Arias and Songs

Saturdays at 4:30 pm

The Chagall ceiling of Opéra Garnier in Paris (Photo: Lin Padgham, CC BY 2.0, cropped, via Flickr)

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.

The player below features a continuous three hour loop of the most recent Arias and Songs episodes to be joined in progress.

Opera Singers of Spain

October 3, 2020

Larry presents six Spanish singers in opera and song. They are Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Teresa Berganza, Alfredo Kraus, Victoria de los Ángeles, and Conchita Supervía.

Relationships

October 10, 2020

Larry turns to movies and Broadway to explore a variety of relationships. Delightful tunes abound from Candide, Annie Get Your Gun, Gigi, Carousel, Kiss Me Kate, and more.

The English Songbook

October 17, 2020

A survey of songs by Vaughan Williams, Delius, and Purcell among others; sung by Bryn Terfel, Kathleen Ferrier, Ian Bostridge, Alice Coote, David Daniels, Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside, Anne Murray, and more.

A Cole Porter Program

October 24, 2020

The legendary Broadway composer well served in recordings made famous by his contemporaries Fred Astaire, Mary Martin, Artie Shaw and Ella Fitzgerald. Mr. Porter will also accompany himself in one of his songs.

Devils and Demons For Halloween

October 31, 2020

And scary they are! Kwangchul Youn as the Devil bargains for Piotr Beczala’s soul in Faust. José van Dam sings the ‘Danse macabre’ of Saint-Saëns. René Pape is both seductive and evil as Rubinstein’s The Demon. There is more to hear…but only if you dare.

A Program Sung in Latin

November 7, 2020

Selections will be heard from religious works by Charpantier, Rossini, Verdi and Bruckner as well as Orff’s Carmina Burana and a choral work from the film The Lion in Winter. Among the various artists will be Cecilia Bartoli, Luba Orgaosova and Jussi Bjoerling.

All in the Family

November 14, 2020

Close personal and professional relationships are explored. We recall those of Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge; Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich; Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears; and Roberto Alagna and his brothers.

Food for Thought

November 21, 2020

A tasty treat for all! The Robert Shaw Chorale takes us to a clambake, Fanny Brice cooks breakfast, the Crab Man and Strawberry Woman from Porgy and Bess offer food for sale, a little boy named Oliver wants more to eat, and there is a tribute to Julia Child.

For the Children

November 28, 2020

The holiday season is always about children and the child that lives within us. We will hear lullabies by Kathleen Battle, Boris Christoff, Marilyn Horne, and Ian Bostridge. The prayer from Hänsel und Gretel is sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Elisabeth Grümmer. The Vienna Boys Choir sing a chorus from Bizet’s Carmen as well.

Happy Endings

December 5, 2020

Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his Symphony No. 9 is the centerpiece of this program. Herbert von Karajan conducts. Also heard will be the finale of Verdi’s Falstaff with Bryn Terfel and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Shirley Verrett and Anna Moffo.

Vivaldi’s ‘Magnificat’

December 12, 2020

Sacred music is heard in a program consisting of the Magnificat by Antonio Vivaldi. Riccardo Muti conducts the New Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus with soloists Teresa Berganza and Lucia Valentini Terrani.

A Program for the Holidays

December 19, 2020

A holiday collection of religious and secular favorites sung by Kiri Te Kanawa, Robert Shaw Chorale, Kathleen Ferrier, Richard Tauber, and more.

Waltzes for New Year’s Eve

December 26, 2020

Put on your dancing shoes! Bring in the new year with Arias and Songs in an all-waltz program. Featured selections include Cristina Deutekom singing a Strauss waltz, the Boston Pops Orchestra play waltzes from Lehar’s The Count of Luxembourg, Julie Andrews asking, “Do I Hear a Waltz” by Richard Rodgers, and Lucine Amara coquettishly singing ‘Musetta’s Waltz’ from La bohème.