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
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
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.
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
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.
December 9, 2020
In Franz Lehar's operetta The Merry Widow, the men cheerfully complain "the study of women is hard," and the women dance circles around them! Premiered in the early twentieth century, The Merry Widow was an international sensation on an unprecedented scale. Its songs were widely distributed, its action adapted into films, and its costumes imitated widely in department stores. Come for the music, stay for the parties… all three of them! You never know, you might just find yourself a fan!
Hosted by Pat with illustrator and opera-lover Rosie Brooks
November 14, 2020
To thine own self be true… with the source material, however, you can be more flexible. In the mid-19th century, Ambroise Thomas created a Grand Opera that took on what many consider the greatest play ever written. Travel through a familiar story made all new by a romantic focus and a twist ending! Who will live? Who will die? Who will get herself to a nunnery?
Hosted by Pat and Kathleen Van De Wille.
October 17, 2020
The young ones in your life may not be ready to sit through the entire Ring Cycle, but we can assure you that the world of opera has many delights available to them. On this episode Keely and Pat are joined by special guest, illustrator and opera aficionado Rosie Brooks. Rosie has combined these two passions, and has been drawing the stories of operas for a children’s book she is in the process of creating. We sheepishly admit we have taken her away from this important work to chat about songs and operas with some appeal to children, in no particular order. Like child’s play!
Hosted by Keely and Pat with special guest illustrator and opera-lover Rosie Brooks
September 16, 2020
A beautiful diva arrives just in time to shed new light on an inheritance case that is a century old. She doesn’t behave like other women, and somehow she knows exactly where to locate the will that has eluded searchers for generations. The mystery grows more perplexing and incomprehensible, as the characters grow ever more extreme in their behaviors. The Makropulos Case by Leoš Janáček is a taut mystery enriched with lush music that also asks us to consider the value of our own mortality. Hosted by Keely and Pat
August 24, 2020
The Devil takes center stage in this opera based on the Faust story: a timeless tale of the seductive nature of evil and the redemptive promise of grace. Known primarily for his many successful libretti, Arrigo Boito gave his full poetic, philosophical, and musical talents to this, his only complete opera. This is the third in a series of Opera For Everyone podcasts featuring operas based on Goethe’s “Faust.” Also in the series: Episode 76 "La Damnation de Faust" by Hector Berlioz, and Episode 78 "Faust" by Charles Gounod. All three are hosted by Pat and guest co-host Kathleen Van De Wille.