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Podcast by Metropolitan Opera Guild




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!


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.


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.”


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...


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!


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!


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...


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.


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!


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...


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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...


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.


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.


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!