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October 2014
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A Marvelous Marathon of Opera

Renee Fleming as the Countess in "Capriccio"

Renee Fleming as the Countess in "Capriccio"

Operathon 2014

For one day every year, WFMT suspends the typical Saturday fare in order to wallow in the lusciousness of opera – and it’s not just anything opera, it’s Lyric Opera of Chicago; the organization that is so central to bringing the world’s greatest singers and directors to Chicago’s proscenium. Not only does Lyric enrich the spirit of local opera lovers, but they share their bounty with a national audience through the WFMT Radio Network. Lyric has helped put Chicago on the map as a music capital, by fostering an environment where young musicians can receive the best instruction and carry with them the pride of this Midwestern town – wherever their careers take them.

For WFMT, Operathon is an opportunity to share with our audience the boundless creative energy of a world class opera company. Roger Pines, dramaturg at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and co-host of the WFMT opening night radio broadcasts, organizes Operathon to highlight some of the performers who share their talents with the people of Chicago. Roger’s singular knowledge and unbridled enthusiasm go into every minute of Operathon, offering a rich selection of recordings and behind-the-scenes chats with a parade of opera luminaries.

This year, co-hosts Roger Pines and Suzanne Nance welcome Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Amber Wagner, Anne Sofie von Otter, Ward Stare, Bo Skovhus, Amanda Majeski, William Burden, Ana María Martínez, Michael Black, Robert Falls, Quinn Kelsey, Asher Fisch, and more.


Roger Pines and WFMT’s Suzanne Nance











William Burden, Renee Fleming, and Audun Iversen star in “Capriccio”

Operathon Highlights (subject to change)

8:00-11:00 am

Mozart: Don Giovanni, Act I, “Fin ch’han dal vino”
Rodney Gilfry (title role), Orchestra of Opernhaus Zürich/Nikolaus Harnoncourt

9:30 am – Stephanie Blythe is our on-air guest!

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Mikado, Act II, “Alone and yet alive”
Stephanie Blythe (Katisha – SB returns to Lyric this season as Azucena/Il trovatore)
Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis


Amber Wagner

10:15 am – Amber Wagner is our on-air guest!

Wagner: Lohengrin, Act II, “Euch Lüften”
Amber Wagner, Michaela Schuster, Greer Grimsley; Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

11:00 am- 12:00 noon

Pepe Martínez and Leonard Foglia: Cruzar la cara de la luna, “Siempre estoy aqui”/“I’m always here” Cecilia Duarte, Brittany Wheeler; Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, c. Pepe Martínez

11:15 am – Anne Sofie von Otter is our on-air guest!

Kurt Weill: One Touch of Venus, “Foolish Heart”
Anne Sofie von Otter; North German Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Wlad Marchulets: Klezmer tune written for his grandmother

Pepe Martínez and Leonard Foglia: Cruzar la cara de la luna, “El padre de mi padre”
Cecilia Duarte; Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, led by Pepe Martínez

EricOwens(courtesy of San Francisco Opera)_AdinaAaron

Eric Owens and Adina Aaron will star as Porgy and Bess

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess, Act II, “I Got Plenty o Nuttin”
Eric Owens; San Francisco Opera Chorus and Orchestra/John DeMain

12:00 noon-1:00 pm

12:00 pm – Renée Fleming is on-air guest!

Strauss: Capriccio, “Kein andres, das mir so im Herzen loht”
Renée Fleming; Michael Devlin; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

1:00–2:00 pm

1:00 pm – Amanda Majeski call-in

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Quintet
Amanda Majeski; James Morris; Jamie Barton; David Portillo; Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

Wagner: Tannhäuser , Act II, Entrance of the Guests
Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner

2:00–3:00 pm

2:15 pm – Ward Stare is our on-air guest!

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess, Act I, “A Woman is a Sometime Thing”
Eric Greene and soloists; San Francisco Opera Chorus and Orchestra/John DeMain

2:30 pm – Bo Skovhus is our on-air guest!


Bo Skovhus and Anne Sofie von Otter

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin, Onegin’s Act I aria
Bo Skovhus; English National Opera Orchestra/James Conlon

Wagner: Die Walküre, Act I, “Winterstürme”
Johan Botha; Bayreuth Festival Orchestra/Christian Thielemann
Verdi: Il trovatore, Act II, Anvil Chorus
Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Bruno Bartoletti

3:00–4:00 pm

3:00 – Ryan Opera Center as on-air guests!

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess, Act I, “Summertime”
Ryan Opera Center alumna Nicole Cabell; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

Mozart: Don Giovanni, Act II, “Non mi dir”
Marina Rebeka; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Speranza Scappucci

4:00–5:00 pm

Bizet: Carmen, Act III, Duet, “Je suis Escamillo, Toréro de Granada”
Kyle Keletsen; Yonghoon Lee; Netherlands Opera Orchestra/Marc Albrecht

Donizetti: Anna Bolena, Act I Finale
Dame Joan Sutherland, Paul Plishka, Stefania Toczyska, soloists; Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Richard Bonynge

4:30 pm – William Burden is our on-air guest!

Barber: Vanessa, Act I, Anatol’s aria, “Outside this house”
William Burden; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin

Strauss: Capriccio, “Kein andres, das mir so im Herzen loht”
Joseph Kaiser; Renée Fleming; Russell Braun; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

5:00–6:00 pm

Wagner: Lohengrin, Act II, sc. i, Ortrud’s meeting with Elsa
Amber Wagner; Michaela Schuster; Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades, Act III, Gherman’s Gambling Scene aria
Misha Didyk; Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona/Bertrand de Billy

5:30 pm – Ana María Martínez is our on-air guest!
Gounod: Faust, Act III, “The Jewel Song”
Ana María Martínez; Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

Verdi: Il trovatore, Act IV, “Mira d’acerbe lagrime”
Sondra Radvanovsky; Mark Delavan; Lyric Opera Orchestra/Bruno Bartoletti


Daveda Karanas, Amanda Majeski, and Brandon Jovanovich will star in “The Passenger”














6:00-7:00 pm

6:15 pm – Michael Black is our on-air guest!

Strauss: Capriccio; “Moonlight Music”
Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

Also hear music from Tosca, Carousel, and Porgy and Bess.

7:00-8:00 pm

7:00 pm – Robert Falls is our on-air guest!

Hear music from Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, Il trovatore, and more!

8:00-9:00 pm

8:00 pm – Quinn Kelsey is our on-air guest!

Hear music from Anna Bolena, Tannhäuser, Il trovatore, and more!

9:00-10:00 pm

9:00 pm – Asher Fisch is our on-air guest!

Puccini: Madama Butterfly “Humming Chorus”
Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Asher Fisch

Mozaer: Le nozze di Figaro, Act III, “Hai già vinta la causa”
Mariusz Kwiecien; Lyric Opera Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

Mieczysław Weinberg: The Passenger, Act II finale (Marta’s aria)
Elena Kelessidi; Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Teodor Currentzis

10:00–11:00 pm

Hear music from Capriccio, The Passenger, Anna Bolena, and more!

  • David Wend

    Dear Lisa: I was originally in the group that was traveling to Russia but had to drop out. I hope you will consider another trip in the not too distant future. Thank you for sharing the photographs.