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10 Shows to Hear This November on WVIA Radio
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Check out the WVIA Radio Highlights for November 2021

Carmen - George Bizet

Saturday, November 6th, 1pm

Vienna State Opera, one of the most influential and historically important opera houses in the world, brings an exceptional performance of Bizet’s Carmen starring the inimitable Anita Rachvelishvili in the title role alongside a stellar cast. Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

The Vienna Opera House is a marvel, with a deep history that touches the very core of Austrian and European classical music. The structure of the opera house was planned by the Viennese architect August Sicard von Sicardsburg, while the inside was designed by interior decorator Eduard van der Nüll. It was also impacted by other major artists such as Moritz von Schwind, who painted the frescoes in the foyer, and the famous “Zauberflöten” (“Magic Flute”) series of frescoes on the veranda. Neither of the architects survived to see the opening of ‘their’ opera house: the sensitive van der Nüll committed suicide, and his friend Sicardsburg died of a stroke soon afterwards.

On May 25, 1869, the opera house solemnly opened with Mozart’s DON JUAN in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. The popularity of the building grew under the artistic influence of the first directors: Franz von Dingelstedt, Johann Herbeck, Franz Jauner, and Wilhelm Jahn. The Vienna opera experienced its first high point under the direction of Gustav Mahler. He completely transformed the outdated performance system, increased the precision and timing of the performances, and also utilized the experience of other noteworthy artists, such as Alfred Roller, for the formation of new stage aesthetics.

Pittsburgh Symphony

Sunday, November 7th, 2pm

It’s a choral classic.  Music Director Manfred Honeck conducts the orchestra, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and soloists in Verdi’s Requiem with its powerful Day of Wrath - Dies irae.  

Peter Grimes - Benjamin Britten

Saturday, November 13th, 1pm

Teatro Real, Madrid, presents Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, starring Allan Clayton in the title role alongside Maria Bengtsson as Ellen Orford and a fantastic cast. Ivor Bolton conducts the Teatro Real Orchestra and Chorus.

If there exists a before and after in British opera, then this is measured from the opening of Peter Grimes at Sadler’s Wells in London in June 1945. Greeted as the most important English opera since the time of Henry Purcell, the success of the work was decisive in the evolution of Britten’s operatic talent and consolidating him as the composer who was to become an undisputed reference point of the 20th century.

Based on a poem published in 1810 with a more ethnographic than dramatic focus, Britten constructed a somber parable about the conflict between the masses and the individual. The maritime atmosphere, the crudity of people’s lives and passions, and the complex, impenetrable personality of the protagonist come together in a tragedy that ferments and explodes in the din of silence and hearsay; a tragedy which is immediately forgotten and gives way to the self-righteousness of everyday lives and the movement of the sea itself.

After the recent success of Billy Budd, opera and theatre director Deborah Warner returns to the Teatro Real to premiere this co-production between the Royal Opera House Covent Garden of London, the Opéra National de Paris (or the Paris Opera) and the Teatro dell’Opera of Rome. 

Pittsburgh Symphony

Sunday, November 14th, 2pm

Jan Lisiecki makes his Heinz Hall debut to continue the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle with the 1st concerto.  Bernard Labadie conducts Haydn’s Symphony No. 98 and the Henri Joseph Rigel Symphonie No. 4.

Luisa Miller - Giuseppe Verdi

Saturday, November 20th, 1pm

Teatro dell’Opera, Roma (Rome Opera) presents a stunning performance of Verdi’s Luisa Miller, starring Roberta Mantegna in the title role, alongside Michele Pertusi as Count Walter, Antonio Poli as Rodolfo, and Daniela Barcellona as Federica. Michele Mariotti conducts the Rome Opera Orchestra and Chorus from the stage of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera.

The narrative of this opera is based on the play “Kabale und Liebe” by Friedrich Schiller. Luisa, the daughter of an old soldier, is in love with Rodolfo who feigns being a commoner when in fact he’s the son of Count Walther. Walther is determined that his son marry the duchess, Federica, and schemes with the evil steward Wurm to break up the romance between his son and Luisa by arresting her father. Will the couple find lasting love or heart-breaking tragedy?

Luisa Miller marks a transition between Verdi’s early and middle periods and has earned a permanent place in the repertoire for it’s stunning use of music as a driving element of drama.

Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food and Gratitude

Sunday, November 21st, 2pm

Giving Thanks brings music and stories together for thoughtful reflection on the meaning of the holiday. Whether you're up early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words. John Birge hosts.


Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food and Gratitude

Thursday, November 25th, 1pm

Giving Thanks brings music and stories together for thoughtful reflection on the meaning of the holiday. Whether you're up early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words. John Birge hosts.


Every Good Thing

Thursday, November 25th, 3pm

On Thanksgiving, host Andrea Blain and classical music fans from all around the country take some time to give thanks and celebrate one of life's most meaningful gifts: music. It's "Every Good Thing" — an hour of stories and music to celebrate Thanksgiving.


The Mixed Bag annual broadcast of Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant 

Thursday, November 25th, 8pm

A tradition on Mixed Bag, the classic musical monologue was inspired by an incident in Stockbridge, MA, on Thanksgiving 1965, and has become a cultural phenomenon. More than 5 decades later the song resonates with listeners. 

Silent Night - Kevin Puts

Saturday, November 27th, 1pm

The 2021 WFMT Radio Network Opera Series concludes with MN Opera’s production of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, conducted by Courtney Lewis. Performed in 2018, MN Opera’s international sensation makes its homecoming, honoring the centennial of World War I’s conclusion. Recounting a miraculous moment of peace during one of the bloodiest wars in human history, Scottish, French, and German officers defy their superiors and negotiate a Christmas Eve truce. The Pulitzer Prize-winning music underscores the yearning, despair, and hope of the soldiers living in the trenches. Silent Night masterfully juxtaposes the bombastic sounds of war with serene songs from home, and stands as a heartfelt hymn to our common humanity.

Pittsburgh Symphony

Sunday, November 28th, 2pm

Romanian conductor, Cristian Măcelaru leads the orchestra in one of the most famous works by his countryman, Eugene Enescu: Rumanian Rhapsody No.1. Augustine Hadelich is the soloist in the Violin Concerto of Antonín Dvořak.