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Radio Broadcasts

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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:

-April 24 and 25: Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, 2010 (Martinez/Foglia)
-May 1 and 2: Das Rheingold, 2014 (Wagner)
-May 8 and 9: Die Walküre, 2015 (Wagner)
-May 15 and 16: Siegfried, 2016 (Wagner)
-May 22 and 23: Götterdämerung Act I, 2017 (Wagner)
-May 29 and 30: Götterdämerung Act II & III, 2017 (Wagner)

There are several ways to tune in:

- HD Radio on 88.7 HD-2
- Streaming online at Houston Public Media
- HPM Classical App - Available on the iOS App Store or Google Play

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.

 

 

Götterdämmerung , 2017 (Wagner)

This broadcast will be available until 7/6/20.

This broadcast will be available until 7/13/20.

Cast

First Norn   Meredith Arwady
Second Norn / Waltraute   Jamie Barton
Third Norn / Gutrune   Heidi Melton
Brünnhilde   Christine Goerke
Siegfried   Simon O'Neill
Gunther   Ryan McKinny
Hagen   Andrea Silvestrelli
Alberich   Christopher Purves
Woglinde   Andrea Carroll
Wellgunde   Catherine Martin
Flosshilde   Renée Tatum
     
Conductor   Patrick Summers

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

Synopsis 

PROLOGUE

The three Norns busily weave the rope of destiny. They envision Valhalla in flames and predict the gods’ imminent downfall. Suddenly their rope breaks and they tumble down to their mother, Erda, deep in the earth.Siegfried and Brünnhilde awake after their night together. Knowing he is destined to pursue heroic challenges, Brünnhilde encourages him to leave. As a pledge of his love, he gives her the ring before he departs.

Scene 1

At his home on the banks of the Rhine River, Gunther, the leader of the royal Gibichung family, ponders how to strengthen his rulership and asks his half-brother, Hagen, for advice. (Gunther and Hagen have the same mother.) Hagen, the son of Alberich, recommends strategic marriages: he proposes Brünnhilde as bride for Gunther, and Siegfried as husband for Gunther’s sister, Gutrune. Gunther and Gutrune know this can be accomplished only through trickery, so Hagen suggests that Siegfried be lured to their home and given a potion that will make him fall in love with Gutrune. They would then induce Siegfried to secure Brünnhilde for Gunther, since Gunther could never break through the protective flames that surround her on his own. They hear Siegfried’s horn nearby, invite him to their hall, and begin to implement their deceitful plan.

Brünnhilde’s Valkyrie sister Waltraute pays her a visit. She describes a broken Wotan who wishes only that Brünnhilde would return the ring to the Rhinemaidens: the very survival of the gods depends upon it. Brünnhilde refuses to yield the ring, citing it as a token of Siegfried’s love, and Waltraute leaves in anguish.

Having drunk the love potion, Siegfried has fallen in love with Gutrune and has no recollection of Brünnhilde. In return for Gutrune’s hand, Siegfried takes on Gunther’s appearance with the aid of the Tarnhelm and breaks through the flames to claim Brünnhilde for Gunther, tearing the ring from her hand.

Scene 2

Alberich comes to Hagen in the night as he sleeps outside the Gibichungs’ hall, urging him to get the ring from Siegfried. At daybreak, Siegfried arrives, announcing he has won Brünnhilde for Gunther. When they enter, Brünnhilde is shocked to see Siegfried—and the ring on his hand—and accuses him of betraying her. But Siegfried, still under the potion’s spell, denies their love. When Hagen offers to kill Siegfried, Brünnhilde, now bent on avenging her honor, reveals Siegfried’s one weak spot—his back. Together they convince Gunther to join in their plot to murder Siegfried as the marriage celebrations begin.

Scene 3

Out hunting near the banks of the Rhine, Siegfried spies the Rhinemaidens, who beseech him to return the ring, but Siegfried ignores their warnings about the ring’s curse. Hagen, Gunther, and the other members of Siegfried’s hunting party appear and decide to rest. As they drink wine, Siegfried regales them with stories about his past: about his boyhood with Mime, reforging the sword Nothung, and killing the dragon. As he reminisces, Hagen offers him wine that contains an antidote to the potion, and all of Siegfried’s memories of Brünnhilde return. Hagen thrusts his spear into Siegfried’s back, and the hero dies with Brünnhilde’s praises on his lips.

At the Gibichung hall, Gutrune has just awakened from a bad dream when Hagen, Gunther, and the rest of the party return with Siegfried’s body. Grief stricken, she blames Gunther, but he replies that Hagen was the killer. Quarreling over the ring, Hagen strikes Gunther down, but when he tries to take the ring from Siegfried’s hand, the dead hero raises his arm menacingly and all recoil in terror.

Brünnhilde orders a funeral pyre to be built on the banks of the Rhine. Denouncing the gods for their guilt in Siegfried’s death, she returns the ring to the Rhinemaidens and rides her horse, Grane, into the flames. The river overflows and the Rhinemaidens drag Hagen to his death in the water. The fire spreads and begins to consume Valhalla. The old order has perished.

 

 

 

Norma, 1978 (Bellini)

This broadcast will be available until 6/1/20.

Cast

Oroveso   Paul Plishka
Pollione   Ermanno Mauro
Flavio   Price Browne
Norma   Renata Scotto
Adalgisa   Tatiana Troyanos
Clotilde   Christine Donahue
     
Conductor   Nicola Rescigno

Houston Symphony
Houston Grand Opera Chorus

 

Synopsis

SETTING

Gaul during the Roman occupation around

50 B.C.E.

ACT ONE

Led by the high priest Oroveso, the Druids meet at their temple to pray for revenge upon their conquerors, the Romans. After the Druids have left the temple, Pollione, proconsul of the Roman forces, arrives. He tells his aide, Flavio, that he has fallen in love with the young priestess Adalgisa and that he intends to abandon Norma—the high priestess and Oroveso’s daughter—with whom he has two children. When the Druids return, Norma prays for peace. Wishing to protect Pollione, she tells the Druids that fighting the Romans is futile; however, she promises to declare war against the Romans if the gods demand it. After the rites are completed, Adalgisa remains in the deserted grove to ask the gods to help her put aside her romantic feelings for Pollione and remain true to her vows. Pollione finds Adalgisa in the grove and begs her to abandon her life as a priestess and come with him to Rome, where he has been ordered to return the next day. Overcome by her love for him, Adalgisa agrees.

Norma tells her confidante Clotilde, who cares for her children in secret, that she is afraid Pollione will leave her. Hearing Adalgisa approach, Clotilde hides the children. Adalgisa tells Norma that she has fallen in love. She asks Norma to forgive her and release her from her vows, and Norma is about to do so when Pollione appears. It becomes immediately clear to Norma that Pollione is the man Adalgisa loves. When Adalgisa learns that Norma and Pollione were lovers, she swears she would rather die than separate them.

ACT TWO

Norma tries to kill her children to prevent them from living in disgrace without a father, but she can’t bring herself to do it. Instead she implores Adalgisa to return to Rome with Pollione and raise the children as her own. The young priestess refuses, insisting she will go to Pollione and persuade him to return to Norma and the children. Oroveso and the Druid men gather at the temple for morning prayer and to secretly plan an attack on the Romans, but Oroveso learns that a new, more violent proconsul will replace Pollione in command. Oroveso counsels his followers to feign submission and patiently wait for their chance to rebel. Norma anxiously awaits the outcome of Adalgisa’s mission. On learning that she has failed to sway Pollione, she sounds the signal for war. A sacrificial victim is required, and Pollione, who has been captured trying to abduct Adalgisa, is brought in. Alone with Pollione, Norma promises to grant his freedom if he will leave Adalgisa. When he refuses, she threatens to kill him. Norma then summons her followers and informs them that one of the priestesses has broken her vows and must be sacrificed—but when she confesses that she is speaking of herself, Pollione is deeply moved and asks to share her fate. Norma begs Oroveso to care for their children and prepares to die with her lover.

 

Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, 2010 (Martínez/Foglia)

This broadcast will be available until 6/8/20.

Cast

Mark   Brian Shircliffe
Diana   Brittany Wheeler
Laurentino   Octavio Moreno
Chucho   José "Pepe" Martínez
Renata   Cecilia Duarte
Lupita   Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo
Rafael   David Guzman
Victor   Juan Mejia
Rafael Jóven / Young Rafael   Atlai Carreon

 

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán
Jose "Pepe" Martínez, Director
 

Synopsis

¿En dónde se encuentra el hogar  de uno?  ¿Es donde nacimos? ¿O donde hemos vivido la mayor  parte  de nuestras vidas? ¿Es con la familia que  dejamos atrás, o con  las nuevas familias que  formamos?

Cruzar la Cara de la Luna es la crónica de tres  generaciones de una familia dividida por dos  países diferentes y sus culturas. Mientras  un mexicano-americano se enfrenta al inminente deceso de su padre, se ve forzado a enfrentar estas preguntas acerca de su propia  existencia y el lugar que  ocupa en el mundo — viviendo entre  dos  culturas — tanto  la de su padre inmigrante, como la de su hija estadounidense. Al revelarse secretos que  habían sido guardados durante mucho tiempo, se encuentra a sí mismo  re-evaluando lo que  significa para  él el concepto de familia.

Así como las mariposas Monarca migran  anualmente a la tierra de sus  padres, también los miembros de la familia Velásquez deben viajar física y espiritualmente entre Michoacán y Texas;  de igual manera llevan a cabo una profunda introspección en su corazón para  saber el lugar al que  realmente pertenecen.

Where is home? Is it where  we are born? Or where  we live most  of our lives? Is it with the family we leave behind or with the new ones we create?

To Cross the Face of the Moon follows three  generations of a single family, divided by countries and  cultures. As a Mexican-American man  deals with the approaching death of his father,  he is forced to face these questions about his own place  in the world — straddling two cultures — as well as that of his immigrant  father  and  his American daughter. As long-buried secrets are revealed, he finds himself dramatically re-evaluating his own understanding  of what makes a family.

Like the Monarch butterflies that migrate every year to the birthplace of his father,  the members of the Velásquez family must  travel both  physically and  spiritually between Michoacán and  Texas  and  look deep into their hearts before they learn where  they truly belong.

 

 

 

Das Rheingold, 2014 (Wagner)

This broadcast will be available until 6/15/20.

Cast

Woglinde   Andrea Carroll
Wellgunde   Catherine Martin
Flosshilde   Renée Tatum
Alberich   Christopher Purves
Fricka   Jamie Barton
Wotan   Iain Patterson
Freia   Melody Moore
Fasolt   Kristinn Signmundsson
Fafner   Andrea Silvestrelli
Froh   Chad Shelton
Donner   Ryan McKinny
Loge   Stefan Margita
Mime   Rodell Rosel
Erda   Meredith Arwady
     
Conductor   Patrick Summers

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

Synopsis

 

 

Scene 1

The Rhinemaidens—Woglinde, Wellgunde, and Flosshilde—frolic in the waters of the Rhine while they guard the river’s golden treasure. The Nibelung dwarf Alberich emerges from his underground home and eyes them lasciviously. To teach him a lesson, the Rhinemaidens begin to tease and mock him. Suddenly, Alberich sees the sun glinting on the Rhine gold. The Rhinemaidens explain that the gold is so powerful that if it were fashioned into a ring, it would give the wearer power to rule the world—but to gain such power, the possessor of the gold must renounce love. The Nibelung— humiliated and angered by their mocking—curses love and steals the gold.

Scene 2

Wotan, king of the gods, is reproached by his wife, Fricka, for having promised her sister Freia to the giants Fasolt and Fafner in return for building Valhalla, the fortress of the gods. Wotan tells Fricka not to worry: he never meant to honor his end of the bargain—in fact, he has instructed his servant Loge, the god of fire, to find a suitable alternative payment. When the giants attempt to claim Freia, Wotan tells them that they must settle for another form of payment, but Fasolt, smitten with Freia, points out that Wotan is bound by law to honor the terms of the contract. Loge comes forth to tell Wotan he has found an alternative payment: the Rhine gold. He relates how Alberich stole it and forged it into a ring that has given him tremendous power and wealth. The giants agree to accept Alberich’s riches in lieu of Freia, but they take her hostage until they get their payment. Wotan and Loge set out for the dwarves’ home, Nibelheim, to steal the treasure from Alberich.

Scene 3

In Nibelheim, Wotan and Loge discover that Alberich has used his power to enslave the other dwarves. Alberich has forced his brother, Mime, to forge a magic helmet (the Tarnhelm) that can make the wearer invisible or change into any shape or size. Alberich regards Wotan and Loge with suspicion and warns them of his plan to overthrow the gods using the power of the Tarnhelm. Wotan and Loge ask him to demonstrate the Tarnhelm’s power, and Alberich turns into a dragon and then—goaded by the gods—into a toad. The gods easily capture him and take him to Valhalla.

Scene 4

Wotan and Loge force Alberich to give up his riches, including the ring, in exchange for his freedom. Outraged, Alberich places a curse on the ring—anyone who wears it will be destroyed. When the giants come for their gold, Wotan tries to keep the ring for himself. He hands it over only after being sternly warned by Erda, goddess of the earth, that it will bring about the downfall of the gods. Upon receiving the ring, the giants return Freia. Alberich’s curse begins to take effect, and Fafner kills Fasolt in a struggle over the treasure. Donner creates a rainbow bridge to Valhalla, and Wotan leads the other gods across it. Loge mocks them, while the Rhinemaidens are heard mourning the loss of their treasure.

 

 

 

Die Walküre, 2015 (Wagner)

This broadcast will be available until 6/22/20.

Cast

Siegmund   Simon O'Neill
Sieglinde   Karita Mattila
Hunding   Ain Anger
Wotan   Iain Paterson
Brünnhilde   Christine Goerke
Fricka   Jamie Barton
Gerhilde   Julie Makerov
Helmwige   Kelly Kaduce
Waltraute   Catherine Martin
Schwertleite   Meredith Arwady
Ortlinde   Natalya Romaniw
Siegrune   Eve Gigliotti
Grimgerde   Renée Tatum
Rossweisse   Faith Sherman
     
Conductor   Patrick Summers

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

Synopsis 

Scene 1

On a stormy night, exhausted from fighting, Siegmund stumbles upon a house where he seeks shelter. It is the home of Sieglinde and her ill-tempered husband, Hunding. As Sieglinde tends to her unexpected visitor; they are instantly and deeply attracted to one another—which does not go unnoticed by Hunding when he arrives. He asks the stranger who he is: Siegmund explains that his mother was killed and his sister abducted. He wandered for some time with his father, who later abandoned him. In trying to save a young woman from a forced marriage, he killed her brothers and was pursued by relatives seeking vengeance. Hunding replies that he was among the kinsmen searching for him and warns Siegmund to be ready to fight the next day.

But Siegmund has no weapon—his sword was wrenched away from him during his last battle. Alone, he calls on his father for the sword he once promised him. Sieglinde returns, having given Hunding a sleeping potion so that the stranger can flee. She shows him a sword imbedded in an ash tree, having been thrust into it by a mysterious visitor. She explains that many have tried to pull it out, but all failed. Siegmund realizes the sword is the one promised by his father, and Sieglinde recognizes Siegmund as her own twin brother. Siegmund pulls the sword from the tree and claims Sieglinde as his bride.

Scene 2

As Siegmund and Hunding prepare for their duel, Wotan, leader of the gods, tells his daughter, the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, that she must defend Siegmund in the fight: Siegmund is the hero he has been grooming to do what his treaties forbid him to do: regain the ring. But Fricka, Wotan’s wife and the goddess of marriage, is outraged by the incestuous relationship of Sieglinde and Siegmund and insists that Hunding’s marital rights should prevail. Wotan realizes that if he doesn’t enforce the law, he will lose his power, so he reverses his instructions to Brünnhilde: she is now to fight for Hunding.

Brünnhilde appears to Siegmund telling him that he will die in the duel and instructs him to follow her to Valhalla. When he learns that Sieglinde cannot accompany him there, however, he tells Brünnhilde he will not go. Moved by his love for Sieglinde, Brünnhilde decides to disobey Wotan and help Siegmund. A furious Wotan appears and shatters Siegmund’s sword, allowing Hunding to kill him. With a wave of his hand, Wotan kills Hunding, and then sets out to find Brünnhilde, who has escaped with Sieglinde and the shards of the broken sword.

Scene 3

On their way to Valhalla with the slain heroes they have gathered, the Valkyries are assembling on a mountaintop when Brünnhilde arrives with Sieglinde. When they learn Brünnhilde has disobeyed Wotan and that he is pursuing her, they are afraid to help her and Sieglinde to hide. In despair, Sieglinde wishes she had died with her lover, but when Brünnhilde tells her she is carrying Siegmund’s child, she is eager to survive. Brünnhilde gives her the pieces of the sword, saying that the child will grow up to forge the pieces anew, and Sieglinde makes her escape. Brünnhilde bravely remains to face Wotan’s wrath: he strips her of her divinity, making her a mortal woman, and decrees that she be left asleep until a man awakens her and claims her as his wife. She implores Wotan to surround her with a wall of fire so that only the bravest of men would ever attempt to penetrate it. Wotan then invokes Loge, the god of fire, and leaves her alone on the mountain surrounded by flames.

 

 

Siegfried, 2016 (Wagner)

This broadcast will be available until 6/29/20.

Cast

Mime   Rodell Rosel
Siegfried   Jay Hunter Morris
The Wanderer   Iain Paterson
Alberich   Richard Paul Fink
Fafner   Andrea Silvestrelli
Forest Bird   Mane Galoyan
Erda   Meredith Arwady
Brünnhilde   Christine Goerke
     
Conductor   Patrick Summers

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

Synopsis 

Scene 1

The dwarf Mime tries unsuccessfully to forge a sword for his foster son, Siegfried. He hopes Siegfried will use the sword to kill the dragon Fafner, who guards the marvelous treasure stolen from Mime’s brother, Alberich. Mime wants the treasure for himself, particularly the gold ring that gives the wearer power over all the earth.

Every sword Mime forges breaks like a toy in Siegfried’s hands, however. The dwarf knows that only the sword left to Siegfried by his deceased mother will be strong enough to accomplish his purpose, but it has been shattered into pieces and Mime’s skills are insufficient to reforge it.

Because he bears no resemblance to Mime, Siegfried knows the dwarf cannot be his natural father. Siegfried begins to question Mime about his true parentage, and the dwarf tells him for the first time how he found his mother, Sieglinde, in the woods, and how she died giving birth to Siegfried. As proof of his truthfulness, Mime shows him the shards of the sword Nothung, which Sieglinde told him had belonged to Siegfried’s father.

Siegfried demands that Mime reforge the sword and leaves the dwarf in despair. A stranger approaches—it is Wotan, the chief of the gods, in human disguise as the Wanderer. He challenges Mime to a contest of wits in which the loser will forfeit his head. They each ask three questions of the other, and when Mime is unable to answer the Wanderer’s third question, “Who will repair the sword Nothung?,” the Wanderer reveals that someone who has never learned fear will repair the sword and that the same person will take Mime’s life. Mime knows that the Wanderer is speaking of Siegfried.

When Siegfried returns, expecting to find Nothung repaired, Mime tells him frankly that he is unable to do it. He suggests a visit to Fafner’s lair, hoping to teach the boy to fear. But instead of being frightened, Siegfried is excited about the prospect of a new experience; he triumphantly reforges the sword himself and goes with Mime to confront Fafner. Mime brings along a poisoned drink, which he plans to give Siegfried after the youth has killed Fafner.

Scene 2

Alberich hides near Fafner’s lair, keeping watch and hoping to regain his treasure. The Wanderer arrives and warns him of Mime’s designs on the gold. The Wanderer wakes Fafner to tell him that a young hero is coming to kill him, but Fafner is unconcerned and goes back to sleep.

Mime describes the terrifying dragon to Siegfried in hopes of instilling fear in the youth—to no avail. Siegfried sends Mime away and, entranced by the sound of a songbird, he tries to imitate its song on a reed pipe. Since he is unsuccessful with the pipe, he blows his horn instead and awakens Fafner. The dragon emerges and Siegfried plunges Nothung through his heart. When Siegfried accidently touches a drop of Fafner’s blood to his lips, he is suddenly able to understand the song of the bird, which directs him to the dragon’s gold. Siegfried goes into the dragon’s den while Alberich and Mime quarrel outside over the treasure. When Siegfried comes out with the ring and the Tarnhelm—a magic helmet that can make the wearer invisible or change into any shape or size—Mime offers him the poisoned drink, but a Woodbird warns the young man of the dwarf’s intentions. Siegfried refuses the drink and kills Mime. The Woodbird tells Siegfried that she will lead him to a beautiful woman: Brünnhilde, his destined bride, asleep amid a ring of fire.

Scene 3

Wotan summons Erda, goddess of the earth, to ask how to prevent the gods’ seemingly inevitable downfall, but she is unhappy to have her slumber interrupted and advises him to seek the counsel of the Norns or of Brünnhilde, his daughter with Erda. Angry at the very mention of Brünnhilde, Wotan consigns Erda to sleep endlessly in the earth; he now pins his hopes for the future on Siegfried.

On his way to find Brünnhilde, Siegfried encounters the Wanderer, who appears to be an ordinary old man. The Wanderer peppers Siegfried with questions about his sword and finally tells the youth he shattered it himself with his spear. Siegfried naturally assumes the Wanderer killed his father, and he smashes the old man’s spear with his sword. Defeated, the Wanderer gathers the fragments of his spear.

Siegfried reaches the mountaintop, bursts through the flames, and awakens Brünnhilde. Having never before seen a woman, he is astonished at her beauty and finally experiences fear. She is elated to have been awakened by the hero she had hoped for—the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde. Brünnhilde accepts her fate as a mortal and welcomes Siegfried as her husband.

 

 

 

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.