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Historic Radio Broadcasts

We are proud to partner with Houston Public Media to bring our operas to the radio!

 

Through the partnership with HPM's Classical station, you have two opportunities each week to enjoy opera broadcasts: Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m.

Our Houston Public Media broadcast schedule includes:

 

      • March 5 and 6: Daughter of the Regiment, 2007 (Donizetti)

      • March 12 and 13: Madame Butterfly, 2010 (Puccini)

      • March 19 and 20: Mary Stuart, 2012 (Donizetti)

      • March 26 and 27: Carmen, 2000 (Bizet)

      • April 2 and 3: Queen of Spades, 2010 (Tchaikovsky) 

      • April 9 and 10: Idomeneo, 2005 (Mozart) 

      • April 16 and 17: Jenufa, 2004 (Janáček) 

      • April 23 and 24: Romeo and Juliet 2005 (Gounod) 

      • April 30 and May 1:  Il Trovatore, 2005 (Verdi)

Options for listening to the broadcasts: 

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 (and cars!) with great opera.


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No problem. You have the option to stream the broadcast below for one month after the air date. 

Daughter of the Regiment, 2007 (Donizetti)

This broadcast will be available until 4/12/21

 

Hortensius 

Liam Bonner 

Marquise of Berkenfield 

Ewa Podles 

Peasant 

Cameron F. Schutza 

Sergeant Sulpice 

Bruno Pratico 

Marie 

Laura Claycomb 

Tonio 

Barry Banks 

Corporal 

James J. Kee 

Piano Teacher 

Grant Loehnig 

Majordomo of the Marquise 

Ross Chitwood 

Duchess of Krackenthorp 

Diane Zola 

 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Riccardo Frizza, Conductor  

A small village in France in the final days of World War II 

Act I 

Villagers have taken shelter from advancing soldiers in a local bar. Several women pray for protection; the local aristocrat, the Marquise of Berkenfield, is beside herself with terror. Her steward, Hortensius, pleads with her to remain calm, and a villager soon announces that the soldiers are retreating. 

Sulpice, a sergeant with the liberating American forces, appears, followed shortly by Marie, an orphan who has been unofficially adopted by the regiment. The regiment found Marie as an infant and raised her with loving care. She considers herself a soldier and regards each man in the regiment as a father. 

Sulpice is questioning Marie about a Frenchman she has been seen with, when suddenly the young man himself-Tonio-is brought in for questioning by their comrades, who suspect him of being a spy. When Marie tells them how Tonio saved her from falling over a precipice, the men drink a toast to him and Marie sings the regimental song. The men hear a drum roll summoning them and take Tonio with them, 

but he gives them the slip and returns to Marie. Tonio and Marie declare their love for each other and are locked in an embrace when Sulpice returns. Hortensius and the Marquise come in as the lovers leave, and the Marquise tells Sulpice that her late sister bore a child by one Captain Robert of Sulpice's regiment. When he reveals that Marie is this child, the Marquise tells him she must take Marie away and prepare her for her rightful station in life. When Marie comes in, she is told she will soon have to go with her newly discovered aunt. The soldiers enter with a new recruit- Tonio, who has joined the regiment to be near Marie. Sadly, Marie announces she must leave. The Marquise sweeps her away, leaving the men bereft; Tonio promises to follow.  

Act II 

In a salon in her chateau, the Marquise receives Sulpice, asking him to support the marriage she has arranged for Marie to the Duke of Krackenthorp. When Marie comes in, the Marquise sits at the piano and asks her to sing an air the girl has learned as part of her intensive coaching in ladylike behavior. After a bit of the florid song, Sulpice whispers some of their catchy regimental tune. Marie launches into the latter, with the Marquise and Sulpice singing along. Horrified at being taken in by their tomfoolery, the Marquise sweeps out, Sulpice following her. Marie is miserably contemplating her prospective marriage when all the soldiers-including her beloved Tonio-turn up. The Marquise returns and wants to know the young man's identity. She remains unmoved as Tonio tells her of his love for Marie, curtly announcing that Marie will soon be married to another. When Marie and Tonio leave, the Marquise confides to Sulpice that Marie is actually her daughter. Unexpectedly, the Duchess of Krackenthorp, mother of the groom, appears at the door with the other wedding guests, asking to meet Marie. The tearful girl now agrees to marry, because Sulpice has told her the Marquise's secret. But the soldiers, led by Tonio, burst into the room to save her from the unwanted marriage. They tell the true story of Marie's rough and ready upbringing, but the guests have seen Marie's charm for themselves and are not dismayed by her past. Marie is still ready to sign the marriage contract, but the Marquise suddenly relents and tells her to marry the man she loves. All except the outraged Duchess celebrate friendship, happiness, and love.  

Aida, 2007 (Verdi)

This broadcast will be available until 4/5/21

 

Hortensius 

Liam Bonner 

Marquise of Berkenfield 

Ewa Podles 

Peasant 

Cameron F. Schutza 

Sergeant Sulpice 

Bruno Pratico 

Marie 

Laura Claycomb 

Tonio 

Barry Banks 

Corporal 

James J. Kee 

Piano Teacher 

Grant Loehnig 

Majordomo of the Marquise 

Ross Chitwood 

Duchess of Krackenthorp 

Diane Zola 

 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Riccardo Frizza, Conductor  

A small village in France in the final days of World War II 

Act I 

Villagers have taken shelter from advancing soldiers in a local bar. Several women pray for protection; the local aristocrat, the Marquise of Berkenfield, is beside herself with terror. Her steward, Hortensius, pleads with her to remain calm, and a villager soon announces that the soldiers are retreating. 

Sulpice, a sergeant with the liberating American forces, appears, followed shortly by Marie, an orphan who has been unofficially adopted by the regiment. The regiment found Marie as an infant and raised her with loving care. She considers herself a soldier and regards each man in the regiment as a father. 

Sulpice is questioning Marie about a Frenchman she has been seen with, when suddenly the young man himself-Tonio-is brought in for questioning by their comrades, who suspect him of being a spy. When Marie tells them how Tonio saved her from falling over a precipice, the men drink a toast to him and Marie sings the regimental song. The men hear a drum roll summoning them and take Tonio with them, 

but he gives them the slip and returns to Marie. Tonio and Marie declare their love for each other and are locked in an embrace when Sulpice returns. Hortensius and the Marquise come in as the lovers leave, and the Marquise tells Sulpice that her late sister bore a child by one Captain Robert of Sulpice's regiment. When he reveals that Marie is this child, the Marquise tells him she must take Marie away and prepare her for her rightful station in life. When Marie comes in, she is told she will soon have to go with her newly discovered aunt. The soldiers enter with a new recruit- Tonio, who has joined the regiment to be near Marie. Sadly, Marie announces she must leave. The Marquise sweeps her away, leaving the men bereft; Tonio promises to follow.  

Act II 

In a salon in her chateau, the Marquise receives Sulpice, asking him to support the marriage she has arranged for Marie to the Duke of Krackenthorp. When Marie comes in, the Marquise sits at the piano and asks her to sing an air the girl has learned as part of her intensive coaching in ladylike behavior. After a bit of the florid song, Sulpice whispers some of their catchy regimental tune. Marie launches into the latter, with the Marquise and Sulpice singing along. Horrified at being taken in by their tomfoolery, the Marquise sweeps out, Sulpice following her. Marie is miserably contemplating her prospective marriage when all the soldiers-including her beloved Tonio-turn up. The Marquise returns and wants to know the young man's identity. She remains unmoved as Tonio tells her of his love for Marie, curtly announcing that Marie will soon be married to another. When Marie and Tonio leave, the Marquise confides to Sulpice that Marie is actually her daughter. Unexpectedly, the Duchess of Krackenthorp, mother of the groom, appears at the door with the other wedding guests, asking to meet Marie. The tearful girl now agrees to marry, because Sulpice has told her the Marquise's secret. But the soldiers, led by Tonio, burst into the room to save her from the unwanted marriage. They tell the true story of Marie's rough and ready upbringing, but the guests have seen Marie's charm for themselves and are not dismayed by her past. Marie is still ready to sign the marriage contract, but the Marquise suddenly relents and tells her to marry the man she loves. All except the outraged Duchess celebrate friendship, happiness, and love.  

The Makropulos Case, 2002 (Janáček)

This broadcast will be available until 4/5/21

Vitek 

Joseph Evans 

Albert Gregor 

Robert Brubaker 

Kristina 

Kristin Reiersen 

Kolenatý 

Richard Sutliff 

Emilia Marty 

Catherine Malfitano 

Jaroslav Prus 

Jonathan Summers 

Cleaning Woman 

Angela Niederloh 

A Stagehand 

Joshua Winograde 

Janek 

Chad Shelton 

Hauk-Šendorf    

Ryland Davies 

Chambermaid 

Marie Lenormand 

 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Steven Sloane, conductor 

ACT I 

In Dr. Kolenatý's law office, Vítek, a clerk, notes that the case of Gregor versus Prus, recently revived, dates back almost a century. Albert Gregor, an interested party, asks how it is going; Kolenatý has taken it to the supreme court but has not yet returned. Vítek's daughter, Kristina, a young singer, runs in, raving about Emilia Marty, a soprano with whom she has been rehearsing at the opera. To her surprise, Marty appears, shown in by Kolenatý. The diva inquires about the Gregor case. It began, Kolenatý explains, when Baron Ferdinand Josef Prus died without a will, whereupon Ferdinand Gregor laid claim to his estate, saying Prus had promised it to him; Prus's cousin contested his claim. Marty says Ferdinand was the baron's illegitimate son by an opera singer, Ellian MacGregor. When Kolenatý says the current Gregor is about to lose the case, Marty asks what he would need to win. A will, says Kolenatý. Marty describes a cupboard in the Prus house where the will was kept. Kolenatý thinks she is making it up, but Gregor insists that Kolenatý investigate. After the lawyer leaves, Gregor, fascinated with Marty, tells her he would shoot himself if he lost the case. Though she brushes aside his infatuation, she tries to enlist his help in getting documents she is sure will be found with the will. Kolenatý returns with Gregor's adversary, Jaroslav Prus. The will was found where Marty said it would be; Prus congratulates Gregor on the victory that will be his — if evidence can be found that the illegitimate Ferdinand was indisputably Ferdinand Gregor. Marty says she will provide proof. 

ACT II 

On the opera-house stage, a Stagehand and Cleaning Woman discuss Marty's performance. Prus arrives, followed by his son, Janek, and Kristina. The diva enters, contemptuous of everyone — first of the tongue-tied Janek, who falls under her spell, then of Gregor, who arrives with flowers that she reminds him he cannot afford. Her mood softens when a feebleminded old man, Hauk-Šendorf, wanders in, babbling about Eugenia, a Gypsy he loved fifty years ago. Assuring him that Eugenia is not dead, Marty asks him in Spanish for a kiss. When the others leave, Prus questions Marty about Ellian MacGregor, whose love letters he has read; he suspects she was the "Elina Makropulos" (same initials) listed as the mother on Ferdinand's birth certificate. Since illegitimate children bore the mother's name, a descendant of "Ferdinand Makropulos" would have to be found; otherwise the estate would remain in Prus's hands. Marty offers to pay for an unopened envelope found with the other papers, but Prus refuses and leaves. Gregor reenters and tells the exhausted Marty he loves her; her response is to doze off. He leaves. She awakens to find Janek there and asks him to get her the envelope. Prus, overhearing, sends Janek away, then agrees to give Marty the envelope if she will spend the night with him. 

ACT III 

The next morning, in Marty's room, Prus gives her the envelope but feels cheated by her coldness as a lover. A maid announces that a servant of Prus's is looking for him. Prus returns with the news that Janek has killed himself over his infatuation with Marty. They are interrupted by Hauk-Šendorf, who thinks he and Marty are about to leave for Spain. She humors him, wanting to leave, but Gregor appears with Kolenatý, Kristina and a doctor, who leads Hauk-Šendorf away. Kolenatý has noticed the similarity between Marty's autograph and MacGregor's signature; he suspects Marty of forgery. Since she is uncooperative, the others search her papers. When she pulls a revolver, Gregor takes it from her. Marty offers to talk to them after she gets dressed. While she does so, they continue their search, finding evidence of various pseudonyms, all with the initials "E.M." Marty returns with a bottle and a glass and confesses that she was born Elina Makropulos in Crete over 300 years ago. Her father, the court physician to Rudolf II, was ordered to develop an elixir of eternal life. The alchemist was forced to try it on his sixteen-year-old daughter; when she fell into a coma, he was imprisoned as a fraud, but the girl recovered and escaped. Some years later, she gave the formula to her lover Baron Prus; she also bore him a son, which makes her Albert Gregor's grandmother several times over. Since the formula lasts only 300 years, she must recover it to survive. But life has lost its meaning, and she feels ready to die. At first, no one believes her story, but gradually they realize it must be true. Life should not last too long, she says — it loses its value. The dying Marty offers the formula to anyone who wants it, but no one will touch it except Kristina, who sets fire to it. 

The Italian Girl in Algiers, 2012 (Rossini)

The Italian Girl in Algiers, 2012 (Rossini)

This broadcast will be available until 3/29/21

Elvira 

Lauren Snouffer 

Zulma 

Carolyn Sproule 

Haly 

Robert Pomakov 

Mustafà 

Patrick Carfizzi 

Lindoro 

Lawrence Brownlee 

Isabella 

Daniela Barcellona 

Taddeo 

Daniel Belcher 

Elvira 

Lauren Snouffer 

Zulma 

Carolyn Sproule 

Haly 

Robert Pomakov 

Mustafà 

Patrick Carfizzi 

Lindoro 

Lawrence Brownlee 

Isabella 

Daniela Barcellona 

Taddeo 

Daniel Belcher 

Elvira 

Lauren Snouffer 

Zulma 

Carolyn Sproule 

Haly 

Robert Pomakov 

Mustafà 

Patrick Carfizzi 

Lindoro 

Lawrence Brownlee 

Isabella 

Daniela Barcellona 

Taddeo 

Daniel Belcher 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Carlo Rizzi, conductor 

ACT I 

At the seaside palace of Mustafà, the bey of Algiers, his wife, Elvira, grieves over her husband’s contempt of her, while her slave and confidante, Zulma, tries to comfort her. Mustafà himself comes in and when he hears his wife’s lament, he sends her away. Alone with Haly, the captain of his corsairs, Mustafà says he is bored with Elvira and will give her as a wife to Lindoro, a young Italian slave and a favorite of the bey. Mustafà declares that he will take an Italian bride in place of Elvira, and he orders Haly to find one, threatening him with beheading if he fails to do so. Lindoro, however, is lovesick for his own sweetheart, Isabella, from whom he has been separated several months. Mustafà explains to Lindoro the advantages of marrying Elvira, but Lindoro is not persuaded. On the coast, Haly and his corsairs have captured the survivors of a shipwreck. Among them is an Italian girl—Isabella—who is lamenting her misfortune and yearns for Lindoro, for whom she has been searching. Taddeo, Isabella’s elderly admirer and traveling companion, has also been taken prisoner, and Isabella dupes her captors into believing that he is her uncle. When Haly learns that the beautiful Isabella is Italian, he is elated and announces he will bring her back to the bey as the jewel of his harem. Taddeo is inflamed with jealousy, but Isabella assures him she can tame the pompous bey. At the palace, Lindoro tells Zulma he refuses to accept Elvira as his wife; Mustafà then arrives and promises Lindoro he may return to Italy as long as Elvira accompanies him. Haly appears, announcing that he has captured an Italian girl, so the bey commands Elvira and Zulma to leave. Lindoro tries to cheer up Elvira. In the main hall of his palace, the eunuchs extol Mustafà as a tamer of women. Haly brings in Isabella, and Mustafà is immediately enchanted by her. Lindoro, Elvira, and Zulma enter to bid farewell before leaving for Italy, and Isabella and Lindoro are thunderstruck to see each other. Mustafà reveals his plan to Isabella, but the clever girl demands that the bey keep his wife and adds that Lindoro must become her slave. The Italian girl’s boldness sends the entire company into a frenzy. 

ACT II 

In the palace hall, the eunuchs recognize how helplessly besotted the bey has become since falling in love with Isabella, while Elvira, Zulma, and Haly praise the Italian girl’s astuteness. Mustafà enters to announce that in a half hour’s time, he will take coffee with Isabella. They all leave and Isabella enters, distressed over Lindoro’s infidelity. The young man appears and explains his predicament. Isabella proposes they flee together, and they set about concocting a plan. Mustafà returns, and, in an attempt to win Isabella, he appoints Taddeo as his Kaimakan—his right-hand man. The eunuchs dress him in Turkish garb; not understanding what is going on, Taddeo complains that the clothes are uncomfortable and rejects the appointment. When he sees the look on Mustafà’s face, however, he quickly accepts. In her private palace apartment, Isabella is trying to instruct Elvira and Zulma on how to handle the bey. When Mustafà, Taddeo, and Lindoro arrive, Elvira and Zulma hide in adjacent rooms. From a distance, the three men admire Isabella’s beauty while she is getting ready to take coffee. The bey sneezes—a prearranged signal for Taddeo to leave him alone with Isabella—but Taddeo refuses to go away. Isabella invites Elvira to stay for coffee, to Mustafà’s displeasure. When Isabella insists that he treat his wife kindly, Mustafà goes into a rage. Alone with Zulma, Haly praises the artfulness of the Italian girl. Lindoro, Taddeo, and Mustafà return; Lindoro tells Mustafà that Isabella cares for him very much and has given him the honorary title of PappataciLindoro explains to the grateful Mustafà that this important Italian title is bestowed on those who indulge the feminine sex and that his duties include eating, drinking, and sleeping. In Isabella’s apartment, Lindoro tells Taddeo about Isabella’s plan to free all the Italian slaves in the bey’s service during the ceremony inducting Mustafà into the order of the Pappataci. Isabella enters with the slaves, disguised as Pappataci; Taddeo, under the impression that Isabella’s efforts are all on his behalf, prepares the bey for the ceremony. Isabella tells the bey that he must take an oath in order to be admitted to the Pappataci: “to see and not to see, to hear and not to hear, in order to eat and enjoy, let others do and say.” The mock initiation begins with eating, drinking, and silence. Isabella and Lindoro get ready to make their escape, and Mustafà—who is trying to honor his oath to see and not to see—merely continues eating and drinking, even though the ship by which they are planning to make their escape can be seen from the palace. When the slaves and sailors announce from the ship that they are ready to set sail, Isabella and Lindoro join them. Taddeo, realizing that Isabella doesn’t love him, leaves with her and Lindoro. Elvira, Zulma, and Haly appear with the eunuchs, and Mustafà, realizing he has been deceived, decides he is fed up with the willful Italian girl. He resolves to return to his docile wife and forgive the fugitive lovers. All agree: “The woman who sets her mind to it will rule the roost."

Beatrice and Benedict, 2008 (Berlioz)

This broadcast will be available until 3/22/21

Leonato 

Charles Krohn 

Messenger 

Joshua La Force 

Beatrice 

Joyce DiDonato 

Hero 

Ailish Tynan 

Don Pedro 

Ryan McKinny 

Benedict 

Norman Reinhardt 

Claudio 

Liam Bonner 

Somarone 

Donald Maxwell 

Ursula 

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Michael Hofstetter, Conductor  

ACT I

The townspeople of Messina prepare to celebrate the arrival of Don Pedro, general of the Sicilian army, who is returning from victory in battle. He is to be received, along with some of his officers, at the residence of Leonato, governor of Messina. A messenger brings news that the soldiers are about to arrive and Leonato assures his daughter Hero that Claudio is among them. Beatrice inquires sarcastically about Benedict, so Leonato (her uncle) explains that there is a “merry war” between the two. Hero is in love with Claudio and is overjoyed at his return while Beatrice and Benedict resume their disdainful sparring. Benedict, who had assumed Claudio was a confirmed bachelor like himself, cannot believe that now he admits to being in love with Hero and plans to marry her. Don Pedro and Claudio tease Benedict by suggesting that he, too, should consider marriage. He ridicules the notion of wedded bliss, saying that if he is ever so weak as to succumb, they should put a sign on his house: “Here you may see Benedict, the married man.” Don Pedro decides that he will contrive a way to turn the war between Beatrice and 

Benedict into a love match. Somarone rehearses the nuptial song he has written for the bridal couple, prompting Benedict into an outburst of regret that Claudio has joined the company of lovers. He hides 

from Don Pedro and Claudio but they spot him, giving them the chance to have him overhear conversation with Leonato in which they talk about Beatrice being fiercely in love with Benedict. 

These words, said in apparent sincerity, work their magic: Benedict declares to himself that he will requite Beatrice’s love. Hero and Ursula, her lady in waiting, have played the same trick on Beatrice that the men played on Benedict. It is a beautiful night for Hero to reflect on her feelings of love. 

 

ACT II

The wedding festivities are in full swing, and Somarone improvises a song in honor of Sicilian wines. All are enjoying themselves except Beatrice, who is in a state of agitation; the trick has worked. She remembers that after Benedict left for battle she had nightmares about him coming to harm. She admits to herself that she loves him. Hero and Ursula join Beatrice and all three share Hero’s joy on her wedding morning. Benedict finds Beatrice and makes his feelings known to her, but she is unable to cope and the wedding celebration interrupts them. Claudio and Hero reveal love poems that Beatrice 

and Benedict have written about each other and so they both admit their love and agree to a truce — until tomorrow.

Abduction from the Seraglio, 2008 (Mozart)

This broadcast will be available until 3/15/21

Belmonte 

Paul Groves 

Osmin 

Andrea Silvestrelli 

Pedrillo 

Nicholas Phan 

Pasha Selim 

Richard Spuler 

Konstanze 

Tamara Wilson 

Blonde 

Heidi Stober 

 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
William Lacey, conductor 

Setting: 1920s. All the action takes place on the Orient Express, en route to Paris from Istanbul. 

Turkish pirates in the Mediterranean have boarded and looted a yacht carrying Konstanze, a Spanish noblewoman; Blonde, her English maidservant; and Pedrillo, the personal valet of Konstanze' s fiance Belmonte. Intrigued by Konstanze, the wealthy Pasha Selim purchases the three Europeans. After months of searching, Belmonte has traced them to the Pasha's private car on the exotic Orient Express, about to depart Istanbul for Paris. Konstanze has become the Pasha's favorite, but she yearns for Belmonte and resists the Pasha's advances. Blonde is being pursued by Osmin, overseer of the harem, although she remains true to Pedrillo, who has been taken into the Pasha's service. 

Act I 

Belmonte searches for the Pasha's private car, yearning to be reunited with Konstanze. He meets the boorish Osmin and asks him where he might find PedrilloOsmin, who believes Pedrillo is his rival for Blonde's affections, flies into a rage and Belmonte departs. Pedrillo approaches Osmin and tries to make peace, but Osmin refuses. Returning, Belmonte learns from Pedrillo that Selim is in love with Konstanze, but that so far he has not forced himself upon her. They begin to plan an escape. Konstanze appears with Selim, and they are heralded by the crowd at the Istanbul station. Selim tenderly asks Konstanze why she is so sad, and she tells him that she is in love with another man. The Pasha angrily dismisses her, but admits to himself that he loves her even more for her steadfastness. Pedrillo comes in and introduces Belmonte to the Pasha as a gifted young architect; Selim approves and leaves. Belmonte and Pedrillo try to slip past Osmin, who attempts to bar their way-but the two succeed in getting into the Pasha's car.  

Act II 

Blonde scolds Osmin and instructs him in the correct way to treat women. Osmin orders her to love him, or that's the way it's done in Turkey. Blonde reminds him that her mistress is the Pasha's favorite, and that she enjoys their protection. Osmin warns Blonde not to flirt with Pedrillo. Meanwhile, Konstanze mourns her separation from Belmonte. The Pasha reminds Konstanze that by the next day she must decide whether to accept his offer. She maintains that she can honor him but never love him. She will remain true to her beloved even in the face of torture or death. Selim is baffled, wondering why Konstanze has so much hope and courage. Pedrillo tells Blonde of Belmonte's arrival and describes the plan for the "abduction." They will put a sleeping potion in Osmin's drink and all four lovers will escape. Blonde is delighted at this news and looks forward to telling Konstanze of Belmonte's arrival. Pedrillo begins working on Osmin, telling the overseer that Mohammed should not have forbidden drinking, and after being reassured that the drinks are not poisoned, Osmin succumbs to temptation. He joins Pedrillo in praising wine and women before falling fast asleep. The coast now clear, Belmonte and Konstanze joyously embrace. The happy reunion darkens when Belmonte and Pedrillo jealously question the women's faithfulness, but misunderstandings melt into relief and joy.  

Act Ill 

Pedrillo gives the signal for escape. When the women appear, the noise awakens Osmin, who sends for the guards. The lovers are trapped and Osmin will not accept Belmonte's bribe to keep silent. Instead, Osmin savors the prospect of torturing and killing his enemies. The Pasha is informed of the treachery and arrives to question the prisoners. While Konstanze offers to die to save her beloved, Belmonte suggests that the Pasha might collect a handsome ransom from his wealthy family, the Lostados. Selim then realizes that Belmonte is the son of an old enemy and bids them prepare for the kind of punishment that Belmonte's father would have dealt. The lovers vow to welcome death as the path to an eternal union, but the Pasha decides that rather than taking revenge, he will free his captives, for he despises Belmonte's father too much to emulate him. He bids Belmonte to return to his homeland and become more humane than his father. This magnanimous act confounds Osmin, who protests the loss of Blonde to no avail. The Pasha declares that love cannot be won by force. As the train pulls into the Paris station, the lovers vow never to forget the Pasha's kindness. Osmin's rage erupts, but he is silenced by the crowd chanting praise to Selim.  

Rigoletto, 2001 (Verdi) 

This broadcast will be available until 3/8/21

 

 

Duke of Mantua 

Roberto Aronica 

Borsa 

Scott Scully 

Rigoletto 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky 

Countess Ceprano 

Kristin Reiersen 

Marullo 

Aaron Judisch 

Count Ceprano 

Joshua Winograde 

Count Monterone 

George Cordes 

Sparafucile 

Raymond Aceto 

Gilda 

Laura Claycomb 

Giovanna 

Angela Niederloh 

Page 

Marie Lenormand 

Usher 

Gustavo Hernandez 

Maddalena 

Stephanie Novacek 

Young Gilda 

Elizabeth Kaufman 

Monterone’s Daughter 

Rebecca Pueringer 

 

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

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Patrick Summers, Conductor
Margaret Alkek Williams Chair 

In and around Mantua, Italy during the 16th century We see a straitjacketed Rigoletto as the curtain opens. He has attempted to kill the Duke of Mantua and was apprehended. The events of the opera are Rigoletto's anguished recollections of his daughter Gilda as a child, and discordant encounters with his real or imagined enemies. 

ACT I 

At the ducal court of Mantua, a ball is in progress. The licentious Duke of Mantua openly pursues the Countess Ceprano, to her husband's mortification. When Rigoletto, the Duke's henchman and master of the revelries, suggests that the Duke imprison or behead Count Ceprano in order to get him out of the way, the infuriated husband enlists the help of the courtiers in exacting revenge upon Rigoletto. They need no encouragement, for Rigoletto has many enemies; he is a master of debauchery who has educated the Duke and his court in all manner of depravities. Rigoletto has been seen in the company of a young woman presumed to be his mistress-perhaps this is an OfJportunity for reprisal. The party is interrupted by the entrance of Count Monterone, whose daughter has fallen into the clutches of Rigoletto and the others. Monterone curses both the Duke and Rigoletto. The superstitious Rigoletto, of a Gypsy caste, agonizes over the curse. Sparafucile and his sister Maddalena mysteriously appear. Sparafucile is an assassin who cryptically offers to help rid Rigoletto of a rival. Unnerved, Rigoletto sends him away. Rigoletto's daughter Gilda next appears-the young girl whom the courtiers believe is Rigoletto's mistress. Rigoletto has kept Gilda virtually a child, and she is a prisoner allowed out only to attend church; she does not know his position in the court and in fact doesn't even know his name. The Duke, disguised as a commoner, is watching and listening from the courtyard. He is surprised to learn that the beautiful girl he admired in church and followed home is Rigoletto's daughter. When Rigoletto leaves, the Duke comes forward and professes his love for Gilda, telling her he is a poor student named Gualtier Maidè. She returns his love, but sends him away, fearing that her father will return shortly. As she prepares for bed, the courtiers gather outside to abduct Rigoletto's "mistress"; as revenge, they will present her to the Duke. Rigoletto returns; the courtiers fool him into thinking they are abducting the Countess Ceprano who lives nearby, and ask for his help. Rigoletto discovers too late that it is Gilda whom he has helped the courtiers kidnap, and blames Monterone's curse for this terrible turn of events. 

ACT II 

Early that morning back at the palace, the Duke laments that Gilda disappeared from the house by the time he returned to see her. The courtiers rush in to tell him that they abducted Rigoletto's mistress for his pleasure; elated, the Duke hurries off to be with Gilda. Rigoletto enters, looking for his daughter, and learns that she is with the Duke in his chambers. A disheveled Gilda suddenly appears, and runs to her father's arms. Gilda says she loves the Duke and asks her father to forgive him. Monterone, meanwhile, has been led off to his execution, and Rigoletto swears vengeance against the Duke.  

ACT Ill 

At night, Rigoletto brings Gilda to a remote inn owned by the assassin Sparafucile. The Duke, whom Gilda believes is sincerely in love with her, follows Maddalena into the inn. Rigoletto forces Gilda to watch as the Duke woos Maddalena. Rigoletto sends Gilda away, and then hires Sparafucile to kill the Duke. Maddalena, however, has taken a fancy to the Duke and persuades her brother to spare him; Sparafucile agrees, provided that another victim can be found. They are overheard by the lovesick Gilda, who has returned in disguise, resolving to sacrifice herself to save the Duke's life. She knocks on the door, pretending to be a beggar, and Sparafucile stabs her and places her body in a sack. Rigoletto returns, and Sparatucile gives him the sack containing the body of his "victim." But when he hears the Duke singing in the distance, Rigoletto realizes he has been duped. Ripping open the sack he discovers Gilda; with her dying breath she bids him farewell as he begs her not to die. Monterone's curse has been fulfilled! 

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.

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