World of Opera

Airs Thursdays at 4 pm, Saturdays at 5 pm and Sundays at 1 pm on the Operavore stream.

World of Opera with host Lisa Simeone brings listeners the world of tragedy and triumph, passion and seduction, intrigue and disaster, jealousies and dreams — the world of opera — every week on WQXR's Operavore stream.

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Verdi’s La Forza del Destino from Barcelona

Thursday, February 07, 2013

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Verdi's La Forza del Destino, a vivid exploration of fate, is relentless drama of politics, passion and revenge, brought to the stage by a highly-accomplished international cast.

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Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice from Boston

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today at 4 pm on the Operavore stream, this production by Boston Baroque stars countertenor Owen Willetts and soprano Mary Wilson in the title roles.

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Bizet's The Pearl Fishers from Amsterdam

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yes, Georges Bizet did write something besides Carmen. Hector Berlioz described The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's "other" opera, as "beautiful and expressive ... filled with fire and rich coloring."

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Verdi’s Otello from Venice

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This production comes from one of the world's premiere opera destinations, the historic La Fenice in Venice. Today at 4 pm on the Operavore stream.

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Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love from Covent Garden

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Having recently made headlines for his divorce to soprano Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna gets our attention for another reason in this broadcast of Donizetti's comic romp.

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Donizetti’s Don Pasquale from Paris

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Donizetti wrote any number of irresistible comedies and this sparkling score may be the best of them all. Hear it today at 4 pm on the Operavore stream.

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Handel's Semele from Toronto

Thursday, December 27, 2012

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Described by George Frideric Handel as an opera "in the manner of an oratorio," Semele has something for everyone. It's written and sung in English, befitting its original Covent Garden billing as an "English oratorio," yet it shares the Italian opera style that made Handel one of the most popular composers of his time.

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Delius' A Village Romeo and Juliet from Ireland

Thursday, December 20, 2012

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Born in England, Frederick Delius wrote music inspired by his wide-ranging life and locales ranging from the sunshine of Florida to the fiords of Norway. In this opera, A Village Romeo and Juliet, he takes the traditional story of star-crossed lovers and transplants it to a quiet hamlet in Switzerland.

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Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov from Madrid

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Deeply rooted in his country's colorful history, Modest Mussorgsky's epic Boris Godunov may be the most famous of all Russian operas. Austrian bass Günther Groissböck sings the tormented title character in a lush production from the historic Teatro Real, or Royal Theater, in Madrid.

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Verdi’s Rigoletto from Italy's Royal Theater

Thursday, December 06, 2012

In Verdi's sensational drama Rigoletto, he reveals his lifelong affinity for touching, father-daughter relationships, yet does so in a story that also serves up over-the-top passion and appalling violence — all conveyed in music that careens vividly through its characters' wildly contrasting emotions.

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Tchaikovsky’s The Enchantress from Moscow

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Tchaikovsky’s drama The Enchantress, the title character is a brazen seductress who eventually finds redemption in true love, but in the process brings tragedy to an entire family.

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Rameau's Les Indes Galantes from Boston

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jean-Philippe Rameau's spectacular, globetrotting drama Les Indes Galantes features extravagant scenes in locales ranging from a Turkish island in the Indian Ocean, to the Inca Empire of Peru, to a Persian festival of flowers and the "savage" forests of North America.

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Bellini’s Zaira from the Valle d'Itria Festival

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bellini's fifth opera, Zaira, was the first of his scores to get a somewhat cool reception at its premiere. Still, its tragic, cross-cultural story has particular resonance in today's world.

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Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin from Riga Opera Festival

Thursday, November 08, 2012

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A brooding masterpiece, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's dark drama Eugene Onegin deals with a caddish aristocrat whose indifference towards others turns full circle, and comes back to destroy him.

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Verdi’s Macbeth from Geneva

Thursday, November 01, 2012

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Truly successful operas based on Shakespeare are astonishingly rare — a generous estimate would put the count at about half-a-dozen. Even more remarkable is that Giuseppe Verdi alone accounted for three of them. His Macbeth may not be heard quite so often as Otello and Falstaff, but it's still among his finest scores.

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Wagner’s Rienzi from Madrid

Thursday, October 25, 2012

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Richard Wagner's Rienzi is an early, grand opera, written before he launched his revolutionary journey into the world of "music drama" that we now think of as uniquely Wagnerian. The story is a deadly blend of piety and politics, set in 14th century Rome.

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Philip Glass’s Kepler from the Spoleto Festival

Thursday, October 18, 2012

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From this past year’s Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., this week’s World Of Opera performance is the American premiere production and English language world premiere of Kepler, Philip Glass's dynamic new drama, rooted in the life and inspirational ideas of the 17-century mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.

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Verdi’s Il Trovatore from North Carolina

Thursday, October 11, 2012

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Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore has a raft of over-the-top characters populating a story so complex and unlikely, it could be fairly described either as incomprehensible or implausible, if not both. That hardlyt seems like a recipe for success. But the perplexingly beautiful drama also boats so many of Verdi's finest tunes that it's hard to keep track of them all.

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Glinka's A Life for the Tsar from the Montpellier Festival

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Today at 4 pm on Operavore, Glinka's story of a humble peasant who sacrificed himself to save the Russian tsar early in the 1600s.

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Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro from The Proms

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today on the Operavore stream: this production was staged in the round at London's Royal Albert Hall, and recorded at the 2012 BBC Proms. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment backs a mostly young cast. 

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