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 libretto of this opera was written by Victor Étienne de Jouy and Michel Dieulafoy.
The opera was premiered on December 15, 1807, at the Paris National Opera in the presence of Empress Josephine. Despite the tendency to get rid of Italian influence in French music, the audience immediately appreciated this opera as a masterpiece.
The opera consists of three acts, which are presented in the three parts of our broadcast, respectively.
The source of inspiration for the French composer Massenet to write this opera was not the famous novel by Miguel de Cervantes but the play "The Knight of the Long Figure" by his contemporary French writer Jacques Le Lorrain. The libretto for the opera was written by Henri Caïn with whom Massenet had been collaborating since 1894.
Massenet wrote the part for Don Quichotte especially for the Russian famous opera singer Feodor Chaliapin.
The opera was premiered on February 19, 1910, in Monte Carlo.
It consists of five acts, which are presented in five parts of the broadcast respectively.
In 1822, the management of the Vienna Royal Opera House commissioned Franz Schubert to write an opera. Schubert chose a libretto by Joseph Kupelwieser that was based on sayings about Charlemagne, the king of the Franks, and the Moorish knight Fierrabras. But the management of the theater abandoned its decision to stage this opera by Schubert.
The composer never saw this opera staged; he wasn't even paid for his work. Seven years after his death, on May 7, 1835, the opera was presented at Vienna's Theater in der Josefstadt in a shortened concert version. In 1897, Austrian conductor and composer Felix Mottl staged his version of the opera at the Baden State Theater; he had added ballet parts from other works of Schubert and had also used some parts from works by other composers. The Mottl version was performed for a long time in opera houses. The authentic and full version of the opera was first presented at the Vienna State Opera in 1988 under the direction of conductor Claudio Abbado.
The opera consists of three acts, which are presented in the three parts of the broadcast respectively.
The Opera "The Freeshooter" ("Der Freischütz") is considered the first truly romantic German opera. The work is based on an ancient legend, common among Germans and Czechs, about a young hunter, but the ending of the libretto is different from that of the legend. The author of the libretto, Johann Friedrich Kind, changed it so that in the struggle of good and evil, good wins and everything ends happily for the heroes.
Carl Maria von Weber wrote this opera during the rise of the national liberation struggle and justified the expectations of the audience of Democrats. This opera was assessed not only as a brilliant phenomenon of arts, but also as a strong patriotic work.
Glinka had the idea of creating the opera "Ruslan and Lyudmila" still at the time of Pushkin. The composer wanted to create it on a libretto by Alexander Pushkin, but because of the sudden death of the poet he was forced to turn to his friends: he wrote the libretto with the help of Valerian Shirkov, Constantine Bahturin, Nestor Kukolnik, and others.
In this work, Glinka instilled the images with epic breath, developed the content of the opera, and created new types of operatic drama that are based on the development of symphonism, the clash and juxtaposition of opposite characters, and sequence of separate complete episodes.
The most famous librettist of his time, Felice Romani, wrote the libretto of the Opera "Anna Bolena" for the Italian composer Donizetti. This Opera is the third joint work of Donizetti and Romani. On the basis of Romani's libretti, the composer wrote ten operas.
The plot of the Opera is based on two tragedies, "Anna Bolena" by the Italian poet, Count Alessandro Pepoli, and "Henry VIII" by the famous French dramatist Marie-Joseph Chénier.
Anna Bolena is the historical figure Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England. In 1536, Anne Boleyn was accused of adultery and incest with her brother and was beheaded at Tower Green on May 19 of the same year.
The premiere of the Opera "Anna Bolena" took place on December 26, 1830, in the Teatro Carcano in Milan.
The Opera consists of two acts, which are presented in the two parts of the broadcast, respectively.
This opera's libretto was written by Luigi Illica who based it on the novel "The Vulture Wally: A Story from the Tyrolean Alps" by German writer Wilhelmine von Hillern. The opera was premiered on January 20, 1892, at the La Scala opera theater in Milan.
According to the author of this opera, it is a "Japanese tragedy."
From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, Europeans sought after exoticism, and the workers of art tried to enrich their works with Asian flavor. By choosing a Japanese theme, Puccini showed the importance of the drama of an individual.
The opera is based on American writer John Long's novel. David Belasco made a drama of it, and its staging so impressed Puccini that he asked Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa to transform the play into an opera libretto.
The actions of the opera take place in Nagasaki in 1900.
Libretto was written by Vladimir Begichev and Vasily Geltser.
"Swan Lake" was premiered in February 1977 and met by the public not very well. The experts of that time considered it unsuccessful and it was soon removed from the scene. The main culprits were considered choreographer Vatslav Reisinger and Polina Karpakova, who performed the role of Odette.
After almost twenty years, the Directorate of Imperial Theaters again turned its attention to Tchaikovsky's work to include it in the new season of 1893-1894. Thus, a new script of the play was developed by famous Marius Petipa. The composer's brother, Modest Ilyich, remade the libretto.
The new premiere took place in January 1895 in St. Petersburg. Since that time, the ballet has received a well-deserved recognition among both the public and music critics.
The ballet consists of four acts, which are presented in the four parts of our broadcast, respectively.
Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci was premiered in 1892. The events of the plot happen in Italy's south, in the small village of Montalto, Calabria. "Pagliacci" means "clowns." This story is not a product of fantasy only; the author tried to reflect the real life, being inspired by that same reality.
The plot of the Opera Faust is borrowed from the first part of Goethe's tragedy of the same name, which is itself based on a common German medieval legend.
The libretto was written by Paul Jules Barbier and Michel Antoine Florentine Carre.
The first performance of the opera took place in Paris, in Théâtre-Lyrique, on March 19, 1859.
The opera consists of five acts, with a prologue and ballet scenes, which are presented in the five parts of our broadcast, respectively.
German composer Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai wrote his opera "The Merry Wives of Windsor" on the basis of English playwright William Shakespeare's comedy of the same name (1597). The opera was premiered on March 9, 1849, at the Berlin Royal Court Opera under the baton of the composer.
The authors of the libretto of Suppé's operetta are Friedrich Zell and Richard Genée. The plot is based on some novellas from the collection "Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio, which were masterfully united in such a way that the main character became Boccaccio himself.
The operetta consists of three acts, which are presented in the three parts of the broadcast, respectively.
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.
This is Spanish composer Manuel de Falla's first opera. He worked on it for about a year, from August 1904 to March 1905. It was premiered in French translation on April 1, 1913, in Nice.
In 1893, Gustave Flaubert's novel "Herodias" inspired the English writer Oscar Wilde to write his one-act drama "Salomé" in French for the famous tragic actress Sarah Bernhardt. The play was staged in European theaters with a great success. The German composer Richard Strauss watched it in early 1903 in Berlin.
The exciting exotic nature of the East, Herod's hysterical character, and the sharpness of the contrast between Salome's disastrous amorality and God-fearing Jochanaan's (John the Baptist) piety inspired Strauss to compose an opera based on this play.
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.