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Programming Notes: May 2017

We have reached the end of the 2016/2017 Metropolitan Opera Matinée Broadcasts! The final broadcast of the Met’s season will air May 13th at 1PM. Radio Deluxe returns to its Saturday 2PM-4PM broadcast time starting May 20th! The Met Opera 2017/2018 season will run Saturdays from December 2nd, 2017-May 5th, 2018.

Coming up this month at The Met:

Saturday, May 6th @ 1PM--Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac

The comedy/tragedy of Cyrano de Bergerac and his beloved Roxane, a love story for the ages, comes alive in this rediscovered operatic gem. The title role is a signature part for the charismatic star tenor Roberto Alagna, performing it with the company for the first time opposite rising star Jennifer Rowley, who plays his secret love. Marco Armiliato conducts.

Saturday, May 13th @1PM-- Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss

The dream cast of Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and El?na Garan?a as Octavian star in Strauss’s grandest opera. In his new production, Robert Carsen, the director behind the Met’s recent Falstaff, places the action at the end of the Habsburg Empire, underscoring the opera’s subtext of class and conflict against a rich backdrop of gilt and red damask, in a staging that also stars Günther Groissböck as Baron Ochs. Sebastian Weigle conducts the sparklingly perfect score.

Join us on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29th) for the following specials:

9AM--Dreams of the Fallen: Music of Honor and Remembrance for Memorial Day

In the United States, Memorial Day is often thought of as the unofficial beginning of summer, but its significance to this country runs far deeper. “Dreams of the Fallen” seeks to recognize and memorialize through music and poetry those who have protected our country—often at great sacrifice—from before its founding to the present. From “Taps” to Britten’s War Requiem to numerous film scores and folk songs, conflict and memory have inspired some of the greatest music in history. This special draws from a broad variety of composers and styles, linking them with the spoken remembrances of soldiers, veterans, and poetry to help unify and console. This special’s title is taken from its centerpiece, a short masterwork by young American composer Jake Runestad, Dreams of the Fallen. The work sets the poetry of Iraq war veteran Brian Turner and features pianist Jeffrey Biegel and the choir VocalEssence.

2PM--Front Lines: A Selected Shorts Memorial Day Special

On Memorial Day, we honor soldiers who have given their lives in battle, and remember also those who are still serving.  On this special Selected Shorts program, we hear four works that look at the experience of war in different ways, from the real-life account of an officer to a futurist’s fantasy.

Our first reading is from the anthology Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families. “Dear Boys” was a selection of emails written by Lieutenant Colonel Chris Cohoes to his young sons while he was serving in the Middle East.  One of them is read here by Matthew Modine.  Our second story imagines the experience of a former slave serving in the British Army during the Revolutionary War.  Charles Johnson’s “A Soldier for the Crown,” is read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

Our third story is Robert Olen Butler’s “A Mother in the Trenches,” in which a determined woman visits her son on the front lines of France during World War I.  The reader is Kathleen Chalfant.  Our final story is by the late Brazilian writer Moacyr Scliar.   His comically dystopian “Peace and War” imagines war as just another clock-punching job.  It’s read by Michael Cristofer.