Sweet Betsy again rounds up the Saturday afternoon listenables. La Cieca leans toward Manon naturellement, but she should warn you that she’s off like Des Grieux’s cassock at 3:00 pm to jump on the Caramoor Caravan. After the jump (not onto the Caravan!) the complete list of what’s singing who.
1:00-4:30 BBC 3: The Royal Opera House Manon with the Venus-of-the-Steppes and Steps-on-his-Penis. (Do I really need to list anything else?)
1:00-5:00 CBC TWO: Mireille from Paris. Runner-up to Trovatore for the Confusing Opera Plot award. It gets a better performance than it deserves.
1:00-4:00 DEUTSCHLANDRADIO KULTURE: Gretry’s Andromaque. If you like things that are off the beaten track, but not so far off you can never find your way back again, this is a contender.
1:00-5:00 FRANCE MUSIQUE: Iphigénie en Aulide, Iphigénie en Tauride, Iphigénie in Brooklyn, Iphigénie Does Dallas, and If a Génie Meet a Génie Coming’ thro’ the Aeschylus.
1:00-5:00 NPR World of Opera: Pelléas and Mélisande from Duisberg. Not a bad performance, considering that Ozawa conducts the whole show from his hotel suite in Munich.
1:00-5:30 WETA: Il trittico from the Castleton Festival. For my money, the only serious rival to the Manon. It will be interesting to hear what kind of show Maazel is paying for over there.
1:30-5:30 BARTOK RADIO: Francesca Zambella’s production of Christmas Eve, better known as Vakula the Smith, better known as I Cherevichki, better known as The Tsarina’s Slippers, better known as WTF Is This Crap, and not known at all as Happy Herman the Walrus Bender, this is the show that set East-West relations back at least a decade.
1:30-5:00 WFMO: L’elisir d’amore from Chicago. Like an infestation of bed bugs, once Nicole Cabell and Giuseppe Filianoti get into your computer, you can never get rid of them.
2:00-5:00 CESKY ROZHLAS VLTAVA: Il trovatore from the Liceu, the infamous production in which everyone is nude all the time, including Fiorenza Cedolins. Of course, you won’t be able to see all that on the broadcast.