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.

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

Remembering Dimitri Hvorostovky

January 13, 2018

Larry will offer a tribute to the late Russian baritone who passed away in November, 2017.

Highlights from Lerner & Loewe Musicals

January 5, 2018

Picture: Stanley Holloway (center) as Alfred P. Doolittle from the Broadway presentation of My Fair Lady. Selections from three highly successful Broadway musicals by Lerner & Loewe bring in the New Year. Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Robert Goulet, Stanley Holloway and more will be heard in Brigadoon, My Fair Lady and Camelot.

New Year’s Eve in Vienna

December 30, 2017

The champagne will flow as Anna Moffo, Thomas Hampson and Jerry Hadley sing Johann Strauss. Simon Keenlyside honors Franz Lehar. Andre Rieu plays the theme from the film The Third Man and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf salutes Vienna, the city of dreams.

A Program for the Holidays

December 23, 2017

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

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.

Lyric Opera’s Turandot

December 9, 2017

Another Prince tries his luck hoping to solve Turandot’s three riddles as Puccini’s masterpiece returns to Lyric Opera. Hear spectacular excerpts sung by Jussi Bjoerling, Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, Jonas Kaufman and Joan Sutherland.

The Art of Rosa Ponselle, part 2

December 2, 2017

An exploration of the life and art of this American diva continues noting the glory years at the MET when she became one of the greatest Norma’s of the twentieth century. She then surprises her public and retires at age forty never to sing on stage again.

The Art of Rosa Ponselle, part 1

November 25, 2017

She was one of the finest soprano voices our country has produced. Amazingly she came out of vaudeville, had never sung an opera yet made her debut at the MET with Enrico Caruso in an opera she had never even heard of. A story that must be told!

Lyric Opera’s “The Pearl Fishers”

November 18, 2017

Longtime audience favorite, the Pearl Fishers’ duet will be sung by Jerry Hadley and Thomas Hampson. Other selections from Bizet’s opera are sung by Janine Micheau, Enrico Caruso and Placido Domingo.

Lyric Opera’s “Die Walküre”

November 11, 2017

Jon Vickers and Gre Brouwenstijn reprise their 1960 Lyric Opera debut roles in Act I of Die Walkure which coincides with this second opera of Wagner’s Ring Cycle currently being presented by Lyric.

A Cole Porter Program

October 21, 2017

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.

Lyric Opera’s Rigoletto

October 14, 2017

The Court Jester returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago. Highlights will be heard by Daniela Dessi, Carlo Bergonzi, Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau and Renata Scotto. Rigoletto’s solo scene will be sung by the great Verdi baritone Leonard Warren.

Lyric Opera’s “Orphée et Eurydice”

September 30, 2017

This opera’s justly famous aria “J’ai perdu mon Euridice” in French or “Che faro senza Euridice” in Italian is heard by soprano Maria Callas, tenor Juan Diego Florez, mezzo‐soprano Rita Gorr, flautist James Galway and contralto Kathleen Ferrier.

Inge Borkh at 100

September 23, 2017

German soprano Inge Borkh turned 100 earlier this year. Larry celebrates her centenary with “In questa reggia” from Puccini’s Turandot and the “Final Scene” from Richard Strauss’ Salome.

Maria Callas ‐ Gone Now For Forty Years Today

September 16, 2017

Gone but hardly forgotten after four decades, La Divina is heard in arias that recall her unique artistry. Besides La Vestale, Norma, and Tosca, we hear Callas accompanying herself in her final recording, “Ah, Perfido!” by Beethoven.

Vivaldi’s Magnificat

September 9, 2017

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 Labor Day

September 2, 2017

A tribute to workers everywhere that features three government ministers, a flower seller, a fashion designer and even a smuggler. Cecilia Bartoli, Lucrezia Bori and Katherine Hepburn are heard among others.

Remembering Nicolai Gedda

August 26, 2017

The late Swedish tenor is fondly remembered in arias from some of his operatic roles from Carmen, Cosi fan Tutte, Faust and Vanessa. Then there will be a superb rendition of Dein ist mein ganzes Herz from Lehar’s The Land of Smiles.

Five Wagnerian Tenors

August 19, 2017

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

Music of the American West

August 12, 2017

We begin on horseback in the Grand Canyon then on to California for Puccini’s Fanciulla del West. Colorado is next for The Ballad of Baby Doe. We ride the range with cowboys and end up with a salute to Texas.