Through June and July, Cincinnati’s classical public radio station celebrates Cincinnati Opera’s 100th anniversary with a special series of encore performances
CINCINNATI, OH—Though Cincinnati Opera performances have been cancelled this summer, a special partnership with 90.9 WGUC will bring opera to fans all season long.
The nation’s second-oldest opera company, Cincinnati Opera presented its first performance on June 27, 1920, and its annual Summer Festival has become a beloved Cincinnati arts-going tradition. On the occasion of the Opera’s 100th birthday, 90.9 WGUC will launch a series of encore presentations of some of the company’s most memorable productions from summers past. This special series will be broadcast both on-air and online each Saturday at 1 p.m. EST beginning June 27, 2020 and will continue through July 25, 2020.
The June 27 kickoff opens with an hourlong program titled “Cincinnati Opera’s Beginnings,” hosted by Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera. Mirageas will interweave history and musical excerpts to chronicle the creation of the company.
“When we realized our stages would be dark this summer, we knew we couldn’t let our big birthday go by without some sort of celebration,” said Mirageas. “The operas featured in this series represent some of our most extraordinary productions from recent seasons. We’re so grateful to our partners at 90.9 WGUC for keeping the music going!”
Continued Mirageas, “These encore performances are also being presented with the kind cooperation of Local 1, the Cincinnati chapter of the American Federation of Musicians, and the American Guild of Musical Artists.”
“We value our relationship with Cincinnati Opera and regret that their 100th Anniversary season had to be cancelled. I’m happy that WGUC can ensure summertime opera to Greater Cincinnati fans and music lovers with these encore broadcasts. We’re looking forward to experiencing these classic performances with everyone on Saturday afternoons,” said Richard Eiswerth, President and CEO of Cincinnati Public Radio, home of 90.9 WGUC.
For additional details, please visit wguc.org.
CINCINNATI OPERA SUMMER BROADCASTS ON WGUC 90.9
Event Schedule (all times are EST):
Saturday, June 27
- 1 pm: “Cincinnati Opera’s Beginnings” featuring Evans Mirageas
- Cincinnati has had a love affair with opera since the early 1800s, not long after the city was founded. Mirageas will chronicle the rich—and sometimes hilarious—history of opera in the Queen City and the events that led to the creation of Cincinnati Opera in 1920.
- 2 pm: Encore broadcast of Elektra
- Originally performed in 2002 at Cincinnati Music Hall
Music by Richard Strauss; libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Sebastian Weigle, conductor; Nicholas Muni, stage director
Featuring Anja Silja, Deborah Polaski, Inga Nielsen, Robert Hale, Kenneth Garrison
Based on the tragedy by Sophocles, Strauss’s Elektra traces the emotional struggles of its title character, a young woman whose father has been killed by her mother and her mother’s paramour. Elektra obsessively plots to avenge her father’s death, but upon its achievement is herself destroyed. The 2002 presentation marked the company’s first-ever production of the work and featured a star-studded cast.
- Originally performed in 2002 at Cincinnati Music Hall
Saturday, July 4
- 1 p.m. Encore broadcast of La Bohème
- Originally performed in 2017 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts
Music by Giacomo Puccini; libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Louis Langrée, conductor; Natascha Metherell, stage director
Featuring Nicole Cabell, Jessica Rivera, Sean Pannikar, Rodion Pogossov, Nathan Stark, Edward Nelson
For more than a century, Puccini’s most celebrated opera, La Bohème, has moved audiences to tears with its sweeping score of gorgeous melodies and timeless tale of young lovers in Paris. Cincinnati Opera presented this co-production with English National Opera. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Louis Langrée conducted, becoming only the third sitting CSO music director to conduct his orchestra for Cincinnati Opera.
Saturday, July 11
- 1 p.m. Encore broadcast of The Tales of Hoffmann
- Originally performed in 2006 at Cincinnati Music Hall
Music by Jacques Offenbach; libretto by Michel Carre and Jules Barbier
Emmanuel Plasson, conductor; Mark Streshinsky, stage director
Featuring Vinson Cole, Philippe Rouillon, Nathalie Paulin, Sarah Coburn, Milena Kitic, Ruxandra Donose
Offenbach’s one true opera, first performed in 1881, vaulted him into the realms of great operatic composers. A fantastic tale about a poet and the fates of his three true loves, The Tales of Hoffmann is, in many ways, a dark comedy, though it is flavored with an abundance of gorgeous musical moments.
Saturday, July 18
- 1 p.m. Encore broadcast of Fellow Travelers
- Originally performed in 2016 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts
Music by Gregory Spears; libretto by Greg Pierce
Mark Gibson, conductor; Kevin Newbury, stage director
Featuring Aaron Blake, Joseph Lattanzi, Devon Guthrie, Alexandra Schoeny, Marcus DeLoach
Cincinnati Opera presented the world premiere of Fellow Travelers during its 2016 Summer Festival. Based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon, Fellow Travelers takes place in 1950s Washington, D.C., and follows Timothy Laughlin, a recent college graduate and devout Catholic eager to join the crusade against Communism. A chance encounter with a handsome State Department official, Hawkins Fuller, leads to Tim’s first job in D.C. and—after Fuller’s advances—his first love affair. As McCarthy makes a desperate bid for power and investigations focus on “sexual subversives,” Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions, his love for God, and his love for Fuller—an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal.
Saturday, July 25
- 1 p.m. Encore broadcast of Aida
- Originally performed in 2013 at Cincinnati Music Hall
Music by Giuseppe Verdi; libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni
Carlo Rizzi, conductor; Bliss Hebert, stage director
Featuring Latonia Moore, Michelle DeYoung, Antonello Palombi, Gordon Hawkins, Morris Robinson
Rebellion is brewing at Egypt’s borders. Aida, an Ethiopian princess and prisoner of war, finds herself in love with her captor, and he with her. When he is commissioned to lead a battle against her people, Aida is torn between her love for him and for her country. The grandest of all operatic masterpieces, Verdi’s beloved Aida is infused with gorgeous melodies, bringing ancient Egypt to life through music such as the iconic “Triumphal March.”
For additional schedule and performance information, visit wguc.org.
ABOUT 90.9 WGUC
90.9 WGUC, Cincinnati’s classical public radio station, part of Cincinnati Public Radio, has been home to classical music and the arts in the Greater Cincinnati community for 60 years. Presenting the finest from the classical music canon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with special features like Classics for Kids, Your Classical Choice, and New at Noon, WGUC also records and broadcasts performances by the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, May Festival, and other local performing groups.
ABOUT CINCINNATI OPERA
Founded in 1920 and the second-oldest opera company in the nation, Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of grand opera every summer. The company’s repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterworks brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative teams.
The company expresses deep gratitude to these funders who provide critical support: ArtsWave, Ohio Arts Council, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Huntington, Patricia A. Corbett Estate and Trust, and the Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation, along with many other generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect our community through diverse opera experiences.
For more information, visit cincinnatiopera.org.