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January 2015
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Live from the Met: Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann

Erin Morley

Erin Morley

Saturday, January 31 at 12:00 pm

When this incarnation of Offenbach’s classic was introduced in 2009, critic Anthony Tommasini said: “There is much to cheer about in the Metropolitan Opera’s phantasmagorical new production.” He went on to note: “This Hoffmann, dressed in a plain suit suggesting 1920s Eastern Europe, spends most of his days seated at a humdrum writing table, with a battered typewriter and a small desk lamp. That desk is where he belongs. At least that is the conviction of the Muse of Poetry, who in the guise of Nicklausse, Hoffmann’s devoted friend, follows him everywhere.”

As we know, however, Hoffmann does not stick to his writing: he tells his companions in Luther’s Tavern about his three tragic love affairs. The Met’s 2014 revival gives the roles of Hoffmann’s three loves to Erin Morley (Olympia), Hibla Gerzmava (Antonia), and Christine Rice (Giulietta). Vittorio Grigolo is Hoffmann, and Thomas Hampson portrays all four villains.

Impromptu: The Dover Quartet

The Dover Quartet

The Dover Quartet

Monday, January 26 at 10:00 am

Tune in as Kerry Frumkin welcomes the Dover Quartet to WFMT.

Following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Dover Quartet has been making quite a name for themselves as one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. You can hear why when violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw make their Impromptu debut.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Broadcasts: Muti with New Music

Riccardo Muti

Sunday, January 25 at 1:00 pm

A CSO ReSound retrospective broadcast will feature music by the CSO’s two composers-in-residence, Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, conducted by music director Riccardo Muti.

Clyne calls Night Ferry “a sonic portrait of voyages; voyages within nature and of physical, mental, and emotional states.” Bates calls Alternative Energy “an energy symphony. Beginning in a rustic Midwestern junkyard in the late 19th century, the piece travels through ever greater and more powerful forces of energy – a present-day particle collider, a futuristic Chinese nuclear plant – until it reaches a future Icelandic rain forest, where humanity’s last inhabitants seek a return to a simpler way of life.”

The retrospective will also include portions of Muti’s new CSO recording of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

A New Tosca at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Brian Jagde and Tatiana Serjan

Brian Jagde and Tatiana Serjan

Saturday, January 24 at 7:15 pm

A new production of Puccini’s Tosca opens this week at Lyric Opera of Chicago, with three singers making their company debuts in the leading roles: Tatiana Serjan as Tosca, Brian Jagde as Cavaradossi, and Evgeny Nikitin as Scarpia.

“Tosca, an impulsive opera star,” says Lyric, “is in love with a rebel artist – but he is hunted by a villainous police chief who will stop at nothing to capture his prey. What price is too high to save the man you love?” The description goes on to cite “this heartbreaking story with achingly beautiful music.”

Suzanne Nance and Lyric’s Roger Pines co-host WFMT’s live opening-night broadcast.

Celebrating CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti

CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, c. Todd Rosenberg

Friday, January 30 throughout the day

Tune in for this all-day tribute to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s charismatic and charming music director Riccardo Muti, partially curated by the Maestro himself.

Recordings of his work and of his influences will air throughout the day, including recordings from the 2014 Birgit Nilsson Prize concert that have not been heard on North American Radio. We’ll also hear clips from his many WFMT interviews and the day will culminate in a live broadcast of the CSO from Carnegie Hall at 7:00 pm, where Muti will conduct works by Mendelssohn, Debussy, and Scriabin. In anticipation of Muti Day, WFMT will present an interview with Muti not heard since 1983 on Friday, January 23 at 8 pm, hosted by Kerry Frumkin.

A Day with Puccini

Jean-François Borras

Jean-François Borras

Saturday, January 24 throughout the day

Today, WFMT focuses on all things Giacomo Puccini with a variety of offerings celebrating the work of the great Italian opera composer.

Join us at 12:00 noon for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Bohème, with Jean-François Borras as Rodolfo, Kristine Opolais as Mimi, Mariusz Kwiecien as Marcello and Marina Rebeka as Musetta. Riccardo Frizza conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.  The New York Times said, “The Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Bohème, Puccini’s masterpiece of emotional manipulation, is like any institution: it transcends the people, good or bad, who move through it…and it’s teeming and colorful enough to survive any and all of them.”

Immediately following this broadcast, The Sopranos with Debbie Voigt looks at Puccini’s Women at 3:30; Larry Johnson previews Lyric Opera’s Tosca on Arias and Songs at 4:30, and WFMT’s Suzanne Nance joins Lyric dramaturg Roger Pines to host Lyric Opera of Chicago’s opening-night broadcast of Tosca at 7:15 pm, live from the Civic Opera House.

Impromptu: Pianist Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Thursday, January 22 at 1:00 pm

Renowned pianist and Cedille recording artist Jorge Federico Osorio drops in for a visit with host Lisa Flynn.

The Mexican native has been internationally acclaimed for his superb musicianship, deep passion, and elegant performances; the New York Times dubbed him “an imaginative interpreter with a powerful technique.” Chicago’s classical recording label, Cedille, will release Osorio newest album in early 2015, and Jorge is here in advance of Chicago Treasures, the February 10 concert with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Matthew Hagle, celebrating Cedille’s quarter-century of recording Chicago’s world-class musicians.

Osorio’s latest soon-to-be released recording is devoted to piano music by Russian composers Mussorgsky, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic in Concert: Ravel and Mozart

Hélène Grimaud

Hélène Grimaud

Wednesday, January 21 at 8:00 pm

LA Phil music director Gustavo Dudamel conducts with pianist Hélène Grimaud in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. The program also includes two Mozart works: Serenade in D, Serenata Notturna and Symphony No. 36 in C, Linz.

Last week, the acclaimed pianist also performed the Ravel concerto with The Orchestre de Paris and conductor Paavo Järvi at the opening gala of a new performance venue, the Philharmonie de Paris — which is, according to Grimaud’s website, “a modern hall that expands the Cité de la musique complex by what many say is poised to become one of the finest concert halls in the world.”

Live from WFMT: Dido Refuses to Speak, with Julia Bentley

Julia Bentley

Julia Bentley

Monday, January 19 at 8:00 pm

Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, violinist Janet Sung, and cellist Brant Taylor perform Susan Botti’s Dido Refuses to Speak for voice and trio.

The poetry, by Linda Gregerson, is inspired by tales from Virgil’s Aeneid, specifically the story of Aeneas, fleeing from Troy, and Dido, the queen of Carthage, whose love leads to abandonment and tragedy. The poet notes of Dido that she is “at once an agent of empire and its most conspicuous discard, a figure of collusion and a searing example of collateral damage.”

Also hear songs by Beethoven, Schubert, Rossini, and Ives. Kerry Frumkin hosts this live broadcast from WFMT’s Levin Studio.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcasts

Riccardo Muti

Riccardo Muti

Sunday, January 18 at 1:00 pm

Tune in as Music Director Riccardo Muti conducts the CSO in Berlioz’ Waverley Overture, Debussy’s La Mer, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, and Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole. Recorded at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago.