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At The Opera, Operatic Double Bill, Puccini's La boheme and Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, December 21, 2013


La bohème is an opera in four acts was 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, conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. In 1946, fifty years after the opera's premiere, Toscanini conducted a performance of it on radio with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. This 1956 recording stars Victoria del los Angeles, Jussi Bjorling 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, the same studio where it was broadcast live on television from that venue as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America. 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." This original cast recording from 1952 stars Rosemary Kuhlmann and Chet Allen. Thomas Schippers conducts.
 
Saturday, December 21, 2013

Play List

8:00p
8:00p
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
8:11p
Giacomo Puccini: La boheme RCA Victor Orchestra and Chorus; Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor Vivtoria de los Angeles FindBUY
10:00p
10:35p
Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors Vienna; Thomas Schippers, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
11:00p
11:24p
trad.: Stille Nacht n/a; n/a, conductor Anne Sofie Von Otter FindBUY
11:28p
trad.: Sankta Lucia n/a; n/a, conductor Anne Sofie Von Otter FindBUY
11:31p
Adam: O holy night National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor Luciano Pavarotti FindBUY FindBUY
11:36p
Franz Schubert: Ave Maria National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
11:41p
Yon: Gesu Bambino National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor Luciano Pavarotti FindBUY FindBUY
11:45p
trad.: Adeste Fideles (O come, all ye faithful) National Philharmonic; Kurt Herbert Adler, conductor Luciano Pavarotti FindBUY FindBUY
11:49p
Irving Berlin: White Christmas Philharmonia Orchestra; Carl Davis, conductor Kiri Te Kanawa FindBUY FindBUY
11:52p
trad. : Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Philharmonic Orchestra; Carl Davis, conductor Kiri te Kanawa FindBUY FindBUY
11:56p
Felix Bernard: Winter Wonderland Philharmonia Orchestra; Carl Davis, conductor Kiri Te Kanawa FindBUY FindBUY
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