The Classical Station offers two wonderful opportunities each week to hear the best in opera: Thursday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. from December through May. The Opera House has been a regular Thursday night feature on The Classical Station since April of 1980. On Saturday afternoons from December through May we broadcast the Metropolitan Opera Saturday afternoon matinees. Note: As of March 14, the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts will be pre-recorded performances from the Met's archives.

Robert Chapman

The late Al Ruocchio hosted Opera House from 1980 until his death in 2007. On December 4th, 2008, Bob Chapman became only the third host in the history of the WCPE Opera House, succeeding Robert Galbraith. Bob is an experienced opera singer himself, and continues to use his wealth of experience and talents to bring the very best works of opera to our listeners with his show. Bob describes the story of each week's opera in his weekly Opera House Newsletter. To receive your personal copy, use the sign up form at the bottom of this page. Bob emails his newsletter on Wednesday mornings. Click on the link on each opera title below to read Bob's synopsis for that opera.


Spring 2020


March 5

Massenet: Don Quichotte

Leigh: Man of La Mancha
Aging knight Quichotte (Ghiaurov) and his squire Sancho (Bacquier) woo the lovely Dulcinée (Crespin) in Massenet's 1895 opera. The 1965 Broadway version of Cervantes's classic novel features Domingo, Patinkin, and Migenes.

March 12

Blitzstein: Regina
A bleak picture of upper-class American life at the turn of the last century in a small Southern town, Regina exposes how greed can destroy a family. Ciesinski, Ramey, Rieux, and Greenawald sing principal roles.

March 19

Gounod: Faust
Faust (Domingo) sells his soul to the devilish Méphistophélès (Ghiaurov)é in return for a love affair with Marguerite (Freni). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

March 26

Spring Membership Drive
Bob Chapman and Rob Kennedy play arias, ensembles, and choruses as you pledge your support for the WCPE Opera House.

April 2

Delibes: Lakmé
Indian Brahmin priest Nilakantha (Van Dam) kills British officer Gérald (Kunde), who has been having an affair with the priest's daughter Lakmé (Dessay).

April 9

Wagner: Parsifal
A foolish young man, Parsifal (Hofmann), gains wisdom through compassion and brings healing to Amfortas (Van Dam), leader of the Grail Knights.

April 16

Rossini: Semiramide
Assur (Rouleau), who helps Semiramide (Sutherland) murder her husband, wants to marry the queen, but she's attracted to Arsace (Horne)—who turns out to be her own son. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

April 23

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites
An emotionally unstable Blanche de la Force (Dubosc) enters a Carmelite convent seeking peace. Against the background of the French Revolution, she and other nuns willingly go to the guillotine.

April 30

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Belmonte (Schreier) rescues Konstanze (Auger), Blondchen (Grist), and Pedrillo (Neukirch) from a Turkish harem despite roadblocks of Osmin (Moll).

May 7

Giordano: Andrea Chénier
During the French Revolution, the poet Chénier (Del Monaco) rebukes Maddalena (Tebaldi) for scorning love. Later, they fall in love, but her former boyfriend Gérard (Bastianini) denounces Chénier.

May 14

Puccini: Il Trittico
Scotto, Domingo, and Wixell star in Il Tabarro; Scotto is Suor Angelica; and Gobbi, Cotrubaş, and Domingo head the cast in Gianni Schicchi.

May 21

Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Pasquale (Bruscantini) wants to marry to prevent nephew Ernesto (Winbergh) from inheriting his estate. Malatesta (Nucci) suggests his sister Norina (Freni), who's in love with Ernesto. (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

May 28

Weill: Street Scene
A story of everyday life in a New York City tenement, culminating in murder and the decision of the heroine (Barstow) to seek a better life elsewhere.

Bob prepares a synopsis of each opera which he emails every Wednesday morning. Use this form to subscribe to this informative newsletter.