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Podcast by Metropolitan Opera Guild
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Podcast by Metropolitan Opera Guild




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...


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...


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.


Ep. 135: Celebrating Richard Tucker, Part 2

Called “the greatest tenor in the world” by his colleague and friend Robert Merrill, legendary performer Richard Tucker sang 724 performances spanning more than 30 leading roles at the Met! On this episode of The Metropolitan Opera Guild Podcast, we have Part 2 of our "Celebrating Richard Tucker" mini-series, drawn from a live event this past season. One of Tucker's sons, Dr. David Tucker, and biographer James A. Drake give listeners an inside look at the life and career of this great artist.


Ep. 134: Celebrating Richard Tucker, Part 1

Richard Tucker was unquestionably one of the world’s most eminent tenors. After beginning his musical career as a cantor in New York’s most prestigious synagogues, he went on to reign over the Golden Age of opera as one of the Metropolitan Opera’s superstars. This episode is Part 1 of a live event at The Metropolitan Opera Guild, celebrating the astounding life and career of America’s greatest tenor presented by one of Tucker’s sons, Dr. David Tucker, and biographer James A. Drake. They take...


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.


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...


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.


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!


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...


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...


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...


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.


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.


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!


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...


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.


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.


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!


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.