By Mark Vitale
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Most opera fans have heard of the Metropolitan Opera House, or the Met, in New York City. Considered one of the most prestigious opera companies in the world, the Met begins the 55th consecutive season of Texaco-sponsored live Saturday radio broadcasts on Dec. 10 with Dmitri Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk." Tucsonans will be able to tune into the broadcast by listening to KUAT 90.5 FM.
The Met's radio broadcasts began on Christmas Day, 1931, with the opera "Hansel and Gretel." In 1940, Texaco began its sponsorship of the program. Originally, the program was solely broadcast over NBC, and later ABC and then CBS. In 1960, an independent radio network was established so the program could be broadcast over the entire United States, as well as in Canada and later Europe.
"Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" is receiving its Texaco-Met radio broadcast premiere this Saturday. In Shostakovitch's only full-length operatic composition, frustration, brutality, and passion contribute to murderous downfall.
The performing cast for the opera will feature Maria Eqwing as Katerina, Vladimir Galouzine as Sergei, Mark Baker as Zinovy, and Sergei Koptchak as Boris. The program will be conducted by James Colon. Peter Allen will return for his 20th season as the broadcast announcer.
According to Allen, the broadcast is "trying to help people enjoy opera" by allowing millions of folks exposure to the art form. Allen began hosting the Texaco-Met broadcasts in January 1975 when he had to replace former broadcaster, the late Milton Cross.
The 1994-95 Texaco-Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast Season will continue with weekly Saturday broadcasts until April 22, 1994.
The program will be broadcast starting at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on KUAT 90.5 FM. There will be a special pre-curtain feature that will begin at 1 p.m. (EST).
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