Arias and Songs

Saturdays at 4:30 pm
Arias and Songs

Enjoy recording collector and host Larry Johnson’s vast library of vocal music.

Arias and Songs celebrates great singers of the past and present, from Maria Callas and Jussi Björling to Renée Fleming and Jonas Kaufmann. Each week, recording collector and host Larry Johnson spins a wonderful web of opera, operetta, Broadway tunes, art songs—even vintage pop. Expect the unexpected as Larry guides you through the range and nuance of vocal artistry, with some programs tied to local performances, as well.

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Arias from the Age of Bel Canto

July 1, 2017

Enjoy a Bel Canto spectacular with Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Placido Domingo, Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano and Leopold Simoneau in selections from operas by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti.

A Program For Gay Pride Weekend

June 24, 2017

Larry will present a special one hour broadcast beginning at 4 PM to celebrate Gay Pride Weekend in Chicago. Expect to be entertained as well as informed hearing recordings by gay and lesbian composers and singers who have made significant contributions to American and European culture over a century and more ranging from Leonard Bernstein to Cole Porter and Jake ...

The Art of Anna Netrebko

June 17, 2017

A tribute to the Russian Diva includes an excerpt from Prokofiev’s War and Peace as well as arias by Mozart, Puccini and Verdi and a song by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Gustav and Alma Mahler

June 10, 2017

Larry offers a sampling of recordings by eminent Mahler interpreters Maureen Forrester, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Kathleen Ferrier, and Fritz Wunderlich, as well as an unexpected and hilarious tribute to Alma Mahler.

Operatic Mad Scenes

May 27, 2017

So-called “mad scenes” have been long been a staple of opera , and were especially so during the bel canto era of Donizetti and Bellini. Larry offers two later examples. Natalie Dessay sings Ophelia’s mad scene from Hamlet and Philip Langridge descends into madness as the title character in Peter Grimes.

Robert Merrill at 100

May 20, 2017

Larry recalls the great American baritone for his 100th birthday anniversary. We will hear him in his most prominent Verdi roles as well as the Toreador in Carmen and the title role in the Barber of Seville.

A Program of Russian Opera

May 13, 2017

A collection of gems from operas by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Rachmaninoff featuring Galina Vishnevskaya, Mariusz Kwiecień and Miliza Korjus. The highlight will be the Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov with Boris Christoff.

Remembering Roberta Peters

May 6, 2017

This retrospective honors an artist who made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1950 at age 20 and remained there for the next 35 years. We hear her in some of her signature roles as Rosina in the Barber of Seville, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, the page boy in A Masked Ball, the Queen of the Night in ...

Two Sleepwalkers

December 16, 2017

“Out, out damned spot” sings Leontyne Price as Lady Macbeth as she sleepwalks with blood on her hands. Maria Callas as Amina in La Sonnambula awakes from her nocturnal rambling to find that love conquers all.

A Program for the Holidays

December 23, 2017

Larry offers four settings of the Ave Maria sung by Leontyne Price, Yvonne Minton, Jeanette MacDonald and Carol Vaness. Paul Robeson will sing two carols recalling the Nativity.