Iowa Public Radio’s Opera in October continues for its third year showcasing Opera performances in Iowa. The series kicks off with presentations of the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 42nd Festival Season on Saturday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m.
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."
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
Tune in Saturday at noon for Verdi's Luisa Miller in a 1974 performance by the San Francisco Opera. Katia Ricciarelli sings the title role and Luciano Pavarotti is the nobleman she loves but, as a poor village girl, cannot marry. This archived broadcast captures Pavarotti's first performance of this role.