The program broadcasts the best performances of famous operas, ballets, musicals, and operettas, presenting their plots and the history of their creation.
Before each act, the corresponding part of libretto is read, which makes the listening experience more vivid and comprehensible.
The author of the libretto of Verdi’s opera Otello is Arrigo Boito, and the plot is based on Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name.
The opera was premiered on February 5, 1887, at Milan’s La Scala theater. The 74-year-old composer had written Otello in a new manner and with a special enthusiasm. The audience accepted it with great exultation. The opera soon became well-known in the world and is considered as one of the best works of Verdi.
The opera consists of four acts, which are presented in the four parts of this broadcast, respectively.
The opera's libretto was written by Ranieri de' Calzabigi on the basis of a variant of the ancient Greek legend incorporated in Virgil's "Georgics." The antique personages are presented in a lofty and touching simplicity in the opera and express real feelings peculiar to ordinary humans. The end of the opera, unlike that of the legend, is happy.
The author of the libretto of the Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli’s opera “La Gioconda” is the well-known Italian composer and poet Arrigo Boito who wrote it under the pseudonym Tobia Gorrio. The plot is based on the drama "Angelo, Tyrant of Padua" by Victor Hugo.
"La Gioconda" was premiered on April 8, 1876, in La Scala, Milan.
The opera consists of four acts, which are presented in the four parts of our broadcast, respectively.
In 1881, the French composer Léo Delibes was commissioned by the management of Paris National Opéra-Comique Theater to write an opera on an Oriental theme. And he wrote Lakmé, which is based on Pierre Loti's novel "Loti's Mariage." The authors of the French libretto are Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille.
The actions of the opera take place in the late 19th century India. Lakmé was premiered on April 14, 1883, at Opéra-Comique.
Czech composer Smetana began to write this satirical Opera in 1863. The author of the libretto was the famous Czech writer Karel Sabina. The initial version of the libretto written only for a single act did not satisfy the composer. At his request, the libretto was expanded to two acts. Smetana finished the music for this version in 1866. On May 30 of the same year, the Opera was premiered at the Provisional Theater in Prague.
In 1870, Smetana changed the Opera to be presented in St. Petersburg. He partially modified the text of the Opera and created several new musical episodes. This new version consisted of three acts and continues to be presented to the audience in this form.
The Opera's three acts are presented in the three parts of our broadcast, respectively.
In 1844, the famous French librettist Jules Saint-Georges invited Flotow to participate in the creation of the three-act ballet "Lady Harriette" for Grand Opera. The premiere of the ballet on April 21, 1844, was a success and marked the beginning of Flotow's cooperation with Saint-Georges, whose librettos were used by Flotow in a number of operas.
But Flotow also collaborated with the Hamburg-born singer Friedrich Wilhelm Riese. It was the latter who persuaded Flotow to use the plot of the ballet "Lady Harriette" for the opera "Martha, or The Fair of Richmond."
The premiere of the romantic-comic opera "Martha" took place on September 25, 1847, in Kärntnertortheater, Vienna.
The opera consists of four acts, which are presented in four parts of our broadcast, respectively.
The Italian libretto was written by Felice Romani on the basis of the tragedy "Norma, or the Infanticide" by French dramatist Louis Alexandre Soumet.
Bellini completed the music for the opera 20 days before the premiere. At the request of the composer, the rehearsals also continued in the morning on the day before the premiere. Because of this, all the soloists were very tired, and as a result, the premiere that took place on December 26, 1831, failed. Bellini called this performance a "real fiasco." But on the next day, December 27, the audience appreciated the opera, applauding even during those scenes that had been especially poor on the previous evening. From that day on, Bellini’s "Norma" began its triumphal procession in the world's opera houses.
The opera consists of two acts, which are presented in the two parts of the broadcast, respectively.
In 1896, the Director of the Imperial Theaters of St. Petersburg Ivan Vsevolozhsky commissioned Glazunov to write music for the ballet Raymonda. The author of the idea of the playscript was Marius Petipa, a 19th-century leading choreographer, and the libretto was written by Russian writer Lidiya Pashkova. The premiere of the ballet took place on January 7, 1898, at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.
The ballet consists of three acts, which are presented in the three parts of the broadcast, respectively.
The broadcast presents Sergei Prokofiev's opera Тhe Love for Тhree Оranges. The libretto was written by Prokofiev himself on the basis of the eponymous fairy tale by Italian writer Carlo Gozzi. The opera was first presented on stage on December 30, 1921, in Chicago, in the French language.
The author of the libretto is Luigi Illica. The Opera was premiered on March 28, 1896.
The main character of the Opera is the famous French poet Andrea Chénier. At first, he welcomed the Great French Revolution, but later rejected the Jacobin dictatorship and terror, defended the king, and criticized the main leader of the Jacobins Maximilien Robespierre.
Because of persecution, the poet tried to flee from Paris two times but was arrested. During the 140 days that he spent in prison, Andrea Chénier wrote his best poems, which inspired Luigi Illica in writing the libretto.
On July 25, 1794, Chénier was accused of conspiring against the state and was executed on the same day.
Opera "Andrea Chénier" consists of four acts, which are presented in the four parts of the broadcast
The libretto is based on the tragedy "Boris Godunov" by Alexander Pushkin, but the composer also used a number of historiographic articles and "The History of the Russian State" by Nikolay Karamzin.
Mussorgsky completed the first edition of the opera in 1869 and the second, in 1872.
The premiere of the opera took place on January 27, 1874, at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.
"Boris Godunov" consists of four acts, which are presented in the four parts of the broadcast respectively.
In early 1864, the French composer Jacques Offenbach was looking for a subject for his new operetta and chose the epic poem "Iliad" by ancient Greek poet Homer. Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote the libretto.
The operetta was premiered on December 17, 1864, in Paris.
It consists of three acts, which are presented in the three parts of the broadcast respectively.
The broadcast presents Pyotr Tchaikovsky's opera The Queen of Spades written on the basis of Alexander Pushkin's novel of the same name.
The idea of creating a ballet on this subject was proposed by the Director of the Russian Imperial Theaters Ivan Vsevolozhsky. He created the libretto of the ballet together with the famous ballet master Marius Petipa. Vsevolozhsky used only the first part of Perrault's tale for the plot . He omitted the long part on the later fate of Aurora, Prince Désiré, and his evil stepmother. Vsevolozhsky and Petipa did not change the plot of the story. They just changed its style, turning the moral and instructive story into a magic and stunning performance.
The ballet was premiered on January 3, 1890, at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.
You'll listen to the Sleeping Beauty performed by the Russian National Orchestra,conductor- Mikhail Pletnev.
The Opera-buffa "La serva padrona" (The Servant Turned Mistress) is a short opera consisting of one act. It is based perhaps on the comedy of the same name by Jacopo Nelli. The author of the Italian libretto is Gennaro Federico.
Pergolesi wrote this opera as an intermezzo to the larger opera series "The Proud Prisoner" consisting of three acts.
The opera was premiered on August 28, 1733, at San Bartolomeo Theater in Naples.
Mozart was offered the libretto for this opera by his longtime friend, theatrical businessman Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote it using the themes of Christoph Martin Wieland's fantasy poems and fairy tales. Schikaneder also included some secret masonic ritualistic trials and mystical transformations in his libretto. The plot of the opera was very primitive, but Mozart managed to express serious moral and philosophical notions in it. He was inspired by the mottoes of human equality and brotherhood, faith in goodness, and desire of moral perfection.
The Magic Flute was premiered on September 30, 1791. Two months after the play, before even reaching the age of 36, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died, leaving a huge legacy of brilliant works that do not concede each other.
The opera consists of two acts, which are presented in two parts of the broadcast, respectively.