WFMT Radio Network Inaugurates Live Opera Series Featuring Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Los Angeles Houses

Classic Arts News   WFMT Radio Network Inaugurates Live Opera Series Featuring Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Los Angeles Houses
The WFMT Radio Network in Chicago has announced a new series of broadcast performances recorded live at four of America's great opera houses: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera.

The network's 30-week season aims to give public and commercial radio stations live performances to air during the hiatus between the Metropolitan Opera'a annual series of broadcasts, which run from December to May.

Highlights from Chicago's series, the Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts, include Lyric's performances of Gluck's Iphig_nie en Tauride featuring Susan Graham, Strauss's Salome starring Deborah Voigt, and Verdi's Il trovatore with Sondra Radvanovsky and Dolora Zajick. Lyric productions will be broadcast from May 12 through June 30.

Los Angeles Opera broadcasts, which will air from July 7 through August 11, will include Massenet's Manon with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villaz‹n, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone, and Verdi's La traviata with Ren_e Fleming, Villaz‹n, and Renato Bruson.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky takes the title role in Houston Grand Opera's production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, and Zvetelina Vassileva performs alongside Zajick in the company's production of Verdi's Aida. HGO performances will be broadcast from August 18 through September 22.

San Francisco Opera broadcasts, airing September 29 through December 1, will include Puccini's Manon Lescaut starring Karita Mattila, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with Thomas Moser and Christine Brewer, and Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier with Joyce DiDonato and Soile Isokoski.

Steve Robinson, vice president and general manager of the WFMT Radio Network, said in a statement announcing the new series, "The collaboration of these four great American opera companies is an inspiration to everyone at the network. These broadcasts will air on radio stations representing over 200 U.S. markets, will be heard throughout America on XM Satellite Radio, and will be distributed by the network to stations throughout the world."

William Mason, Lyric Opera of Chicago's general director, commented, "We have been on national and international radio for many years, thanks to WFMT, America's premiere classical music station, and we're thrilled and delighted this year to be joining our distinguished colleagues in Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco on this unprecedented series of opera broadcasts."

For more detailed information on the 2007 WFMT Radio Network opera broadcast schedule, visit

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