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Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera

Jul 18, 2021

Season 3 kicks off with a visit from poet and professor Daniel Nester, librettist for "The Summer King" by Daniel Sonenberg and author of "God Save My Queen". We talk about slam poetry, karaoke and New York City's Bowery Poetry Club, and then attempt a deep dive into the operatic context of the classic rock song...


Dec 31, 2020

A discussion of Giuseppe Verdi's breakthrough opera "Nabucco" and its Biblical origin story of Nebuchadnezzar and the neo-Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem. We also talk about Boney M, the Melodians "By the Rivers of Babylon", the Broadway musical "Godspell", Herman Melville's "Moby Dick", and why some of us hate Verdi's...


Oct 23, 2020

Vicki Zunitch joins Marc Eliot Stein for a fresh in-depth examination of Puccini's great opera "La Boheme". We talk about the existential choices the characters make, the original comic stories by Henri Murger, the lifestyle of starving artists in 19th Century Paris and today, morning music at the Gate of Hell,...


Jun 30, 2020

Jules Massenet is best known for "Manon" and "Werther", and his "Don Quichotte" hasn't played at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City for nearly a hundred years. Why not, and was it actually killed in 1926 by a single bad review? Marc Eliot Stein rediscovers this forgotten classic and finds a beautiful...


Apr 30, 2020

We continue our look at the two great Figaro operas with a deep dive into Mozart's dark sexual comedy "Le Nozze di Figaro". We talk about Soren Kierkegaard, "Either/Or", trouser roles, gender ambiguity, castratos, Peter Pan, Harpo Marx, Prince's "Purple Rain", Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, Rossini,...