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KWUR Saturday opera broadcasts, May-July 2012

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

KWUR has received a bunch of new historic Metropolitan Opera recordings as part of their next wave of CD issues of archived Met performances some months back.  In keeping with the first experiment of summer opera broadcasts last summer, I'm going to try it again this summer, if all goes well.  It'll be a mix of mostly the Met recordings with other issues.  There's a heavy emphasis in the Met issues on Verdi, for some reason, since his bicentenary isn't until next year.  That aside, here's the tentative schedule, starting Saturday mornings at 11 AM:

(1) Sat. May 26, double bill:

(a) Stephen Sondheim: Sweeney Todd, Act 2.  Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Lovett), Victor Garber (Anthony Hope), Ken Jennings (Tobias Ragg), Merle Louise (Beggar Woman), Edmund Lyndeck (Judge Turpin), Sarah Rice (Johanna), Joaquin Romaguera (Pirelli), Jack Eric Williams (Beadle Bamford). Orchestra and Chorus; Paul Gemigiani, conductor (RCA CBL2-3379)

(b) Leoncavallo: Pagliacci.  Anselmo Colzani (Tonio), Franco Corelli (Canio), Franco Ghitti (Beppe), Lucine Amara (Nedda), Calvin Marsh (Silvio).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Nello Santi, conductor (Sony Classical 8691-90999-2)

(2) Sat. June 2: Verdi: Ernani.  Carlo Bergonzi (Ernani), Leontyne Price (Elvira), Cornell MacNeil (Don Carlo), Carlotta Ordassy (Giovanna), Giorgio Tozzi (Don Ruy Gomez de Silva), Roald Reitan (Jago), Robert Nagy (Don Riccardo).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Thomas Schippers, conductor (Sony Classical 8691-90996-2)

(3) Sat. June 9: Verdi: Luisa Miller.  Sherill Milnes (Miller), Montserrat Caballe (Luisa), Nancy Williams (Laura), Richard Tucker (Rodolfo), Ezio Flagello (Wurm), Giorgio Tozzi (Count Walter), Louise Pearl (Federica), Lou Marcella (Peasant).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Thomas Schippers, conductor (Sony Classical 8691-90994-2)

(4) Sat. June 16:  Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana.  Richard Tucker (Turiddu), Eileen Farrell (Santuzza), Lili Chookasian (Mamma Lucia), Cesare Bardelli (Alfio), Mildred Miller (Lola).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Nello Santi, conductor (Sony Classical 8691-90999-2)

(5) Sat. June 23:  Rossini: Il Signor Bruschino.  Alessandro Codeluppi (Florville), Maurizio Leoni (Gaudenzio), Elena Rossi (Sofia), Dario Giorgele (Signor Bruschino), Antonio Marani (Filiberto), Clara Giangaspero (Marianna), Massimilano Barbolini (Bruschino Figlio), Vito Martino (Commissario).  I Virtuosi Italiani; Claudio Desderi, conductor (Naxos 8.660128)

(6) Sat. June 30: Verdi:  Un ballo in maschera.  Giorgio Tozzi (Samuel), Norman Scott (Tom), Roberta Peters (Oscar), Jan Peerce (Riccardo), Robert Merrill (Renato), James McCracken (Judge), Marian Anderson (Ulrica), Zinka Milanov (Amelia), Calvin Marsh (Silvano), Charles Anthony (Servant).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Dmitri Mitropoulos, conductor (Sony Classical 8697-91002-2)

(7) Sat. July 7: Verdi: Il trovatore.  William WIlderman (Ferrando), Teresa Stratas (Ines), Leontyne Price (Leonora), Mario Sereni (Count di Luna), Franco Corelli (Manrico), Irene Dalis (Azucena), Carlo Tomanelli (Gypsy), Robert Nagy (Messenger), Charles Anthony (Ruiz).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Fausto Cleva, conductor (Sony Classical 8697-91006-2)

(8) Sat. July 14: Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore.  Carlo Bergonzi (Nemorino), Roberta Peters (Adina), Fernando Corena (Dulcamara), Frank Guerrera (Belcore), Loretta di Franco (Gianetta).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Thomas Schippers, conductor (Sony Classical 8691-90991-2)

(9) Sat. July 21: Verdi: Don Carlo.  Justino Diaz (A Friar), Franco Corelli (Don Carlo), Nicolae Herlea (Rodrigo), Marcia Baldwin (Tebaldo), Irene Dalis (Princess Eboli), Leonie Rysanek (Elisabeth of Valois), Giorgio Tozzi (Philip II), Robert Nagy (Herald), Junetta Jones (Celestial Voice), Gabor Carelli (Count of Lerma), Hermann Uhde (Grand Inquisitor).  Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Kurt Adler, conductor (Sony Classical 8691-91004-2)

More may follow in August.  Thanks for reading.

Interview with organist Gail Archer, Sat. 10/22/11

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Gail Archer, a concert organist based in New York City, is traveling to the St. Louis area to give an organ recital at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ladue this Sunday, 10/22/11, at 5 PM.  I will be interviewing Ms. Archer live on my Saturday classical show starting around 1 PM.  She has a new album out called Franz Liszt: A Hungarian Rhapsody on the Meyer Media label.  Admission to the concert at St. Peter's is free, and it should end in time for everyone to get home for baseball.  As always, feel free to drop me a line ( with any questions.

Classical new releases @ KWUR, May-August 2011

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Very late update on classical new releases at KWUR, 90.3 FM for a 4-month spell, but better late than never, or some such cliche.  So here goes:

1. C.P.E. Bach: Sei concerti per il cembalo concertanto (Six Concerti for Harpsichord): Andreas Staier, harpsichord; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; Petra Müllejans, leader (harmonia mundi HMC 902083.84)

2. Songs and Duets from Slovenija! (Slovenian Lieder and Duets): Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano; Marcos Fink, baritone; Anthony Spiri, piano (harmonia mundi HMC 902065)

3. Rose of Sharon – 100 Years of American Music, 1770-1870: Joel Frederiksen, Ensemble Phoenix Munich (harmonia mundi HMC 902085)

4. Stories – Berio and Friends (music of Luciano Berio, Cathy Berberian, John Cage, Roger Marsh, Jackson MacLow, and Sheldon Frank): Theatre of Voices; Paul Hillier, director (harmonia mundi HMU 807527)

5. The Songs of Johannes Brahms – 2: Christine Schäfer, soprano; Graham Johnson, piano (Hyperion CDJ33122)

6. Philipp Schoendorff – The Complete Works: Cinquecento (Hyperion CDA 67854)

7. Herbert Howells: The WInchester Service and other late works: Winchester Cathedral Choir; Andrew Lumsden, conductor; Simon Bell, organ (Hyperion CDA 67853)

8. Beyond All Mortal Dreams – American A Capella (music of René Clausen, Steven Stucky, Ola Gjeilo, Frank Ferko, Edwin Fissinger, Healey Willan, Stephen Paulus, and William Hawley): The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge; Stephen Layton, conductor (Hyperion CDA67832)

9. Constantinople & Françoise Atlan: Premiers songes (Early Dreams) (Analekta AN 2 9989)

10. Ernest Chausson – Concert, op. 21 and André Mathieu – Piano Trio & Piano Quintet: Alain Lefèvre, piano; David Lefèvre, violin; Quatuor Alcan (Alcan Quartet) (Analekta AN 2 9286)

11.  Jean-Philippe Rameau: "L'orchestre de Louis XV" (Suites for orchestra) – Les indes galantes, Naïs, Zoroastre, Les Boréades (Alia Vox AVSA9882A+B)

Any questions, feel free to drop a note at  Will try to blog more promptly in the future, and thanks for reading.


KWUR Saturday opera broadcasts, May-July 2011

Monday, May 16th, 2011

When I was growing up and listening to WFLN, 95.7 FM in the Philadelphia area, after the end of the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday season broadcasts, WFLN would air recordings of operas on Saturday afternoons to keep opera on the radio throughout the year.  Here in the St. Louis area, KFUO, 99.1 FM did the same.  Sadly, both stations are gone. 

So, in a modest attempt to keep Saturday opera broadcasts alive on terrestrial radio from the St. Louis area, KWUR will be airing 8 weeks of opera recordings, starting this coming Saturday, May 21 and continuing through Saturday, July 9, starting at 11 AM.  As luck would have it, these recordings are all recent releases from Sony Classical and are remastered archive recordings of past Metropolitan Opera performances and broadcasts.  All of the recordings feature the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, of course, and 7 of the 8 also feature the Metropolitan Opera Chorus (the exception is the opera on July 2, for those who don't already know).  The schedule is as follows, with the principal artists and the conductor:

Saturday, May 21: Rossini, Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).  Lily Pons (Rosina); Giuseppe di Stefano (Count Almaviva); Giuseppe Valdengo (Figaro); Salvatore Baccaloni (Dr. Bartolo); Jerome Hines (Don Basilio); Alberto Erede, conductor (live performance from December 16, 1950; Sony Classical 88697 80462 2)

Saturday, May 28: Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).  Roberta Peters (Susanna); Lucine Amara (Countess Almaviva); Mildred Miller (Cherubino); Regina Resnik (Marcellina); Cesare SIepi (Figaro); Kim Borg (Count Almaviva); Ezio Flagello (Don Bartolo); Gabor Carelli (Don Basilio); Erich Leinsdorf, conductor (live performance from January 28, 1961; Sony Classical 88697 85310 2)

Saturday, June 4: Beethoven, Fidelio. Birgit Nilsson (Leonore/Fidelio); Laurel Hurley (Marzelline); Jon Vickers (Florestan); Oskar Czerwenka (Rocco); Hermann Uhde (Don Pizarro); Giorgio Tozzi (Don Fernando); Karl Böhm, conductor (live performance from February 13, 1960; Sony Classical 88697 85309 2)

Saturday, June 11: Gounod, Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet).  Bidú Sayão (Juliette); Mimi Benzell (Stéphano); Jussi Björling (Roméo); John Brownlee (Mercutio); Nicola Moscona (Friar Laurence/Frère Laurent); Emil Cooper, conductor (live performance from February 1, 1947; Sony Classical 88697 80465 2)

Saturday, June 18: Puccini, La bohème.  Licia Albanese (Mimi); Laurel Hurley (Musetta); Carlo Bergonzi (Rodolfo); Mario Sereni (Marcello); Norman Scott (Colline); Clifford Harvuot (Schaunard); Thomas Schippers, conductor (live performance from February 15, 1958; Sony Classical 88697 80463 2)

Saturday, June 25: Puccini, Tosca.  Leontyne Price (Tosca); Franco Corelli (Cavaradossi); Cornell MacNeil (Scarpia); Norman Scott (Angelotti); Ezio Flagello (Sacristan); Kurt Adler, conductor (live performance from April 6, 1962; Sony Classical 88697 80468 2)

Saturday, July 2: Wagner, Die Walküre (The Valkyrie). Birgit Nilsson (Brünnhilde); Leonie Rysanek (Sieglinde); Christa Ludwig (Fricka); Phyllis Brill (Gerhilde); Gwendolyn Killebrew (Waltraute); Louise Pearl (Schwertleite); Carlotta Ordassy (Ortlinde); Clarice Carlson (Helmwige); Barbro Ericson (Siegrune); Rosalid Hupp (Rossweisse); Joann Grillo (Grimgerde); Jon Vickers (Siegmund); Karl Ridderbusch (Hunding); Thomas Stewart (Wotan); Berislav Klobucar, conductor (live performance from February 24, 1968; Sony Classical 88697 85308 2)

Saturday, July 9: Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).  PIlar Lorengar (Eva); Shirley Love (Magdalene); James King (Walther von Stolzing); Theo Adam (Hans Sachs); Benno Kusche (Beckmesser); Loren Driscoll (David); Ezio Flagello (Pogner); Thomas Schippers, conductor (live performance from January 15, 1972; Sony Classical 88697 85304 2)

Any questions or comments, feel free to post on the blog or drop me an e-mail (  Thanks for reading.



Interview with Lukas Ligeti, Sat. 4/16/11

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

This Saturday, 4/16/11, at around 11:30 AM, I'll be conducting a live interview with Lukas Ligeti, avant-garde composer and percussionist and, yes, the son of Gyorgy Ligeti.  This is in anticipation of Ligeti traveling to St. Louis for a solo performance on Friday, 4/29/11, under the auspices of the HEARding Cats artists' collective.  The details are at this link :

Time: Friday, 4/29/11, 7 PM
Place: St. Louis Community College, Forest Park campus, Mildred Bastian theater

There'll be discussion of his recent album Pattern Time, as well as his music and artistic influences.  If you want to sample some of his work, have a look & listen:

Live at the Contemporary Arts Center

Live duet with Colleen at Merkin Hall, New York City

Live at Timucua

Hope you have a chance to listen, and thanks for reading.