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137 Segments




Maria Callas, Complete and Eternal

Fresh Air's classical music critic takes a look at the career of opera legend Maria Callas — because the recording industry can't seem to resist her. EMI has just released a 70-disc collection called Maria Callas: The Complete Studio Recordings, and there's a new DVD compilation of the soprano's work, called The Eternal Callas.


A Visit to the Santa Fe Opera

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz tells us about a recent trip to the Santa Fe Opera, which celebrated its 50th anniversary season this year.


Prized 'Tales of Hoffmann' Opera on DVD

The 1951 film version of the Offenbach opera The Tales of Hoffmann, now on DVD, is recognized as a masterpiece of dark storytelling from the British team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.


Noting the Passing of John Raitt

Singer John Raitt died over the weekend at age 88. He was a legend on Broadway, starring in the original 1945 production of Carousel. He starred in both the stage and screen versions of The Pajama Game. His daughter is singer Bonnie Raitt.


Artist, Writer and Designer Maurice Sendak

His new book Brundibar is based on a Czech opera of the same name. It was set to music by Hans Krasa, who was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp Terezin and later killed in Auschwitz. The opera was performed 55 times by the children of Terezin. Sendak has also written and illustrated the classic children's books Where the Wild Things Are, In The Night Kitchen and Outside Over There. Time magazine has said, "For Sendak, visiting the land of the very young is not something that requires a visa.


Music Director Charles Hazlewood and Singers Sandile Kamle and Pauline Malefane

From the South African production of the opera Carmen, and Yiimimangaliso: The Mysteries, an opera based on the medieval Chester Mystery plays: Music Director Charles Hazlewood and Singers Sandile Kamle and Pauline Malefane. The operas were staged in Londons West End to rave reviews. They are currently making their American premiere at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina that runs May 24-June 9. ( Hazlewood went to South Africa and auditioned over a thousand performers for Carmen.


Great Performances: Three Mo' Tenors

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews Three Mo' Tenors, a PBS Great Performances program and a new CD. It features the African-American tenors Rodrick Dixon, Victor Trent Cook and Thomas Young.


A Great Way to Cap Kurt Weill's Centennial.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the reissue of the original cast album of the legendary 1954 Theatre de Lys’ Off-Broadway production of Kurt Weill’s “Threepenny Opera” starring Lotte Lenya. It’s on the Decca label.


A Inspired Production.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new recording of Handel’s opera, “Alcina.” (“al-CHEE-na”)It’s a live performance by the Paris Opera (Erato).


Contemporary Countertenors.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews recordings by two countertenors: a collection of religious music for solo voice by Vivaldi performed by German born Andreas Scholl (on Decca) and “Serenade” (Virgin Classics) by American David Daniels.


One of Kurt Weill's Most Neglected Works.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the world-premiere recording of Kurt Weill’s opera Die Buergschaft—The Pledge (on EMI). It’s one of Weill’s most neglected works first performed in Berlin in 1932, and was revived last year during the Spoleto Festival USA.


Enchanting Stravinsky Recordings.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews new recordings of some of Stravinsky's early vocal music: Natalie Dessay singing Stravinsky's The Nightingale (EMI), and Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky (box set on Sony).


Fleming Does Justice to Straus.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews soprano Renee Fleming's new recording of Strauss Heroines with the Vienna Philharmonic, on the Decca label.


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