Opera Matinee

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

  • The Damnation of Faust

    The Damnation of Faust

    July 2, 2022 1:00 pm

    Hector Berlioz

    Inspired by a translation of Goethe’s dramatic poem “Faust”, about a tortured man who makes a fateful bargain with Mephistopheles. Berlioz scored the work for large chorus and orchestra with four main singers. This production of the Salzburg Festival features Charles Castronovo in the title role and Ildar Abdrazakov as the wily Mephistopheles.
  • Theodora


    July 9, 2022 1:00 pm

    George Frideric Handel

    This dramatic oratorio, composed late in Handel's career, is a tour de force, based on the Christian martyr Theodora and her Christian-converted Roman lover, Didymus.  The production of the Royal Opera House in London, sung in English, features Julia Bullock and Joyce DiDonato.
  • Bajazet


    July 16, 2022 1:00 pm

    Antonio Vivaldi

    Vivaldi’s dynamic opera from his later period is a thrilling and moving power struggle between rulers and strong women during the Ottoman Empire. A performance by the Royal Opera House, London, featuring Gianluca Margheri and Francesco Giusti.
  • Macbeth


    July 23, 2022 1:00 pm

    Giuseppe Verdi

    Verdi's first adaptation of a Shakespeare play, Macbeth is a dark psychological drama in which witches’ prophecy and greed for power lead Macbeth to madness and murder.  A presentation of the Royal Opera House with acclaimed baritone Simon Keenlyside in the title role.
  • Samson and Dalila

    Samson and Dalila

    July 30, 2022 1:00 pm

    Camille Saint-Saëns

    French grand opera, and Camille Saint-Saëns' Samson and Dalila is based on the Biblical story of the life of Samson, the legendary strongman, and Dalila, who seduced and betrayed him.  A production of Royal Opera House, London, starring Nicky Spence and Elīna Garanča, led by Sir Antonio Pappano.
  • Les Plaisirs de Versailles

    Les Plaisirs de Versaille and more

    August 6, 2022 1:00 pm

    Charpentier and Lalande

    A quartet of French Baroque operas showcases two operas by Charpentier – Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants – along with Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles and Le Concert d’Esculape, each performed by the Boston Early Music Festival.
  • Almira


    August 13, 2022 1:00 pm

    George Frideric Handel

    The dramatic Almira, Handel's first opera, in a performance with period instruments by the Boston Early Music Festival, led by music directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Emőke Baráth performs in the title role. Sung in German.
  • Boris Godunov

    Boris Godunov

    August 20, 2022 1:00 pm

    Modest Mussorgsky

    Modest Mussorgsky's masterpiece and a centerpiece of Russian opera, Boris Godunov is an epic presentation of Pushkin's tragic portrayal of a tsar struggling between blind ambition and catastrophic paranoia. This performance from the Vienna State Opera features Alexander Tsymbalyuk in the title role.
  • Manon Lescaut

    Manon Lescaut

    August 27, 2022 1:00 pm

    Giacomo Puccini

    Ill-fated love and loss between a tragic beauty seeking the finer things in life and her besotted knight. Asmik Gregorian sings the title role in this production of Vienna State Opera, led by Francesco Ivan Ciampa.