A Passion For Opera

Saturdays, 12p.m. - 1p.m.

Peter Fox Smith has been sharing his love and knowledge of opera with Vermont Public Radio audiences since VPR went on the air in 1977.

Peter lends his extensive experience as a teacher, lecturer, and radio announcer to the program to share his love of the human voice in music. Each week A Passion for Opera will feature a hand-selected program of operatic arias and scenes, along with the occasional thoughtfully crafted theme-oriented program focusing on a particular artist, genre, style, or operatic motif.

Peter also creates programs that make an interesting external connection to the world at large, acknowledging important birthdays, holidays, and special events or landmarks in musical history.

The program offers a monthly opera quiz and a rich weekly blend of operatic arias and scenes along with popular traditions such as the annual tribute to the great Swedish tenor, Jussi Björling, and the "American Musical Sampler" showcase of Broadway and show tunes.

A Passion for Opera provides an engaging, educational weekly stage for the greatest voices the world has ever heard - historic and contemporary alike. The name for the program not only reflects Peter's own devotion to the art, it is also the name of his critically acclaimed comprehensive book on the subject.

Browse Peter's playlists below. For playlists from before April 2013, or to visit the archive from Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, visit the Archive

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A Passion for Opera
5:58 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Famous Singers in Rare Recordings

We present a program of famous singers in rare and unusual recordings - plus our April "Mystery Voice" Quiz.

Listen Saturday, April 26 at 12 noon.

A Passion for Opera
2:50 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Iphigénie en Aulide

Peter Fox Smith offers an introduction to Gluck's Iphigénie en Aulide, first performed on April 19, 1774.

Listen Saturday, April 19 at 12 noon.

A Passion for Opera
4:36 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Carl Maria von Weber

We hear three overtures and three dramatic soprano arias from three operas by Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz, Oberon, and Euryanthe.

Broadcast Saturday, April 12 at 12 p.m.

A Passion for Opera
4:04 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Les Troyens

We return to our analysis of Hector Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens - The Trojans.

Listen Saturday, April 5 at 12 noon.

A Passion for Opera
2:25 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Heavenly Bodies

Sun, moon, stars: we hear heavenly excerpts from opera, operetta, and musical theater - plus our March Mystery Voice Quiz.

Broadcast Saturday, March 29th at 12:00 p.m.

A Passion for Opera
12:04 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Les Troyens

Saturday on A Passion For Opera, we'll hear music from The Trojans by Hector Berlioz.

Broadcast Saturday, March 22 at 12:00 p.m. on VPR Classical.

A Passion for Opera
2:23 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

My Fair Lady

We mark the March 15, 1956 Broadway premiere of Lerner and Loewe's musical My Fair Lady by listening to the sparkling original cast recording.

Broadcast Saturday, March 15 at 12 noon.

A Passion for Opera
4:19 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Opera Intermezzi

Some of the best known operatic music consists of intermezzi - orchestral interludes that serve as a bridge between scenes. We hear intermezzi and entr'actes by composers from Mascagni and Puccini to Britten and Menotti.

Listen Saturday, March 8th at 12 noon.

A Passion for Opera
9:24 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Gioachino Rossini

We celebrate the February 29, 1792 birthday of Gioachino Rossini with excerpts from four of his lesser-known operas.

Listen Saturday, March 1 at 12 noon.

A Passion for Opera
4:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Le rossignol

Stravinsky's short opera Le rossignol - The Nightingale - is preceded by excerpts from another fairy-tale opera: Le coq d'or - The Golden Cockerel - by Stravinsky's teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Listen Saturday, February 22 at 12 noon.