Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Loved that piece of music you just heard? Support the programming you enjoy by becoming a WWFM member with your financial contribution today. Thank you!

The Sunday Opera: Giacomo Meyerbeer's "L'Etoile du Nord" ("The North Star")

Peter the Great in a romantic opera? Of course, and it’s on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/21 3:00 p.m.) in the guise of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s “L’Etoile du Nord” (“The North Star”).

One of Meyerbeer’s later works premiering in 1856, it takes place during the time that Peter the Great was working in a Finnish shipyard under the pseudonym of Peters Michaeloff. According to the libretto by Eugene Scribe, this is the time when Peter met his future wife, Catherine, and the opera looks at all of the conflicts and hurdles that face them. It includes mistaken identities, disguises, heroic escapes, and, of course, a happy ending.

The cast on this live recording includes Vladimir Ognev as Peter, Elizabeth Futral as Catherine, Juan Diago Florez as Catherine’s brother, Georges, Aled Hall as Peter’s major domo, Danilowitch, and Darina Takova as Georges’ fiancé, Prascovia. They’re joined by the Wexford Festival Opera Chorus and The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

We’ve got more music of Meyerbeer, a very young Meyerbeer, after the opera. It’s music from a ballet, his first stage work, that he wrote when he was 19 entitled “Der Fischer und das Milchmadchen” or “The Fisherman and the Milkmaid.”

The music is wonderful for this work, and fortunately, you don’t have to witness the story that’s been inflicted upon it because it is extremely silly. The ballet music is played by the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and is conducted by Dario Salvi.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
Related Content
  • Enjoy world-class productions from the world of opera featuring the great singers past and present performing in the world's great opera houses.Paul Moravec & Mark Campbell's "Light Shall Lift Us"Here is the link to the video presentation of "Light Shall Lift Us: Opera Singers Unite in Song"