At the Opera

Hosted By Sean Bianco

Host Sean Bianco brings you a full-length opera featuring great voices from the past and present followed by “Opera Potpourri.”


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Saturday, April 16, 2016 Permalink

At The Opera, Ponchielli: La Gioconda, April 16, 2016


La Gioconda is an opera in four acts by Amilcare Ponchielli set to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, a play in prose by Victor Hugo.

First performed in 1876, La Gioconda was a major success for Ponchielli, as well as the most successful new Italian opera between Verdi's Aida (1871) and Otello (1887). It is also a famous example of the Italian genre of Grande opera, the equivalent of French Grand-Opéra.

Ponchielli revised the work several times; the version that is played today was first given in 1880. There are several complete recordings of the opera, and it is regularly performed, especially in Italy. It is one of only a few operas that features a principal role for each of the six major voice types.

La Gioconda was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on April 8, 1876. It was especially successful in its third and final version first seen at the same theatre on March 28, 1880. The opera had its American premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on December 20, 1883.

The opera's title translates as The Happy Woman, but is usually given in English as The Ballad Singer. The story revolves around a woman, Gioconda, who so loves her mother that when Laura, her rival in love for the heart of Enzo, saves her mother's life, Gioconda puts aside her own romantic love to repay her. The villain Barnaba tries to seduce Gioconda, but she prefers death.


La Gioconda – Anita Cerquetti

Enzo – Mario del Monaco

Barnaba – Ettore Bastianini

Laura – Giulietta Simionato

Alvise – Cesare Siepi

La cieca – Franca Sacchi

Gianandrea Gavazzeni – condcutor

Decca - 1958


8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo BUY Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
Naxos 8550240
8:13 p.m.
Amilcare Ponchielli: La Gioconda BUY Orchestre e coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino ; Gianandrea Gavazzeni, conductor Anita Cerquetti / Mario Del Monaco
11:00 p.m.
11:21 p.m.
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi, opera: O mio babbino caro BUY London
London/Decca 4758366
11:23 p.m.
Giuseppi Verdi: NABUCCO: Chorus of the Hebrew slaves BUY Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Lamberto Gardelli, conductor Vienna State Opera Chorus [Also:"Wiener Staatsopernchor"]
London/Decca 4758366
11:28 p.m.
G.F. Handel: Rodelinda - Dove sei (Art thou troubled) BUY Vienna Cantata; Henry Lewis, conductor
London/Decca 4758366
11:35 p.m.
Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore, opera: Una furtiva lagrima BUY from Ultimate Opera [Box Set]; composed by Donizetti
London/Decca 4758366
11:39 p.m.
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana - Easter Hymn BUY National Philharmonic; Giandrea Gavazenni, conductor
London/Decca 4758366
11:45 p.m.
James King BUY James King
London/Decca 4758366
11:49 p.m.
Dvorak: Rusalka: O silver moon BUY Accademia di Santa Cecilia; Giuseppe Patane, conductor Pilar Lorengar
London/Decca 4758366
11:55 p.m.
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo BUY Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
Naxos 8550240

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