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The Lyric Stage: April 14 - Schubert and Rossini

Schubert wanted success with opera. But the success eluded him, and often the operas did not make it on stage until far past his lifetime. This week's one act "The Four Year Post", waited until 1896, 68 years after his death, for its first staging.

The plot concerns Duval, who has deserted the army to remain with his wife Käthchen; when troops arrive to arrest him, he persuades the General – with the help of the villagers – that he has spent four years at his sentry post waiting for relief that never came, and he is released.

Helen Donath and Dietrich Fischer-Discau head the cast for "The Four Year Post." Marcello Viotti conducts the Munich Radio Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Chorus.

Schubert's contemporary Giachinno Rossini's opera career was the complete opposite of Schubert's, as success followed success.

Most of Rossini's major operas appeared between 1815-1822 after he fell in love with the Spanish soprano Isabella Colbran, a leading singer of the day. All had with roles for Colbran, and following the Schubert one act,  Joyce Di Donato will give us arias Rossini wrote for Colbran during that period.

Mike Harrah is host of The Lyric Stage, which airs Sundays at 8 pm.