Opera 2011-2012  

Verdi’s Rigoletto

June 18, 7pm
Expected Running time: 2 hrs

Michael Mayer’s acclaimed production, the talk of the opera world when it premiered in 2013, sets the action of Verdi’s masterpiece in 1960 Las Vegas—a neon-lit world ruled by money and ruthless, powerful men. In this bold new vision (featured on 60 Minutes), Piotr Beczala is the Duke, a popular entertainer and casino owner. Željko Lučić sings Rigoletto, a comedian and the Duke’s sidekick, and Diana Damrau is Rigoletto’s innocent daughter, Gilda. When she is seduced by the Duke, Rigoletto sets out on a tragic course of murderous revenge.

Original transmission: Saturday, February 16, 2013

Opera 2011-2012  

Puccini La Rondine

June 25, 7pm
Expected Running time: 2 hrs

Puccini’s achingly beautiful score charmingly conveys the plight of Magda (the “swallow” of the title), who unexpectedly finds true love with the handsome young Ruggero. But their idyllic life comes to a premature end as she is haunted by the fear that her checkered past will ruin his future. Opera stars Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna portray Puccini’s star-crossed lovers. Nicholas Joël’s production features elegant and sophisticated art-deco sets that contribute to the dazzling stage picture.

Original transmission: Saturday, January 10, 2009

Opera 2011-2012  

Verdi’s Otello

July 9, 7pm
Expected Running time: 3 hrs 5 minutes

In Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s towering tragedy, Renée Fleming gives a captivating performance as the innocent Desdemona, a role long considered one of her calling cards. As the title hero, Johan Botha, delivers an imposing portrayal of a proud warrior brought down by jealousy, and Falk Struckmann is thrilling as the villainous Iago.

Original transmission: Saturday, October 27, 2012

Opera 2011-2012  

The Enchanted Island

July 16, 7pm
Expected Running time: 3 hrs 15 minutes

A contemporary take on the 18th-century genre of the pastiche, this delightful Baroque fantasy brings together some of the greatest arias and ensembles by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Purcell, and other composers, with a new English libretto by Jeremy Sams, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The all-star cast is headed by David Daniels as Prospero, Joyce DiDonato as Sycorax, Danielle de Niese as Ariel, Luca Pisaroni as Caliban, and the legendary Plácido Domingo as Neptune. William Christie conducts this dazzling world-premiere production.

Original transmission: Saturday, January 21, 2012