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.

The Art of Josephine Baker

July 11, 2020

Arriving in France as one of the many Americans in Paris in the 1920s, La Belle Josephine, as she was called, became a national treasure for the French for half a century.

A Program for Gay Pride Weekend

June 27, 2020

For a special one-hour program beginning at 4:30pm, Larry showcases the talents of gay composers Gian Carlo Menotti, Reynaldo Hahn, and Michael Tippett. Also featured are Peter Pears, Nathan Lane, Josephine Baker, Donald Gramm, and pianists, Earl Wild, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and more.

A Program for Father’s Day

June 20, 2020

Celebrating Father’s Day weekend are Sherrill Milnes in La traviata, Leontyne Price and Robert Merrill in Aida, and more.

Things that Crawl, Swim, and Fly

June 13, 2020

Fish swim, butterflies float, snakes slither, bees sting, and worms crawl in a most unusual program. Immersed in nature are Kathleen Battle, Gérard Souzay, Christa Ludwig, John McCormack, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Felicity Lott, and more.

Coffee, Tea, Beer, or Wine?

June 6, 2020

The bar is open. It’s your choice and served by Jerry Hadley, Joan Morris, Carlo Bergonzi, Ella Fitzgerald and more.

Play Gypsy, Dance Gypsy

May 30, 2020

Gypsies have long been a favorite topic for composers. Hear delightful and melodic songs and arias sung by Leontyne Price, Conchita Supervía, Fritz Wunderlich, Angela Gheorghiu, Renata Tebaldi, and more.

On Wings of Song

May 23, 2020

We float in the air today with Mendelssohn’s song of this name, moving on to fireflies, birds, and butterflies. Taking flight are Jussi Björling, Susan Graham, Ben Heppner, Rita Streich, Ian Bostridge, Ann Murray, Gérard Souzay, Felicity Lott and more.

Heard in “Live” Performance

May 16, 2020

An eclectic collection indeed! Marcella Sembrich sings at a 1903 Metropolitan Opera concert, Maria Callas is heard in the Lisbon Traviata, Ferruccio Furlanetto is the Prince in Eugene Onegin at the 2007 Salzburg Festival, and the ‘Cat Duet’ by Rossini is purred by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Victoria de los Ángeles in London.

A Program for Mother’s Day

May 9, 2020

They nurture us, they teach us, and they love us as we will hear in musical selections. Celebrating Mother’s Day weekend are Leyla Gencer, Marilyn Horne, Lily Pons, and Noël Coward. Yo-Yo Ma with Patricia Zander will be heard in “Songs My Mother Taught Me.”

Here Comes the Sun

May 2, 2020

Here is a program filled with sunshine for a March day. Franco Corelli sings O sole mio plus arias from Rigoletto, Romeo and Juliet and May Night. Also spreading sunshine are Karita Mattila, Piotr Beczala, Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi and Nicolai Gedda.

Remembering Montserrat Caballé

April 25, 2020

Larry offers a one‐hour memorial tribute to one of the most outstanding voices of our time. This master of legato and pianissimo will be heard in prominent roles from Norma, Louise, and La traviata as well as selections from Spanish zarzuelas.

Shadows and Fog

April 18, 2020

Venture into a twilight world with Natalie Dessay singing the “Shadow Song” from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah. Peter Pears delves into the “Foggy, Foggy Dew” and Fred Astaire quite enjoys “A Foggy Day (In London Town).” All alone, Judy Garland offers a heartfelt “Me and My Shadow.”

Five Wagnerian Tenors

April 11, 2020

Five tenors who are all acclaimed for their Wagner interpretations. Listen and enjoy Lauritz Melchior, Jon Vickers, Jess Thomas, Ben Heppner and Jonas Kaufmann.

Larry’s Favorite Recordings

April 4, 2020

Often asked for his personal favorites, Larry shares a few choices sung by Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Bidu Sayão, Alfredo Kraus, and Leontyne Price.

Sutherland in Song

March 28, 2020

Hear one of the 20th century’s greatest voices in a recital of songs by Paolo Tosti, Luigi Arditi, and operettas by Michael Balfe and Noël Coward.

American Wagnerian Sopranos

March 21, 2020

Three American sopranos sing Wagner: Deborah Voigt, Jessye Norman, and Helen Traubel are heard in Die Walküre, Der fliegende Holländer, and Tristan und Isolde.

A Program For St. Patrick’s Day

March 14, 2020

Sláinte! Both familiar and unfamiliar Irish songs are performed by Bryn Terfel, Kiri Te Kanawa, The King’s Singers, John McCormack, and Patrick Ball with his Celtic harp.

Verdi Rarities

March 7, 2020

Larry explores some of the more obscure Verdi operas and a song. Montserrat Caballé and Michael Fabiano are heard in Attila, Il corsaro, and I due Foscari along with a song by Licia Albanese.

Jonas Kaufmann Sings Operetta

February 29, 2020

Another side of this highly versatile tenor is presented. Kaufmann has had a life‐long love of operetta. This week, hear him lavish the same attention he gives to Wagner, Puccini, or Massenet in the works of Strauss, Lehár, Kálmán, and Zeller.

The Art of Leonie Rysanek

February 22, 2020

This renowned Viennese soprano is heard in two of her most acclaimed Verdi roles: Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello and her 1959 Met debut role as Lady Macbeth.

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