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 more, you get a chance to sample the best new recordings and rediscover some of the greatest voices of the past.

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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 favourite recording.

Summer Festival of operas

September 26, 2020
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Marco Armiliato, conductor
Quinn Kelsey - Rigoletto
Matthew Polenzani - Duke of Mantua
Rosa Feola - Gilda
Alexander Tsymbalyuk - Sparafucile
Chorus and Orchestra of Chicago Lyric Opera

A new season of Best Opera Ever returns with:

October 3, 2020
Semyon Bychkov presents Lohengrin by Richard Wagner
Semyon Bychkov - conductor
Johan Botha - Lohengrin
Adrianne Pieczonka - Elsa
Falk Struckmann - Telramund
Petra Lang - Ortrud
Kwangchul Youn - King Heinrich
Eike Wilm Schulte - Herald
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
WDR Rundfunkchor Köln
NDR Chor & Prager Kammerchor

October 10, 2020
Francesca Zambello presents Julius Caesar by G.F. Handel
Sir Charles Mackerras - conductor
Dame Janet Baker - Julius Caesar
Christopher Booth-Jones - Curio
Sarah Walker - Cornelia
Della Jones - Sextus
Valerie Masterson - Cleopatra
James Bowman - Ptolemy
Sir John Tomlinson - Achillas
David James - Nirenus
English National Opera Chorus
English National Opera Orchestra

October 17, 2020
Joshua Hopkins presents Thaïs by Jules Massenet
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Joshua Hopkins, is Athanael
Andrew Staples is Nicias
Nathan Berg, is Palemon
Erin Wall, is Thais
Liv Repath, is Crobyle, a slave
Andrea Ludwig, is Myrtale, a slave
Emilia Boteva, is Albine, an abbess
Stacey Tappan, is La Charmeuse
Neil Aronoff, is A Servant
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
Toronto Symphony Orchestra

October 24, 2020
Marie-Josée Lord presents La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Carlos Kleiber - conductor
Ileana Cotrubaş - Violetta Valery
Placido Domingo - Alfredo Germont
Sherrill Milnes - Giorgio Germont
Bruno Grella - Baron Douphol
Walter Gullino - Giuseppe, Violetta’s servant
Stefania Malagù - Flora Bervoix
Giovanni Foiani - Doctor Grenvil
Alfredo Giacomotti - Marquis d’Obigny
Helena Jungwirth - Annina
Paul Friess - Flora’s servant
Paul Winter - a messenger
Bavarian State Orchestra
Bavarian State Opera Chorus

Please stay tuned for details of future broadcasts.

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