Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way.

“La Juive,” a tragic tale of religious intolerance by Fromental Halevy will air on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/15 3:00 p.m.).  Eugene Scribe wrote the libretto for this opera which became one of the most popular operas of the 19th century after its premier in Paris on 23 February 1835.  It deals with the plight of Jews in Switzerland in the 15th century, particularly Rachel and her adoptive father Eleazar who are persecuted by the Catholic Church and are arrested after it is found that Racheal’s love Samuel is actually Prince Leopold.  

In 1938, Leonard Warren, then in his late twenties, went to his boss, the chorus master of the Radio City Music Hall where Warren had sung for three years. Warren wanted time off to prepare for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air. The boss agreed, and added that Warren didn't need to come back. (This may or may not be true.) Thus encouraged, Warren selected one of the five opera arias he knew and did the audition. The Met was stunned. The judges had never heard such a magnificent voice at the Auditions of the Air, or anywhere else for that matter.

This Wednesday, 4-11, at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear pianist Ying Li with the Fantasy Pieces op, 12 by robert Schumann and pianist Bolai Cao in Haydn's 58th Sonata.  Abigail Kent plays harp in Andrew Hsu's dahlianum and Evan LeRoy Johnson sings 3 lieder by Schubert.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon, repeated Monday evenings at 10.

Vera Herman Goodkin was just shy of her 9th birthday when her hometown in Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany. She spent the next four years in hiding, until she was finally rescued and taken to freedom thanks to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, and for many years now she has shared her story with young people to warn them of the dangers of hate and mistrust. Join Host Bill Zagorski as Vera tells her story.

The Sunday Opera (4/8 3:00 p.m.) will, in its small way, be celebrating the centennial year of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with an afternoon of his two major operas: “Trouble in Tahiti,” and its sequel “A Quiet Place.”  “Trouble in Tahiti” had its world premiere at Brandeis University as part of their Festival of Creative Arts.  The barely finished opera which had a problematic physical production, was not particularly well received, but it was reworked and performed at Tanglewood before appearing on television, all in 1952.  

It’s a perfect April Fool’s on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/1 3:00 p.m.) when we turn to Franz Josef Haydn and his farce “Il Mondo Della Luna.”  Based on a play by Carlo Goldoni, the clever Ecclitico wins both money and a bride from the foolish Buonafede with a tale that he will take him to the moon and introduce him to the society there.  We’ll turn to a 1993 recording featuring Luigi Alva, Domenico Trimarchi, Edith Mathis, Arlene Auger, Frederica von Stade, and Anthony Rolfe Johnson for this charming bit of tomfoolery.   

March 27th/Between the Keys: Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Mar 27, 2018

In March 2015 The Classical Network's newly named first Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler launched Between the Keys, a program that explores the keyboard world's wealth of styles, genres, eras, works, composers and performers. The program won 2017's ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for broadcasting excellence.

Two works by Sir Michael Tippett are on offer for this week’s Sunday Opera (3/25  3:00 p.m.)  His groundbreaking opera “A Midsummer Marriage” which deals with a symbolic pathway to marriage and life in the face of change will open the program.  The recording is the world premiere production from 1955 featuring Joan Sutherland, Richard Lewis, Edith Coates, and Adele Leigh and the Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of John Pritchard.

This Wednesday, 3/21, at noon on Curtis Calls tenor Evan Leroy Johnson sings lieder from Franz Schubert's "Die Schöne Müllerin."  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Monday's (3/19) Bach@One features Matthew Glandorf directing Choral Arts Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium in J.S. Bach's Sanctus in D, BWV 238 and Cantata BWV 215, "Praise Your Good Fortune."

Familiar voices, many from the past, will be showcased on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/18  3:00 p.m.) in an all-star presentation of Giacomo Puccini’s “Il Trittico.”  We’ll sample three recordings.  The first, “Il Tabarro” stars Leontyne Price, Sherrill Milnes, and Placido Domingo.  “Suor Angelica” stars Renata Tebaldi in the title role and Giuletta Simionato as the callous Principessa.  Leo Nucci is the cantankerous “Gianni Schicchi” with Mirella Freni as his daughter Lauretta, and Roberto Alagna as her love, Rinuccio.  Also featured in this cast are Eva Podles, Barbara Frittoli, and Dalibo

The Sunday Opera: Ambroise Thomas' "Mignon"

Mar 8, 2018

We’re heading back to France for this week’s Sunday Opera (3/11 3:00 p.m.) for one of the better known works of Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas, “Mignon.”  As a special feature, both the happy and tragic endings written for this opera about the trials of a young girl who was abducted by gypsies will be presented.  Marilyn Horne is Mignon, and joining her are Alain Vanzo, Frederica Von Stade, Ruth Welting, and Andre Battedou.  Antonio De Almeda conducts the Ambrosian Opera Chorus and The Philharmonia Orchestra.  

Thursday's (3/8) Noon Concert features bassist Xavier Foley and pianist Kelly Lin in music by Sperger, Faure and Foley himself.

Guest conductor Stanley Thurston leads the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and pianist Charity Wicks DePinto in a program of spirituals, including "Listen to the Lambs," "Jesus Walked This Lonely Valley"  and many more on this Monday's Bach at One (3/5).

Music by the rival of Weber and friend to Beethoven and Mendelssohn is being featured on this week’s Sunday opera (2/4  3:00 p.m.) when we’ll look at two supernatural works from the pen of Heinrich August Marschner.  The first is the opera that cemented his place as one of the important composers of German opera, “Hans Heiling” in which the prince of the gnomes searches the mortal world to find a wife but learns just how difficult finding true love can be.  

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