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Classical WETA Opera House

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Classical WETA is Washington's home for opera year round.

Classical WETA is Washington's home for opera year round. From December through May, experience the power and passion of the Metropolitan Opera. The rest of the year features performances from leading opera houses around the world, including Washington National Opera.

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Upcoming broadcasts

Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 1:00pm

Composer:

Giuseppe Verdi

Conductor:

Marco Armiliato

Verdi’s turbulent tragedy of four characters caught in a web of family ties, politics, and love is a mainstay of the operatic repertory. The score is as melodic as it is energetic, with infectious tunes that are not easily forgotten. The vigorous music accompanies a dark and disturbing tale that revels in many of the most extreme expressions of Romanticism, including violent shifts in tone, unlikely coincidences, and characters who are impelled by raw emotion rather than cool logic.
 

Maria Stuarda

Maria Stuarda

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, February 20, 2016 - 1:00pm

Composer:

GAETANO DONIZETTI

Conductor:

Riccardo Frizza

Maria Stuarda is a searingly dramatic setting of Friedrich Schiller’s play about Mary, Queen of Scots, and her political and personal rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I of England. While based relatively closely on historical characters and events, the opera’s central scene is fictional: the highly emotional meeting of the queens that concludes the first act (originally invented by Schiller) never took place. It’s a dramatic device that brilliantly highlights the two women’s contrasting characters.

Lulu

Lulu

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 1:00pm

Composer:

Alban Berg

Conductor:

Lothar Koenigs

One of the most important—not to mention notorious—stage works of the 20th century, Lulu is the drama of a young woman who sexually and emotionally dominates a wide range of willing victims, both male and female. Herself a victim of society, she seems to embody all the frightening aspects of the human condition, a combination of primal instinct and distinctly modern amorality. Berg’s score employs the twelve-tone technique pioneered by his teacher Arnold Schoenberg but in a keenly dramatic way that makes it accessible to all kinds of audiences. Berg died before completing Act III of the opera, and Lulu was first performed as a fragment. Efforts to finish the score based on Berg’s notes were hindered by his widow and only realized, after her death, by the Austrian composer Friedrich Cerha, in 1977. 

Previous broadcasts

Pagliacci

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, February 6, 2016 - 1:00pm

Composer:

PIETRO MASCAGNI / RUGGERO LEONCAVALLO

Conductor:

Fabio Luisi

Opera’s indomitable double bill returns in Sir David McVicar’s searing production from the 2014–15 season. Tenor Yonghoon Lee and mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana star in Cavalleria Rusticana, the tragedy of ancient codes and illicit love, Sicilian style. In the second half of the pair of verismo potboilers, tenor Roberto Alagna is the murderous clown Canio and soprano Barbara Frittoli is his philandering wife. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium.

Turandot

Turandot

The Metropolitan Opera

Saturday, January 30, 2016 - 1:00pm

Composer:

GIACOMO PUCCINI

Conductor:

Paolo Carignani

Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.
 

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