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Saturday Afternoon at the Opera with Ben Heppner

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Here's where to get your weekly opera fix, presented by one of the greatest Canadian opera stars of all time. Ben Heppner hosts Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on radio and online. What's m ore, you get a chance to sample the best new recordings and rediscover some of the greatest voices of the past.

Reach us at opera@cbc.ca

Please scroll down to see our Playlogs of past episodes.

You can now hear SAATO's Best Opera Ever series any time you like On Demand . In each episode, Ben is joined by one of the biggest names in the opera world to explore their favorite recording.

July 3, 2021

Best Operas Ever: Rhiannon Giddens
Mozart: Marriage of Figaro

Cast:

Count Almaviva: Alfred Poell, baritone
Countess: Lisa della Casa, soprano
Suzanna: Hilde Gueden, soprano
Figaro: Cesare Siepi, bass
Cherubino: Suzanne Danco, mezzo-soprano
Marcellina: Hilde Rössel-Majdan, soprano
Dr. Bartolo: Fernando Corena, bass
Don Basilio: Murray Dickie, tenor
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Erich Kleiber, cond.
Recorded: 1955

July 10,2021

Best Operas Ever: Gerald Finley
Verdi: Otello

Cast:

Otello: Placido Domingo, tenor
Iago: Sherrill Milnes, baritone
Desdemona: Renata Scotto, soprano
Orchestra and Chorus of the National Philharmonic
James Levine, cond.
Released: 1978

July 17, 2021

Best Operas Ever: Jonathan Darlington
Weber: Der Freischütz

Cast:

Max: Peter Schreier, tenor
Agathe: Gundula Janowitz, soprano
Kaspar: Theo Adam, bass-baritone
Dresden Staatskapelle
Carlos Kleiber, cond.
Recorded: 1973

July 24, 2021

Best Operas Ever: Jamie Barton
Wagner: Das Rheingold

Cast:

Wotan - John Tomlinson
Donner - Bodo Brinkmann
Froh - Kurt Schreibmayer
Loge - Graham Clark
Fricka - Linda Finnie
Freia - Eva Johansson
Erda - Birgitta Svendén
Alberich - Günter von Kannen
Mime - Helmut Pampuch
Fasolt - Matthias Hölle
Fafner - Philip Kang
Woglinde - Hilde Leidland
Wellgunde - Annette Küttenbaum
Flosshilde - Jane Turner
Conductor - Daniel Barenboim
Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 1991

Jul 31, 2021

Best Operas Ever: Jane Archibald
Mozart: Abduction from the Seraglio

Cast:

Konstanze: Jane Archibald, soprano
Belmonte: Norman Reinhardt, tenor
Osmin: Mischa Schelomianski, bass
Pedrillo: David Portillo, tenor
Blonde: Rachele Gilmore, soprano
Pasha Selim: Christoph Quest, speaker
Ensemble Aedes and Le Cercle de l’harmonie
Jérémie Rhorer, cond.

Aug 7, 2021

Best Operas Ever: J’Nai Bridges
Bizet: Carmen

Cast:

Carmen: Leontyne Price, soprano,
Don Jose: Franco Corelli, tenor
Escamillo: Robert Merrill, baritone
Micaela: Mirella Freni, soprano
Frasquita: Monique Linval, soprano
Mercedes: Genevieve Macaux, mezzo-soprano
El Dancairo: Jean-Christophe Benoit, baritone
El Remendado: Maurice Besancon, tenor
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna Philharmonic

Aug 14, 2021

Best Operas Ever: Étienne Dupuis
Puccini: Turandot

Cast:

Timur: Bonaldo Giaiotti, bass
Turandot: Birgit Nilsson, soprano
Liu: Renata Scotto, soprano
Calaf: Franco Corelli, tenor
Altoum: Angelo Mercuriali, tenor
Ping: Guido Mazzini, bass-baritone
Pang: Franco Ricciardi, bass
Pong, and Il Principino Di Persia: Piero De Palma, tenor
First Voice: Jeda Valtriani
Second Voice: Ida Farina
Un mandarino: Giuseppe Morresi, bass
Coro Del Teatro Dell'Opera Di Roma
Orchestra Del Teatro Dell'Opera Di Roma
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Conductor

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