valuable resource for those hoping to gain a better understanding of Berg's Lulu and 12-tone musical composition. In it, Maestro Osgood highlights hidden musical elements and plot features that will help you piece together this musical puzzle and further enjoy the compositional genius of Berg.
18/11/15·1h 20m

Ep. 5: Voice Types - Sopranos

In this episode, host Naomi Barrettara provides all the information that you need to know about the soprano voice type, including the different types of sopranos, common repertoire, and stylistic tendencies. Part of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's popular Opera Boot Camp series, this session is the first of several Voice Type episodes to come in the future.
11/11/15·1h

Ep. 4: Puccini Heroines - Tosca and Madama Butterfly

In this session, soprano and lecturer Jane Marsh discusses two of Puccini's most beloved heroines, Tosca and Butterfly. Sharing insights from her own international performance experience, Ms. Marsh delves into the motivation behind these characters, and also invites Kelly Griffin, soprano, and Djordje Nesic, pianist, to perform two of their most famous arias.
04/11/15·1h

Ep. 3: Tannhäuser Pre-Performance Lecture

In this episode, the Metropolitan Opera Guild is excited to present a recorded lecture by the late David Hamilton, in which he shares an abundance of information about Tannhäuser and Wagner's life leading up to its composition. Originally recorder for the Met Guild's "Talking About Opera" series, this lecture is a perfect preparation for those attending the Met's Live in HD presentation of Tannhäuser on October 31, 2015.
27/10/15·1h 1m

Ep. 2: Musical Chairs with Deborah Voigt

This week’s episode of the Metropolitan Opera Guild podcast features an engaging interview with Deborah Voigt that was presented and recorded here at the Guild on October 5th, 2015. In it, Ms. Voigt discusses some of the struggles and triumphs she experienced in her life and storied career,
21/10/15·1h 15m

Ep. 1: Otello Pre-Performance Lecture

In the first ever episode of the Met Opera Guild Podcast, Naomi Barrettara dives into the dramatic and musical elements of Verdi's penultimate opera.
07/10/15·1h 2m
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