The WFMT Radio Network is pleased to announce the first batch of operas for the 2020 WFMT Radio Network Opera Series, beginning on May 16 and running through November 28, 2020. This first set of operas includes productions from Munich, Vienna, and Chicago, with an exceptional cast and stunning performances.
Bavarian State Opera (Bayerishe Staatsoper) kick off the radio opera season with an exquisite performance of Gluck’s 1767 opera Alceste, starring Dorothea Roschmann in the title role, with support from tenor Charles Castronovo as Admeto.
Next up, we travel to Austria for two performances from Vienna State Opera: Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, and Strauss’ intense one-act masterwork Elektra. One of the most exciting and sought-after operatic tenor voices today, Dmitry Korchak, stars as Hoffmann, with a support cast that includes soprano Olga Peretyatko and mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez. In Elektra, the inimitable Christine Goerke sings the title role, with soprano Waltraud Meier as Klytaemnestra, Simone Schneider as Chrysothemis, tenor Norbert Ernst as Aegisth, and the role of Orest sung by Michael Volle. You won’t want to miss this gripping performance!
After visiting these three European opera companies, we return to the American Midwest for eight encore presentations from Lyric Opera of Chicago, beginning with Mozart’s audience favorite Cosi fan tutte, with Ana María Martínez as Fiordiligi alongside Marianne Crebassa, Andrew Stenson, Elena Tsallagova, and more. Then we hear one of the most celebrated operas of all time, Puccini’s Turandot, with Patrick Guetti, Andrea Silvestrelli, and an incredible cast of performers. The hits keep coming with another of Opera’s most famous composers, Giuseppe Verdi, with a knockout production of Rigoletto that is sure to delight. Then, we hear two epic works from France and Germany, with Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, and Wagner’s Die Walkure. Following these masterworks, we go down to the underworld with Gounod’s Faust, starring Ailyn Pérez as Marguerite and Benjamin Bernheim in the title role. Then, we tag along with Orpheus as he descends to recover his love in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, influential not only due to its masterful composition, but also because it marks the first of Gluck’s ‘reform’ operas, which consolidated and simplified the genre in the mid 1700’s. Finally, Lyric Opera of Chicago rounds out its 2020 broadcasts with Bellini’s bel canto masterwork I puritani, starring Albina Shagimuratova as Elvira, and exceptional tenor Lawrence Brownlee alongside a phenomenal cast.
The opera series will continue until November 2020, spanning the off-season of the MET broadcasts. More information will be released in the coming weeks as we try to remain flexible for opera companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please let us know if you have any questions and stay tuned for more information soon!