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The Sunday Opera: William Vincent Wallace's "Lurline"

We have a 19th century opera from the British Isles, and it’s not by Gilbert and Sullivan on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/4 3:00 p.m.).  This time, it’s by Irish composer William Vincent Wallace, and it’s the story of the water nymph Lurline and her love for the mortal Count Rupert.  She has to go to some drastic ends to secure his love, and along with a magic ring that allows him to breathe underwater, there’s a happy ending for the both of them under the waters of the Rhine.  The recording to which we’ll be listening is a performance edition by its conductor, Richard Bonynge who is leading the Victorian Opera Orchestra and Chorus.  The cast includes Sally Silver as Lurline and Keith Lewis as her Rupert.  Lurline’s father, King Rhineberg, is sung by David Soar, and her rival for Rupert’s affections, Ghiva, is Fiona Janes.  Other performers include Paul Ferris, Donald Maxwell, Roderick Earle, and Bernadette Cullen. 

We’ll complete the afternoon with more music from the UK including overtures from two of Wallace’s other operas, an imaginary ballet by Percy Grainger entitled “The Warriors,” and Parry’s wonderful Second Symphony.   It’s an afternoon of gorgeous music and happy endings.

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.