World of Opera on Classic 102.1

Saturday 1-4:30pm
  • Hosted by with Lisa Simone

World of Opera with host Lisa Simeone brings listeners compelling performances from top American and international opera companies. World of Opera encompasses the seminal operas of centuries past as well as today's masterpieces.

'La Boheme': 19th-Century 'Reality Opera'

Nov 8, 2011

Giacomo Puccini once said that the secret to his success was putting "great sorrow in little souls" — and he did it with a formula that has fueled a spate of modern network television hits.

When we think of opera's biggest stars and greatest hits, we tend to think of solo arias. But that overlooks another operatic goldmine: duets.

Over the years, there have been plenty of classic duet collaborations, resulting in legendary recordings and performances. Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti come to mind, singing the "Cherry Duet" from Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz. Going back a little further, there's Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill with "Au fond du temple saint," the famous duet from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers.

The Bloodiest Opera Ever? Maybe Strauss' 'Elektra'

Oct 28, 2011

It's a story that would seem excessive for even the most lurid of "real life" dramas, or blood-soaked slasher movies. But it's always been right at home in the opera house — Richard Strauss' intense, one-act opera, Elektra.

An All-Consuming Parental Love: Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

Oct 21, 2011

It's easy to wonder whether actual events in the lives of great composers are directly reflected in their music. Sometimes people even argue about it. But in the case of personal tragedies early in Giuseppe Verdi's life, the case seems like a slam dunk.

When William Bolcom's opera A View from the Bridge premiered in Chicago in 1999, one critic described it as "Brooklyn verismo," invoking the emotive style popularized by Italian composers such as Puccini. And that pretty much hits the nail on the head.