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December 2013
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The Met is Back!

Matthew Polenzani (center) as The Duke in Verdi's "Rigoletto"
Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Franco Vassallo as Ford and Ambrogio Maestri as the title role of Verdi's "Falstaff." Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

This Saturday at 11:30 am

The 2013-2014 season of broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera gets underway this weekend with a revival of the Vegas-style Rigoletto. Of course, in radio it’s more about the music than the neon staging, but this production glows just as brightly with a couple of Chicago favorites: Ryan Opera Center alum and Evanston native Matthew Polenzani, who sings the Duke, and Dmitri Hvorovstovsky who sings the title role.

The Metropolitan Opera broadcasts are a part of the fiber of American life. Whether in Washington, D.C., New York, or now Chicago, I always marvel at the thought of how many men, women, and children have laughed, cried, sung, hummed along, and yes, applauded from their homes to the broadcasts since their beginnings in 1931? Whether or not it’s your weekly ritual, there’s something comforting and assuring to know that these broadcasts endure still. For Rigoletto, the young (36!) year old Spanish conductor from Granada Pablo Heras-Casado leads a stellar cast (Hvorostovsky! Polenzani! Yoncheva!) in creating a world of farce, tragedy, regret, and love.

—Candice Agree, WFMT weekend host

Franco Vassallo as Ford and Ambrogio Maestri as the title role of Verdi's "Falstaff."Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Airs December 14; Franco Vassallo as Ford, Ambrogio Maestri as Falstaff. Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

 

See a complete listing of the broadcast season.

Flashback to 1982

See a scene from Der Rosenkavalier with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Kurt Moll, Judith Blegen, and Tatiana Troyanos.

YES, it was James Levine on the podium in that 1982 production. Maestro Levine is fully involved in the present season, although Rosenkavalier will be conducted by Edward Gardner on the February 22 broadcast.

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