Opera on The Classical Station


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 WCPE 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.

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. We also maintain a channel on YouTube so that you can watch the operas which we feature on Opera House.


Opera House Performances for Winter 2018-2019


December 6

Goldmark: Die Königin von Saba

Although engaged to Sulamith (Kincses),Assad (Jerusalem), the favorite of Solomon’s(Sólyom-Nagy), has fallen in love with the Queen of Sheba (Takács).

December 13

Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini

If Cellini (Kunde) can cast a bronze statue of Perseus by the end of Mardi Gras, Pope Clement VII (Delaigue) will forgive his crimes and allow him to marry Teresa (Ciofi), daughter of the papal treasurer.

December 20

Beethoven: Fidelio

Disguised as a man, Leonore (Janowitz) rescues husband Florestan (Kollo) from prison, where he’s being held by Don Pizarro (Sotin). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

December 27

Bellini: Norma

Norma (Sutherland) is in a love triangle with her best friend Adalgisa (Horne) and Pollione (Alexander), the father of her children.

January 3

Lehár: Die Lustige Witwe

Hanna Glawari (Lott) will lose her late husband’s fortune unless she marries a fellow Pontevedrian, and Count Danilo (Hampson) is still angry over her earlier rebuff.

January 10

Verdi: Giovanna d’Arco

Peasant girl Joan of Arc (Netrebko) inspires French king Charles VII (Meli) to fight the English, but father James (Domingo) denounces her as a witch.

January 17

Gounod: Faust

Faust (Domingo) sells his soul to the devilish Méphistophélès (Ghiaurov), in return for a love affair with Marguerite (Freni), sister of Valentin (Allen). (From the Ruocchio Archives.)

January 24

Mozart: Die Hochzeit des Figaro

Figaro (Kunz) and Susanna (Seefried) outwit Count Almaviva (Schöffler), who wants to sleep with the maid before her wedding to servant Figaro. The countess (Schwarzkopf ) tries to save her own marriage, despite having an affair with the teenaged page Cherubino (Güden).

January 31

Catalani: La Wally

Wally (Marton) asks Gellner (Titus) to murder Hagenbach (Araiza) but has second thoughts and tries unsuccessfully to rescue him.

February 7

Monteverdi: Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria

Shortly after the Trojan War, Ulisse (Prégardien) has been gone for months, and his lonely wife, Penelope (Fink), is waiting for him. Eventually, Ulisse returns disguised as a poor beggar, kills Penelope’s suitors, and reclaims his wife.

February 14

Offenbach: Orphée aux Enfers

Eurydice (Dessay) is fatally bitten by a snake and relocates to the Underworld to be with Pluto (Fouchécourt), her lover. Husband Orpheus (Beuron) reluctantly tries to retrieve Eurydice; both are pleased when his attempt fails.

February 21

Donizetti: Don Pasquale

Bachelor 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.)

February 28

Janáček: The Makropulos Affair

A life-prolonging elixir was tested on Elina Makropulos as a young woman. Since then she constantly changes identities. As the effect wears off, the 337-year-old Emilia Marty (Söderström) searches for a new recipe.