The beloved series of Saturday afternoon Met Opera broadcasts, now entering its 83rd season, returns December 7, 2013.
Launched in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical music program in radio history. The season begins with Verdi’s Rigoletto, starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Matthew Polenzani, and Sonya Yoncheva, continuing the celebration of Verdi’s 200th birthday. The month of December also includes Verdi’s Falstaff, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Puccini’s Tosca.
The Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network will feature 23 performances, running through May 10, 2014. Margaret Juntwait returns as the series host, joined by commentator Ira Siff.
Local broadcasts are brought to you thanks to the generosity of Sarah and Ernest Butler.
Tune in for Met Opera broadcasts Saturdays at noon.
The 2013–2014 broadcast season is sponsored by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®, with generous long-term support from the Annenberg Foundation, the Neubauer Family Foundation, and the Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media and through contributions from listeners worldwide.
What goes better with the holidays than family, friends and great music? We’ve planned an array of seasonal sounds to add warmth and sparkle to your holiday celebrations. It’s KMFA’s special gift to the community, and we are honored to be your musical companion at this festive time of year.
We can’t yet know what 2014 will bring, but we do know that you can count on KMFA to fill it with beautiful and surprising musical moments. Your support makes that possible! As you plan your year-end giving, please consider a tax-deductible gift to support KMFA. I’m excited to tell you that a group of KMFA friends have offered the station a $60,000 challenge grant to match all contributions received by December 31. Your gift will count double when you give today!
May the music we share together in 2014 be as engaging and enlightening as the music that touched you this year.
Sara Hessel, music director and host/producer of KMFA’s Ancient Voices, wrote a blog post for The Blanton Museum of Art where she explores Emperor Maximilian I’s influence on music during the Renaissance.
Don’t miss her Perspectives talk on the subject on November 21 at the The Blanton Museum of Art at 12:30 p.m.
Read her blog post here.
As the music world celebrates Verdi’s 200th birthday, at KMFA we continue our series of live broadcasts from the Austin Lyric Opera. ALO kicks off its 2013-2014 season with the composer’s epic Don Carlo…and we’ll be broadcasting live from The Long Center for the Sunday matinee performance on November 24. The curtain goes up at 3:00, but please join us at 2:50 for a short “pre-game” show.
Don Carlo is considered to be one of Verdi’s greatest operas…a story of politics, love and betrayal. The story is fictional but the characters are historical, including Princess Eboli, Don Carlos and Philip II of Spain (yes, the same king who led the Spanish Armada against the English during the reign of Elizabeth I…but that’s another story!)
ALO is excited to welcome Metropolitan Opera tenor James Valenti for his company debut in the role of Don Carlo, with Maestro Richard Buckley leading the orchestra. KMFA’s broadcast team will include hosts Dianne Donovan and Cheryl Dring, with audio engineering and production assistance from Jeffrey Blair and Sarah Addison. We will also be live tweeting from the event so follow KMFA on Twitter at @KMFAClassical.
KMFA Live! is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com
Our beautiful community of listeners keeps KMFA strong. Thanks to your loyal support, our fall pledge drive raised $300,000, a record figure.
As the year’s end approaches, we will once again be serving up a delectable feast of music for the holidays. If you’ve given up on trips to the mall and are planning to do your holiday shopping online, we have a wonderful way for your to support KMFA while you shop. When you begin your shopping by visiting Give while you Get, KMFA will receive a percentage of every purchase you make online!
This is an easy way to continue showing your support of classical public radio. Avoid the crowds, tune in to the beautiful sounds of Classical 89.5, point, click, and we will benefit from every purchase you make!
Thank you all for everything you are doing to keep classical public radio thriving in Central Texas and beyond.
- Ann Wilson is president and general manager of KMFA 89.5
By Mady Edgar – public relations coordinator
Are you in a state of fright because Halloween is just around the corner and you have yet to figure out your costume? Fear nevermore! KMFA has three classical costume ideas for you.
1. William Tell from Rossini’s opera
The “William Tell Overture” is more than just the “Lone Ranger” theme. It was the first piece ever played over the airwaves at KMFA on January 29, 1967. It is the most famous piece from the Rossini opera “William Tell” that is based on the legendary Swiss folk hero of the same name. His story takes place during the 14th century and Tell helped lead a rebellion against Austria for Swiss Independence. Other parts of his story include shooting an apple off of his son’s head with a crossbow after disrespecting an Austrian noble, escaping imprisonment on a ship during a massive storm and dying while trying to save a drowning child.
So how do you dress as this legendary hero? First, you will need to find some medieval-looking attire. Next, you should find a faux bow and arrow set to carry around along with an apple. You might even carry a Swiss flag with you. (Learn more about William Tell here.)
2. The Grim Reaper from “Danse Macabre” by Saint-Saëns
This spooky tune is a musical telling of the superstition that Death appears on All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) and plays his cursed fiddle to wake the dead. This party of the undead goes on all through the night until they must return to their graves at dawn.
To dress as this, wear the traditional Grim Reaper costume of a hooded black robe. Instead of a faux scythe, carry a violin. Bonus points if you can play the first few notes of “Danse Macabre” while in costume.
For inspiration, watch the famous Silly Symphony animation sequence set to this piece:
3. A rioter at the premiere of Stravinsky’s ”Rite of Spring”
When Igor Stravinsky premiered his ballet “Rite of Spring” in Paris in 1913, the shocking music and choreography caused an audience riot. Some musicians were even assaulted during the mob chaos.
Relive this moment in classical music history with a costume of early 1900s clothing and Parisian accessories to show your rioter status. Take some purple makeup and apply some to the area around of your eyes to demonstrate the black eye you received while fist fighting the crowd. Hold a homemade sign with a phrase like “Down with Stravinsky!” or “The Riot of Spring!” You may want to tear your lapel a little — you were just part of a major riot, after all.
We asked you to donate your instruments for the inaugural Fall Into Music drive and you sure came through! Over 150 instruments (spanning almost 200 years in age) were donated to the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts initiative and 70 of those were donated at the KMFA studios.
The donations were:
- 23% brass
- 15% guitars
- 9% pop
- 24% strings
- 19% woodwinds
- 10% other
This was the first year for Fall Into Music and the original goal of 50 instruments was far exceeded. Nine local nonprofits will now have more instruments to help more young music students make music – all thanks to your participation.
Thank you again for helping to make Fall Into Music so successful!