Metropolitan Opera

9:18 am
Sat April 26, 2014

From Bach to "Teeth," Amazing Iowa Weekend

Roomful of Teeth's Caroline Shaw and Virginia Warnken. Shaw's "Partita," written for the group, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in music.
Credit David Andrako

Even I am a little stunned by how exciting, original - and abundant - the classical concerts are in Iowa this weekend. Here's a list (and please let me know if I've missed something! I'll add it - bsherman at

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10:06 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Met's "Woman Without a Shadow" @Noon

Christina Goerke in her breakthrough role as the woman without a shadow at the Met.
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Richard Strauss scored "Die Frau ohne Schatten" for, count 'em, 164 instruments; the percussion alone include "glass harmonica, 4 timpani, 5 Chinese gongs, cymbals, snare drum, rute, sleigh bells, bass drum, tenor drum, big field drum, triangle, tambourine, 2 castanets, tamtam, whip (slapstick), xylophone, glockenspiel, bells, 2 celestas." Budgets alone would make performance rare, as do scenery challenges (like a golden waterfall and, we're not making this up, children singing out of a frying pan).

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6:40 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Renee's Rusalka (& O Say Was That 4/4?)

Renee Fleming as Rusalka in Dvorak's opera at the Metropolitan Opera
Credit Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera

How do you top a Super Bowl triumph? Renee Fleming does it by returning to a signature role - the love-struck sprite Rusalka in Dvorak's beautiful opera. Saturday at noon you can hear it live from the Metropolitan Opera on IPR  - OR watch it live in HD video in theaters in Ames, Cedar Falls, Davenport, Dubuque, Des Moines, Grinnell, and Iowa City.

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11:46 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Minghella's "Butterfly" @noon live from Met

Amanda Echalaz and Bryan Hymel in the Met's "Madame Butterfly"
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Anthony Minghella, after directing "The English Patient" and "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," turned his talents to Puccini's "Madame Butterfly"  - that "cross-cultural tragedy" of "devotion and irresponsibility and misunderstandings willful and innocent." Few operas are as difficult to bring off and Minghella's spare production made it "take wing." Hear it from the Met today at noon.

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9:23 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Netrebko's "Elisir" Live from the Met @Noon

Erwin Schrott as Dulcamara and Anna Netrebko as Adina in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” at the Met
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Flu kept Russian mega-diva Anna Netrebko from opening the Met's "Elixir of Love" earlier this month - but she's back, and, says the New York Times, she's "right in the zone, singing with plushness, brilliance and spontaneity. She truly inhabited the role of Adina." And Netrebko's ex, bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, "stole every scene he was in" as the quack doctor who tries to peddle snake oil in her little town.

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7:13 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

New Met "Fledermaus" (Klimt meets Shtick!)

Susanna Phillips and Christopher Maltman in the new Met production of Johann Strauss, Jr.'s 'Die Fledermaus.'
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Join us Saturday at noon to hear the Met production everyone's talking about: a Klimt-inspired update of Johann Strauss Jr.'s screwball farce "Die Fledermaus." A new English translation features jokey rhymes and topical swipes, and Broadway's Danny Burstein brings on the shtick as Frosch, the tipsy jailer. This being the Met, you can count on glorious voices and, from the orchestra, a "honeyed tone" (New York Times).

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11:22 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Taymor/ Glover "Magic Flute" from Met

Conductor Jane Glover
Credit Music of the Baroque

Tune in Saturday at noon as Julie Taymor's innovative production of "The Magic Flute" returns to the Met - conducted by master Mozartian Jane Glover in her Met debut. (She is only the third woman to conduct there.)

9:26 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Met "Tosca" Hits Stride with Radvanovsky

Sondra Radvanovsky as Floria Tosca in the Met's production
Credit Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Join us at noon for a live broadcast of "Tosca" from the Met. The production was booed when it premiered in 2011, but reworking has turned it into a success - largely because of Sondra Radvanovsky, whose "luminous performance breathed life" into the production, according to the New York Times. It called her Floria Tosca a "multidimensional, fiercely individual portrayal, grounded in her voice [which is] elegant and blooming." It also praised conductor Marco Armiliato for "shaping a dramatically animated and expressive performance."

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8:30 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Verdi's Falstaff with Met/Levine, Carsen

"Everyone plays the fool, and he who laughs last laughs best" - the final chorus of Verdi's Falstaff from the Met's new production
Credit Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera

Tune in at noon to hear how Verdi improves on Shakespeare in the comic masterpiece Falstaff,  premiered when the composer was 80.  James Levine conducts Falstaff better than anyone else, and Robert Carsen's new Met production (updating the action to postwar England) is winning raves, as is Ambrogio Maestri - the 6' 5" Italian baritone who, says, the New York Times, "simply owns the role of Falstaff."

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8:57 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Met Returns with "Rigoletto," Saturday

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Matthew Polenzani in the Met's new production of "Rigoletto"
Credit Ken Howard/Met

Saturday at noon hear the Metropolitan Opera return to IPR with Verdi's Rigoletto.  Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, says the New York Times, brings "tragic stature" to the "oppressed" title character; he "claims this role on his own terms, infusing phrases with dusky richness and shaping melodic lines with  elegance." As his daughter, Irina Lungu conveys "restlessness and sensual yearning" with a voice of "bloom and warmth." Matthew Polenzani is the Duke, and the 35-year-old Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes what the Times calls "an auspicious Met d

11:31 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Met's "Carmelites," Today at Noon

Erin Morley as Constance and Isabel Leonard as Blanche in Poulenc's "Dialogue of the Carmelites"
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera (c)

Francis Poulenc's "Dialogue of the Carmelites," one of the Met's most acclaimed productions, airs live today starting at 12 noon. Poulenc tells the story of Carmelite nuns martyred  in the French Revolution with what the New York Times calls "eloquent music that hardly calls attention to itself yet lingers with you." Patricia Racette, Erin Morley, Isabel Leonard, and Felicity Palmer head the cast; Louis Langree conducts.

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10:30 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Met's "Ring" Cycle Part 3, Saturday at 10 AM

Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde and Martina Serafin as Sieglinde
Credit Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Siegfried, the third part of Wagner's epic "Ring" cycle, airs live from the Metropolitan Opera starting at 10 AM Saturday on IPR Classical.  Jay Hunter Morris reprises his acclaimed portrayal of the title hero, and Deborah Voigt returns as Brunnhilde.

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3:08 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Met's "Ring" Cycle Continues Saturday at 10 AM

The Act 3 finale of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” with Wotan and the sleeping Brünnhilde. Taken at the rehearsal on April 14, 2011 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Credit Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera (c) 2011

Hear Part II of Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle, Die Walkure, live from the Metropolitan Opera this Saturday beginning at 10 AM. In this second opera, the focus of the story shifts from the realm of the gods to the human world. Deborah Voigt returns with her acclaimed Brunnhilde, and on the podium is the Met's Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi.

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