Opera Bash 2012, Part 2

WGBH's Opera Bash 2012 continues on Sunday, Sept. 2 on WGBH 2 and 44, and on Classical New England

Sponsorship of Opera Bash is generously provided by Boston Lyric Opera.

Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov
12am on WGBH 2
Adapted from a play by Alexander Pushkin about the extraordinary reign of the 16th-century tsar, Boris Godunov is regarded as one of the masterpieces of the Russian operatic repertoire. René Pape sings the title role, and the cast includes Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko as Grigory/The Pretender Dimitri and Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk as Princess Marina. Other notable Russian singers making their Met role debuts in this production are bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin as Rangoni, bass Mikhail Petrenko as Pimen, and tenor Oleg Balashov as Shuisky. Bass Vladimir Ognovenko reprises his portrayal of Varlaam in this performance conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Donizetti's Lucia de Lammermoor
3:30am on WGBH 2
French soprano Natalie Dessay sings one of her greatest roles as Donizetti’s fragile heroine, with the remarkable young tenor Joseph Calleja as Edgardo, Ludovic Tézier as Enrico and Kwangchul Youn as Raimondo. Patrick Summers, the Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, conducts.

Rossini's Armida
Noon on WGBX 44
Soprano Renée Fleming triumphs as the vengeful sorceress in the title role of Gioachino Rossini’s Armida, based on 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso’s epic Gerusalemme Liberata (“Jerusalem Delivered”), a tale of the scorned seductress that has inspired more than 100 operas and ballets, including Handel’s Rinaldo and Haydn’s Armida. The cast includes multiple tenors: Lawrence Brownlee as Rinaldo, a knight of the Crusade who falls into the clutches of Armida; Barry Banks and Kobie van Rensburg as Carlo and Ubaldo, two knights who attempt to rescue Rinaldo; and John Osborn as their commander Goffredo. Riccardo Frizza conducts the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and cast in a prodution directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman.

A Legendary All-Wagner Program from Tanglewood
1pm on Classical New England
Asher Fisch leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a reconstruction of the never-completed concert programmed for Aug. 12, 1937: Wagner's Overtures to Rienzi and Tannhäuser, "Forest Murmurs" from Siegfried, and more. (The concert was rained out, providing the impetus for the construction of the Koussevitzky Music Shed.)

Hear the concert

Conductor Asher Fisch talks about his fascination with Wagner and the composer's place in history:

Hear the story of Tanglewood's origin and the storm that led to the Koussevitzky Music Shed

Verdi's Il Trovatore
3pm on WGBX 44
David McVicar’s critically acclaimed production features Marcelo Álvarez as the heroic troubadour of the title, Sondra Radvanovsky as Leonora, Dolora Zajick as Azucena, the gypsy with a dark secret, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Count di Luna. The New York Times applauded McVicar’s “clear-headed, psychologically insightful and fluid staging.” This staging of Il Trovatore, which is visually inspired by Francisco Goya’s series of prints entitled “The Disasters of War,” features sets by Charles Edwards, costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, and choreography by Leah Hausman.

Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice with Boston Baroque
3pm on Classical New England
Martin Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in Gluck's revolutionary expression of the power of love, with countertenor Owen Willetts as Orfeo, soprano Mary Wilson as Euridice, and soprano Courtney Huffman as Amor, along with the orchestra and chorus of Boston Baroque.

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Download program notes
See a translation

Verdi's La Traviata
5:30pm on WGBX 44

Acclaimed French soprano Natalie Dessay makes her Met role debut as Violetta, the fallen woman who sacrifices her last chance for love, and Matthew Polenzani co-stars as Alfredo Germont, a young man from a good family who is willing to risk everything for Violetta. Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father, who disapproves of Violetta’s lifestyle, but is moved by her plight. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads Verdi’s romantic tragedy, one of the most beloved operas of all time, in Willy Decker’s highly theatrical production, a hit when it premiered at the Met in 2010.

Agostino Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe from Boston Early Music Festival
6:30pm on Classical New England
Soprano Amanda Forsythe sings the role of Niobe, Queen of Thebes, and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky is Anfione, King of Thebes, in Gilbert Blin's 2011 production of the rarely heard opera by Steffani. Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs direct the BEMF Orchestra and cast in a performance the New York Times called "robust" and "perfectly balanced."

Listen online now

Download program notes and libretto

Donizetti's Anna Bolena
8pm on WGBX 44

Soprano Anna Netrebko stars in her highly anticipated first North American performances of the tour-de-force title role in Donizetti's Anna Bolena, a compelling dramatization of the tragic final days of Anne Boleyn—whose husband Henry VIII spurns her and has her sentenced to death. Directed by David McVicar and conducted by Marco Armiliato, the cast includes Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova as Anna’s romantic rival, Giovanna (Jane Seymour); Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov as the cruel Enrico (Henry VIII); American tenor Stephen Costello as Anna’s first love, Lord Percy; and American mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford as the queen’s devoted page Smeton.

Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann
12am (Monday, Sept. 3) on WGBH 2

Tenor Joseph Calleja sings the title role in what director and Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher calls "a magical journey." Soprano Anna Netrebko sings the roles of both Antonia and Stella, and she's joined by Kathleen Kim as Olympia, Ekaterina Gubanova as Giulietta, and Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse/The Muse. Alan Held sings all four villain roles, and James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and cast.

Puccini's Tosca
3am (Monday, Sept. 3) on WGBH 2

The incomparable Karita Mattila sings the title role of Tosca for the first time outside her native Finland, opposite Marcelo Álvarez as Cavaradossi. George Gagnidze is Scarpia and Paul Plishka is the Sacristan. Joseph Colaneri conducts, and acclaimed director Luc Bondy makes his Met debut with a production that keeps Tosca in the Napoleonic era. “Directing singers in a realistic and precise way is more important than translating this kind of story to today,” he says. “What I’d like to bring out in my production is that difference between blind passion and cold strategy.”

After you've enjoyed Opera Bash, tune in during the weekend of Sept. 10-14 for Robert Lepage's production of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. The operas – Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung — will be preceded on Monday, September 10, by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke’s documentary Wagner’s Dream, which chronicles the backstage story of the creation of this ambitious new staging.

Return to Part 1 of Opera Bash 2012


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