Opera For Everyone
Ep. 92 Cox and Box & Pirates of Penzance by Sullivan and Gilbert

Ep. 92 Cox and Box & Pirates of Penzance by Sullivan and Gilbert

August 29, 2021

Riding high on the tide of their smash success, H.M.S. Pinafore, W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan enjoyed celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic.  While engaged in defending the integrity of their work against inferior pirated versions, they hastily completed and premiered a show about a group of inferior pirates.  Pirates of Penzance is almost certainly Gilbert and Sullivan’s most enduringly popular collaboration, giving us memorable tunes and characters such as the steadfast Mabel, the swashbuckling Pirate King, and the Very Model of a Modern Major General.  By turns hilarious, incisive, and thrilling, this masterful operetta is a joy to experience.

Furthermore, in keeping with the spirit of a Gilbert and Sullivan presentation, we have a one-act “opener,” Cox and Box.  This show, though comic and tuneful, pre-dates the famous partnership, and pairs Sullivan’s compositions with a libretto by F.C. Burnand.  It’s a charming farce, with a most unusual lullabye!

Hosted by Pat and Rosie

Ep. 91 Guillaume Tell by Rossini [EXTENDED VERSION]

Ep. 91 Guillaume Tell by Rossini [EXTENDED VERSION]

July 17, 2021

This extended version of our William Tell show includes everything from the regular length show, plus more history, more music, more explication, and more fun!

Imperial soldiers, determined rebels, a martyred elder, a plucky youth, a noble princess, a cruel oppressor… it’s not Star Wars; it’s Rossini’s final opera, William Tell!  First performed in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Era and inspired by much earlier legends of a medieval Swiss folk hero, this opera is a masterwork of everything we love about opera.  It tells a story that is at once personal, specific in time and place, and yet universal at its core.  Join host Pat, who, with the help of co-hosts Kathleen and Grant, takes a deep dive into this Bel Canto masterpiece which is both utterly Romantic, and yet completely clear-eyed about the struggle of freedom versus oppression and oppression, shaped by the all-important power of love.

Ep. 91 Guillaume Tell by Rossini

Ep. 91 Guillaume Tell by Rossini

July 17, 2021

Imperial soldiers, determined rebels, a martyred elder, a plucky youth, a noble princess, a cruel oppressor… it’s not Star Wars; it’s Rossini’s final opera, William Tell!  First performed in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Era and inspired by much earlier legends of a medieval Swiss folk hero, this opera is a masterwork of everything we love about opera.  It tells a story that is at once personal, specific in time and place, and yet universal at its core.  Join host Pat, who, with the help of co-hosts Kathleen and Grant, takes a deep dive into this Bel Canto masterpiece which is both utterly Romantic, and yet completely clear-eyed about the struggle of freedom versus oppression and oppression, shaped by the all-important power of love.

Ep. 90 Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz

Ep. 90 Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz

June 18, 2021

An adventurous Renaissance artist’s action-packed autobiography provided compelling inspiration for Hector Berlioz’s first completed opera, Benvenuto Cellini.  Berlioz strongly identified with the notorious Cellini, seeing in him a mirror of his own bravado, skill, and passion… and uses this identification to add to the story.  The result is a relentlessly entertaining opera that is by turns comic, poignant, farcical, political, and romantic.

Hosted by Pat and Kathleen Van De Wille

Ep. 89 Trial by Jury and H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan

Ep. 89 Trial by Jury and H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan

May 24, 2021

How do you get from The Opera to The Musical?  Any answer to that question would have to include the powerhouse Victorian English duo of Gilbert and Sullivan and their ground-breaking form of “light opera.”  Hilarious, cheerful, and energetic, they innovated both in opera and satirical comedy.  Not only were they beloved by theater-goers of the late nineteenth century, they remain popular to this day, influencing the creators of drama, film, and musical theater.

This episode of Opera For Everyone focuses on two of Gilbert and Sullivan’s earliest successes, Trial by Jury and H.M.S. Pinafore.  Join us for a close look at these two delightful shows.

Hosted by Pat and Rosie.

Ep. 88 Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

Ep. 88 Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

April 5, 2021

Although only included in some versions of the biblical book of Daniel, the story of “Susanna and the Elders” has long been a favorite artistic subject thanks to its risqué content and virtuous heroine, Susanna.  Inspired by this story of lechery, slander, and condemnation, American composer Carlisle Floyd wrote Susannah, a poignant opera about the consequences of people’s judgement of one another.

On this special episode, Pat is joined by two opera singers, Mariah Wilcox and Evan Dunn, who share some of their performance experiences, as well as take a close look at the opera Susannah. Evan and Mariah also host Take the Stage: The Opera Podcast, which provides encouragement and support to singers as they develop their careers.  takethestageopera.com

This episode hosted by Pat with guest co-hosts Evan Dunn and Mariah Wilcox

Ep. 87 Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy

Ep. 87 Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy

March 17, 2021

A beautiful young woman with long golden hair; a charming young prince who lives in a castle in the fantastic land of Allemonde… While these may be the ingredients for a classic fairy-tale, this story subverts all expectations.  First performed in the opening decade of the twentieth century, Pelléas et Mélisande is the only opera ever completed by the famed composer Claude Debussy.  Based on a symbolist play, Pelléas et Mélisande marked the debut of a new kind of story-telling... and a new kind of opera. The characters may not live “happily ever after,” but this opera is unmissable, not least for Debussy’s unique and exquisite music.

Hosted by Pat and Kathleen Van De Wille

Ep. 86 Orpheus In The Underworld By Offenbach

Ep. 86 Orpheus In The Underworld By Offenbach

February 13, 2021

It’s not just modern interpreters who poke fun at distinguished personages of the mythic past. In the mid-nineteenth century, Jacques Offenbach turned the Orpehus and Euridice story on its head in his smash-hit, Orpheus in the Underworld. This work, in addition to giving us the infamous “Can-Can,” started an international craze for toe-tapping, fun-loving operettas. Join us for raucous fun with ancient gods and heroes. Hosted by Pat and guest co-host Rosie Brooks.

Ep. 85 L’Orfeo By Monteverdi

Ep. 85 L’Orfeo By Monteverdi

January 18, 2021

In the palace of the Duke of Mantua in 1607, composer Claudio Monteverdi presented a ground-breaking “musical fable” to a select group. The music may sound Medieval to our ears, but it was truly modern at the time, and proved itself an early Baroque masterpiece. Four centuries later, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is still in the repertoire, tugging on the heartstrings of the audience members who long to see the master-musician Orpheus rewarded for a devotion to his beloved Euridice that takes him to the very depths of hell. Hosted by Pat and guest co-host Grant

Ep. 84 L’Enfance Du Christ By Berlioz

Ep. 84 L’Enfance Du Christ By Berlioz

December 23, 2020

Join Opera for Everyone this holiday season as we explore Hector Berlioz’s unusual take on the Christmas story, L’Enfance du Christ. Instead of telling the familiar story culminating in the adoration of the newborn babe, Berlioz composed both music and text to begin with the immediate challenges that followed the birth of the son who had just arrived into the family of Mary and Joseph. We hope you are as enchanted as we are by this fascinating and powerful piece by the man who also composed Symphonie Fantastique, and La Damnation de Faust. Hosted by Pat and Grant.

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