Opera | WOSU Radio


Pauline Viardot as Orphée (1860)
D. Philippe / wikimedia

The School of Music at The Ohio State University presents Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon in Hughes Hall, 1899 College Road. Free shows! All welcome! Thursday, October 17 at 7:30 and Saturday, October 19 at 2 PM. 

Visit the website to learn how you can attend Cinderella, and help House of Hope help kids in foster care.

Bebeto Mathews / AP

The death of soprano Jessye Norman last week at the age of 74 was as widely reported in the international press as the passing of Luciano Pavarotti in 2007. Whereas journalists had a lot to say about the great tenor’s voice, weight, women, divorce, and personality, remembrances of Miss Norman have centered on her incredible sound.

In the opening scene of Pavarotti, the new documentary by director Ron Howard, the popular tenor travels deep into the Amazon jungle in search of an old opera house where the great Enrico Caruso may have once sung.

The building is shuttered, but because he's Luciano Pavarotti the door is unlocked for him to belt out a few honeyed notes from the stage. His fabulous voice soars into the vast emptiness of the auditorium.

Opera Project Columbus Rigoletto - June 7 at 7:30pm, June 9 at 3pm at the Southern Theatre
Opera Project Columbus / Facebook

I first heard Verdi’s opera Rigoletto on a record I got from the library in my hometown, over fifty years ago.

The first performance of Rigoletto I remember was a broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera on December 7, 1968, a few days after my 12th birthday.

Carlo Bergonzi, who became my favorite tenor, sang the Duke. Anna Moffo, the most beautiful soprano in the world, out of Wayne, Pennsylvania was Gilda. The great baritone Robert Merrill sang the title role. What was not to love?  I loved it all.


When Luciano Pavarotti died in 2007, I cried. 

Simon Pauly / joycedidonato.com

Ask most any singer today what they were first taught to sing, and they'll produce a beat-up copy of a yellow-covered volume from G. Schirmer called 24 Arie Antiche

We just can't resist when puns are involved.

All Sides Weekend Arts: Opera Columbus "The Flood"

Jan 25, 2019
Holger Langmaier / Pixabay

Join guest host Christopher Purdy for a discussion about arts in Columbus. 

All Sides Weekend: Arts

Jan 11, 2019
Ohio Theatre
Jrdphotography / Wikimedia Commons

Join All Sides Weekend guest host Christopher Purdy as we discuss the arts scene in Columbus.

Regina Fleming / morningsideopera.com

Harry Lawrence Freeman was arguably the most important African-American composer of opera working during the era of the Harlem Renaissance.

Despite being one of the first and oldest forms of popular music, opera sometimes struggles to connect with 21st century audiences. However, Anthony Roth Costanzo is breaking down the genre's stodgy stereotype and making opera more accessible — taking his distinctive sound to the masses, from a sixth-grade classroom in the Bronx to NPR's own Tiny Desk.

It may be hard to imagine a composer being inspired by public hearings and court cases. But Lake Erie and its problems take center stage in a new oratorio from Cleveland composer Margaret Brouwer.

Picture a stage full of people – choirs of children and adults, rows of musicians, 4 soloists, and a conductor all performing a piece of music. Here, the real star of Voice of the Lake is Lake Erie.

color photo of rolling hills in the English countryside
Kumweni / Flickr

I know, I know. Another seemingly sensationalistic claim tossed out into cyberspace like so much line at the fishing hole. Sure, winning the lottery can change your life — but a piece of music?

Of course. Even the most hardened Hannibal Lecters (remember the Goldberg Variations scene?) know that music does something deep inside us. Allow me to rhapsodize for a moment about some music that, I believe, does the human heart good.

Charles Wakefield Cadman's opera Ramala will be discussed and sung in a lecture-performance by musicologist Katie Graber and the artists from Ohio State University's School of Music's Department of Opera and Music Theater on Wednesday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Weigel auditorium.

The performance is free and open to the public.