Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network
The Metropolitan Opera continues its season-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birth with the live broadcast of the opening performance of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”) on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m., Pacific Time, over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.
The performance, scheduled to end at 1:49 p.m. Pacific Time, will be broadcast locally over radio station KAGU – 88.7 FM.
Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder, is the corporate sponsor. The Annenberg Foundation and the Vincent A. Stabile Foundation provide generous long-term leadership support for the broadcasts.
Singing the role of Papageno will be baritone Nathan Gunn, who created the role of Clyde Grifitths in last month’s world premiere of Tobias Picker’s “An American Tragedy.” A Newsday critic called him “a splendid actor with a mahogany baritone.”
The role of Sarastro will be sung by Morris Robinson, who, The New York Times wrote, “happens to sing like an angel with a bottomless voice.” The cast also includes Mary Dunleavy as Pamina, Erika Miklósa as the Queen of the Night, Eric Cutler as Tamino, and Julien Robbins as the Speaker. Making his Met debut in this broadcast will be English conductor Paul Daniel.
The single intermission will begin with the “Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz” with panelists Carolyn Abbate, author of several books on opera; Alan Wagner, a prize-winning TV and film producer; and Willie Anthony Waters, general and artistic director of Connecticut Opera. The moderator will be author and arts consultant Thor Eckert, Jr. Gregg Whiteside, longtime popular New York radio personality, will follow with a “Report from Backstage” on the use of the stage band in opera.
The 2005-2006 broadcast season celebrates 75 years of live radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera — more than 1,500 broadcasts since December 1931 — the longest running classical music series in U.S. broadcast history. Since 1940, the broadcasts have been heard in Canada, and in 1990 they expanded to include transmission to Europe.
Today worldwide coverage has grown to include not only 27 European countries, but also Australia, New Zealand, South America, Japan, and China. Through these international broadcasts, the Metropolitan Opera, the United States’ premiere opera company, serves as a cultural ambassador to the world.
For more information about these broadcasts, listeners may visit the Metropolitan Opera Information Center at www.operainfo.org, which offers a wealth of information about the Met broadcasts as well as links to other opera Web sites.