Classical 91.5

The Metropolitan Opera

Seasonal, Saturdays 1pm to TBA on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY 90.3, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1 and online at
  • Hosted by Mary Jo Heath

The Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers from around the world.  Launched in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical program in radio history.  Known as the venue for the world’s greatest voices, the Met has been under the musical direction of James Levine since 1976. Maestro Levine is credited with having created one of opera’s finest orchestras and choruses. Since the summer of 2006, Peter Gelb has been the Met’s general manager—the 16th in company history. Under his leadership, the Met has been elevating its theatrical standards by significantly increasing the number of new productions, staged by the most imaginative directors working in theater and opera, and has launched a series of initiatives to broaden its reach internationally.

Contents of the broadcast are copyrighted by The Metropolitan Opera, all rights are reserved, and any use or reproduction of any of the material therein without permission of The Metropolitan Opera is strictly prohibited and will be prosecuted.

Request your complete Guide to the Met Opera and the Live in HD performances here.

February 2017 Metropolitan Opera presentations

Jan 29, 2017

This month begins with Michael Mayer’s hit production of Rigoletto that places the action in a neon-bedecked Las Vegas in 1960.

2/4       Verdi:  Rigoletto

Michael Mayer’s hit production of Rigoletto places the action in a neon-bedecked Las Vegas in 1960. Stephen Costello and Joseph Calleja alternate as the womanizing Duke, Olga Peretyatko is the innocent Gilda, and Željko Lučić reprises his heartbreaking take on the tragic title role. Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts.

2/11      Bizet:  Carmen

The Metropolitan Opera has announced the cancellation of its new performance of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” by the daring Spanish opera director Calixto Bieito, scheduled for the 2017-2018 season.  Read what Met General Manager Peter Gelb has to say about this.

Metropolitan Opera

The “thrilling star team” (New York Observer) of Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo sing with “white-hot sensuality and impassioned lyricism” (New York Times) as Shakespeare’s classic star-crossed lovers in Gounod’s lush adaptation. Director Bartlett Sher’s “brilliant and inspired new production … is a revelation” (Huffington Post), and has already won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century milieu and stunning costumes during runs at Salzburg and La Scala.

January 2017 Highlights for the Metropolitan Opera

Jan 1, 2017

A month of classics this month from the Metropolitan Opera, featuring the legendary Placido Domingo, Diana Damrau, and more!

1/7        Verdi:  Nabucco The legendary Plácido Domingo brings another new baritone role to the Met under the baton of his longtime collaborator James Levine. Liudmyla Monastyrska is Abigaille, the warrior woman determined to rule empires, and Jamie Barton is the heroic Fenena. Dmitri Belosselskiy is the stentorian voice of the oppressed Hebrew people.

1/14      Puccini:  La Bohème The Met presents its spectacular Zeffirelli production,with multiple excellent casts: Ailyn Pérez and Kristine Opolais are paired with Dmytro Popov, Piotr Beczała, and Michael Fabiano, as the young Parisian lovers at the center of the story. Susanna Phillips, David Bizic, and Massimo Cavalletti also star. Carlo Rizzi and Marco Armiliato conduct....

Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky announced this week that he will step back from several opera performances at the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera and the Royal Opera House due to health concerns. 

According to Opera News, Hvorostovsky was to have sung the title character in Metropolitan Opera performances of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in March and April.  Now, Peter Mattei will perform the role in April with the worldwide transmission as part of the Met's Live in HD series on April 22nd.


The new season from the Metropolitan Opera kicks off this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on Classical 91.5 with Puccini's Manon Lescaut.  Anna Netrebko and Kristine Opolais share the title role, a heroine as alluring and irresistible as her adored city of Paris. Marcelo Álvarez is her obsessed lover in the opera that made Puccini famous, showcased in Richard Eyre’s heated,1940s film noir–inspired production, with Marco Armiliato on the podium.

On December 1st (airing on Classical 91.5 on Sat Dec 10 at 1:00 p.m.) the Metropolitan Opera will present the first fully staged opera composed by a female composer since 1903. 

December 2016 Listings for The Metropolitan Opera

Nov 27, 2016

Anna Netrebko dazzles as Manon Lescaut, and a contemporary opera by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho makes its debut at the Metropolitan Opera.

Peter Allen, the voice of The Metropolitan Opera for decades, passed away over the weekend at age 96.  

Classical 91.5 listeners will remember his comforting tenor voice, painting a verbal picture of the costumes and staging for radio listeners world-wide. 

Current Met Opera broadcast host Mary Jo Heath, and former Classical 91.5 casual announcer said this of Allen: