Our Own Betsy yelps, “Stop the presses! We interrupt this program to bring you this special bulletin! OMG ! It can’t be happening — not in MY town! It’s the end of the world as we know it! Today’s chat promises a veritable frenzy of mediocrity, with a few bright spots glittering here and there.
There are no 1 F.K. shows, which as you know are so exemplary that the listener is stunned into rapturous silence. Nor are there any 4 F.K. offerings which invite rapier wit and Neanderthal temperament, so that the entire audience ends up grunting and panting with gore-slathered visage.
But even a non-event can be made newsworthy by gussying it up.
11:00-2:00 LRT KLASIKA: ORLANDO FURIOSO. In his madness, Orlando allows his subscription to “Opera News” to expire, prompting a personal visit from Brian Kellow who refuses to leave until all the Fritos are gone.
11:00-1:00 RTP ANTENA 2: BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST. Mistaking the handwriting on the wall for graffiti, Belshazzar files suit against his decorator.
1:00-5:00 CBC TWO: LA GIOCONDA. While singing “O dolci Nanny” to her blind mother, The Smiling One pleasures herself with a Hello Kitty purchase of a most unusual design.
1:00-4:30 WFMT American Opera Network: TURANDOT. In an effort to come up with at least one satisfactory performance, this will be played simultaneously with the one from Orange (below.) Tough luck ! They still come up one tenor short.
1:00-4:00 BARTOK RADIO: Rossini’s OTELLO. Jason Alexander guest-stars as the wacky neighbor who borrows (and wrecks) Otello’s flagship.
1:00-4:00 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTUR: LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN. Diagnosed with Pilsner’s disorder, Hoffmann becomes a minister in a snake-handling cult.
1:00-5:00 KBYU: LA BOHEME. Perez/Costello vs. Netrebko/Beczala in a tag-team match. The Americans take the gold.
1:00-4:00 NPR World of Opera: UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. DNA testing reveals that Riccardo is Ulrica’s father, and that makes her the Dowager Governor of Boston.
1:00-4:00 NRK KLASSIK: TURANDOT from Orange. In an exclusive TV interview, Turandot shows off her collection of severed heads, including those of a Korean Boy Band who happened to be passing through and didn’t even make it to Final Jeopardy.
1:00-5:00 RADIO CLASICA DE ESPANA: ALZIRA — Alzira is arrested as head of a drug cartel.
1:00-5:00 RTP ANTENA 2: Haydn’s ORLANDO PALADINO. In a twist on Ariosto, Orlando imagines himself a golden-haired stallion and is immediately signed to sing Lohengrin at Bayreuth.
1:00-4:00 WCLV: DON GIOVANNI from Cleveland. The Don goes on a sexual rampage in Cleveland — and nobody notices.
1:00-4:00 WRR: PELLEAS ET MELISANDE. Third head-on competition of the day, this one getts the nod over the Proms version (below)
1:00-4:00 DR P2: THERESE. With the Revolution raging outside her window, Therese mulls whether she dare wear beige with ecru.
1:30- 5:00 RADIO OESTERREICH: PELLEAS ET MELISANDE – Proms. In a happier ending, Melisande gives birth to sextuplets and is signed immediately to a commentator gig on ESPN.
1:30-5:00 SVERIGES P2: I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI from Goteborg. When their drug tests turn out positive, both kids are packed off to Betty Ford. They each meet somebody new and end up wondering what they saw in each other anyways.
2:00-6:00 ESPACE 2: EUGENE ONEGIN from Riga. On the rebound, Onegin checks into Betty Ford and meets this hot kid from Mantua.
2:00-6:00 FRANCE MUSIQUE and others: DAS LABYRINTH by Peter von Winter. It’s a sequel to DIE ZABERFLOTE, which means some other smart ass has beat me to it.
2:00-4:30 RADIO STEPHANSDOM: Philidor’s SANCHO PANZA and Rousseau’s LE DEVIN DU VILLAGE. Oh wow! A replacement for CAV and PAG as the bread-and-butter twins.
2:00-5:00 LYRIC FM: DAS FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER from ROH. Van der Dencken gets caught up in customs and misses meeting Senta by seconds.
2:00-5:00 RADIO SLOVENIA TRETJE: DIE WALKURE. When Siegmund pulls the sword out, the tree becomes a lovely princess, who was enchanted by her evil stepmother Sieglinde. Narrowly escaping being burned as a witch, Sieglinde takes the veil and writes a notable series of self-help books under the name “Sister Yenta.”
2:20-5:00 LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA: LA BOHEME from Salzburg. The timely development of a wonder drug cures Mimi. She and Rodolfo marry, but he discovers his inner woman and has a sex change.