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Classical WETA Opera House

Saturdays on Classical WETA 90.9 FM

Classical WETA is Washington's home for opera year round.

Classical WETA is Washington's home for opera year round. From December through May, experience the power and passion of the Metropolitan Opera. The rest of the year features performances from leading opera houses around the world, including Washington National Opera.

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Upcoming broadcasts

Scene from Wolf Trap production of The Rape of Lucretia

The Rape of Lucretia

by Benjamin Britten

Wolf Trap Opera

Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 1:00pm


Craig Kier

Premiered in 1946 to re-open Glyndebourne’s theatre, Britten’s intimate and haunting lyrical masterpiece is based on an ancient Roman tale of corruption and tragedy. Lucretia, the beautiful and virtuous wife of a Roman general, is defenseless against the tyrannical prince Tarquinius. The horrific events unfold reinforced by Britten’s evocative score, moving arias, and two-person male and female chorus into a tense and potent tapestry of music and drama.

Das Rheingold

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 1:00pm




Sir Andrew Davis

Maidens guard gold at the bottom of the river Rhine. The gold can be forged into a magic ring to give one mighty powers. The cost - is to renounce love. The first taker is the Nibelung dwarf Alberich who makes the ring; but puts a curse on it when the king of the gods Wotan takes it; and he in turn hands it over to the giants who built his fortress, Valhalla. And so begins Wagner's epic Ring cycle. The Chicago Tribune called this Lyric Opera production, "Pure Gold: ...intelligently conceived...brilliantly executed by a top flight international cast representing the new generation of Wagner singers".

Lucia di Lammermoor

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 1:00pm




Enrique Mazzola

A romantic tragedy darkened by deceit, a family feud, an unwelcome arranged marriage, rage, murder and the most famous "mad" scene in all of opera,  Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR is an intense journey of passion and horror.  This Lyric Opera of Chicago production also defines the true meaning of "bel canto", beautiful singing,  with acclaimed performances from Albina Shagimuratova as Lucia, and Piotr Beczala as Edgardo.

Previous broadcasts

Scene from Wolf Trap production of L’Opera Seria

L’Opera Seria

by Florian Gassmann

Wolf Trap Opera

Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 1:00pm


Eric Melear

L’Opera Seria takes audiences behind the scenes of an opera house, where the company has just one day to prepare an opera for opening night. With artists who are only interested in their own “moment of glory” and a composer and a librettist at each other’s throats, a positive outcome is by no means assured.

Scene from Met Opera production of DER ROSENKAVALIER


Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 12:30pm


Richard Strauss


Sebastian Weigle

The dream cast of Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and Elīna Garanča 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.

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