Weekend listening: Andrianne Pieczonka, Jane Archibald and other operatic riches

CBC listeners get to relive the vocal fireworks as Jane Archibald sings role of Zerbinetta in the 2011 Canadian Opera Company production of Ariadne auf Naxos (Michael Cooper photo).

CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera allows us to relive the vocal glories of the Canadian Opera Company’s spring 2011 production of Ariadne auf Naxos, by Richard Strauss.

The production starred two of the great Canadian sopranos of our time — Adrianne Pieczonka in the title role and Jane Archibald as Zerbinetta — and was beautifully conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

The rich musical fun starts at 1 p.m. Details here.


Saturday: Daniel Barenboim leads his youthful West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Beethoven’s Third and Fourth Symphonies. Sandwiched on the programme is Dialogue de l’ombre double, a modernist piece featuring the clarinet, by Pierre Boulez. The Royal Albert Hall concert starts at 7:30, which means streaming starts at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Details here.

Sunday: Royal Albert Hall hosts a concert presentation of Hector Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens, under conductor Antonio Pappano. Tenor Bryan Hymel has the unenviable task of singing the role of Aeneas in this 4-plus-hour work. The wonderful Eva-Maria Westbroeck sings Dido. There is a contingent of promising young singers from South Korea in the large cast. The concert starts at 11:30 a.m. Easter. Details here.


As in the previous five years, many of the concerts from Switzerland’s posh mountaintop summer music festival are being streamed live, then available for free on-demand viewing on medici.tv. (Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki is a repeat visitor, scheduled for a substantial solo recital on July 31.)

(Organisers yesterday announced that the festival will inaugurate an international youth symphony orchestra next year, with young musicians invited to apply from around the world. Hot young conductor Daniel Harding is to be its music director.)

The 19th annual edition of the Verbier Festival kicked off last night with conductor Charles Dutoit and French soloists Renaud (violin) and Gauthier (cello) Capucon performing Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto with the festival’s collection of international orchestral musicians. Also on the programme is Weber’s sparkling Overture to Euryanthe and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. It is available for streaming here.

Saturday: Paul McCreesh conducts a performance of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, featuring great young baritone Joshua Hopkins as the Count. The live stream begins at 1 p.m. Eastern here.

Sunday: It’s Great Russian Pianist Day: Elisabeth Leonskaya plays a programme of Mozart, Schumann and Tchaikovsky. The live stream begins at 5 a.m. Eastern, so you may want to wait for on-demand access, which should be available by Monday morning. At 1 p.m. Eastern it’s the turn of Denis Matsuev to play Schumann and Rachmaninov.

John Terauds


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