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At the Opera - 12/22/12 - Operatic Holiday Double Bill - Puccini: La Boheme / Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors + The Holiday Potpourri Show


La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere performance of La bohème was in Turin on February 1,1896 at the Teatro Regio and conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is the one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. This 1956 recording stars Victoria de los Angeles, Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill, Sir Thomas Beecham conducts.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is an opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti with an original English libretto by the composer. It was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, in New York City at NBC studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, where it was broadcast live on television as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America.

Menotti was inspired by The Adoration of the Magi (Hieronymus Bosch, died 1516) to create Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Menotti was commissioned by Peter Herman Adler, director of NBC's new opera programming, to write the first opera for television. The composer had trouble settling on a subject for the opera, but took his inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch's The Adoration of the Magi hanging in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

As the airdate neared, Menotti had yet to finish the score. The singers had little time to rehearse, and received the final passages of the score just days before the broadcast. The composer's companion Samuel Barber was brought in to complete the orchestrations. After the dress rehearsal, NBC Symphony conductor Arturo Toscanini told Menotti, "This is the best you've ever done."

Menotti distinctly wanted Amahl to be performed by a boy. In the Production Notes contained in the Piano-Vocal score he wrote: "It is the express wish of the composer that the role of Amahl should always be performed by a boy. Neither the musical nor the dramatic concept of the opera permits the substitution of a woman costumed as a child." This 1951 original cast recording is conducted by Thomas Schippers.

 

Join host Sean Bianco for his annual Holiday Opera Potpourri Show. Tune in to hear some of your favorite opera singers sing holiday favorites and of course we will have a visit from Mario Lanza singing some of his biggest holiday hits. A great show for the whole family.

 
 
Saturday, December 22, 2012

Play List

8:00p
8:00p
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo - Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor; Label: Naxos; Number: 8550240 FindBUY FindBUY
8:10p
Giacomo Puccini: La Boheme (1956) - RCA Victor Opera Orchestra and Chorus; Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor; de los Angeles / Bjorling / Merrill; Label: EMI Classics; Number: 724356775329 FindBUY FindBUY
10:00p
10:30p
Gian Carlo Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors - NBC Television Theater Orchestra; Thomas Schippers, conductor; Chet Allen; Label: RCA; Number: 64852RG FindBUY FindBUY
11:00p
11:16p
Adam: O holy night - National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor; Luciano Pavarotti; Label: Decca; Number: B0005301-02 FindBUY FindBUY
11:21p
Yon: Gesu Bambino - National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor; Luciano Pavarotti; Label: Decca; Number: B0005301-02 FindBUY FindBUY
11:25p
trad.: Adeste Fideles (O come, all ye faithful) - National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor; Luciano Pavarotti; Label: Decca; Number: B0005301-02 FindBUY FindBUY
11:29p
trad.: Joy to the world - National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor; Joan Sutherland; Label: Polygram Records; Number: B0005301-02 FindBUY FindBUY
11:32p
trad.: O Tannenbaum - National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor; Leontyne Price; Label: Polygram Records; Number: B0005301-02 FindBUY FindBUY
11:35p
Irving Berlin: White Christmas - Philharmonia Orchestra; Carl Davis, conductor; Kiri Te Kanawa; Label: Decca; Number: 414632-2 FindBUY FindBUY
11:39p
Felix Bernard: Winter Wonderland - Philharmonia Orchestra; Carl Davis, conductor; Kiri Te Kanawa; Label: Decca; Number: 414632-2 FindBUY FindBUY
11:42p
Wesley-Mendelssohn: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - RCA Orchestra; Henri Rene, conductor; Mario Lanza; Label: RCA Gold Seal; Number: 6427-2-RG FindBUY FindBUY
11:45p
Mohr-Gruber: Silent Night - RCA Orchestra; Henri Rene, conductor; Mario Lanza; Label: RCA Gold Seal; Number: 6427-2-RG FindBUY FindBUY
11:48p
Adam: Cantique De Noel - n/a; n/a, conductor; Enrico Caruso; Label: Naxos; Number: 6945236 FindBUY FindBUY
11:52p
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo - Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor; Label: Naxos; Number: 8550240 FindBUY FindBUY
11:56p
Giacomo Puccini: Edgar, opera: Prelude to Act III - Czecho-Slovack Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ondrej Lenard, conductor; Label: Naxos; Number: 8550240 FindBUY FindBUY

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