Sit 'Front Row Center' With Classical 101 Every Friday Night

May 1, 2018

If you're looking for the best date-night cuddle soundtrack, if you need an outlet for your own joy, passion and despair — or if you just want to have a great time, join me Friday nights at 7 for Classical 101's Front Row Center.

It's a new program, hosted by yours truly, all about opera and more.

Speaking of Opera and More, for many years I played you a complete opera on Saturday afternoons, from May to December.

I wanted to take the act year round, and I wanted Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Tebaldi, Carlo Bergonzi, Robert Merrill, Claudio Monteverdi, Richard Wagner and all the gang to come along with us. So we've redesigned the format of the content, complete with a new, year-round slot on the Classical 101 schedule.

Write this down — or, as operatic characters will do, imprint this on your heart: Front Row Center, every Friday night from 7 to 9, beginning May 4, on Classical 101.

(You won't see the big hair on the radio.)

Now that I have your attention: Front Row Center will feature the artists you've always loved, even if many of them are now (presumably) in heaven.

We'll hear plenty of the exciting young singers making news today: Pretty Yende, Michael Spyres, Ildar Abdrazakov, Michael Fabiano and Quinn Kelsey among them.

And how about those in mid-career: Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, Joyce DiDonato, Cecilia Bartoli and Juan Diego Florez.

I'm also reaching further back to include Enrico Caruso, Rosa Ponselle, Fritz Wunderlich, Dietrich Fischer and Ettore Bastianini.

The best part about our new format is the ability to program works hard to place during a weekday. I want to be sure to offer you the great lieder composers like Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf and Johannes Brahms.

We'll celebrate Christa Ludwig's 90th birthday, and hear Jonas Kaufmann in a recital of lieder by Richard Strauss.

There'll be art song performances in Russian, French, Spanish, and even in English.

The possibilities are endless. So is the scope. If you want an evening of vocal splendor, passionate music, performances intimate and grand, and a bit of dish, then Front Row Center is for you!

Tune in Friday nights from 7 to 9 on Classical 101, beginning May 4.