Listening to Singers with Oliver Camacho

Saturdays at 4:30 pm

Discover or rediscover your love for the art of singing: a half-hour for newcomers and connoisseurs alike

Have you ever wondered why people become obsessed with opera? Do you know the difference between an art song and an aria? Is there a singer whose voice goes right to your heart, but you can’t put your finger on why? Each week, Oliver Camacho shares his passion for vocal performance across many genres with highly personal analysis and anecdotes. Learn about the technical aspects of singing, the qualities that make certain artists beloved, opera highlights to help you prepare for upcoming Chicago-area performances, and more. 

Listen to the past two weeks of Listening to Singers with Oliver Camacho.

A Tribute to Christa Ludwig

May 1, 2021

A mere sampling of the recorded legacy of one the quintessential musicians of the 20th century. This week, Oliver pays tribute to the great artist whose voice defied categorization.

Amanda Forsythe’s Astonishing Feats

April 24, 2021

Making the most difficult 18th century music sound easy.

The Heroic Power and Stamina of James King

April 17, 2021

What defines a heldentenor? The American tenor James King thrived in the most demanding roles in operas by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. His voice was described as strong and dependable, with the stamina to sustain him in longer dramatic roles. His six feet of height coupled with ringing, secure high notes made him an ideal heroic tenor.

The Uncompromising Musicianship of Ian Bostridge

April 10, 2021

An admiration for a unique artist with special guest Marcus Shields.

The Flawless Technique of Luciano Pavarotti

April 3, 2021

What made Pavarotti such an irresistible singer? A beautiful instrument, charisma to spare, and a technique that was the envy of the opera world.

A Consort of Women

March 27, 2021

The fourth program for Women's History Month focuses on the influence of the 17th century concerto delle donne.

The Singer / Conductor

March 20, 2021

Meet two singers enjoying dual careers as conductors. The third program for Women’s History Month features French contralto Nathalie Stutzmann and Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan.

American Art Song with Laura Strickling

March 13, 2021

An hour-long episode for Women’s History Month spotlighting American composers.  Soprano Laura Strickling — a leading proponent of contemporary art song — joins Oliver to present works by Clarice Assad, Stacy Garrop, Jacqueline B. Hairston, Lori Laitman, Gilda Lyons, Sheila Silver, and others. Learn more about Laura Strickling HERE. Learn more about the album Confessions HERE.

Why do people love Maria Callas?

March 6, 2021

An appreciation of a pioneering artist for the first episode in Women’s History Month. Callas can be a polarizing singer, but if someone carefully shows you the access points, you may begin to understand why SO MANY listeners swear by her interpretations.

The Diversified Singing Career

February 27, 2021

Meet five artists who have forged unique careers in arenas traditionally lacking diverse voices.  The final program for Black History Month features singers who thrive on the concert stage.  

On Singing Mozart

February 20, 2021

This third program for Black History Month will feature artists who excel in Mozart. Although the types of voices considered to be appropriate for 18th century music has changed over the years, singers like Reri Grist, Barbara Hendricks, and the late Christiane Eda-Pierre have always been able to meet Mozart’s technical demands.

Art Song and Gospel — An Hour with Will Liverman

February 13, 2021

This week, Listening to Singers begins at 4 p.m. and features a conversation with baritone Will Liverman. The Ryan Opera Center alum has debuted in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Opera News writes that Liverman’s career “offers a model for what opera could be in the twenty-first ...

On Singing Bel Canto

February 6, 2021

This first program for Black History Month will feature artists who excel in the music from the Bel Canto era of Italian opera. A timespan that begins with the operas of Rossini and continues through Verdi’s middle career, the term bel canto is also used to describe the singing style of the era — a technical approach which has its ...

How to Love Schubert Lieder

January 30, 2021

A celebration of Franz Schubert’s 224th birthday. This week, Oliver shares six of his favorite Lieder (German for art songs) by Schubert, including a scary ballad about a dwarf, a touching episode from Greek mythology, and an old-fashioned sing-along. LISTENING TIP: Art song is all about the poetry. If we were at a concert of these songs, you would be ...

Countertenor Cornucopia

January 23, 2021

This week, Oliver introduces you to six countertenors and offers a handy nomenclature to help you distinguish them. Which one will touch the heart with artful sensitivity? Which one will thrill you with spectacular vocal fireworks? And the most important question…who sings the highest!?