Skip to main content

Historic Radio Broadcasts

We are proud to partner with Houston Public Media to bring some of our favorite operas to the radio! With the support of HPM's Classical station, you will have two opportunities each week to listen to broadcasts: Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m.

Our schedule includes:

      • October 2 and 3: Cavalleria rusticana\Pagliacci, 2008 (Mascagni\Leoncavallo)
      • October 9 and 10: Simon Boccanegra, 2006 (Verdi)
      • October 16 and 17: Tosca, 2010 (Puccini)
      • October 23 and 24: Tristan and Isolde, 2013 (Wagner)
      • October 30 and 31: Marriage of Figaro, 2005 (Mozart)

There are several ways to tune in:

The arts bring us together and give us hope and inspiration, especially in challenging times. We cannot thank our friends at Houston Public Media enough for helping us fill your homes with great opera.

Tosca, 2010 (Puccini)

This broadcast will be available until 11/30/20.

 

Angelotti   Robert Gleadow
Sacristan   Steven Condy
Mario Cavaradossi   Alexey Dolgov
Floria Tosca   Patricia Racette
Baron Scarpia   Raymond Aceto
Spoletta   Shon Sims
Sciarrone   Michael Sumuel
Young Girl   Eliza Masewicz
Jailer   Adam Cioffari

Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Patrick Summers, conductor

Synopsis:

June 1800. Italy has long been under the domination of the Hapsburg dynasty. Napoleon Bonaparte, however, has emerged as a threat to the status quo and Rome is in chaos, without a clear ruler. Baron Scarpia, the chief of police, has become the highest authority. Loyal to the King and Queen of Naples, Scarpia seeks to eliminate any remaining trace of Napoleon’s attempts to establish a secular Roman Republic.

Act I 

The Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle Cesare

Angelotti, a Republican, has just escaped from the Castel Sant’Angelo where he had been imprisoned by Scarpia. Angelotti’s sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, has hidden a disguise for him in the church, where the painter Mario Cavaradossi is working on a painting of Mary Magdalene with the begrudging help of the Sacristan. Cavaradossi takes as his inspiration both the Marchesa, whom he has recently seen at prayer, and his beloved Floria Tosca, a prominent opera singer. Cavaradossi recognizes Angelotti and promises to help him escape, but is surprised by a visit from Tosca. Angelotti hides while Cavaradossi attempts a quick conversation with Tosca. She is instantly suspicious of Cavaradossi’s cautious behavior and jealous of the woman she sees represented in his painting. Cavaradossi assuages her fears and they make plans to spend the evening together. No sooner has Tosca gone than a cannon shot signals that Angelotti’s escape has been discovered. Cavaradossi and Angelotti depart immediately for Cavaradossi’s villa. The Sacristan returns with news of Napoleon’s defeat by the Austrians. Arrangements have been made for an immediate Festival Te Deum and a concert at the Palazzo Farnese featuring Floria Tosca. Baron Scarpia, who has come in search of Angelotti, interrupts the preparations. Scarpia and his spies find an empty basket of food and a woman’s fan bearing the Attavanti family crest. When Tosca returns to see Cavaradossi, her jealousy is again  aroused by his absence. Scarpia preys on her suspicions by showing her the Marchesa’s fan. When she leaves, Scarpia orders his agent Spoletta to follow her. As the congregation assembles for the Te Deum, Scarpia plans to eliminate Cavaradossi and possess Tosca for himself.

Act II

Baron Scarpia’s apartment at the Palazzo Farnese

Scarpia relishes his plan to execute the traitors and seduce Tosca. When Cavaradossi is brought for questioning, the painter denies any knowledge of Angelotti’s location.At Scarpia’s request, Tosca arrives from the victory celebrations. Cavaradossi is then taken into an adjoining room and tortured. His agonized cries force Tosca to divulge Angelotti’s hiding place—the well in the garden of Cavaradossi’s villa. The tortures cease; Tosca and Cavaradossi are briefly reunited before Scarpia orders Spoletta to Angelotti’s hiding place. As Cavaradossi denounces Tosca for her betrayal, news arrives that Napoleon has actually defeated the Austrians at Marengo. Cavaradossi predicts greater and greater victory for the Republicans, and Scarpia orders him taken away for execution. When Tosca pleads for mercy, Scarpia makes his price clear: she can buy Cavaradossi’s life by giving herself to Scarpia. She agrees. Since Scarpia has ordered Cavaradossi’s death, a mock execution must be arranged, and he seems to give this order to Spoletta. Tosca makes one further request: a warrant of safe passage so that she and Cavaradossi can leave the country. This done, Scarpia advances to embrace her, and she stabs him to death.

Act III

The Roof of the Castel Sant’Angelo

The distant song of a passing young shepherd and church bells toll the approaching dawn. Cavaradossi is brought into the castle yard to prepare for his death and his thoughts turn to Tosca. He is attempting to write a final letter to her when she appears. She shows him the warrant of safe passage, explains the mock execution and describes how she killed Scarpia. Tosca and Cavaradossi dream of their future happiness together. As the soldiers assemble for the execution, Tosca instructs Cavaradossi to feign his death and remain motionless until she can confirm it is safe to leave. After the soldiers depart, she discovers she has been betrayed: Cavaradossi is dead. Spoletta and his men try to arrest Tosca for the murder of Scarpia, but she is too quick for them. Vowing to confront Scarpia before God, she takes her own life.

Simon Boccanegra, 2006 (Verdi)

This broadcast will be available until 11/23/20.

 

Paolo Albiani   Patrick Carfizzi
Pietro   Ryan McKinny
Simon Boccanegra   Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Jacopo Fiesco   Raymond Aceto
Amelia Grimaldi   Olga Guryakova
Maid   Maria Markina
Captain   Beau Gibson

 

Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Patrick Summers, Conductor

Setting

Genoa, Italy, and its environs during the mid-fourteenth century

Prologue

The people of Genoa are preparing to elect a Doge (chief of state). Paolo and Pietro, powerful members of the plebeian political party, support Simon Boccanegra, a fellow commoner who is a favorite of the people because he has rid their seas of marauding pirates. Boccanegra himself is unwilling to be elected until Paolo points out that as Doge, Boccanegra will be able to marry his beloved Maria, whose wealthy

father Jacopo Fiesco has kept her a virtual prisoner in his home since she bore Boccanegra's child. A crowd of Genoan citizens begins to gather, and all remark upon the fact that Maria has not been seen for months. They express their support for Boccanegra and all depart. A broken Fiesco emerges from his home-Maria has died. Alone, he pours out his grief and denounces Boccanegra as his daughter's educer. Boccanegra returns and asks Fiesco's forgiveness. Without divulging that Maria has died, Fiesco says that he will not forgive Boccanegra unless he turns over the daughter Maria bore. Boccanegra responds that the child, whose care was entrusted to an old nurse, has disappeared and that he has been searching for her in vain ever since. The men exchange bitter words and Fiesco leaves. Only upon entering Fiesco's darkened house does Boccanegra discover that Maria has died. He is simultaneously overcome with despair and astonishment as a crowd of citizens joyfully comes to announce his triumph-Boccanegra has been elected Doge of Genoa.

Act I

Scene I

Twenty-five years have passed. The Doge has exiled many of his political enemies, and to avoid detection, Fiesco is living under the name of Andrea Grimaldi in the home of Count Grimaldi, who has been exiled along with his sons. In the Count's absence, Andrea has assumed the role of guardian for the Grimaldis' daughter, Amelia.  Amelia greets the dawn on the Grimaldis' terrace, where she is visited by Gabriele Adorno, with whom she is in love. Amelia correctly suspects that Adorno is conspiring with Andrea and others to overthrow Boccanegra. She warns him to stop his plotting, because if he is discovered, their plans for a life together will be destroyed. Amelia receives word that the Doge is returning from a hunting trip and wishes to see her. She knows the purpose of his visit-to secure her hand in marriage to his friend Paolo. She urges Gabriele to formalize their marriage plans, and Gabriele asks Andrea's blessing; Andrea gives his approval but reveals that Amelia is not truly the Grimaldis' daughter-she is an orphan that they raised as their own child. The Doge arrives and speaks alone with Amelia. Boccanegra declares that he intends to pardon the exiled Grimaldis and that Amelia is the reason for his mercy. He asks her if she has ever known love; she responds that she loves a good man but that a villain-Paolo-has designs upon her and the Grimaldi money. Warmed by Boccanegra's kind demeanor, she confesses that she is not a Grimaldi. As she tells him the story of her childhood, Boccanegra realizes she may be his own long-lost daughter. Her identity is proven when Boccanegra produces a locket that matches one she has carried since childhood, and father and daughter are joyfully reunited. Boccanegra leaves, telling Paolo curtly that he cannot hope to marry Amelia. Infuriated, Paolo plots with Pietro to kidnap Amelia.

Scene 2

A session of the Senate, which comprises plebeian and patrician members, is interrupted by the noise of an uprising outside. Gabriele and Andrea are dragged in by the crowd and Gabriele confesses to killing a man who attempted to kidnap Amelia. The man told Gabriele the kidnapping had been ordered by a person of high rank. Believing that the would-be kidnapper was referring to Boccanegra, Gabriele attacks the Doge, but Amelia intervenes. As arguments and accusations break out between the plebeians and patricians, Boccanegra pleads for unity. He decides to imprison Gabriele and Andrea until he can get to the bottom of the matter. Perceiving that Paolo was behind the kidnapping plot, the Doge forces him to join the others in cursing the villain responsible.

Act II

In Boccanegra's private quarters, Paolo puts a slovv-acting poison in a carafe of water on the Doge's table and sends for Gabriele and Andrea. Paolo inflames Gabriele by telling him that Amelia is

Boccanegra's mistress, and commands him to kill the Doge. Gabriele accuses Amelia of infidelity and refuses to believe her protests to the contrary. As Boccanegra approaches, Gabriele hides. Amelia confesses to her father that she loves Gabriele, and Boccanegra wrestles with his conflicting desires for his daughter's happiness and his enemy's punishment. When Amelia leaves, Boccanegra drinks some of the poisoned water and quickly falls asleep. Gabriele approaches with a dagger, but Amelia again intervenes. Boccanegra awakens and reveals that Amelia is his daughter; Gabriele begs pardon from both of them, and Boccanegra forgives him. Shouts of renewed fighting are heard from the streets and Boccanegra orders Gabriele to join his friends, but the young man refuses to fight against his ruler, offering instead to fight alongside him. Boccanegra promises him Amelia's hand.

Act III

The uprising fails and Andrea is released. Paolo has been captured and is brought in on his way to execution. He is dragged away, leaving Andrea to face his old enemy. Boccanegra appears and Andrea reveals that he is Fiesco. Boccanegra welcomes the opportunity to make peace, for his death is imminent. He discloses that Amelia is Fiesco's own granddaughter, and years of animosity melt away. Gabriele and Amelia come in and the reunion is made complete. The Doge's dying wish is that the Senators accept Gabriele Adorno as his successor. Fiesco addresses the citizens outside in the square, asking them to pray for Boccanegra's soul.

Cavalleria rusticana\Pagliacci, 2008 (Mascagni\Leoncavallo)

This broadcast will be available until 11/16/20.

Cavalleria rusticana    
Turiddu   Brandon Jovanovich
Santuzza   Dolora Zajick
Lucia   Judith Christin
Alfio   Charles Taylor
Lola   Maria Markina
     
Pagliachi    
Tonio   Charles Taylor
Canio   Vladimir Galouzine
Beppe   Beau Gibson
Nedda   Ana María Martínez
Silvio   Scott Hendricks

 

Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Oleg Caetani, Conductor

Cavalleria rusticana

Setting: a Sicilian village, late nineteenth century

It is Easter Sunday. Turiddu, a feckless and irresponsible man, has recently returned from the army. He sings a serenade to his lover, Lola — clearly, he has spent the night with her. She is married to Alfio, a powerful and important man in the village who runs its carting and haulage business. In great agitation, Santuzza, Turiddu’s former girlfriend, comes looking for him at the tavern of his mother, Mamma Lucia. Alfio enters with his companions, bringing wine and gifts for Easter from the surrounding towns. He sings the song of the carter, expressing his great pleasure to be back with his faithful wife. An Easter procession comes by and enters the church. Santuzza cannot go into the church with the rest of the village because she is expecting Turiddu’s child. She reveals to Lucia that Turiddu has abandoned her and gone back to Lola. Santuzza asks Lucia to pray for her, and Lucia goes into the church. When Turiddu arrives, Santuzza confronts him. He claims to have been in a nearby village buying wine for Lucia, but Santuzza replies that he was seen near Lola’s house. She reproaches him for deserting her. He denies being in love with Lola and tells Santuzza to be silent lest her accusations reach Alfio, who would certainly kill him. Terrified, Santuzza says she will forgive him if he will return to her. Lola enters the square gaily singing, and cruelly mocks Santuzza before entering the church. Turiddu starts to follow, but Santuzza begs him to stay with her. As she curses him, he strikes her and rushes into the church. When Alfio appears, Santuzza reveals that Lola and Turiddu are lovers. Alfio’s initial disbelief turns to rage. He swears vengeance and departs. When the townspeople emerge from church, Turiddu invites everyone for a glass of wine at his mother’s inn. Alfio violently rejects the wine. As the women lead Lola away, her husband challenges Turiddu to a duel and goes off to await him behind the orchard. Turiddu bids his mother farewell, begging her to care for Santuzza should he not return. As the tension mounts, the square fills with people. Suddenly a villager shouts that Turiddu has been killed.

Pagliacci

Setting: an Italian village, after World War II

Tonio, a clown, delivers a prologue: He exhorts his hearers to look beyond the actors’ costumes to the glimpse of true human emotions provided by the play. The village welcomes a troupe of traveling players. Canio, the leader, promises a great performance that night and goes off to the inn for some wine. Tonio remains behind and declares his love to Nedda, Canio’s wife. Nedda rejects him, finally striking him angrily. Swearing vengeance, Tonio rushes away. Almost immediately, the villager Silvio appears. He loves Nedda and persuades her to run away with him. Tonio returns with Canio in time for the latter to hear Nedda’s parting words to Silvio: “Until tonight, and I’ll be yours forever.” Canio runs after Silvio, whom he did not recognize. Unable to catch him, he threatens Nedda and demands her lover’s name, which she refuses to reveal. Beppe, another member of the troupe, announces that it’s time for the play to begin. Brokenhearted, Canio prepares for his performance as Pagliaccio, the clown. The play begins with Colombina (Nedda) announcing that her husband Pagliaccio (Canio) is away for the evening. While awaiting Taddeo (Tonio), who is to bring supper, she hears her lover Arlecchino (Beppe) singing outside her window. Once Arlecchino arrives for his rendezvous with Colombina, they rid themselves of Taddeo. Arlecchino produces a sleeping potion and suggests that Colombina facilitate their elopement by drugging her husband. She agrees just as Taddeo bursts in to say that Pagliaccio has returned, after learning of Colombina’s infidelity. Taddeo and Arlecchino run out, but Pagliaccio enters in time to hear Colombina sigh to her retreating lover, “Until tonight, and I’ll be yours forever.” Canio lapses from his stage role into furious reproach as Nedda attempts to stay in character. He demands her  lover’s name and, when she will not reveal it, he draws a knife and stabs her. Fatally wounded, she cries for Silvio, whom Canio stabs as well. Tonio turns to the audience and announces, “The comedy is ended.”

Manon Lescaut, 2006 (Puccini)

This broadcast will be available until 10/12/20.

Edmondo/A Lamplighter   Arturo Chacon-Cruz
Chevalier des Grieux   Vladimir Galouzine
Lescaut   Teddy Tahu Rhodes
The Innkeeper/Sergeant (Act II)/A Captain in the Navy   Ryan McKinny
Geronte de Ravoir   Dale Travis
Manon Lescaut   Karita Mattila
A Singer   Fiona Murphy
Madrigalists   Alison Greene
    Sandra Tye Campbell
    Shelly Auer
    Cecilia Duarte
The Dancing Master   Jon Kolbet
Sergeant (Act Ill)   Tommy Ajai George
The Hair Dresser   John Box

Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Patrick Summers, conductor

Setting: France in the 18th Century

Act I 

Edmondo and his friends are frolicking outside an inn at Amiens. When Chevalier des Grieux appears, they taunt him for his lack of success in love. A carriage arrives in the courtyard, bearing Manon; her brother, Sergeant Lescaut; and the wealthy Parisian Geronte. Lescaut is taking his sister to a convent. While Lescaut and Geronte view their quarters, Des Grieux introduces himself to Manon and they fall in love. In the meantime, Geronte arranges with the innkeeper to abduct the girl for himself, but is overheard by Edmondo, who informs Des Grieux. That evening, Des Grieux and Manon meet and escape to Paris in the carriage Geronte hired. Lescaut tells the disconsolate old roué that Manon loves luxury and will be easily lured away from the poor student with whom she has eloped.

Act II

Some time has passed. Manon has abandoned her young lover and is living in a luxurious Paris apartment paid for by Geronte. However, when her brother visits, Manon tells him that she misses Des Grieux. Unbeknown to Manon, her brother tells Des Grieux of her feelings; he visits Manon and the two fall into each other's arms. Geronte suddenly arrives on the scene and Manon mocks the old man. Geronte storms out, promising vengeance. Des Grieux urges Manon to hurry away with him, but she delays in order to gather up her new jewels and is arrested by the police Geronte has summoned.

Act III

Des Grieux and Lescaut wait in hiding near the harbor, planning to save Manon from deportation to the New World as a criminal. They are discovered and their plans are foiled. As soldiers lead Manon aboard the ship bound for Louisiana, she sobs a touching farewell to Des Grieux. He begs the ship's captain to allow him onboard so he can stay with Manon. The captain grants his request.

Act IV

The ship has landed in America and the lovers have fled to a desolate wasteland. Exhausted and overwrought, Manon begs Des Grieux to leave her alone while he goes ahead to seek shelter. He searches in vain, returning in time to hear the dying Manon pledge her eternal love to him.

Ariodante, 2003 (Handel)

This broadcast will be available until 10/26/20.

Ginevra   Alexandra Coku
Dalinda   Christine Brandes
Polinesso   Sally Burgess
Ariodante   Susan Graham
King of Scotland   Oren Gradus
Odoardo   Nicholas Phan
Lurcanio   John McVeigh
Raoul de St. Brioche   Nicholas Phan

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Christopher Hogwood, conductor

Setting: Scotland, in the times of Chivalry

Act I 

Ginevra talks to her lady-in-waiting Dalinda about her love for Ariodante and rejects Polinesso's advances. When Dalinda, who is infatuated with Polinesso, tells him he can no longer hope for Ginevra, he resolves to use Dalinda's blind devotion to further his ambition. Ariodante and Ginevra pledge their love, and the King announces to the court that he intends to bless the marriage and acknowledge Ariodante as his heir. Polinesso promises Dalinda that he will try to love her now that he has lost Ginevra, and they make an assignation for that night; he persuades her to help him by dressing and behaving like Ginevra when she comes to meet him. Dalinda dismisses the love of Lurcanio, Ariodante's brother. The court celebrates the forthcoming marriage with a masque.

Act II

A moonlit night, outside the secret door to Ginevra's apartments. Polinesso pretends to Ariodante that he has an assignation with Ginevra, and Ariodante watches, horrified, as a woman whom he believes to be Ginevra takes Polinesso into her apartments. Lurcanio, who has observed everything, stops his brother from committing suicide and advises him instead to seek revenge. Ariodante leaves in despair. Dalinda declares her love for Polinesso, who is delighted with the success of his treachery. The King has summoned the Council to establisfi Ariodante as his successor. All are stunned to hear that Ariodante has drowned himself; Ginevra faints at the news. Lurcanio demands satisfaction for the murder of his brother, saying that he was driven to kill himself by Ginevra's shameless behaviour. The King rejects his daughter as unchaste, and her senses slip into a turmoil of grief.

Act III

The news of Ariodante's suicide was premature, however, and he has survived to rescue Dalinda from assassins set upon her by Polinesso. She now reveals how the Duke deceived her as well as Ariodante and they return to court to avenge Ginevra. Polinesso offers to fight Lurcanio on Ginevra's behalf. She bids her father a tender farewell but refuses to accept Polinesso as her champion; however, the King insists. Lurcanio defeats Polinesso, who is carried oft mortally wounded. A mysterious knight then appears as a second defender of Ginevra, and all are amazed that it is Ariodante. The confessions of Dalinda and Polinesso bring the truth to light, and the King orders Ginevra's immediate release. Lurcanio renews his entreaties to Dalinda. Ginevra is joyfully reunited with her lover, and the court celebrates the triumph of love and virtue.

Coronation of Poppea, 2006 (Monteverdi)

This broadcast will be available until 10/26/20.

Ottone   Nathan Gunn
Soldier/ Friend of Seneca/ Lucano/ Tribune   Norman Reinhardt
Soldier/ Friend of Seneca/ Tribune   David L. Paxton
Poppea   Susan Graham
Nero   William Burden
Arnalta   Joseph Evans
Ottavia   Frederica von Stade
Ottavia’s Nurse   Jennifer Root
Seneca   Raymond Aceto
Ottavia’s Page/ Amore   Camille Zamora
Pallas Athena/ Ottavia’s Lady-in-Waiting/ A Cupid   Rebekah Camm
Drusilla   Heidi Stober
Mercury/ Lictor Consul   Ryan McKinny
Liberto   Liam Bonner
Friend of Seneca/ Consul   Tommy Ajai George
Venus   Fiona Murphy
A Cupid   Tamara Wilson

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
William Lacey, conductor

Act I 

Poppea's lover Ottone, returning from abroad, discovers from the presence of two sleeping guards that the emperor Nero has taken his place in Poppea's arms. Before Nero leaves the next morning, Poppea secures his promise to get rid of his wife, Ottavia, and make her, Poppea, his empress. Ottavia is distraught because of her husband's infidelity. Seneca, a philosopher and statesman, fails to console her. Nero declares his intention to depose Ottavia and marry Poppea. Seneca argues against this on moral and political grounds. In a fit of rage the emperor dismisses him. Poppea convinces Nero that now Seneca is the obstacle to their love and must die. Ottone, who has overheard the conversation, approaches Poppea, only to be rebuffed. Drusilla, who is in love with Ottone, chides him for his obsession with Poppea.

Act II

In the garden of Seneca's villa, Nero's captain of the guards, Liberto, arrives with Seneca's death sentence. The philosopher assures Liberto that he is ready to die and that he himself will carry out the sentence. He orders his servant to bring him a knife and asks his friends to witness his death. Ottavia commands Ottone to kill Poppea for her. Ottone agrees and prevails on Drusilla to help him. Poppea, rejoicing at the death of Seneca, is lulled to sleep by her nurse Arnalta. Ottone, disguised as Drusilla, enters Poppea's room to kill her, but Amore-the god of love-appears and stays his hand. Poppea awakens and identifies the would-be murderer as Drusilla.

Act III

Drusilla is arrested for the attempted murder of Poppea. When she is brought before Nero, she pleads guilty in order to protect Ottone; Nero sentences her to death. The conscience-stricken Ottone confesses to the crime and names Ottavia as the instigator. Nero banishes his wife, Ottone and Drusilla. Poppea will be his bride that very day. Ottavia leaves Rome forever, and Venus, the goddess of love, looks down on the coronation of Poppea.

Elixir of Love, 2000 (Donizetti)

This broadcast will be available until 11/2/20.

Giannetta   Kerri Marcinko
Nemorino   Ramon Vargas
Adina   Ana Maria Martinez
Belcore   Earle Patriarco
Dulcamara   Dale Travis
Dulcamara’s Assistant   Jim Vassallo

Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Patrick Summers, conductor

Act I

A group of peasants gather around Adina, a wealthy landowner, who reads aloud the story of Tristan, Isolde and the love potion. The story impresses Nemorino, a peasant who is in love with Adina. A detachment of soldiers marches up, interrupting the gathering. They are led by the pompous Belcore, who suggests that Adina surrender to his obvious charms and marry him, but Adina is not so easily wooed. Nemorino tries to tell Adina of his love for her, but she prefers to stay unattached. "Dr." Dulcamara, a traveling huckster, arrives peddling a panacea elixir. Nemorino asks if Dulcamara sells the love potion that Tristan and Isolde used. The charlatan disguises his Bordeaux as the magic potion and claims it will work for Nemorino within one day. Adina returns to find Nemorino tipsy. Certain that the potion will work, Nemorino pretends to be indifferent to her. She is puzzled by Nemorino's behavior and decides to punish him by accepting Belcore's proposal. Orders arrive from the front calling up Belcore and his troops the next day. Adina seizes the moment and agrees to marry Belcore that evening.

Act II

The wedding celebration is underway. As the wedding party moves along, Nemorino asks advice from Dulcamara who suggests he buy another bottle of the elixir, but Nemorino has no money to pay for it. Adina stalls the wedding. Belcore offers Nemorino the opportunity to enlist and receive a cash payment. Desperate, he does so and rushes to find Dulcamara. Giannetta arrives with the news that Nemorino's uncle has died and left him a tidy inheritance. The village girls throw themselves at him. Nemorino, not yet having leamed of the inheritance, assumes the "elixir" has worked. Dulcamara and Adina arrive to see him surrounded. Moved to tears, Adina recognizes that she loves him as Dulcamara explains how Nemorino enlisted to get enough money to buy the elixir and win her love. He advises her to take the elixir herself, but she says she will win Nemorino back with feminine wiles and departs. Nemorino takes heart because of a tear he has seen on Adina's cheek. She returns, having bought back his commission from Belcore and confesses her true feelings for him. Belcore resigns himself to chasing other women, and Dulcamara uses the occasion to sell more elixir. The village celebrates Adina and Nemorino's happiness, as well as the power of Dulcamara's elixir.

Prince Igor, 2001 (Borodin)

This broadcast will be available until 11/9/20.

Igor Sviatoslavich   Sergei Leiferkus
Prince Galitsky   Vladimir Ognovenko
Vladimir Igorevich   Vsevolod Grivnov
Skula   Joshua Winograde
Yeroshka   Scott Scully
Yaroslavna   Zvetelina Vassileva
Yaroslavna’s Nurse   Barbara Quintiliani
Konchakovna   Mzia Nioradze
Ovlur   James C. Holloway
Khan Konchak   Vladimir Vaneev
Peasant Girl   Katie Dugat

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Alexander Anissimov, conductor

Prologue 

In a public square in the city of Putivl, Russa, Prince Igor Sviatoslavich prepares to set out with his army against a marauding Tartar tribe, the Polovtsi, who threaten the city. The patriotic demonstrations are marred by an evil omen, an eclipse of the sun. Igor's wife Yaroslavna and the people implore him to abandon the campaign, but the call of duty is too strong. He leaves his wife in the care of her brother, Prince Galitsky, and leads his troops and his son, Vladimir off to battle.

Act I

In Igor's absence, the ambitious Galitsky seizes power. Led by Skula and Yeroshka, two deserters from Igor's army, Galitsky's friends praise him and recount how he had a maiden abducted for his pleasure. Galitsky has become lost in dreams of power and announces his philosophy: if he were master of Putivl the Russian people would lead lives of pleasure. Some women enter to protest the young girl's abduction, but Galitsky refuses their appeals. The people toast Galitsky, whom they would like to see assume Prince Igor's crown. Yaroslavna, yearning for Igor, is plagued by bad dreams. The women come to her to complain of Galitsky's behavior and ask Yaroslavna to help rescue their companion. Galitsky unexpectedly arrives and laughs off his sister's reproaches, but finally agrees to release the abducted maiden. After he leaves, the Council of the Court comes to Yaroslavna with an account of the disasters that have befallen Igor: he has been defeated, he and his son Vladimir are prisoners, and the enemy is marching on Putivl.

Act II

In a Polovtsian encampment, Konchakovna, daughter of Igor's enemy Khan Konchak, has fallen in love with the captive Vladimir, and he with her. As Russian prisoners pass by on their way back from forced labor, Konchakovna bids her women give them refreshments. The Tartar patrol, with Ovlur (a Christian) among them, makes its rounds. Ovlur remains on guard alone as all depart. Konchakovna approaches Vladimir and tells him she is confident her father will not oppose their marriage, but Vladimir is sure Igor will not approve the match. They leave as Igor enters. Ovlur seizes the moment and offers to help Igor escape. Igor refuses to consider such a dishonorable course, and Ovlur leaves as Khan Konchak enters. The Khan offers to grant Igor's freedom in return for a pledge of non-aggression and even suggests they become allies. Igor firmly refuses, earning even greater respect from his enemy. The Khan orders that singers and dancers be brought in to entertain them. The Polovtsi dance and drink themselves into a stupor. Seeing his chance, Ovlur approaches Igor again with his escape plan, and this time Igor reconsiders. Konchakovna learns of it and reproaches Vladimir, not because of the planned escape but because he is leaving without her. She begs him to take her with him, but when Igor hears what Konchakovna is suggesting, he vigorously opposes it. In desperation, Konchakovna rouses the camp. Igor escapes, but Vladimir is left behind in the hands of the Polovtsi, who prepare to march on Putivl. In Putivl, Yaroslavna laments her fate and that of her husband. Her despair is broken when Igor and Ovlur arrive safely. Yaroslavna then looks at the devastation around her. Her laments are accompanied by a sorrowful song of passing Russian peasants, who mourn for their scorched country-a lament in which darkest despair is mixed with faint hope.

Thank You

Performing artists, stage directors, and choreographers are represented by the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union for opera professionals in the United States.

Orchestral musicians are represented by the Houston Professional Musicians Association, Local #65-699, American Federation of Musicians.

Cookie Notice

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience on our site.

To find out more, view our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Back To Top Back to top